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Breast feeding, do I need bottles?(33 Posts)
I'm due in three weeks (eek!!) and hopefully plan to breast feed. As a result, I haven't bought any bottles/steriliser etc and was just going to see how I go.
Is this reasonable or should I buy some just in case?
If you live in a place where you have late night shopping /amazon prime, no, you don't need to get bottles in.
I had a pack of mini pre-sterilised bottles and I used them while I was waiting for my milk to come in. Then breastfed successfully for 5 months and combination fed too. No issue.
I had the ones that came with the breast pump. That was plenty, as we didn't even express much to start with
You'll probably need to express at some point, so the bottles that come with a pump are pretty necessary (and some bags). My mom (who was a SAHM) breastfed all 4 of us and I can remember she always had a few bags of breastmilk in the freezer in case we needed to be looked after for a few hours.
You don't need to sterilise anything for breastfeeding if baby is born healthy and full term. I bought three small Tommee Tippee bottles when ds was 6 weeks old and they were all we ever needed when I did require ebm feeds the odd time from 7 weeks onwards.
We got in 3 mam bottles that could be sterilised in the microwave without any equipment to do it & a few cartons of ready made formula but I was due around Christmas and we stayed a bit further out of town at the time. I probably won't bother for next one due in May.
I agree that if you have 24hr shops nearby and a partner able to dash out, don't get any. Baby is not going to suffer from a short delay while someone nips out to the shop.
Breastfeeding can be hard at first, it took me 2/3 weeks to settle in with DD1 (she's a strapping 9 year old now) but DD2 was perfect from the very first time.
I bought a few bottles and a steriliser which came in handy after a few weeks when I could express my milk so that dh and other family members could help feed ds. You wont need them straight away so I wouldn’t panic. I have a stock of frozen breast milk in the freezer now so if I go out I dont need to worry about ds going hungry.
I'd hold off on getting them until you're ready to start expressing. (If you decide to, it's not a requirement.) They're not at all hard to get hold of. And you don't need a steriliser for occasional expressing anyway, microwave sterilising pouches are more than fine for occasional use.
I am planning on breastfeeding and have bought two small MAM self sterilising bottles for just in case and some ready made formula milk to take into hospital which in all cost around £15 so not much to lose if I don’t need them
I’d suggest waiting until you know what you need/want. For my first, I needed some because he’d spent some time in nicu and had been bottle-fed (which I now wish had been done differently), for my second I’ve not needed the bottles or steriliser in three months yet.
You’re unlikely to need them in the first few days , and even if you do - ready-made formula with bottles are fine, and shops remain open ;)
I am due in three weeks too with dc2 I have two bottles 'just in case' I need to bog off in an emergency. You can sterilise in a pan of boiling water so don't buy any expensive kit!
I have been breastfeeding my DS almost exclusively, but he's also had some expressed milk and very occasionally formula. I always wanted the option of giving him a bottle (for various reasons) so I bought a breast pump and a couple of bottles before he was born. But even if you're not intending to express or combination feed, I think it is good to have one bottle and carton of ready made formula in the cupboard, sort of "just in case" and more for peace of mind than anything. I found breastfeeding really hard at the beginning and in my lowest moments it was good to know we had a back up option. It's horrible feeling that you have no choice (as it was, I chose to continue, but felt better as I had chosen rather than having no other option IYSWIM).
One thing I will say is that if you buy more than one bottle I suggest you get two or three different brands. Just in case you or your baby have a preference.
We didn't buy a steriliser btw, we use bottles so rarely that it wasn't worth it, we just boil everything occasionally.
Oh and I just wanted to add, about formula, my DH bought a tub of formula powder, but in hindsight it was a waste because we barely used any (and you're supposed to use it within 6 months of opening it) so I think the small ready made cartons are a better "back up" option.
You don't need anything other than a baby and a boob
I bought bottles and sterilzing kit though exclusively breast fed. I found it useful for expressing and then husband could take baby for a morning / afternoon.
As a pp said, if you have local shops, see how you go but I found it useful to have them.
I had 2 bottles and a few pre made up bottles of formula ready to go. Ended up BFing for 2 years but the knowledge I had a back up tucked away in those early days was very reassuring.
In theory you don't need anything. If you plan to express later down the line then you'll need bottles.
I struggled to breastfeed both of mine and ended up needing the works. I recall DH going out when our first was 3 days old, in the middle of the night trying to find bottles. Horrible experience.
I'm sure you'll be fine but I'd get some of those pre made bottles as back up.
I remember having the same thoughts as you OP. A midwife advised me not to get bottles or sterilizer in advance, because having them in the house would make it too easy if/when breastfeeding was difficult.
It was good advice for me.
If you live in a rural area without shops nearby, then maybe it would be different.
Good luck whatever you decide and enjoy planning for your new baby.
"A midwife advised me not to get bottles or sterilizer in advance, because having them in the house would make it too easy if/when breastfeeding was difficult."
I completely disagree with this. I think most mothers who want to breastfeed try their absolute best before giving up. Before having DS I didn't feel strongly about it, but once I'd had him and started breastfeeding, I was completely adamant that I wanted him to have my milk and not formula. I think hormones play a part in that. I've heard of a LOT of women who feel very upset when they decide to stop breastfeeding and use formula instead. So I don't think it's a decision anyone would take lightly, just because they had an emergency bottle and carton of ready made formula. In our case we have used formula a few times but that didn't mean giving up breastfeeding either.
Think about the scenario in which breastfeeding is failing and you have to give the baby formula - the likelihood is that you are going to be feeling exhausted, stressed and emotional - why add to the stress of that situation? Personally I would hate the idea of DH having to go out to buy the stuff if we have got to the point where we desperately need it.
You can always keep it in the packaging and return it if you don't use it.
You don’t need bottles but I bought some of the Minbie bottles so I can express if I need to and have someone else feed our daughter.
I bf my older two daughters, dd1 took a bottle easily but only from me, dd2 refused completely so I’ve actually introduced a bottle today with my milk in it now my daughter is 3 weeks old so she doesn’t refuse one completely.
DH also said he would like to feed her just once. He didn’t get chance to feed our other two, he doesn’t know how to bottle feed a baby bless him!
A midwife advised me not to get bottles or sterilizer in advance, because having them in the house would make it too easy if/when breastfeeding was difficult.
I don't agree with this. If you've decided you want to bf, you won't cave in at the first difficulty.
Bf can be hard work and it is a good idea not to send your partner out to buy a bottle at 3am and leave you with a screaming baby.
Besides, <whispers> one bottle is not going to affect your supply. I bf both mine for a total of over 2 years and no bottle ever affected my supply.
Don't make life with a newborn harder than it already is.
I’m in the same position as OP and have thought about getting a pre-made starter pack just in case I can’t get the breastfeeding to work. We don’t have a car so it makes it more difficult to pop out and get supplies particularly when tired and stressed.
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