Bottle Feeding


“The way you feed your baby doesn’t define you as a mother”


Our survey revealed that 95% of women thought they would breastfeed prior to giving birth. However when asked “which statement best described the way their babies were fed in the first 6 months”, our survey revealed that only 59% of babies, were breastfed alone.



As a mother we all want to do what’s best for our children. However, there is significant social pressure, currently in New Zealand, suggesting ‘breast is best’. Little or no attention is paid to other feeding avenues to help mothers make an informed decision, regardless of the individual circumstances. Breast-feeding does not work out for everyone; whether it is due to personal choice, well-being, physical constraints or other reasons.


At boob or bottle we in no way discourage breastfeeding, we encourage it and wish to provide support to ensure women get all the help breastfeeding, but at the same times realize that its not always possible for all women (for many different reasons). We want mothers to know that however they’re feeding their baby they're doing an amazing job. It is not uncommon to feel sad/ and or disappointment if your feeding journey hasn’t gone how you expected, be assured you are not the only one in this situation, seek help or talk to someone if you are having trouble dealing with this head here to read more about well-being.


There are many reasons why mothers bottle-fed, please never feel embarrassed to bottle feed in public or feel you have to justify yourself. Our survey revealed that 66% of women would have felt they had failed if they had had to give formula in the first 6 months. These statistics need to change; you have in no way failed yourself or your baby if you had to give formula, please remember that and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.


Buying a bottle


There are many different brands on the market ranging in price, teat shapes, sizes and now the option between plastic or glass. You will find that some bottles suit some babies and others don’t. There is no right or wrong bottle for your baby, its simply a matter of trial and error (and some babies simply refuse the bottle no matter how many they have tried). Head here to shop for bottles



Washing and sterilising


Whether you're bottle feeding with breast milk or formula for the first 3 months it is very important to ensure you’re washing and sterilizing the bottles after each use, as for the first 3 months of a baby’s life they are most at risk of infection.  After 3 months thoroughly washing, rinsing with hot water and air-drying is sufficient.


Wash your bottle in warm soapy water using a bottlebrush ensuring you remove all traces of milk. Rinse with hot water and leave to air dry.



There are three ways you can sterilise, by boiling, steaming or with chemicals.




  • Fill a large pot with water
  • Place all the washed items in the water; ensuring everything is covered with water Put the lid on and heat the water until it comes to a rolling boil
  • Turn the stove off and keep the pot covered until you need the items.
  • Use tongs to lift items out of the pot. If you remove items before you need them, cover and store them in a clean place




Follow the instructions as per the “microware sterilisers” manufacturers instructions


Sterilising tablets


Using a BPA free plastic or glass container and follow the “Sterilising tablets” manufactures instructions. Use tongs to remove items and shake of excess liquid.


Buying Formula


Many women have said when buying formula it can be rather daunting, with so many options on the market these days. The first thing you need to know, is all are satisfactory, all formulas on the New Zealand Market are similar in nutritional specification as they must meet strict mandatory regulatory requirements.


To read more follow the link below to read “ The best baby formula: a guide for New Zealand”



How much formula does my baby need?


Age, weight, time of day, activity level and rate of growth can all affect your baby’s formula needs.

The formula tin will list general guidelines; some babies are fed on demand, and some by routine, either way you will need to learn your baby’s signals.


Most formula-fed newborns will need around 6–8 feeds in 24 hours for the first few weeks and by the time your baby is about two months old, there will probably be 3–4 hours between feeds.


Ways to determine your baby is getting enough formula


  • Is content and settles for a couple of hours after a feed
  • Is gaining weight at a steady rate
  • Has six or more very wet nappies every day.


Making up the bottle and warming the formula.


When making up the bottle make sure you ready the formula labels carefully (including the use by date) and follow the instructions on how to make.


For all babies 3 months and under make sure you are using sterilised bottles and using cool boiled water either from your kettle or from a pot. Ensure that the water is cooled before you make up the bottle


Before you measure out the formula make sure you wash your hands then make up as per instructions.


If the boiled water has cooled right down, you may like to add a little bit of freshly boiled water to the cooled water so the milk is warm for your child.


Alternatively you can warm the milk in a hot water bath. Place the bottle of prepared formula in a container of hot water. Before you feed your baby shake the bottle thoroughly so that the formula is all the same temperature.


Always check the temperature of the formula, by dripping some onto the inside of your wrist. If it just feels warm it is safe for your baby.


Once the formula has been made and warmed up, make sure it is used within 2 hours. Never reheat formula and after 2 hours any left over milk will need to be thrown out.




How much expressed breast milk does my baby need?


Again age, weight, time of day, activity level and rate of growth can all affect your baby’s express milk needs.


This Milk Calculator is a good guide



Warming up breast milk


The best way to warm up breast milk is to put it in a hot water bath. Then gently shake the bottle to ensure that all the milk is the same temperature then check the temperature


Always check the temperature of the milk, by dripping some onto the inside of your wrist. If it just feels warm it is safe for your baby.


Do not re heat breast milk after it has been warmed and dis guard after the feed.



How to Bottle Fed


Have your Baby sitting a little upright and cradled then the bottle should be offered gently, in a non-stressful manner, with the teat in the baby’s mouth to form a tight seal. Angle the bottle so the milk fills the teat and the bottleneck and hold the bottle firmly so that the baby can pull against it while sucking.


Cradle your baby close while, to provide comfort while feeding and to encourage more bonding time, and enjoy watching others enjoy the bonding time that comes will feeding a baby (Dads especially love being able to feed their baby)


A typical feeding session lasts about 15 to 20 min, making sure you allow your baby to take his/her time to drink the bottle, making sure your not “rushing” them through. Changing position mid-way through a feeding and burping is important, especially in the early months. With most new born babies needing to be burped 2 – 3 times in a sitting.