There is no easy way to feed your baby… but it doesn’t have to be that hard either! Whether you’re breastfeeding, expressing, in combination or exclusively formula feeding, there are unique challenges with each.
When it comes to formula feeding, there is a bit of a learning curve and a lot of the difficulty comes from getting into a good routine or pattern.
Here are the best formula feeding hacks you need in your life, that’ll have you bottle feeding like a pro.
Note: this blog post probably contains affiliate links, which means we may receive small commissions from purchases made through links in this post (at NO extra cost to you). You can read our full disclosure for more information.
Formula Feeding Hacks to Make Life Easier
1) Get a Really Good Hand Cream
Yup. This is seriously my number one hack. Why?
You will be washing your hands all.the.time.
So this may be true of just any baby, but I think it is increased with bottle washing and sterilizing.
I used this hand cream and it was the best.
You will thank me when you have something to put on your hands when they are dry and scaly. Trust me on this one.
2) Get into a Routine with Washing and Sterilizing Your Equipment
It may just happen for you naturally if you have one of those mythical babies who do things on a regular routine… actually, I take that back. My son was regular with demanding a diaper change every 2 hours…! But he wasn’t as routine with everything else. Go figure!
Anyway, that aside, having a pattern makes it easier for your tired brain.
Just to be clear, I am not actually talking about looking at the clock and going “My goodness! It’s 10.05 am and I needed to refresh the sterilizing solution at 10 am!” It does not have its own timer to become evil germ filled water at 1 minute past the 24 hours.
Here’s what I mean:
- you use the mid-morning feed to trigger your pattern of changing the sterilizing solution before you wash the bottles and put them into it.
- Then you put water on to boil to refresh the clean water supply you have for making formula, and when it is ready, put it aside to cool.
- And with each feed, you rinse the bottle immediately and then scrub it out as soon after that as possible, before popping it into the sterilizing solution.
This is basically what I did. So I added the bottles that were used through the night if they weren’t done right away. Yeah, they should have been. But, tired parents. Whatever.
While you get into the flow of bottle washing and having clean water ready and all, go easy on yourself.
And as with all aspects of parenting – take help if you are offered it!! And ask if you are not offered!
3) Have an area set up with only formula feeding gear
Just like breastfeeding moms need a breastfeeding station, formula feeding moms should have a formula prep station – a place where all your bottle feeding gear is stored.
So when you are tired (which is all the time, let’s face it!) you have everything you need right where you need to use it.
- Put the water jug you are using next to the formula tin.
- Put the sterilizing solution right there too, with the washing up gear.
- Keep it all pretty close to the sink so you can do it all in one go. Less effort is awesome.
Another side point is that if you have it set up in one place it’s easier to make sure no one else uses it. There was a terrible day when I went to make formula and there wasn’t enough water even though I had topped up the supply… !
4) Use Room Temperature Water
Getting your baby accustomed to room temperature formula is a major win for you – no fussing about with bottle warmers or stressing about whether your water is the right temperature on the go. Nope, start with room temp formula from the beginning and life will be so much easier.
5) Prepare Bottles in Advance for Nights and On-the-Go
Get your bottles ready to go for the night by adding the right scoop amount of formula to each. Make sure your water jug is topped up. Now you just need to add water, shake and feed. Rocking it! You can also prepare similarly for outings during the day with a formula dispenser like this one.
Oh, but don’t mix the formula with water just yet (unless you’re ok with warming bottles), made up formula shouldn’t sit for longer than an hour without refrigerating.
6) Make Up Formula In Advance
If you’re happy to warm up your formula, you can prepare a batch in advance. This is perfect for super busy days at home. Note that you need to get through all your made up formula within 24 hours though.
7) Use a Baby Brezza Instead
If you’re at home, the Baby Brezza is a brilliant product designed to make life easier – it makes up perfect temperature, perfectly mixed formula bottles on demand within 30 seconds. It’s a bit of an investment, but sometimes it’s worth paying for convenience. You will make hundreds if not thousands of bottles of formula before your little one is weaned, which is definitely something to consider!
8) Use paper towels to drain bottles out of the sterilizing solution
Even though it is less environmentally friendly, using cloths can mean that a small amount of bacteria gets onto the bottles… and kinda defeats the point of using the sterilizing solution.
You only need the sterilizing solution for 4 months maximum. And some people debate using it even that long.
So it is up to you.
But if you have decided to sterilize then you don’t want your work undone at the last stage!
9) Stick with the best measuring tool you find
Now, this may seem strange. Every single formula can comes with its own measuring tool inside.
But some are just better than others…
Do this for a while and you’ll know what I mean!
The only thing about this is that if for any reason you change the brand or type of formula and the measure is not exactly the same amount (PLEASE CHECK), then you will have to give up your good measuring tool. Sorry. I don’t make the rules.
10) Don’t Feed Baby Lying Flat
The main advice for this really is not to have your baby lying flat while you give the bottle.
A 45-degree angle is usually the advice… so before you worry about trying to get that right, here are some positions to try to make it easier!
11) Don’t Switch Formulas (Unless You Have to)
Once you find a formula your baby likes, don’t switch it unless you absolutely have to. Yes, that sadly means you can’t take advantage of every formula deal and coupon that comes your way… the reason is that switching formula can have a bad effect on your baby’s delicate tummy. So, only switch formulas if you really need to.
More Reading On Formula Feeding