When I was pregnant with my first, I was determined to make breastfeeding work for at least a year. I was in for a rude awakening when we didn't make it that far. In fact, we didn't make it past a few weeks. Due to tongue ties, weight gain issues and postpartum anxiety, I decided it was time to switch to bottle-feeding. But I had no clue where to start. This wasn't in my plans, I hadn't even registered for bottles and my pump had been collecting dust inside a kitchen cabinet for months.
There was a lot to learn, but my son took to bottles just fine and his weight normalized, giving both of us peace of mind. Until he started outpacing my pumping and we needed to supplement with formula.
A few years later, I had twins and knew there would be some bottle-feeding involved in our lives. With three under 3 and needing as much sleep as possible in those first few months, there was no way I would have the time or patience to exclusively breastfeed.
There was a lot of trial and error, but I'm at a place now where I can recommend the products that made a world's difference in how we fed our babies. I want to make sure no mama out there goes through the stress I went through the first time around.
Here are the products that made bottle-feeding easier for us:
Not all babies will like the same bottle. In fact, babies will be sure to let you know if they don't like the bottle you have. However, I've found that all three of my children were totally happy with these. I think it's because their nipple is wider and resembles more of a human nipple than other bottles in the market. They are made of silicone so once your kid is able to hold their bottle, their little hands will have no problem with these.
You don't necessarily have to warm milk or formula for your baby. Some pediatricians recommend giving cold milk if your baby will take it. Not all babies do, though, so this portable bottle warmer from Baby's Brew is key if you have a baby with a more refined taste. You can warm up both breast milk and formula safely on the go. And there are attachments for every bottle out there so you don't have to worry about having to change types of bottles after you found the one.
Let's start with the basics. If you prefer to feed your baby with you expressed milk, you'll need a reliable pump. I chose the Luna from Motif because it allowed me to pump both breasts at the same time, it has a closed system (meaning less cleaning) and it's battery-operated so I didn't need to be stuck next to a plug all day long.
This little contraption is the extra hand you need when preparing bottles. Created for mamas, experts in doing everything one-handed while carrying a baby in the other, the bökee allows you to open bottles of sippy cups with just one hand. You can also use it to pour milk into bottles without worrying about losing any drops.
This sterilizer is so easy and fast to use, you can have all your bottles and pump parts ready to go for the next day in no time. It steam cleans all your parts in 4 minutes and you can use the base as a drying rack after. You can even sterilize pacifiers! Since all you need is a microwave, you can bring it with you anywhere you go.
I never knew I needed an electric bottle brush cleaner until I got one. Cleaning time was reduced to seconds and it gave me the peace of mind of knowing that all bottles were cleaned, even when I was super sleep deprived and going through a million bottles a day. This brush is rechargeable and it comes with different heads for convenience.
Every mom who has ever had to formula feed twins swears by this pitcher, so trust the parents of multiples on this one because we are all about optimizing time. You can make all the formula your little one will take in a day and keep it refrigerated for easy access when they are ready to eat. No more desperately shaking bottles while holding a hungry baby and breaking a sweat. All parts are dishwasher-safe and it holds 32oz of formula.
If you are on-the-go, this formula dispenser is all you need. Fill your bottles with water, pack them in your bag, fill the dispenser with the servings you need for each bottle (up to three) and you are ready to go. No need to carry scoopers or cans of formula anywhere. Plus, when your kiddo outgrows drinking formula, you can use it as a snack container.
The drying rack that looks like grass is both super cute and also useful. Once you clean all your bottles or pump parts, you can leave them to dry in this rack that will safely keep everything on it. We have both the extra-large version (because twins) and the travel-sized one.
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