I had my son last Tuedsay five weeks early, and have been expressing milk for his feeds - mixed with a couple of breast feeds and a few made up liquid formula feeds that the hospital gave us.

As he was prem, we only brought him home yesterday and last night was a nightmare - he would not settle and really struggled with the teats on the newborn Avent bottles we had bought and could drink his milk.

We have struggled again today feeding him - and have had to re use the NUK teats we have got from the hospital - which we sterilised( and have now ordered some on line )

As I said I am managing to express, but not enough for all feeds - so have just gone to make up the powder formula that the hospital gave him, and have found that you have to boil the kettle and allow to cool for half an hour before making the bottle and then using immediatly.

I knew about the boiled water for half an hour, but had assumed once you did this you could make up some bottles. If you need to serve immediatley, then you can only do one bottle at at time. Given the steriliser says you can do upto 6 bottles, (and they only keep sterile for 6 hours ) then I am very confused, and more than a little stressed......

I did mention to the midwife this morning, but she just told me to try and breast feed and perseve with the bottles...

I have a couple of questions.....

1. How long does it take to bottle feed a baby ????? Alfie is taking the first ounce in 10 mins and then spends another 20 mins on the second ounce - is this right??

2. Has anyone else experienced their baby not taking their milk ( he is sucking like mad, but the milk is not going down )

3. Any advise on making the formula ( in advance??)

4. Any one used the cold water sterilisers ( we have just ordered a Milton cold water old fashioned one, as we are struggling with the electric one -)

5. If you can only make one bottle at a time - why can you sterilise 6 bottles at once??

6. Anyone any spare cuddles...........had such a stressful first day with my son....... had no idea it would be this difficult

Can anyone help??


Sam xxx


  • Hi Sam, its a lot to to take in all this baby business.

    Kenny was 7 weeks early and I remember his first few nights at home well. He wouldnt settle and cried for ages but once he started to get used to his new environment he was fine. Im a first time mum and just wasnt prepared for all these new things to think about.

    I use Milton for cold water sterilisation and you can leave bottles, dummies etc in there until you need them as long as you change the water every 24 hours. I find this easier than microwave sterilising. I get the Milton tablets from Tesco or Sainsburys as they are about ??1 cheaper than Boots for the same box.

    I make bottles in advance (naughty I know) but never had any problems. I always make sure there is one in the fridge for his morning feed and make more for his next feeds and just store them in the fridge. If you dont fancy that you can always just fill the bottles with water and add the formula when you need it.

    We have all been through this so dont worry and iv found this site great for getting advice from real mums.

    You will soon get into your own routine and things will settle soon.

    Sending you big hugs.
  • ***hug hug hug hug***

    I've always found cold water sterilising to be great. Used it for 3 of my 4 kids. Regarding bottles, I've always used fresh boiling water and poured into the bottles then left to stand. I then added powder as and when each feed was due.

    With regard to suckling and not taking down it could be that the teat may not be quite right or it may be that the next size up may help - it cud be that he is tiring quickly with sucking so hard and just not getting enuff.

    I'm on msn anytime you want to chat hun, [email protected]
  • Thanks you so much for replying - great advise.

    I guess you feel you have to do everything by the book - especially when it comes to feeds....

    I may try making the formula up in advance then, if its done Kenny ( FAB name by the way! ) no harm

    Mummyx5 - if the water is not hot does the poer still sisove then?? - sorry so many questions

    and thanks for the hugs!!

    Sam x
  • I use cold water sterilisation, but I don't make the bottles up fully in advance. I usually have two bottles in the steriliser and take them out as I need them. What I did at night was to make a thermos flask with warm water (a bit warmer than the temperature it should be as it cools a little inside) and pre-sterilised bottles and brought that into the bedroom together with portions of the formula (you can get formula dispensers from mothercare etc), that way I didnt have to go downstairs at night.
    Morgana always took ages to drink her milk and could get exhausted and give up. Check that the teat lets milk through (the formula usually has some lumps in that tend to clog the hole in the teat). We also made the hole in the teat a tiny big bigger, as she was so tiny and didnt have that much suction power (the nuk ones from the hospital incidently have quite a big hole) and tried the no 2 teats on the bottles we used at the time. She used tommee tippee ones initially but when she got colic we swapped her to Dr Browns.

    Oh and to cool down the water during the day, put the bottles in a big mug or bowl of very cold water - means you don't have to wait 1/2 hour for it to cool down.
    I know it seems super hard at the moment with a new preemie, but believe me it gets easier!
  • Oh Sam, I can totally relate to you. My LO was also 5 weeks prem, we hadn't made the cot and none of her baby clothes were washed etc. We had bought the bottles (luckily, as I 'planned' to breast feed and didn't even think I'd need them...)

