• Available in all shapes and sizes to get most use from your bottles buy one that can be adapted at different stages i.e., for use with breast pumps, for use with a handle and spout to save buying trainer cups and ensure that it holds enough fluid.
  • The wider, shorter bottles tend to be easier to clean than the more widely available long thin bottles.

sterilising kit

  • There are three types of sterilising methods: steam, microwave and cold water.
  • Steam sterilisers and microwave steam sterilisers take approximately 10 minutes and the bottles etc are ready for use almost immediately. They will store sterile bottles for about 3 hours before they need resterilising.
  • Cold water sterilising uses chemicals (either a liquid or tablets) and takes approximately 30 minutes. You then need to rinse the items in boiled water, although you can leave items in the sterilising solution for quite a few hours with no problems.
  • old water and microwave methods are probably the cheapest.
  • If you have a microwave then a microwave steriliser is likely to be the most convenient.
  • You need to make sure that the steriliser is big enough to do 3 or 4 bottles at once but small enough to fit in your make of microwave.
  • Sterilisers can be picked up second hand.

bottle brush

  • Essential item for cleaning babies bottles.
  • Choose one which has a long handle for easier cleaning of taller shaped bottles and an angled head helps to reach bottle edges and neck.
  • A separate teat brush is also available and is essential for cleaning teats and drinking spouts where the larger bottlebrush will not reach.

dried baby formula milk

  • If you are not going to breastfeed it is important to keep some baby formula with you all the time.
  • Babies need different types of formula at different stages and its vital that you use the right one at the right time.
  • Check with your midwife who will advise you on the many types available and which will be best suited for your baby.
  • You can buy ready made up formula milk in small cartons and this is very handy to carry in your babies bag in the first year in case of emergencies.
  • Ready made is also useful if you’re travelling abroad abroad in case you can’t get access to facilities to correctly boil water and make up formula.
  • You can make up a large jug of formula each day and decant as necessary, this will avoid wastage.
  • Follow the instructions on the pack or tin TO THE LETTER.
  • Don’t keep made up milk for longer than advised and don’t ever put extra scoops into the feed because your baby seems more hungry, this is very dangerous.
  • If your baby doesn’t seem to be satisfied or appears hungry after a feed then ask your midwife for advice.

bottle warmer

  • Used for warming bottles, cans, jars and disposable bags.
  • Comes in mains operated, car cigarette lighter, chemical reusable and ‘thermos’ versions.
  • These are probably the safest way to warm your baby’s feed because they are gradual and usually have a thermostatic control to prevent overheating.
  • This does mean, however, that they are not overly quick, taking between 5 and 15 minutes to warm a feed – a long time if your baby is hungry and crying!).
  • Some also have cooling device to keep prepared bottles chilled before heating.
  • Most models hold all types of bottles but check before you purchase.
  • For travelling, a cheaper and quicker method is to buy a plastic insulated cup or jug (from any good outdoor shop) and a flask (beware of boiling water).
  • If you choose to use boiling water or a microwave (most do, although everyone says it is not advisable!) make very, very sure that the feed is not overheated and mix or shake very thoroughly to avoid any hotspots.