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Find out which 11 items are absolute bottle feeding must haves that every formula feeding parent needs. Plus, get a free shopping checklist printable!
Whether you will be exclusively formula feeding, supplementing with formula, or just giving your baby bottles from time to time, there is a good deal of supplies that you will need.
While I planned on breastfeeding my son, it just wasn’t possible. Since I had assumed I would be breastfeeding I didn’t have any bottle-feeding supplies on hand. I had no idea what supplies I needed to buy, and had to learn as I went. Turns out that bottle feeding requires a whole lot of supplies!
I wish that I had known what bottle feeding supplies I needed from the start, rather than having to learn as I went. I was constantly realizing I need something else and rushing to pick up more supplies.
In an effort to help new parents and parents-to-be I made a list of the must have bottle feeding products that formula feeding moms and dads will need. I hope that this list helps parents-to-be prepare and easily gather all the supplies necessary for formula feeding.
There is a printable version of the Bottle Feeding Must Haves list available at the bottom of the post as well!
I would recommend getting your supplies ready before baby arrives so that you don’t need to worry about shopping when you are busy caring for your newborn. If you are registering for gifts for your baby shower, these items would be perfect for adding to your registry.
This one seems pretty obvious, but it is still worth mentioning. If you are formula feeding, you will need formula.
There are a lot of different brands of formula, and different types of formula. Cow milk protein-based formula is the most common type (this is what I use). Soy based formula and other specialty formulas are also available for babies who have difficulties tolerating cow’s milk.
Furthermore, formula is available in three different forms: ready-to-use, powdered, and liquid concentrated. Ready-to-use formula doesn’t need to be mixed with water which makes it convenient for use on the go. But ready-to-use formula is also the most expensive type and has to be used within a short time of opening.
Liquid concentrated formula is typically priced somewhere between ready-to-use and powdered formula. Liquid concentrated formula needs to be mixed with water before serving similarly to powdered formula.
Powdered formula is the least expensive type, and what I choose to feed my little man. Preparing powdered formula is simple enough and with the amount of formula we go through, using the most economical option just makes sense.
This list is written with powdered formula in mind, as it is the most common type of formula used by parents.
Bottles and Nipples
There are many different types of baby bottles, and choosing which brand to use can be overwhelming. There is no “best” bottle. What bottle works best for one baby doesn’t necessarily work best for another.
My best advice when it comes to shopping for bottles is to purchase one each of several kinds of bottles and see which one seems to work best for you. Try and get ones with different features and different size nipples. Once you determine the ones that works best for you and baby you can go ahead and stock up. I recommend purchasing several bottles and nipples (6-10) so that you have enough on hand to not have to be washing bottles constantly.
When it comes to mixing bottles, I prefer using bottled water.
“Nursery water” is water specifically formulated to be used in mixing infant formula. I always grabbed that when available, otherwise I used whatever brand of regular bottled water on had on hand for my husband and I.
Nursery water is usually fond in the Baby aisle near the formula.
At first I was mixing bottles individually as needed by shaking them vigorously. I quickly learned that there was a better way.
First of all, shaking bottles causes bubbles, bubbles lead to gas, and gas leads to an unhappy baby. The formula should be stirred or swirled, not shaken. A formula mixer is great for mixing formula without causing any of those pesky bubbles.
Also, using a formula mixer allows me to mix up several bottles worth of formula at one time. I like to make up all the bottles that I will need at the beginning of each day. Then, I just grab a bottle from the refrigerator and heat it up when it is time for a feeding. This is especially helpful for those middle-of-the-night feedings where I would rather not be measuring out and mixing formula while trying to console my hungry little man.
A bottle warmer makes heating up a bottle while trying to comfort a hungry baby so much easier. Rather than waiting for a bottle to heat up by letting it sit in a cup of hot water, a bottle warmer heats up a bottle much quicker.
Because trust me… during those middle-of-the-night feedings every minute counts!
So even though it isn’t technically necessary, I would suggest doing yourself a favor and investing in a bottle warmer.
Babies spit up. It just happens. To avoid doing laundry constantly stock up on a good number of burp cloths (I have at least 12).
I have found that prefold cloth diapers make excellent and affordable burp cloths. I actually prefer using the prefolds to using the actual burp cloths we have as they are larger and more absorbent.
If you will be hand washing bottles you will need a good bottle brush. Look for a bottle brush that comes with a removable smaller brush in the handle. This smaller brush is useful for cleaning nipples, caps, and rings.
Like a bottle brush, a dish pan is useful for handwashing bottles and bottle parts. I like to fill my dish pan with all my bottle parts and hot soapy water, then take them out and scrub them with the bottle brush one by one.
Bottle drying rack
If you are hand washing your bottles you will want to get a good bottle drying rack.
In fact, even if you will be washing your bottles solely in the dishwasher a drying rack is good to have because bottles and bottle parts do not always come out of the dishwasher completely dry. Making sure bottles are completely dry before putting away is important, so a drying rack comes in very handy for allowing those bottles to fully air dry.
I recommend that you look for a drying rack that has room for all your bottles and bottle parts like my Boon lawn-style drying rack set.
If you will be washing bottles and bottle parts in the dishwasher you will need a dishwasher basket. The dishwasher basket holds all the smaller bottle parts such as nipples, rings and caps. It keeps these small parts from flying around in the dishwasher.
A formula dispenser is great for pre-portioning formula for when you are on the go. The dispensers have several compartments that each store a bottles worth of powdered formula, making dispensing just the right amount of formula for each bottle simple. Plus, a formula dispenser sure beats lugging around a giant can of formula in your diaper bag!
Print your Bottle Feeding Shopping Checklist
Be sure to print out the Shopping Checklist for Formula Feeding Parents to keep track of what you have and what you still need to purchase. You can download the free printable checklist here.
I hope that you found this list of bottle feeding must haves to be helpful in stocking up on all the bottle feeding supplies that you will need when your little one arrives.