Bottlefeeding basics | MadeForMums

All the advice you need if you're thinking about bottlefeeding or mixed feeding, plus what to buy and best way to hold your bottlefeeding baby


We know that NHS guidelines recommend breastfeeding if you can for the first 6 months – but we also know that it’s not possible for everyone.


The Royal College of Midwives recently acknowledged that it’s time to start supporting mums who bottlefeed, and with this in mind we’ve put together what we hope are some really good articles to help you get to grips with bottlefeeding if you’re doing it.

First off, we’ve found lots of confusions from mums on our forum around how to make up a bottle – guidelines have changed in the last few years, so how exactly should you do it?

Then there are so many different products out there – different bottles, and teats – so which should you go for? You can check out our round-up of the best equipment to help you make bottle feeding go as smoothly as possible.

We’ve also got advice on making sure your bottles are sterile as well as an in-depth look at what formula milk is, and coping with night feeds.

We’ll also take a look at a few times when bottle-feeding stories even made the headlines.

Making up a formula feed

We thought we’d start with the absolute bottle-feeding basics, and a topic there seems to be lots of discussion on the right way to make up a formula bottle.

Guidelines on how to do it have changed in recent years, which we reckon might have lead to some of the misinformation out there.

And while you’ll find exact instructions on the formula packet on how to make up the particular feed your using, we try to explain why you’re meant to do things a certain way.

We’ve also got tips on how to make sure your bottles are sterile before you use them plus we’ve got ideas for great products if you need to sterilise bottles while you’re away from home.

How to bottlefeed

Now you’ve got the lowdown on how to make sure you’re bottles are sterilised and your formula’s made up correctly, you might want some guidance on how to hold your baby when you’re feeding them.

It’s important to make sure you and baby are comfortable – and once you’ve got the hang if it, it can be such a bonding experience.

What do you do if you’re bottlefeeding twins? Don’t worry – we’ve got specific advice on that too…


Bottle feeding equipment

One of the not-so-positive things about bottlefeeding as opposed to breastfeeding is that you will need a fair bit of equipment to get you started: bottles, obviously, and other bits and bobs are optional – though you’ll probably also want to seriously consider getting a steriliser of some kind, too.

As your baby grows, you’ll also need to consider changing bottles so that you buy ones that give faster flow rates – don’t worry – it’s all in our buyers guide to bottles and teats.


General equipment:

Formula milk

What is formula milk? If it’s something you’ll be giving your baby every day it’s probably good to have an idea of what’s in it, the different types and the different stages.

We’ve also got info on various milks including breastmilk and cow’s milk – and when you should move on to cow’s milk.

Bottlefeeding a baby with a milk allergy

What is a milk allergy? How is it identified and what should you do if you find out your baby has it? If you’re hit with the news that your baby has a cow’s milk allergy don’t panic.

We’ve got lots of advice on what to do if you think your child has it and next steps to make sure your baby gets what she needs.

How to bottlefeed a baby with a cow’s milk allergy

Night time feeding

There will come a point when you’re baby’s a bit older (say, 6 months plus) when you’ll want to stop them waking for feeds in the night, whether they’re breast- or bottlefed.

But how you can get them out of the routine of having milk at night – especially when they’re doing it for comfort rather than because they’re hungry?. And how can you tell the difference?

We’ve got expert advice and tips from mums on how to start getting your baby to sleep through without waking for a feed.


More bottle-feeding products and gadgets

As well as the basics of bottles and perhaps a steriliser, there are loads more bottle-feeding gadgets out there you might find helpful – though they’re definitely not necessities.

Some might seem like wonder products (can you really make up a perfectly warmed bottle in 20 seconds?) – but we’ve also included a handy round up of some of what we think are the best bottlefeeding products out there.

Bottlefeeding in the news 

Believe it or not, even something as every day as bottlefeeding makes it into the headlines sometimes.

Whether it’s a celeb mum commenting on how she was shamed for doing it (yes, sadly – and wrongly – it happens), a controversial product or – wait for it – a newborn that can feed itself – check out our bottlefeeding news stories.


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