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Unlike breastfeeding, formula feeding takes more a lot more prep time before you can actually feed your baby. I mean you have to go and get the bottle measure and add both water and formula at the right amount and then sometimes warm the bottle. Now think about having to do all of this while your baby is crying for their next meal.
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Well, some of you don’t have to imagine it. If you are a formula feeding mom you are living it. Everyday!
Trust me I feel your pain. I had to formula feed my daughter because I was unable to breastfeed her. It literally broke my heart. But the fact was that she needed to eat and baby formula was the best option in our situation. The problem was that I felt like I was always preparing the next bottle or washing it. I never seemed to have time to do anything else – especially when she was a newborn eating every two hours.
That’s why I decided to get more organized and look for ways to cut down on my time preparing and cleaning bottles so that I could get other household chores done as well.
Here are the formula feeding tips, tricks, and hacks that worked for me and my baby.
1. Have a Bottle Making Station with All the Supplies Needed
This was probably the most important tip of all.
Pick one spot to organize and house all of your formula feeding supplies so that it will all be in the very same place everytime you need to make a bottle of baby formula. That means all baby bottles, rings, nipples, the baby formula, and bottle warmer (if you decide to use one).
By having everything in one designated area, you won’t have to go on the hunt for a clean bottle or go in circles around the kitchen preparing a single bottle.
2. Pick One Brand and Style of Bottle and Stick to it
Do not get five different bottles that are all different brands or styles. This will make your bottle-making task so much harder and time-consuming. When you have so many different types of bottles with completely different parts you have to try to find that type of bottle’s specific ring or nipple to go with the bottle.
Instead, if you pick just one type of bottle and stick to it you will be a pro at preparing your baby’s bottles in no time.
3. Serve the Bottle at Room Temperature
This may sound absolutely crazy to some of you but seriously you do not have to warm the bottle of formula up if you make it fresh. And to be honest, making a bottle of formula fresh every time is what is recommended if you can.
I started making fresh bottles for all of my daughter’s feedings when she was a newborn and I did not warm them to save time. Guess what. She did not care that it was room temperature. Now, this may not work with every baby but I think it is at least worth a try. You may be wasting your time with a bottle warmer.
4. Make a Batch of Bottles Ahead of Time
Okay, I know that not all of us can make a bottle of formula fresh for our babies every time they are hungry so you can also make a batch of bottles each morning for the whole day and store them in the refrigerator. By making them ahead of time, you just grab it out of the fridge when your baby is hungry and either pop it in the bottle warmer or set it in a bowl of hot water. Easy peasy.
5. Preparing Bottles for Night Feeds
Nighttime feedings are especially tiring since you are likely being woken up in the middle of your slumber to feed your baby.
If you are making bottles of formula fresh each time try to have everything set up and ready for you at your bottle making station so that you have everything ready before you go to bed.
And if you want to prep bottles of formula ahead of bedtime, you can do that as well and store them in the fridge until your baby wakes up for their feeding. Then just warm them up as usual.
6. Pre-measure Formula in a Portable Dispenser for Making Formula on-the-go
When you are going out with your baby even for just a few hours it is likely that they will want to eat at some point during your outing. And even if it’s just a quick trip it is always good to be prepared just in case you get stuck somewhere unexpectedly.
So when taking formula out of the house it is best to use a portable formula dispenser that is designed to hold a premeasured amount of formula like this one. It has different compartments for multiple feedings. So you would just put however many scoops of formula your baby would need for one feeding in each compartment and toss it in the diaper bag.
And once your baby is ready to eat, you just dump the pre-measured formula into the bottle.
7. Pre-measure Water for the Bottle for on-the-go
Just as with formula on-the-go, you will have to measure the water in your baby’s bottle for the formula to be just the right amount for your baby’s needs. All you have to do is put the exact amount of water in a clean bottle and then put the cap on. It’s that easy.
When your baby is hungry, you will have a premeasured amount of water and formula to mix easily without having to measure out of the house.
8. Save Time By Washing Bottles all at Once
I know that some moms wash bottles as they go but for me, it was just way too time-consuming. We found that by rinsing the bottles out really quick and taking them apart when our daughter was done eating, it made the final bottle washing stage so much easier. That way I didn’t have to deal with smelly old formula or having to take apart every bottle that she went through that day.
I was able to just pick up the pieces, wash and rinse. It was super easy.
9. Invest in Playtex Drop-ins Bottles
So this one may seem somewhat silly but it really helped to cut down on time washing bottle parts.
When our daughter started dealing with horrible acid reflux and gas, we decided to try Playtex Drop-ins bottles to help reduce the air that she was getting in her bottle of formula. It really seemed to reduce her symptoms and discomfort.
But we also noticed that we didn’t have as many bottle parts to wash every time. Since the Playtex Drop-ins bottles come with drop-in liners that held the formula, we didn’t have to deal with washing and sterilizing the bottle every time. We just washed the nipples and ring and rinsed the bottle part. And the drop-in liner goes thrown away after each feeding.
Of course, this is not budget-friendly or very green but for us, at that time we were just focused on ways to save time with formula feeding.
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