Becoming a new mom is overwhelming to say the very least. Between the sleep deprivation, constant feedings, and cries that you can’t quite decipher yet, there are just so many questions – what diaper is best, when should you try using a pacifier, how do you swaddle…the list goes on and on. There’s just so much you don’t know as a new mom and sometimes you’re just too embarrassed (or tired) to ask others. As a mom who started supplementing with formula and eventually exclusively formula fed, I felt like I faced unique challenges and it took me a while to get into a rhythm that worked for me. So here they are, my new mom hacks for formula feeding moms that you need to know:
You need a formula dispenser. This easy, compartmentalized godsend literally changed my life as a new mom. It made on-the-go feedings easier and night feedings a breeze. I’m always surprised when I talk to a new mom and she doesn’t even know that they exist. Just trust me, you need one. Once you have a formula dispenser you’ll never want to go back to carrying around an entire canister in your diaper bag or towing around heavy liquid.
Whatever you do, don’t warm their bottle. I know you want to, I wanted to, so I get it…but whatever you do, don’t do it. Don’t warm that bottle. Sure, we all love the idea of feeding our baby a bottle of warm milk and putting them to bed, but if they get used to it, you’re going to have problems down the line. Instead, use water kept at room temperature to make formula. Your formula will mix just as easily, and your baby won’t get used to warm bottles (and eventually end up rejecting anything less).
Ditch that pricey name brand formula. Guess what? You don’t need to spend your paycheck each week on that pricey name brand formula! Infant formula is regulated by the FDA, which means that all ingredients need to meet specific standards. All formula brands – regardless of the name on the front of the can – contain comparable essential nutrients to make sure baby stays healthy and receives nutrients to grow. It’s called formula, after all. Store brand formula contains everything your baby needs to thrive. Best of all, costs up to 50% less, which will make your wallet very happy.
Simplify night feedings. Remember what I said about getting a formula dispenser? Here’s where it’s really going to come in handy! The number one thing that I wanted when my baby woke up at night, was to get that baby right back to sleep as soon as possible. For me that meant changing and feeding them quickly. To facilitate this, I prepped the bottles the night before by pre-measuring the water in bottles and formula into the formula dispenser. When the baby woke up, all I had to do was dump the pre-measured formula into the bottles and shake them up. No trips to the kitchen. No mess. No time wasted getting that baby back to sleep.
Get to know (and love) your dishwasher. You don’t need to hand wash bottles when there are a variety of dishwasher baskets specifically made to do it for you. Spend all that time that you would have spent soaking and washing bottles bonding with your baby. After all, they’re only little once!