Katy left the following comment on another post and since I thought it would probably get lost there, I’m putting up my answer in a new post. (And don’t ever apologize for asking questions around here!)
I’m sorry Sallie, but I have yet another question. My husband and I have decided to bottle feed; and then I had to read these articles! (Note in 2022: Links no longer active)
I had decided to go with the playtex nursers with the drop in liners because I’m concerned about the chemicals that can come from plastic bottles that have been boiled. How do you prepare your bottles? What type of water and formula do you use? Do you boil the water? I’m a nervous wreck!
Well, for what it’s worth, here’s what I do. It took us a little experimenting to figure this out and we did do things differently at a couple of different phases.
Our Bottle Liners, Water, and Baby Formula
I use the Playtex Nursers with the preformed drop-in liners that you mentioned. I have been very happy with them other than the cost – they aren’t cheap. We started with the little ones (4 ounce) and now use the big ones (8 ounce).
I don’t boil my water. I use tap water that has either gone through our Brita pitcher we keep in the refrigerator or else the PUR filter we have on the kitchen faucet. When we go out of town, I use bottled water.
We started out using Enfamil LIPIL with Iron upon the recommendation of the pediatrician. We used that for about four months. It is pricey although you can sign up for their mailing list and they will send you coupons which will help. (Be sure you do this for whichever formula you decide to use if you use a brand name like Enfamil, Similac, etc.) When Caroline started to get old enough to switch, I started researching store brands. I also talked with my pediatrician about this. From what I read, there is no substantial reason not to use the store brands. My pedidatrician said we could easily switch and we didn’t even have to do a transition time. Why in the world he didn’t tell me to use store brands in the beginning, I don’t know. But we switched and have had no problems.
Apparently the same company makes all the store brands so we’ve used Target (briefly) and now we use Meijer. I also have a bunch from Costco, but haven’t opened those yet. If you are a Costco member, that is about the cheapest place to get formula. However, I prefer to pick mine up at Meijer when they are on sale since I would prefer to support a local company (where my husband has a pension as well!).
If I had it to do over again, I would have started with the store brand from the beginning. It actually smells better and mixes better (I think). I cannot stand the smell of the premixed formula that you get in the hospital and can buy in the stores. (It is also outrageously expensive.)
Preparing The Baby Bottles
The method I use for making bottles has changed. When Caroline was just a few months old, I mixed the formula up for the day or so in all the little bottles and put them in the refrigerator. Then I would warm them up under hot running water. This was also during the late fall and winter so I wanted her to have warmer formula.
A few months ago I tried giving it to her at room temperature and she didn’t bat an eyelash. I’ve also given it to her ice cold now that it has been warmer and she didn’t mind that either. So I no longer warm them up! I now fill up six bottles at a time with filtered water and they sit on the kitchen counter until I need one. When it is time to eat, I put the powdered formula in, shake, and feed. It works great.
I would add that I really don’t think formula feeding is that much work. Some people tried to warn me that it is so much work to wash the bottles, etc. Well, it is a little more work. There were a few times I thought, “I don’t want to wash these tonight!” Then I reminded myself that the tradeoff was that I would have had to do every single feeding for the past x number of months. At that point, washing a few bottles seemed like no big deal. The biggest drawback, in my opinion, is the cost. It isn’t cheap.
We’ve never regretted our choice to formula feed from the start. We know we did the right thing for our family, especially given all that transpired with my c-section complications. David really enjoys feeding Caroline and I don’t know how I would have made it through those first few months if I had been the one to feed her every time. I know billions of women do it, but I’m glad I had a choice.
So that’s what I do. I have no idea if this would fly with the AMA or the American Association of Pediatrics (or whatever they are), but Caroline is healthy as a horse so it doesn’t seem to have caused any problems.
I wouldn’t worry about those articles. Let’s face it. We live in a day and age where people are constantly looking for something to research, make an easy buck, scare the general population spitless, etc. I would just go with what you were going to do unless you really feel God has put a check in your spirit that you are doing the wrong thing for some reason. However, please bear in mind that I’m also a woman who ate albacore tuna while pregnant and continued to drink coffee so I might not be the one to listen to if you want to be extra cautious.
