Formula Feeding Guide

Disclaimer: Breastfeeding has been scientifically proven as the best way to feed baby's. Any amount of breastmilk your baby receives benefits them. At NESST we understand breastfeeding may not be possible for everyone and some families may choose to formula feed for personal reasons.

Whatever your reasons, wether you are unable or do not wish to breast feed there are alternatives to keep your baby as healthy and nourished as possible. Below are some key points on formula feeding.

Find the right formula. With many competitors on the market, it can be confusing to work out what formula is best. The good news is that a competitive market means variety and options. NESST recommends discussing with your healthcare provider which formula best suits your infants' individual needs. Maintaining an ongoing dialog with your healthcare provider is also key as your baby's needs may change over time.

Get the equipment you need. Bottles, NESST recommends getting enough to last at least 24 hours (more if you can.) Teats come in a variety of sizes, shapes and flow rates, make sure you pick the right on for your babies are and feeding requirements. As your baby grows, they will require faster teats to satisfy their needs. If you are unsure what teat size best fits your baby’s needs, contact your local NESST nurse. A good cleaning brush, teats are oddly shaped and dried formula can stick in hard to clean areas. A good cleaning brush will reach all those hard-to-reach places. Sterilizer, this is one of the most valuable tools for a parent of an infant. It will save you time and greatly improve the cleanliness of all your baby’s feeding equipment. A drying rack, convenient and safer than using a tea towel that may contain bacteria, a drying rack is a simple way to lay out your freshly sterilized bottles to dry. All of the above can be purchased at any infant retailer, for any additional advice book in to see your local NESST nurse.

Warming up your bottle. NESST recommends purchasing bottle warmers for this task. While bottle warmers are not essential, they are a helpful way to get your bottle up to a safe temperature. Unlike a microwave that heats unevenly and hot or boiling water that can overheat and possibly burn your infant. You can purchase bottle warmers from any major infant retailer.

Out and about, be prepared. Purchase a dispenser that allows you to carry multiple feeds worth of formula. These are available at supermarkets and infant retailers. NESST recommends you sterilize formula storge containers before use. Carry a thermos with enough warm water for multiple feeds and double check the temperature of the water before you pack it in your bag.

Always use a freshly made bottle for each feed. Sometimes parents are in a rush or just overloaded with things to do and are tempted to reuse or ‘finish off the last of an unfinished bottle. NESST recommends parents never use leftover milk as bacteria can start to form over time which can affect the health of your baby.

Parents may notice that their infant may only drink half a bottle, and it seems a waste to mix a whole one just to throw half out. As such parents may decide to use half the required amount of formula and half the water when mixing. This is not recommended by NESST, the manufacturer has calculated the exact requirements to give infants the best nutritional feed they can and has put those instructions on the label. Always follow manufactures instructions when mixing your infants formula.