Baby formula is a healthy alternative to breastmilk that will help your baby grow and thrive in their first year. But gathering what you need as well as figuring out what products are best to make formula feeding as simple as possible can be a bit overwhelming. Here we'll tell you exactly what you need to get started as well as our favorite products for formula feeding in 2022.
Choosing the Best Formula Products You Need for Your Baby
There are certainly “love to have” accessories that can make formula feeding go as smoothly as possible (which we’ll get to) but first things first. Before anything else, nailing down the perfect formula and bottle for your little one is key. With so many options out there, this part can be a lot to navigate, so let us share with you how to go about getting this figured out so you can move onto the fun stuff.
- Choosing a Top Formula
Every parent wants what is best for the baby, but it doesn’t take long to realize there just is no “one size fits all” approach to parenting and that goes to for choosing what is best for your unique baby, as well. When choosing a formula you’ll want to consider what is important to you (such as choosing organic) as well as what your baby needs (such as if they are prone to gas). This will start to steer you in the direction of what formula is best.
A great place to start is talking to your baby’s pediatrician about what formula they would recommend and we also have a great list in our article, Best Baby Formulas of 2021.
- Picking Out the Perfect Bottle
Right up there with choosing a formula is what bottle you think will work best for your baby. From glass bottles to ones that closely mimic breastfeeding (and everything in between) there is a lot to think about. We cover this and more in our article, 10 Best Baby Bottles to Buy for 2021. What’s most important here is that you choose a bottle that your baby will take with ease and doesn’t give them extra gas. There is certainly no very best bottle and even the APA doesn’t say one is better than another. If you and your baby are happy with the choice, that’s what matters!
- Getting the Right Nipple Size
As you’re choosing your baby’s bottle, you’ll also need to consider what nipple is best. This mostly depends on your baby’s age, but explains the different nipple size as well as when to switch to a different size.
Our Favorite Products to Make Formula Feeding Hassle-Free
So though all you *technically* need to formula feed a baby is the three items listed up above, there are a lot of products out there that can make the whole process go much more smoothly. For the most part, we’re talking about products that can make prep and clean up a bit faster so you can spend more time doing what’s most important...snuggling your sweet, chubby baby most of all!
Here are our top 8 products for formula feeding:
Most babies love warm milk, and though that’s pretty easy to take care of at home when making a formula bottle, it’s much harder on the go. The Baby’s Brew is the first-ever battery-powered bottle warmer making it simple to get your baby’s bottle to the perfect temperature no matter where you end up. Not only does it fit nearly every type of baby bottle out there, if you choose the combo option, mess-free formula dispenser is included which means you’ll have everything you need to make a bottle while out and about.
Trying to make a bottle while holding your little one can be a major challenge. Problem is, your baby often doesn’t want to be anywhere else but in your arms, which means your only choice is to do your best to make a bottle one-handed and try not to spill. But the bokee is your spill-free solution. This simple device suctions to your counter and will hold your bottle steady while you pour in the water, put in the formula and then screw on the cap. A simple shake and you have your baby’s bottle ready without ever having to put them down.
In our article, Best Baby Bottle Sterilizer for 2021, we discuss how some parents will want an extra layer of germ removal beyond just soap and hot water. Having a bottle sterilizer in your home is an easy way to kill 99% of bacteria on your baby’s bottles, which is especially important for newborns and babies born prematurely. There are many great options, but we especially love this steam bag because of its portability. And unlike similar bags you throw away, this one is reusable making it an environmentally-friendly choice.
Moms rave about this drying rack, which is not surprising based on how cute it is! But, it’s really the functionality that makes it so helpful for formula-feeding parents. The two-piece design has a grass-style drying rack that will hold any size and shape of item and then a water tray underneath to collect any water from the bottle parts after you’ve washed them. Even items like baby spoons will stand upright making it easy to dry them. Other accessories are available as well, which gives you the space you need to dry everything you need that you might wash in the sink for your little one.
A bottle brush may just be right up there on the “needs” list alongside the formula and the bottle. That’s because it can be difficult to get the bottle free of leftover milk inside all of the nooks and crannies. That’s why we love this particular bottle brush - in addition to the sturdy design with the full size brush ready to scrub your baby’s bottle clean, it also has a silicone nipple cleaner that will get into tough to reach spaces where residue can linger. And when you’re done with your washing, simply put it back in its stand so it dries with ease and stays out of the way until you need it for the next time.
Sometimes you just want to throw everything in the dishwasher...and I mean, why wouldn’t you if it’s dishwasher safe?! But we all know how easy it can be to lose tiny bottle parts such as the rings and nipples, which is why a dishwasher basket is so helpful. We especially like this one from Munchkin because it’s big enough to hold everything you need and accommodates both standard and wide mouth bottles. This is also a product you’ll continue to use as your little one grows and they’ve moved onto sippy cups and straws.
Preparing each bottle one by one may not seem like it’s taking up that much of your time, but all of those “little” parent duties you’re completing throughout the day add up. Having a formula mixing pitcher is just one more way to simplify your parenting life. The Dr. Brown’s Formula Mixing Pitcher will allow you to prepare up to four 8-ounce bottles of formula at one time and mixes without clumping and minimal air. You can then pour the bottles right away and keep them in the fridge until it’s time to warm them up with the Baby’s Brew, or you can pour from the pitcher at each individual feeding time.
8. Baby Bottle Cooler Bag
Whether you are traveling or are taking your baby to daycare each day, a bottle cooler bag is a must. Though with formula it’s not as necessary as breastmilk bottles, it still saves you the hassle of having to prepare the bottle while on the go. If you are just running a few errands and know you’ll only be needing to give your baby one bottle, an option like the Petunia Pickle Bottom Bottle Butler would work well. If you need something that will get you through the entire day, the Momcozy Cooler Bag can accommodate about four bottles when used alongside ice packs.