Take care of yourself and that baby and please send me a picture so I can meet the little one!
Too funny. I did lots of “bad” things during both of my pregnancies, too, and my children are healthy and bright. I loved my tuna melts, greasy fries, and big Cokes! Seems like everyday there’s a new junk science study about something we eat, drink, or breathe. It’s remarkable that we make it past 30!
I decided to formula feed both of my children from the beginning, too. I’m also glad I had the choice. I was concerned about the water with my first child, but with the second not so much. I just use regular tap water. With two, I just don’t have enough time to obsess over that kind of stuff anymore. Oh the luxuries of being the first or only child…. 🙂
Rocks In My Dryer
I nursed, but I always supplemented with 1-2 bottles per day. I used the Playtex drop-ins too, and FYI, Wal Mart makes a liner that is considerably less expensive, in their generic Parent’s Choice brand.
Be careful if you’re using filtered water that baby is still getting the fluoride that is in tap water…babies need it.
I’ve never bottle fed (breastfeeding suited me – perhaps I’m too lazy for bottles! 🙂 )so I have no idea if this is a dumb question – is it ok to make up Caroline’s bottles and leave them sitting on a counter until you leave them, rather than putting them in the fridge?
I’ve used the Meijer brand formula pretty much from the start….don’t know if it’s true or not but was told that the store brand formula is actually easier on the stomach. There is also no difference in price between the soy and reg. formula.
I gave birth 2 months early and could not breastfeed due to a medical condition. We use Similac formulas as the boys are a year old. We have to use the ready to feed because of their systems. They both have had severe medical problems. One is on Advance and the other Alimentium. It (formula) alone runs us about $125 a week and my hubby makes too much (by $13) to qualify for any assistance. Through the grace of God we make it though!
I have always used Evenflo bottles. No problems there either. If you’re worried about chemicals from the bottles, then you should be worried about that from the nipples and pacis as well. We also give our boys tap water, as we are working on practicing on sippy cups. They have been great with all we do OR don’t do.
I had a friend that used the Playtex nursers with the plastic liners and her little boy somehow swallowed a micro size piece of the plastic and it obstructed his airway and he sufficated about 3 years ago. A very sad thing.
The moral is that everyone just has to do trial and error and do what is best for them in their situation. God will take care of the rest! Blessings Katy!
Rocks – Hi! I tried the store band liners and they were so much smaller than Playtex. I haven’t tried WalMart ones though so maybe they are different. I found the same thing with store brand diapers. I usually use Pampers but was given some Meijer brand diapers. When I went to use them they were way too small even though they were the same size as the Pampers I was still using!
Wilm – That’s what I mean about not being sure if my counter sitting water bottles would be approved by the powers that be. It works for us, although now that the weather will be turning warmer I will probably put them in the refrigerator.
Marva – Ok, I have to admit that your suffocation story freaked me out briefly! I Googled to see if this was a “common” occurance and fortunately found nothing about it so it must have been a very unusual happening. But how awful and sad for your friends. I can’t imagine…
Lindsey @ enjoythejourney
Bottle moms unite! 🙂 (sorry I just HAD to say that since I spent most of my infant rearing days hiding from the breastfeeding people who hated me for formula feeding)
Back when mine were babies I used the Johnson & Johnson healthflows (they don’t make them anymore sorry!). I would mix the powdered formula, enough for a day or two worth (without going bad…I cannot remember the amount but whatever it was that was safe for fridge use). We mixed them with filtered water.
I would go ahead and fill the bottles, put tops and lids on, and put them in the fridge. When it was feeding time I would take one out and heat it up, and viola!
I nursed my first child for 9 months (out of sheer guilt) and I can say that making bottles is no big deal and not that much work. If making bottles tires you out as a mother, then woe to you when potty training arrives! 🙂 Just dont’ worry about that part of it. The breastfeeding clan uses that “it is so much work!” as a real good scare tactic to put more guilt on ya.
