How to bottle feed
Some people can’t breastfeed, others select to combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding and some love having the option of allowing others to feed their little one – whatever your reason, know that bottle-feeding can be a warm and comfortable experience once you know-how.
Do you need bottles?
The short answer is YES. If you’re planning to feed your little one formula from the start, you’ll definitely need them. Or, if like me, you plan to breastfeed it’s also really handy to have some available. They give you the flexibility to express your milk and let other family members or friends feed your baby. That allows them to enjoy that special bonding time also, whilst giving you a break from feeding which can be utterly exhausting at times.
You’ll also need bottles if you’re planning to return to work in the first year. Your childcare provider will then use the bottles to feed your baby with expressed milk or formula – whichever works for you and your family.
When do you need bottles?
If you plan to use formula only, bottles will be used from day one. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s recommended you wait several weeks until it’s fully established. If you give your baby a bottle too soon, the big worry is that they will then refuse to breastfeed because milk from a bottle comes out faster.
I personally waited about four weeks before introducing a bottle. That’s earlier than a lot of health professionals recommend but with my best friend getting married, I wanted to make sure she took to the bottle fine. Having used MAM bottles before, I also had the confidence that I could switch between bottle and breastfeeding with ease.
Giving baby the bottle
Make yourself comfortable and cuddle your baby close to you, holding her on a slight incline. Put the teat against baby’s lips. She’ll open her mouth and start to suck. Keep the neck of the bottle at an angle so it’s filled with formula or milk. When your baby stops sucking strongly or when she has drunk about half the formula or breastmilk, gently remove the bottle and see whether she wants to burp. Once you’ve tried burping your baby, you can offer the bottle again.
It’s a good idea to change the direction your baby is facing for part of the feed or at different feeds. This helps to stimulate your baby’s senses equally.
Why I selected the MAM Easy Start™ Anti-Colic Bottles
The MAM Easy Start™ Anti-Colic Bottles were my bottle of choice, not only because they are BPA-free and have the prettiest designs around but also because of their superior design. I started with the 130ml whilst Lily was very little, using expressed milk before moving onto the 160ml when she was a little bigger. At 8 months I decided to end my breastfeeding journey for numerous reasons and currently use the 260ml bottles for all feeds.
The MAM teat makes it easy for babies to feed
The MAM Silk Teat® makes switching between breastfeeding and bottle especially easy – thanks to its patented silky soft silicone surface. Both my girls took to the bottle straight away and I think it had a lot to do with this teat design. Studies MAM have actually undertaken show that 94% of babies accept the MAM Silk Teat®.* I’ve heard so many Mums complain their baby won’t take a bottle and I always recommend the MAM bottle and so far they’ve all had success with it.
Ventilated base reduces air swallowed
The MAM Anti-Colic bottles have a ventilated base that enables an even flow of milk. As your baby feeds, the venting system is working to make sure that air flows into the bottle instead of into her tummy, which helps reduce gas, burps and spit up—all things that are said to contribute to colic.
The bottles can be sterilised in the microwave in just 3 minutes, making them a brilliant option, if like myself you’re constantly on the go.
The lid is designed to make the bottle spill-proof and protect it from dirt. It also works as a measuring cup thanks to integrated scale – even for the smallest amounts.
All the bottles have a range of beautiful patterns and colours to suit both boys and girls. And, if you don’t know what you’re having and want to buy some bottles before your baby arrives they do some beautiful neutral designs also.
I’m definitely no expert but if you’re looking for a good baby bottle, I can definitely recommend these. I had a really positive breastfeeding journey using these bottles and when I did move to formula the process has been super easy. However, you decide to feed your baby remember, fed is always best mamas. I genuinely believe this and that we all need to be conscious of not judging others for their choices.
Wishing you all the very best with your feeding journey!
Check out all the bottle designs here.