1. All brands of formula are made to the same standard, so no brand is better than another. You don’t have to stick to the same brand.
2. Each brand produces several stages/types of milk. The only one suitable for a newborn baby is Stage One/First Infant Formula. This is suitable until the age of one, when your baby can have ordinary cow’s milk.
3. Formula comes in ready-made liquid form, or as a powder. The liquid is more expensive, but quicker to prepare. The powder is not sterile, so it is very important to follow the instructions for making it up, to prevent the growth of bacteria.
4. Your baby will tell you when he/she is hungry, by smacking their lips, rooting (head-turning), and sucking their fingers. Crying is a late hunger cue, so try to respond to these early cues, to minimise everyone’s distress.
5. When you bottlefeed, hold your baby close and upright, so you and your baby can make eye contact. Enjoy the opportunity for a cuddle.
6. Pace the feed: Hold the bottle close to horizontal, touch it to your baby’s lips, and allow them to latch on to the teat. When they let go of the bottle, it’s okay to offer it again, but don’t insist they finish the whole feed. Your baby can tell when he/she has had enough.
7. Newborns and breastfed babies trying bottles for the first time often prefer a slow-flowing teat. Be patient while they learn this new skill.
8. Spend as much time with your baby skin to skin as you can. This calms and soothes, and helps to build your baby’s immune system.
9. In the early days, your baby has a tiny stomach and needs small amounts of milk, very frequently. If you are able to give your baby colostrum at this time, even for a single feed, this is a very healthy start for them.
10. If you are in any way unhappy or unsure about your situation, you can talk to a Breastfeeding Counsellor. We won’t try to dissuade you from your decisions, but will listen and support you. You can call the NCT Feeding Line from 8am-midnight, every day, on 0300 3300 700.