When preparing for my little one’s arrival one of the main things I got in a bit of a muddle about was setting up his feeding station. There was just so many different ways to do it and so many products you could buy, I just didn’t know where to begin. I thought I would share my feeding station set up and the things I did and didn’t decided to buy and why. I am not saying this system will work for everyone and I promise you will find your own routine but I think it’s nice to have some sort of a start.
Ralph was initially a breast fed baby however, my milk supply was low (he was born premature) and in order to get him released from hospital he had to establish his feeding more quickly. Therefore this blog post only offers advice on bottle feeding, as I am writing from my own experience.
What it needs to include as a minimum
Our feeding station is located in the kitchen and made up of:
- A steriliser- we opted for the Tommee Tippee electric steriliser, as we have Tommee Tippee bottles so they fitted together perfectly. We simply wash, add water and go. We did initially have a microwave steriliser but this turned out to be a little more hard work and took longer. In those early months when you seem to be feeding constantly in a state of sleep deprivation you need your steriliser to work with you so make sure it is easy to load and prep and has a quick cycle.
- Bottles – Our bottles are either kept in the steriliser ready to be used or in the washing up bowl ready to be washed. We opted for Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles and we have had no issues at all. From meeting with other parents other popular bottles seem to be MAM or Dr Brown’s, which are especially good for colicky babies.
- Formula – Initially we tried Cow and Gate and SMA but both gave Ralph constipation. We then decided to put him on Mamia milk, which has worked wonders and we haven’t had any problems with. Even better it is only £7.24 a tin, from Aldi and doesn’t contain as much Taurin in compare with other brands. My advice would be not to stock up on milk before your little one arrives, as you just don’t know which one they will take to.
- Bottle Brush – I find these surprisingly hard to find. The best one I have had was given to me at my baby shower and was made by MAM. It had a built in sponge, which was perfect for creating lots of bubbles. My current one is a Tommee Tippee, which is just a generic brush with a built in teat cleaner, which is quite handy but you have to use a lot more soap. Overall, I would say Boots and Amazon have the best online range.
- Washing solution – We currently use Milton’s Bottle Washing Solution which you can read more of here
- Tea Towel or tray – This is to put underneath the equipment to keep the area dry and clean. I use a tea towel, which I change every morning
- Drawer – Ralph has his own drawer in the kitchen were we keep his bibs and muslin cloths. We also keep his next stage teats in here too. I would recommend you buy the next stage up before your baby needs it. At 2 months Ralph went through a stage of refusing to drink from his bottles and it turned out he was getting frustrated with the teat, even though the next size up stated 3 months. Once he starts weaning he will keep all his feeding equipment in here too. I personally find it handy having all of his things in one place, which is easy to access.
Extras you might want to buy
- Bottle warmer or prep machine – You can pick these for between £10 and £100. I personally find a jug of boiling water works exactly the same and costs a significant amount less.
- Washing up bowl – We have a washing up bowl which we place used bottles in, after they have been emptied and rinsed through, awaiting a thorough wash and sterilising. When we first brought Ralph home we used to just leave them next to the steriliser but I hated the side looking cluttered and I can now give the bottles a good soak.
- Small tub – We have a small tub, which is regularly sterilised, and is handy for keeping all Ralph’s dummies , medicine spoons and milk scoops in, after they have been sterilised. I would advise you keep at least 3 milk scoops, that way you will always have one whilst the others are being sterilised.
- Sterilising solution or tablets – As well as washing solution you can buy sterilising solution or tablets. I sometimes use them if we have been on a long journey or have been out for the day and I want to make sure the bottles are thoroughly clean. I also use them for bath toys or normal toys, which can get wet but can’t be sterilised.
- A mini fridge – This was a big help, especially for night feeds. More about the saintly mini fridge below.
What to do in the night?
When we first brought Ralph home we made his bottles fresh and cooled them in a jug of cold water. However, this soon became unrealistic and unpractical, especially at night. Night feeds are hard enough without having to cool a boiling hot bottle of milk down for a screaming baby, who decided he was actually hungry 20 minutes ago but only decided to make a fuss now. I understand advice states bottles must be made on demand but as you speak with other parents you will find not many actually do this. As Ralph is sleeping through all his bottles are now made fresh. However, when he was waking my husband would make 2 bottles before he came to bed and would store them in Ralph’s mini fridge in his room, ready for the dreaded night feed. In the beginning it is also handy to have a few snacks upstairs, for yourself, as you may find you are starving yourself after a feed.
Let me know if there is anything else you purchased for bottle feeding or any other tips you have for setting up your station.