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Man holding babyMan holding baby

​Choosing to bottle feed

While research fully supports breast milk as the best option for infant feeding in terms of your baby's overall health and development, your decision regarding how you wish to feed your baby needs to be based on what you feel is right for you and your baby. Whatever you choose you will be supported by healthcare professionals.

Bottle feeding equipment

If you're planning to bottle feed your baby with expressed breast milk or infant formula you will need to buy bottle feeding equipment, including:

  • bottles
  • teats
  • sterilising equipment

If you're using infant formula you must follow the instructions on the packaging.

You can also speak to your midwife, doctor or health visitor about formula feeding and the options available to you.

Bottle feeding on the NHS website 

Bottle feeding your baby on the NCT website

How to make up baby formula

You should always read the instructions of your chosen formula and follow them carefully.

It's very important all feeding equipment is washed and sterilised before being used to make up your baby's formula. This will reduce the risk of sickness and infection.

Step-by-step of how to make up baby formula on the NHS website

Formula and allergies

A small percentage of babies can have an intolerance or allergy to a certain formula.

Symptoms your baby might have include:

  • being fussy after feeding
  • crying inconsolably for long periods
  • stomach rumbling and pains
  • wind
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • skin reactions such as a rash
  • runny or blocked nose

If you think your baby is reacting to a particular formula then speak to your Health Visitor or GP. If necessary, they may prescribe an alternative formula for your baby.

Reflux

Babies often bring up milk during or shortly after feeding, this is known as posseting or reflux.

It's different from vomiting, where a baby's muscles forcefully contract. Reflux is just your baby effortlessly spitting up whatever they've swallowed.

It's very common and will usually pass by the time your baby is a year old.

There are a few things you can do to help your baby with reflux.

These include:

  • burping your baby regularly throughout feeding
  • giving your baby smaller but more frequent feeds
  • holding your baby upright for a perod of time after feeding
  • using thicker milk formulas that are less likely to be brought back up (these are available to buy without a prescription, but only try them if advised to by a healthcare professional)

Reflux in babies on the NHS website

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