I have 3 children and my bottle fed babies have never had ear infections, or any sort of colds or allergies that my breastfed baby didn’t have.
I’ll agree that “breast is best” but then again, I think homeschooling is best and most folks who breastfeed use the public schools! 🙂
I breastfed my first, but ended up bottle feeding number two (who is only a few weeks older than Caroline).
Bottles – I tried them all – Dr. Brown’s (we had colic), Playtex, Avent…but at the end of the day the $3 Gerbers is what my guy likes. I actually only tried the drop ins with my first. I didn’t like them, even if it meant fewer dishes.
Brands – We started with Emfamil, but since we had colic, we ended up on Similac Alimentum – liquid only because the powder aggravated the colic. We switched over to Similac Advance at 3 mo, and finally powder. Am considering a jump to a store brand, but haven’t done it yet. I like the convenience of being able to buy it wherever I’m shopping vs. having to make a special trip somewhere.
Method – I initially made up how many ever bottles my son was drinking in a day. It was easy to do with the liquid and I had to refrigerate anyway. And I did heat them up in the (gasp) microwave. I heat 20 secs. and then shake them well afterward. It really just takes the chill off the formula. Now, since our bottle schedule is a little more spaced out, I take one bottle with water and one with powder up to bed with me and mix it upstairs for the one nighttime feeding we’re still doing. I make two bottles and put them in the fridge. That way if we have an extra night feeding or one first thing in the morning, I don’t have to try and mix something up. I now will give it to him cold on occasion as well. Then I make the other two as we need them and might vary the size of it depending on how much he’s eaten or how long. A typical bottle is 6 oz.
I also use water from the brita pitcher, but leave it on the counter at room temperature.
Sorry to take so much space up, I didn’t realize how long winded I was becoming!
I breastfed and bottle fed three babies, and my personal experience is that any extra work involved in bottle feeding is WELL worth the convenience of having Dad’s (and others’) help.
Katy, the only thing I would add to these comments is to get yourself a formula dispenser or two for feedings on the go. I don’t know why it took me so long to discover these marvelous things, but when I saw a friend pull one out in Bible study one morning, I had to interrupt the lesson to find out where she bought it! (They are divided containers with three compartments that allow you to premeasure your formula and dispense only the amount that you need into the baby’s bottle … much easier than carrying the entire canister of formula in the diaper bag the way I’d been doing it!)
Blessings as you embark on this wonderful adventure!
My son was mostly formula fed after the first 6 weeks, and my next baby, due in August, will be formula fed from the start. To answer the question about whether or not you can mix up the bottles and leave them on the counter till needed, the answer is no. The canister of formula specifically says to use a made up bottle within an hour, or refrigerate it no more than 24 hours.
Depending on how hard my son was crying for food determined if I used filtered or tap water. If I needed warm water quickly, he got tap water. Also, a lot of times, I would just put cold water in the bottle and heat the water in the microwave for a few seconds. Again, he’s no worse for wear. When we were out and about, I would put water in the bottles and let them come to room temp.
Katy, I highly recommend that you get a microwave bottle sterilizer. We bought a Medela, and it was well worth it (they are not that terribly expensive). In less than 5 minutes you have sterilized bottles.
i was wondering if anyone uses playtex drop ins and how you mix powder formula for them I was also wondering how you travel with them since they do not have covers for when the nipples are on.
Most peditricians will agree that bottle sterilization via dishwasher is good enough. And that unless you have well water, there’s no need to boil water for your bottles.
Here’s a link.
I have never boiled a bottle for either one of my kids, although I usually boil pacifiers and nipple before the first use.
Thanks to everyone who has provided helpful information!
I just want to clarify that I don’t mix the bottles and leave them on the counter. I put the water in and leave them there until I need them. Big difference!
Annette – The Playtex Nursers come with lids. There are two kinds. There are the plain bottles that come with flat colored lids and there are the more decorated ones that come with dome-type clear lids. I’ve had both and I prefer the clear lids. The flat lids leaked on me several times when I shook them if the nipple wasn’t absolutely in the right place. I’ve never had a problem with the dome-type lids and leaking.