With all the different shapes, sizes and materials, how do you know which bottle or teat is best? The truth is there is no ‘best’ type. Different bottles and different teats suit different babies and needs, invariably no matter how much research you do; your baby will be the one who ultimately decides what bottle is used.
What equipment do you need to bottle feed? The check list:
Teats come in two shapes
Teats come in two different materials; silicone and latex.
There is no great functional difference, but babies usually prefer one to the other. Latex is softer and more flexible, whereas silicone teats tend to be more durable and therefore need replacing less often.
Teats have different flow rates; fast, medium and slow. This determines how much and how quickly milk goes into your baby’s mouth.
The correct flow rate is not necessarily decided by age, however it is recommended to start with a slow flow for newborn babies to make sure they can handle the rate of flow. You can then increase the flow until your baby is at a comfortable rate.
Let your baby decide the pace. Spluttering or choking is a sign the flow is too fast, so you should try a slower rate. Getting frustrated and sucking hard is a sign they might be ready to move onto a faster rate.
Teats need to be checked for damage and replaced regularly, particularly if your baby is teething. Damaged teats present a health hazard to your baby so always check them before a feed.
All baby bottles and equipment must be sterilised before every use to kill any harmful bacteria. This is particularly important for young babies whose immune systems are still developing. As well as sterilising before use, you should always make sure to clean the bottle and teat as soon as possible after every feed in hot, soapy water using a bottle and teat brush to get to the hard to reach places.
There are three ways to sterilise your baby’s bottles and equipment so to make it easier for you to decide the most appropriate method for you, we’ve put together the key differences, the pros and the cons, of each.
Submerge everything in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes. After ten minutes turn off the heat but leave the bottles and equipment in the water until you’re ready to use them. They will stay sterile for about three hours.
Soak the bottles, teats and equipment in a sterilising solution following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Using either a microwave steriliser or an electric steriliser, you can sterilise multiple bottles at a time in less than 10 minutes. Instructions vary with each model so be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Date of preparation: September 2016
Date of preparation: May 2016