    When we were finally released from hospital, (about 6:30pm) I had to beg the hospital staff for some ready made bottles, as I hadn't even unpacked any bottles let alone sterilise them. The hospital was saying that they were for use IN the hospital only. image I managed to get 2 if I remember correctly and even then it was practically smuggled out! I was tired and I knew by the time I got home it would be feed time. So no time to read the instructions of how to use the steriliser. (I sound like a really unprepared mum, but to my defence I was also working full time and in process of moving too...)

    Anyway, I had bought the Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles, and my LO got straight onto them. As she was prem, my body didn't produce much milk. On the breast, she would suck for about 45 mins and was still hungry! Then I'd give her a top up of formula which would take about another 30 mins. I was told that because she was prem, she hadn't learnt to suck very well. I tried to express too, but I only got about 2 oz at a time :roll: I was really tired and totally forgot about myself, but if you drink plenty of water, this will help your build up of milk - advice which I totally forgot.

    I think the sterilising is a bit confusing too, but this is what I did. I don't know if it's right, but my LO has never been ill from it! I sterilised twice a day. Once in morning and once at night. I used the ones I sterilised at night for the night and 1st morning feed, then in the morning I sterilised again and used them during the day. I put some water in the bottles, and kept a flask full of hot water by my bed, so when I needed to make a top up for 'NOW', it didn't take me 1/2 hr. I also scooped out the correct spoonfuls of powder into a container so I wouldn't have to count while I was half asleep. I found that I would forget how many scoops I'd done if I was really tired, also, it's a lot less messier and less things by your bed.

    I have the Tommee Tippee steam steriliser, which is really good, as it keeps stuff sterilised for 3 hrs and there's a digital count down so you know if it's over 3 hrs. (I say I sterilised twice a day, but really it was my hubby - lucky me!) Anyway, point I wanted to make was, he used to load the steriliser at night, then in the morning just before going to work, he'd switch the steriliser on. So then I would wake up and I'd just take the bottles out knowing they we still sterlised.

    I totally know how you feel, I have loads of cuddles for you and your baby. You're not alone and I wish you all the best, things will get better. My LO is almost 8 months now and I can't believe how quickly the time has all gone. I hope that I have managed to help you out a bit.

    Big hugs,
    Sarah ;\)
  • what formula are you using? have found from previous experience some makes will absorb better than others!

    i fill my bottles with water, leave to one side, add the powder when required some days other days i'll make all the bottles up in the morning and keep them in the fridge.
  • Daddy Clyders here - Sam is now feeding our little boy with a hastily bought Tommee Tippee bottle, which is a little better.

    Anyway thanks for all the support and shared experience - it is really appreciated by both of us.

    Any further help / advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • Oh dear..hugs for both of you and lo.

    As for sterilising - I use microwave steriliser which I found easier in the end than cold water sterilising (and less rough on my hands) and i just do 4 bottles at a time as and when. I think some formula containers have different instructions ont hem but I just make up bottles with boiled water thats been cooled from anywhere from 30 mins to an hour (used to be 30 mins but as I was boiling more water for bigger bottles I leave it for longer) and then I add powder when i need them.

    I'm not terribly strict on the whole sterile thing - my steriliser says that the bottles are sterile for 3 hours and I have left them for longer than that before now before adding boiled water and Cole is just fine. I figure that the steriliser hasn't been opened so nothing can get onto the bottles and the steriliser has done its job which is to get rid of any milk residue so its fine. Sometimes even the boiled water in the bottles is out for more than 24 hours and I still use it - although hubby is getting better at not making up too many bottles in advance!

    I think boiling the kettle and letting it cool for 30 mins and using the water immediately for every bottle is a load of rubbish and not fair to the lo to keep them waiting that long for a feed. People have made bottles up in advance for years and had no problems. I just do the water and add formula as and when cause I find it easier and as cole isn't fussy about bottle temperature it means I don't have to warm stuff from the fridge.

    I think all these new guidelines are a bit ott tbh.. I think its the industry making sure they don't get sued if someone is careless and makes their lo ill through bad hygiene.

    Cole was bottle and breast fed from 2 weeks old using the tommy tippee bottles and he's never had a problem switching between the two. As for time taken to finish bottles.. i found it really could vary depending on how hungry/tired he was. It may be that your lo needs the next teat size up.. I found that Cole was readyf or the next teat size at around 10 weeks when he was hungry but fussing with the bottle and falling asleep without finishing feeds but waking as soon as I moved him.

