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Formula Feeding

What Equipment Do I Need?

There are lots of different types of equipment you can buy for formula feeding babies. It can be hard to know what you need and what to choose.

All you really need are bottles and something to sterilise them with. There is no evidence that one type of bottle or teat is better than any other, so just go with what feels right for you and your baby.

There are lots of different brands of bottles on the market. There is no research that suggests one brand of bottle is better than another. Some brands are very expensive, but these have not been proven to better than any other bottle in the supermarket.  

Dive Deeper

Bottles & Teats

To make formula feeding as easy as possible you will need;

  • At least six bottles
  • At least six teats
  • Formula milk
  • Sterilising equipment.

There are lots of different brands of bottles on the market. There is no research that suggests one brand of bottle is better than another. Some brands are very expensive, but these have not been proven to better than any other bottle in the supermarket.  

There are some bottles that are designed differently and claim to help with colic or reflux. If you think that your baby has colic or reflux and you need advice, please ask your Midwife or Health Visitor before buying, as they are very expensive and may not be necessary.  

Teats also come in different shapes and have different flow rates. It is advised to start your baby on a slow flow number 1 teat and follow the responsive bottle feeding guidance.

Sterilising Equipment

There are several ways you can sterilise your baby's bottles. Methods you can choose are:

  • Steam sterilising machines - either microwave or electric. 
  • Cold water sterilising solution - you will need chemical sterilisation tablets for this. 
  • Boiling - you will need a large saucepan, big enough for you to completely submerge whatever you are sterilising. 

Remember to use a set of kitchen tongs when handling sterilised items to keep them as clean as possible.

Warning - If using boiling water to sterilise your baby's feeding equipment please be very careful and do not have your baby near the saucepan at any time. 

Read more about how to sterilise your baby's bottles

Prep Machines, Hot Taps & Baby Kettles

You may have seen formula feed prep machines or baby kettles advertised or you may have an instant boiling water tap fitted in your kitchen. Some people may tell you its a good idea to use formula preparation machines, hot taps & baby kettles to save time on making up a bottle. However, it is very important to follow safety advice. 

The NHS advises against using formula feed prep machines. This is because they deliver a small shot of very hot water and then add cool water to make up the rest of the feed. This will not kill the bacteria in formula milk effectively.

The First Steps Nutrition Trust has guidance on the use of use of hot taps and baby kettles and formula preparation machines.

Read more about how to prepare your baby's formula feed safely

Who can Help?

If your baby is less than 28 days old you can contact your local midwifery team or you can contact the Healthy Child Programme at any time following your baby's birth by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590.

Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

Norfolk Healthy Child Programme has a team of infant feeding champions who can contact you by video call/telephone initially to discuss your questions and refer you to further help if required. All of our staff are trained to Unicef standards to provide you with the best possible breastfeeding support and advice.

It may help in the first instance to read the Essential Guide to Feeding & Caring for your Baby

Norfolk’s Early Childhood and Family Service (ECFS) offers support for all parents and carers with children aged 0 to 5 years.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.

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