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What Equipment Do I Need?

There is lots of different types of equipment you can buy for formula feeding babies. It can be really hard to know what you need and what to choose. Really, all you need is bottles and something to sterilise them with. There's no evidence that one type of bottle or teat is better than any other, so just go with what feels right for you and your baby.

Breastmilk is the most natural food for your baby up to the age of 6 months and up to 2 years and beyond along side their normal diet. If you have chosen to formula feed, it is important that you always prepare your baby's bottle feeds safely.

  • To make formula feeding as easy as possible you will need;

    • At least six bottles
    • At least six teats
    • Formula milk
    • Sterilising equipment

    There are lots of different brands of bottles on the market. There is no research that suggests one brand of bottle is better than another. Some brands are very expensive, but these have not be proven to better than any other bottle in the supermarket.  

    There are some bottles that are designed differently and claim to help with colic or reflux. If you think that your baby has colic or reflux and you need advice, please ask your Midwife or Health Visitor before buying these, as they are very expensive and may not be necessary.  

    Teats also come in different shapes and have different flow rates. It is advised to start your baby on a slow flow number 1 teat and follow the responsive bottle feeding guidance. 







  • There are several ways you can sterilise your baby's bottles.

    Methods you can choose are:

    • Steam sterilising machines - Either microwave or electric. 
    • Cold water sterilising solution - You will need chemical sterilisation tablets for this. 
    • Boiling - You will need a large saucepan big enough for you to completely submerge whatever you are sterilising. 

    Please use a set of kitchen tongs when handling sterilised items to keep them as clean as possible.

    Warning - If using boiling water to sterilise your baby's feeding equipment please be very careful and do not have your baby near the saucepan at any time. 

    *Click here* to find out more about how to sterilise your babies bottles.

  • You may have seen formula feed Prep Machines or baby kettles advertised or you may have an instant boiling water tap fitted in your kitchen. Some people may tell you its a good idea to use formula preparation machines, hot taps & baby kettles to save time on making up a bottle. However, it is very important to follow safety advice. 

    The NHS advises against using formula feed prep machines. This is because they deliver a small shot of very hot water and then add cool water to make up the rest of the feed. This will not kill the bacteria in formula milk effectively. Please *click here* to see guidance from The First Steps Nutrition Trust.

    Please *click here* to see guidance on the use of hot taps and baby kettles.

    To find out how to prepare your babies formula feed safely, please *click here*.

Who Can Help?

If your baby is less than 28 days old you can contact your local midwifery team or you can contact the Healthy Child Programme at any time following your baby's birth by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590.

Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. Norfolk Healthy Child Programme has a team of infant feeding champions who can contact you by video call/telephone initially to discuss your questions and refer you to further help if required. All of our staff are trained to Unicef standards to provide you with the best possible feeding support and advice.

*Click here* to read the Essential Guide to Feeding & Caring for your Baby. 

If you would like to make connections with other parents please click on the links for our Just One Norfolk Community Forum; the Norfolk Community Directory and Early Childhood & Family Service (ECFS) below


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