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Formula Feeders Faff Free Fred.

(172 Posts)
TheDetective Mon 25-Feb-13 23:22:56


As another lovely poster started a thread to discuss formula feeding, and it was sadly hijacked. I am starting this thread for mums who are formula feeding/mixed feeding/expressing and giving via bottle. Hell, it's for anyone who feeds their baby.

It is not for a bun fight, and it is not to discuss the benefits of either method of feeding!

Just to share tips, information and support.

Chat away!

TheDetective Mon 25-Feb-13 23:27:27

I'll start. I'm The Detective, and I have a 13 week old DS. He was BF for 3 weeks, and then I decided to formula feed.

Today we switched from Cow & Gate 1st milk, to SMA Staydown after discussing with my Health Visitor the options. My son has in the last 3 weeks decided to randomly puke all over the show. He doesn't appear to have reflux, has none of the classic signs, being upright makes him worse. He just vomits randomly, not just after feeds, at any time. The only time he doesn't is at night.

Prior to this he wasn't much of a possetter. It just randomly started. He has had a cold, but it started before the cold, and has lasted beyond the end of the cold.

So my HV said to perhaps try this as the first line, before trying medication.

I have just given him his first feed, and he took it well. I won't know if it is helping yet, as the vomit happens in the day when he is upright or moving.

I was surprised to read the tub and find that you have to make it with cooled boiled water. This goes against everything I ever tell anyone! And that is formula must be made with water above 70 degrees celcius. I am off to find information online about how safe this formula is when it is being made with cooled boiled water.

Little nervous about it! Anyone else know anything about it?

ChairmanWow Tue 26-Feb-13 06:06:02

Hey Detective. Great thread! Long may it live.

My DS (now 23 months so this was a while ago) was a random puker as well, though it tended to be later in the day and sometimes at night. It was a nightmare - he would projectile vomit everywhere. It wasn't a daily occurrence but enough to be a concern. In the end the GP prescribed infant Gaviscon and while it didn't eliminate the problem completely it was massively reduced. Hopefully the SMA stay down will help. I didn't know it existed and we used normal SMA. Maybe it's new.

Re the preparation guidelines, I can't believe the instructions go against every other guidance out there! As soon as that tub is open the powder isn't sterile. I have to 'fess up and say we did our own version, which was to put the powder in, half fill with boiling water and give it a good shake, then top up with cooled boiled water so it could be used immediately. I'd be interested to know if you think that's safe.

RhinotheHamster Tue 26-Feb-13 08:35:24

Chairman, IIRC boiling hot water can kill some of the nutrients in the milk. I'll prob be back to join this thread properly when we make the switch from breast in a few weeks.

sweetpea1112 Tue 26-Feb-13 14:37:05


I also have a 13 week old DS and he has been ff since a week old due to bf issues.

After reading all the guidelines we now make up the day feeds in the morning and night feeds in the evening and store them in the back of the fridge.

Re adding boiling water go the powder, I emailed Cow & Gate about this and was told that it can kill some of the nutrients in the milk. I try to use water that is between 70 - 80 degrees.

Looking forward to any other tips to make ff as easy and efficient as possible! <lazy cow emoticon> grin

Zara1984 Tue 26-Feb-13 14:45:04

Hello all!! I have a 17 week DS. He's been FF since he was about 2 weeks old. I planned to bf but he wouldn't latch. I was shocked as I was one of those people with very naive views of how easy bf would be!

We make up all our bottles the night before, and they go in the back of the fridge.

For those mums who did not FF out of choice and still feel guilty (ie they didn't plan to FF from birth or move to formula after a certain amount of time) - I found that the book Bottled Up was amazingly helpful. It's written by the woman who writes the Fearless Formula Feeder blog. Actually the whole blog and her FB page are very useful too! I was a shaky mess whenever I thought about bf and it not working. Until I read that book. It made me feel a lot better smile

Also for those that need tips on FF while travelling/on a plane I can help with that. I went from Ireland to NZ when DS was 4 weeks old and back again when he was 14 weeks!

TheDetective Tue 26-Feb-13 14:48:00

Hi Sweatpea! Come back to the Nov 12 thread! We both have Oscars don't we?!

TheDetective Tue 26-Feb-13 14:49:58

YES! I need that advice!

We go to Switzerland in 5 weeks.

What is the deal with taking formula now?

Because we are trying the staydown stuff, if he is still on it when we go, we will need to take 3 bottles of cooled boiled water, as it has to be made up this way. Plus the powder.

You can't get it premade.


sweetpea1112 Tue 26-Feb-13 15:11:58

Yes that's me, I have an Oscar currently snoozing on me as he won't be put down for daytime naps smile

Bit nervous about rejoining the Nov 12 thread, you are all so knowledgeable and wise. I am not confused

I have seen your TT thread - it worries me that the guidance doesn't seem to be very well known - I think that at the very least, the basics need to be made clear. I.e bottles to be sterile, water above 70 to be added to powder and the reasons for this. That way if people adapt the guidance slightly, they will hopefully follow the most important part. I think it is understanding the reasons for guidelines that is the important part.

