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Whether you plan to bottle feed your baby from day one, or if you are switching from breast feeding, you should make sure you have all the equipment ready for when you start bottle feeding.
The following are necessary if you are going to bottle feed your baby:
Bottles and teats (you will probably need more than six if you are bottle feeding exclusively)
Sterilising equipment (there are a few different ways of sterilising bottles - have a look at our 'Sterilising Baby Bottles' page and see which is most suitable for you)
A bottle brush
Formula (for information about different kinds of formula see 'Types of Formula')
If you are planning to express breast milk and use that to bottle feed your baby, you obviously won't need to buy formula!
There are other pieces of equipment you may find handy, especially when you're not at home. For example, you can buy a vacuum flask to keep boiled water warm enough to use to make up a feed, or you can buy travel sized electric bottle warmers. You may also consider buying a cool bag and ice packs to transport bottles you have already made up.
Choosing a BottleWhen deciding on which bottles to buy there a number of things you should check:
The bottle has a scale that is easy to read
Whether the bottle has a temperature guide
Is the bottle easy to hold?
What material the bottle is made from and which methods of sterilisation it is compatible with
The cost of each part in case they need to be replaced
The diameter of the neck of the bottle (you are more likely to spill powder when pouring it into bottle with narrow necks)
If the bottle has any anti-colic features such as air vents or collapsible bags
Types of TeatsThere are also different types of teats available. You can get teats for newborns and teats which deliver milk at different rates. Latex teats feel more like a real breast but silicone teats last longer. You may need to try more than one type of teat before finding one that your baby prefers.
The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and states that babies fed exclusively on breast milk for their first six months will develop most healthily.
Visit our Breastfeeding Section