Get bottle-feeding right for expressed breastmilk

Bottles and teats come in so many shapes and sizes it can be intimidating. But your basic equipment is: a bottle, a teat, a bottle brush and a way to sterilise the lot.

Get the gear

  • Steriliser – this could be an electric steriliser or one that fits in the microwave. You can also chemically sterilise bottles with Milton or a similar product, or go the old-fashioned route and boil them.
  • Six bottles, with teats, sealing discs and caps. The choice of bottle is quite simple but your baby may not like the teat and could reject it. So before you buy a full set it is worth buying a few different teats and trying them out first.

Choose a teat

There are four main types of teats:
  • Natural-shaped or peristaltic teat – which is shaped as closely as possible to replicate the sucking action from a mother’s breast
  • Anti-colic teat – which allows for an airflow into the bottle as the baby sucks to lessen the amount of air the baby takes in
  • Universal teat – this is the traditional shape and comes in various sizes, with different rates of flow.
  • Wide-neck teat – this is a short teat with a wide base, which is designed to provide a similar action to sucking from a mother’s breast.
You will also need to look at the flow the teats allows for, which needs to be the correct flow for your baby’s age. Younger babies have a slower flow, which increases as they get older. The flow is controlled either by the size of the hole or with a cross cut, which allows the baby to have some control over the flow – very similar to sucking from the breast.
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