What does everyone do with making up bottles out and about? We currently use cartons.

TheDetective Tue 26-Feb-13 15:17:41

No we're not! We are all just bumbling along the best we can!

I like how much knowledge I have gained from that thread!

For out and about I have an ice pack and an insulated bottle bag. If I am going out longer than 4 hours I'll take a carton. Or if I am going somewhere that it can't be warmed up.

sweetpea1112 Tue 26-Feb-13 15:30:02

I think I may invest in some ice packs. Was also thinking of getting a cool box to the store the feeds in the bedroom at night, but am thinking that is far too lazy considering we live in a flat.

SIL told me yesterday that she uses the same, big, bottle for all the night feeds rather than making separate ones (at the same time as telling me her baby sleeps through the night hmm ) Trying to think how to tell her that this is very unsafe. May have to direct her to some guidelines. Can't believe how little advice is offered about ff compared to bf. I understand that medical professionals have to promote 'breast is best' but surely people need to know how to ff safely.

TheDetective Tue 26-Feb-13 15:33:08

Does she mean the same big bottle of prepared formula?

Hope so!!!


Agree about the lack advice. I'm not sure how it can be improved though.

sweetpea1112 Tue 26-Feb-13 15:44:39

Nope, not ready made formula....

I think I owe it to my nephew to tell her. Yes. I will do that.

TheDetective Tue 26-Feb-13 15:46:46

Do you know the DOH leaflet? I can link it. It is the current guidelines smile

You could suggest she talk to her HV about making up and storage of formula. Tell her yours told you that it shouldn't be done that way?

sweetpea1112 Tue 26-Feb-13 15:49:46

Ahh yes that's the leaflet I used I think. Unless it was the WHO one. I think I will send her the link in a 'ooh look what I just came across, isn't that interesting' kind of way...

We have the same HV so may keep her out of it just in case!

EmmaGellerGreen Tue 26-Feb-13 15:58:39

Brilliant thread, really hope it stays positive and supportive. My ds is now 5 but was formula fed. No faff at all.

EmmaGellerGreen Tue 26-Feb-13 15:58:39

Brilliant thread, really hope it stays positive and supportive. My ds is now 5 but was formula fed. No faff at all.

ChairmanWow Tue 26-Feb-13 16:24:21

Rhino and Sweetpea thanks for the tip re not using boiling water. If we ff this time I'll deffo follow that advice. I think we were so conscious of killing off nasties that we didn't think about killing off the good stuff. Thankfully DS seems to have come out of it unscathed.

Thanks for the book tip Sweetpea. I wish I'd known about it last time. I really beat myself up big time. I think I might read it now anyway as there's still some unresolved stuff there - that other thread made me realise how upsetting I still find it.

Re HVs/MWs - I had fab support whilst trying to BF and they weren't judgy at all when I stopped, but we were given zero advice on ff (as my posts so far have revealed smile). Didn't think about it at the time but that's just rubbish isn't it. Will be much pushier this time if we go down that road. Funny that there is evidence of increased gastric infections with formula, presumably due to preparation and storage, but advice isn't routinely given to try and reduce this.

Biblio Tue 26-Feb-13 17:45:48

Hello, what a nice thread. I started ff when my dd was about 2 months, after a horrible horrible time trying to bf. I felt so awful about it but I'm so glad to hear about others who do it too, feel like less of a monster mum!

My MW/HV were supportive but not actually that helpful, apart from saying "follow the instructions on the packet"! No info about teat sizes, burping, reflux, anything. Most helpful were threads like this one. We had lots of bf prep classes before the birth, but why aren't the nhs realistic about the fact that women may have to ff for various reasons and may as well be given proper information from the start before it becomes a miserable guilt-fest?

I will check out the book suggested, thank you

sweetpea1112 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:39:19

Chairman I've never seen the boiling water advice anywhere else and my midwife said that another formula company (Aptimil possibly) had told her that boiling water was fine to use hmm So I wouldn't take it as gospel but I figure that C&G should know their own product well enough to advise and it does make sense.

Can't take credit for the book sorry, think that was Zara

Zara1984 Tue 26-Feb-13 19:47:41


Righto. Two scenarios based on the info you've given me

Scenario A - Using Staydown Formula
You're not going to be able to get cooled boiled water thru security. Nope. They'll make you pour it away or just give you loads of grief, especially if it's Heathrow.

Pack your 3 sterilised bottles. Pack a skinny thermos (eg 0.5L). Pack enough powder (plus your scoop) in a plastic tupperware box for SIX bottles (in case of flight delay etc).

Once you get through security, go to a cafe and ask them to fill up your thermos with boiling water. Measure out enough into your two bottles (ie so they can start to cool down ready for next feed) and get them to fill up your thermos again for the third bottle/fill third bottle directly. Now you can get the crew to do this on the plane with their hot water taps but to be honest it's just a hassle to get hold of them when your baby is hungry, so do it before you board at the airport. If your baby is hungry while the water is still very hot (it's hard to find a cold water tap in an airport to run the bottle under), then get a bottle of Evian or Volvic (ie low sodium mineral water) and mix boiling water and bottled water to right amount (usually half and half gets you to room temp) and then add powder. You're just going to have to disregard the 70 degree rule here for practical reasons.

