Whether you’re moving from breast to bottle feeding, with breast milk or infant formula, the following information will help you to ensure your baby is fed, healthy and happy. What’s important to remember is to relax and savour the moment – so make sure you’re both comfortable – and enjoy this quiet time together. If you need any advice or information, visit your local Alphega pharmacist who will be happy to help.
What you’ll need
You’ll need a few bottles, teats and sterilising equipment. Make sure that you thoroughly clean and sterilise bottles and teats before making them up with breast milk or formula.
Tips on how to bottle feed your baby
make sure you and your baby are comfortable
if you’re at home, make sure you have a drink, your phone and perhaps the remote control close at hand – enjoy this time with your baby uninterrupted!
cradle your baby, supporting their head so that they can breathe and swallow comfortably
check the temperature of the milk is comfortable (many people put a bit of milk on their wrist as your skin is thin there and sensitive to temperature)
as your baby drinks, always make sure the teat is full of milk as this reduces the amount of air they might swallow which can be a cause of colic
when your baby has finished the bottle, hold them upright and gently rub or pat their back to bring up any wind
If you’re not sure and you’d like further advice, visit your local Alphega pharmacist.
When can I combine breast and bottle feeding?
You can start to combine breast feeding and bottle feeding after six weeks, and preferably after breast feeding has been well established. Initially, you may find that your baby is reluctant to switch from the comfort of breast feeding to a bottle, however, with a bit of perseverance most babies adapt.
Share feeding times
Bottle feeding with breast milk or formula allows you to share feeding time with others while you catch up on sleep or take a break. It also allows you to measure how much your baby is taking in and you might find that your baby sleeps for longer as infant formula takes more time to digest.
Infant formula milks are nutritionally complete and are the next best alternative to breast milk. They contain nutrient levels, which comply with UK regulations. However as infant formula baby milks do not contain antibodies produced by the mother, bottle fed babies are more at risk of infection, diarrhoea or constipation.
Types of baby formula milk
Many infant formulae are also available in pre-prepared cartons offering a convenient alternative, but please note ready-made formulas should be warmed for babies under 6 months.
First stage whey based infant formula milk powder
Commonly referred to as Stage 1 or first milk, it’s suitable for new born babies to a year old. It’s a good option for a combination of breast and bottle feeding, or moving to or starting bottle feeding for the first time.
Second stage higher casein content infant formula milk powder
Commonly referred to as Stage 2 or second milk, it’s suitable for new born babies to a year old. It’s good for babies that are hungrier sooner and for those who are not breast fed. It’s important to note that Stage 2 milk is not always a necessary stage as feeding as Stage 1 formula may meet all babies' requirements until they are ready, or at the appropriate age, for weaning
Follow on milk powder
Suitable for 6 months to 24 months bottle fed or combination fed infants it’s an ideal addition to a baby's weaning diet. Follow on Milk offers a higher energy content for the active toddler and unlike cow's milk, follow on milk is nutritionally tailored for toddlers, supporting a toddler's natural immune system. It’s also easier to digest than cow's milk.
Whether you’re moving from breast to bottle feeding, with breast milk or infant formula, our guidance on bottle feeding will help you to ensure your baby is fed, healthy and happy. If you need any advice or information, visit your local Alphega pharmacist who will be happy to help. Find your local Alphega Pharmacy by searching here.