Advice on sterilisers and breast pumps for confused first timer(15 Posts)
I'm sure this has been done to death but I'm confused and couldn't find a thread which answers my question exactly. Sorry if this is very basic stuff!
I'm nearly 40w pregnant with DC1, and plan to breastfeed (although understand it's harder than it looks). A friend has told me that I need a 'breast pump and steriliser'. So I've had a look in the shops and am totally confused by what exactly I need. Do I need lots of bottles? What's the best kind of steriliser? Is it best to buy a whole set? I've seen the recent thread about manual vs electric pumps and the advice to wait and see, but then what's the point in having bottles if you don't have a pump - as back in case you need to formula feed too? As you can see, totally confused, please help!
Could someone point me in the right direction (preferably with links) so I know exactly what is worth getting now, and what I should wait and pick up later?
Hi i would just wait and see how you get on with breast feeding. The advise is not to introduce a bottle until breast feeding is established so not until around 6 weeks. By then you'll know a bit more about your baby and if you want a pump or not.
FWIW I bought a medela swing but only used it when my babies reached 6 months to express breast milk to add to solids when weaning. You don't need a steriliser at all, just run through the dishwasher or wash with hot water soapy water. You don't want to spend money unnecessarily.
Good luck with the new arrival!
Agree with MakeTea (hi by the way!). I don't think there's any point buying stuff like that in advance. Give breastfeeding a good few weeks to get going and then think about what you might want.
If you need anything in a hurry there are 24 hour supermarkets or you may well be able to borrow what you need from friends with babies/children.
Hello, I'd second maketea and say wait and see what happens. You might not need either - many people don't.
In your situation you would be far better to find out about any local breastfeeding support groups. You can go along to them before baby arrives. They will be able to answer your questions and offer support and help when the time comes.
You are only likely to need a pump and steriliser if you are planning to express for your baby, although there are other reasons mums express, to help increase suupply is just one. A local support group with peer supporters and a breastfeeding counsellor will be able to help you.
Good luck with it all, and don't forget MN is full of helpful people too.
I had an avent hand pump when I went back to work, but like maketea just used the dishwasher or hot soapy water and never bothered with sterilising.
Agree with those above. You won't need it quickly if you are going to try bf. I didn't buy any until weeks later. Then my baby didn't take a bottle so that's been a total waste of money.
I'd suggest just getting microwave steriliser or use Milton fluid rather than spending loads on a big electric one if you are mainly bf. However may change if bf doesn't work out.
Yep, I agree too. You don't need a pump and steriliser at any point during BF, it's perfectly possible to BF without (lots of women do). If you want someone else to be able to feed your baby later on (if you're working or going out for example) then you may want to express. Some mothers hand express and cut out the need for a pump. If a baby is older then they might move straight onto a sippy cup rather than a bottle. I'd save your money and wait and see!
I have an advent hand pump and cheap microwave steriliser. They have only been used with any frequency since ds started at nursery. See how you geton and maybe think about it when lo is getting to the age for you to be leaving them more.
Ooh and we only own one bottle, ds has had his milk in sippy cups from 6mo
A hand pump is useful to have in the early days for some people althouh you could hand express (I never got the hang of it and the pump was useful for relieving engorgement). If it is just for occasional use don't bother with the sterliser. Nice hot water is enough for breastmilk and even if you want to sterilize to be sure, you could just use sterilizing tablets or Milton in a nice big container of cold water. No you don't need lots of bottles at all. Two or three would be plenty.
Thanks everyone, that's really helpful advice. I'll wait and see how I get on before buying anything. I've already met my local breastfeeding counsellor so hopefully will have local support if I need help.
I would advise having at least some milton in for just in case. I fully intended to breast feed exclusively from day one but had to top up with expressed & formula for various reasons not relevant to your question! Thankfully we had bought a pump and sterliser (which came with a couple of bottles) so we were fine but it was complicated enough to try and research formula and how to prepare a bottle having not bothered to research that beforehand let alone having to think about which sterliser to buy!
You may well be fine, I was after ds tongue tie was sorted out and I'm still bf at 11 months but it's worth having a think about what will make your life easier if things don't go to plan straight away.
Re sterliser - if you do go for a microwave one - check it fits in your microwave before hand as if you have an old model it might not! We went for a steam sterliser for this reason (milton didn't occur to me..!) and used an avent manual/electric pump which was invaluable for me in the early days.
Asda do a fab cheapie microwave steriliser for about a fiver which looks like a large lunchbox... No harm to have it just in case. I wish you well with BF, it didn't work out for us and in the end we needed to get bottles etc but v easy to get in a hurry if you're near 24hr supermarket! So I agree with the others re. pumps, wait and see how you go...
Regarding pumps.. I ended up expressing for the first 3 weeks and used the Avent manual at night and a medela electric one during the day (loud and noisy, would not have gone down well with other residents in the middle of the night!!).
You can sterilise things in a pyrex bowl of water in a microwave, or in a saucepan of boiling water on a stove, at a pinch, so don't worry too much, OP.
Definitely get to know where the support groups are, our local one was a lifesaver.
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