Scenario B - Using Regular Formula

This is WAY easier! Ok, pack your 3 sterilised bottles. As for packing pre-mades, security are real bastards about this (esp Heathrow) and they could randomly let you through or make you open half, taste some etc. So what you need to do (aside from having a fourth bottle with a feed/carton in case you need to feed baby before security) is order your pre-mades to pick up at Boots after security. If you're going through Heathrow you can do it online - as for other airports, if it's not available online call up the airside Boots and ask them to reserve you some. You need to reserve 3 days before you fly.

Order 5 or 6 cartons - again in case of delays etc, getting to your destination at the other end AND FOR THE RETURN TRIP (unless you pack some in your checked luggage) in case you can't buy the premades you need in Switzerland.

For the flight back pack some powder in a tupperware in case Swiss security gives you grief about the cartons - but to be honest I've only found that UK airports are bloody stupid about them.

Generally For Your Trip
Some, not all babies get sore ears during take-off and landing. Start feeding baby (or give pacifier) as you're heading down the runway. If you're feeding, don't start before then or you'll run out during the climb.

If your baby likes bottle warmed, then the crew will do this for you. They are generally quite helpful!

Sterilising - you could do Milton in eg hotel sink/wherever you're staying. But the easiest and best thing is to get a Milton Solo Travel Steriliser - you can sterilise using a quarter of a Milton tab or in the microwave. Fits one bottle and a dummy, and your teat tongs. Cold water sterilises in 15 mins. It's bloody brilliant and saved my bacon, hands down one of the best things I have ever bought. I used it (along with a skinny Boots bottle brush and tiny bottle of washing up liquid) to sterilise DS' bottles easily and quickly in a aircraft toilet repeatedly during 35+ hours of flying. Also used it when DS was in hospital at 6 weeks.

Water - as I said above, you can use Evian or Volvic in a pinch to make up bottles. These are low-sodium waters so suitable to babies. Yes yes I know you are not meant to use mineral water and you are meant to boil it/70 degrees but when you are travelling you just have to be more practical (when the baby is hungry!!).

Pack one nappy for every hour of your flight. And 2 changes of clothes (based on your flight time). And a change in top for you and your travel companion. Trust me on this one. Babies, planes and poo explosions seem to go together confused

BeehavingBaby Tue 26-Feb-13 20:04:20

My instant warm bottle method went as follows if it helps anyone, you may think it was bonkers but was the only instant, fulfil all guidelines way I could think of!

For eg. 6oz bottle:

3oz boiling water in sterile bottle (or any sterile container, bottle just easy and visibly correct volume), into fridge.

To make feed, measure 3oz water straight from kettle into bottle, add 6 scoops formula powder, shake, then add contents of the fridge bottle, perfect fussy mixed fed baby bottle smile.

Was only one a day so wasn't worried about about the enzymes etc being killed off so much, but would 3oz water in the bottle would probably cool down to 80deg pretty quick.

May also sound bonkers, but I used glass bottles and found them very helpful ads the contents can be warmed or cooled by standing in water in literally seconds due to the lack of plastic insulating it.

sweetpea1112 Tue 26-Feb-13 20:22:33

Wow zara excellent advice. Think I may have to make a note of that for any future travels.

ChunkysMum Tue 26-Feb-13 20:51:11

My tips for easy middle of the night feeding:

I make up the bottle before bed and cool it down to really cold. I then put it in an ice box with plenty of ice packs to keep cold.

I have a thermos flask of just the right amount of hot water to warm a bottle & a container to warm the bottle in.

I put the icebox + bottle, the thermos flask of boiling water and the container next to my bed.

When I hear my baby stirring, I tip the boiling water into the container & add the bottle. I can do this in the dark while still half asleep. The bottle is then ready in a couple of minutes without me having to have got out of bed or turn the light out.

I then feed my baby.

Hope this helps someone.

NappyHappy Tue 26-Feb-13 21:42:08

Can I join please? I've ff all the boys and never found it a faff. With ds1 I didn't know you had to wash the bottles first, I just rinsed them out and chucked them in the stetilising solution! I did this for a day or 2 and was talking about it with someone who told me I had to wash them first. No information was given about making up bottles. This was only 5 years ago! Bottles made up each night and put in the fridge and warmed up in a jug of hot water.

With ds2 & 3 I knew what I was doing more then!

Ds2's night bottles - cooled boiled water left in the bottle on the counter top in the kitchen and milk powder left next to it. Now he is 16m I give put him in his cot with his milk.

ds3's left in fridge and blasted for 30 secs in the microwave, quick shake then feed. He is a puker, my goodness. Got him weighed today and he's dropped 2 centiles since birth, he's 23w now. He's not been into feeding since I got him home and syringe fed him for a few days til he came round a bit more! Now has 4X 6oz a day.

I read that Fred and can't be doing with what it was turning into.

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