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How many bottles of premixed formula to buy for ELCS hospital bag?

(12 Posts)
StarsInTheNightSky Sat 15-Mar-14 17:38:27

Hello All,

I'm 29 weeks pregnant and I've been getting my hospital bag packed as we've had a few scares now with our little chap trying to arrive early.

We're going to be formula feeding and we going to try SMA gold first infant milk, hopefully he'll get on well with it. I'm going to be having an ELCS, so we thought the SMA ready mixed bottles with disposable teats would be good for in hospital, and then we'll save all the mixing/bottle sterilisation for when we get home.

Does anyone have any idea how many of the disposable bottles we'll need though? We bought six as a start, although I know that won't be enough, and there is a 24 hour Tesco close to the hospital, so DH can go out and get more if need be.

I'm planning to stay in for two days maximum (hopefully won't be in longer) so how many roughly should we get?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

CountessOfRule Sat 15-Mar-14 17:50:50

Most newborns need to feed at least every three hours, and you can't keep a bottle once it's open. So in 48h you'd expect to do 16 feeds at least.

There will almost certainly be bottle sterilizing facilities on the ward (but check with your midwife) so you could consider cartons of formula instead/as well/as a backup? From memory they're about 60p-£1 each depending on brand, and you can leave them in the fridge once opened, for 12 or 24 hours I think. If there's a fridge you can use that might be an option.

Newborns only take tiny feeds as their tummies are the size of a marble. There's the potential for a lot of waste!

Good luck with your pregnancy.

CountessOfRule Sat 15-Mar-14 17:51:50

Also, it might be worth learning to do proper bottles before you go. It isn't as simple as reading the tub!

Mildpanic Sat 15-Mar-14 17:54:16

I would be tempted to double that amount. There is a lot of waste with the ready made bottles so it is quantity of bottles rather than total accumulative amount of formula that counts. New baby's tend to have very small amounts. Some feed frequently, some go up to 6 hours. It will be a new bottle each feed unfortunately. It is usually hot on the wards so I really wouldn't want to go against milk usage guidelines. You may be in 3 to 4 days if any issues arise. I would have err on side of caution. DH doesn't really want to be staggering round Tescos. Although quite expensive compared to made at home bottles you will use any leftover ready made bottles.
If baby is born early and needed to go to neonatal unit (hopefully not) they will provide all milk required so don't worry about planning for that.
Good luck.

tiredteddy Sat 15-Mar-14 17:57:57

Check the policy at your hospital. When I had dd we had to supply the formula milk (I took ready made cartons) but the hospital supplied pre-sterilized disposable bottles for use whilst there.

MrsSpencerReid Sat 15-Mar-14 17:59:15

When I had ds the ward provided empty bottles and teats you provided the formula so you could offer an oz at a time as their tummys are tiny, milk was labeled and stored in a special fridge maybe ring and see what they advise? Good luck smile

stressbucket1 Sat 15-Mar-14 18:00:53

At my hospital they had disposable bottles you could use and a fridge to store milk in so you could get ready made formula in cartons and take them it would be much cheaper and no waste if you use the fridge

StarsInTheNightSky Sat 15-Mar-14 18:23:30

Thanks very much all for the advice. smile

We know how to mix up bottles, so not worried about that, and not worried about the wastage or expense either, we just want to make it as easy as possible when in the hospital.

So it sounds like if we get about 25 - 30 ready mixed little cartons, that should hold us over? Think we'll keep a lot of them in the car though so that I don't need a ginormous hospital bag! We will always use any spare at home anyway (I'm thinking for night feeds), so they won't be surplus to requirements.

At our hospital we have to provide the formula (although not if in neonatal unit, who use SMA gold, hence why we decided to go with that) and we have to provide bottle and teats too.

They have said we might possibly be able to use their sterilisation facilities, but they were really vague and unhelpful about it, and said that as they were a breastfeeding hospital it wasn't their policy to provide formula or the equipment for formula feeding. I don't have a problem with that, but being deliberately vague is frustrating as it makes it difficult to plan.

Thanks again all smile

MrsSpencerReid Sat 15-Mar-14 23:22:00

From what I understand about the bf thing, they can't promote ff but if you asked for a steriliser or advice on bottles they should provide it, I can't believe that have no sterilising facilities, what do they do with breast pumps?!

Sneezy86 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:04:07

The last stress someone wants after birth is bottle sorting and formula mixing. Why on earth don't the hospital provide this? Both the hospitals I was in when I had my baby recently (Born in one by elcs then transferred next day to home town for few days) provided cartons of formula, bottles, sterilising etc and were still classed as bf friendly with bf awards!

confuddledDOTcom Sun 16-Mar-14 01:21:55

It's common now that they don't provide sterilisation apart from NNU mothers. Or any other feeding supplies (other than in emergency). It's more the cost of it from what I can tell than about being a baby friendly hospital as that isn't part of it. They stopped providing nappies to NNU babies when I was in with one of mine too.

Most hospitals now prefer you to take the ready bottles with disposable teats.

cloggal Sun 16-Mar-14 16:30:45

When I was in hospital with DS there was no steriliser - and he was a poorly baby - but was told to clean my breast pump and bottles (we were trying mixed feeding) in hot water and allow them to drip dry on to paper towels. Midwives said this was as good as sterilising started sterilising everything like a demon when I got home smile

I was told a lot of things were unavailable because of bf-friendly rules (including advice on formula or mixed feeding!) - I think some practitioners and some hospitals misinterpret what this means.

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