    To be honest I think its trial and error to find what routine over sterilising and feeding works for you... although I do recommend the tt formula dispensers...they are great for night feeds and going out and about - and i also keep a couple full of powder ready for those screaming tantrum moments when you want a bottle ready like 5 minutes ago!

    Sorry for the essay... I was hiding out while Cole grizzled himself to sleep! Hope today is easier for all 3 of you!
  • Btw, if you want someone to talk to, my MSN is [email protected]
  • Can't thank you enouh for your words of advise - it helps to think that I don't have to do everything by the book excatly, think I will go insane if I do that.......

    If the water is boled and then you just leave the bottle for a few hours, does the powder dissolve?

    I will get the hang of it I am sure...... its all just new and difficult for us...... I had given myself 4 weeks while on maternity to work things like this out!!! but Alfiel obviously didn't want to wait!!

    Bit scared today - as hubby has had to go to a meeting in town, meaning I'll be on my own most of the day......

    .... wish me luck!! Just going to do his change and feed now!!

    Thanks again for the advise and hugs!!

    Sam xx
  • Oh good luck for today! I'm sure you'll be fine though.

    With my first I put cooled boiled water into her bottles and when she wanted a feed I heated up the water before adding powder to make sure it dissolved. With Evie I haven't got time for doing one bottle at a time so make up 4 at a time and keep in fridge. As for sterilizer I have microwave one and leave them in for a while- as someone else said I don't see the prob if you haven't opened the lid.

    That's the good thing about having a second baby, you realize you don't have to do everything by the book!

    Hope Alfie is doing well, and feeding okay now. If he likes the teats you had in hospital will they not give you any to keep? I only ask cos my cousin was born at 27 weeks and they gave my auntie a whole bagful of the nuk teats to take home, then she just sterilized them. (they do go funny after a while though).



  • Hi Kara was 5 1/2 weeks prem and was in hospital for 2 weeks and her first night home she was very unsettled but then once she got used to the environment she was great.

    In relation to feeding I used Tommee Tippee bottles and she took them no problem. She was using Nuk in the hospital. It was the midwife in the Neo Natal unit recommended these for prem babies. I am not slating bottles but she advised me not to buy Avent for small babies as they find it hard to suck as they are prem and have to get their sucking reflexes right. I also use the Tommee Tippee Steam Steriliser which I also find good. I was going to buy Tommee Tippee ones anyway. I didn't have anything bought when she was born so I had to get everything sorted when she was in hospital.

    I sterilise all the bottles at night and then fill them with boiling water and then just add the formula when required. It dissolves no problem in the cooled water. I then heat the bottle with a jug of hot water. For going out I use the tommee tippee powder dispensers. which hold the required amount for each food. Avent also do powder dispensers.

    Don't worry you will get there. Every baby is different and everyone will tell you different things but just do what you want to do and what you feel is right for your baby.

    Good luck
  • During the day I now boil the kettle and leave the water in there and use it as I need it (helps having a kettle that doesnt get limescale, ours is a britta waterfilter one so is always free from it), I even heat it up a little if its too cold in there by flicking it on for a second - naughty but Morgana never had any problems from it.
    I know the feeling of having nothing in the house - lo slept in her moses basket on a cardboard box for a few days while we tried to find a stand for it. We didnt have anything prepared because a) I had her on the second day of my maternity leave and b) we thought she was gonna be in hospital for a few more weeks, it was panic station all the way.
    My oh had to go to work the second day she was home, I've never been so scared in my life, she was so tiny and I didn't have a clue what I was doing, but somehow I survived.
    Btw, if your lo is on Nutriprem (which Morgana is still on), its really thick stuff in comparison to other milks and dissolves badly. I stir her milk with a little spoon as I found shaking the bottle gave her wind.
  • I use aptimil powder and room temp water and it dissolves just fine with a bit of a shake. It even dissolved fine when our bedroom was cold at night in winter and teh bottle had been standing there for a few hours. Just watch you don't shake the bottle too hard cause I have been known to end up covered in milk when it splurts out!

    Good luck... I'm sure you'll be fine!
  • Great advise thanks.

    Morighan - yep he is on Nutriprem2, so will try that for his next feed....

    He has just taken all 20z of his feed for the first time since he has been home!!!!! I am over the moon ( sad I know! )

    I will re read all of the advice again when I have a mo, and work out what to do next!!

    Main thin you have all taught me is that you don't have to do everything by the book!!

    Sam xxx
  • Kara is on Nutriprem 2 as well and to be honest I have never had any problems with it mixing using cooled boiled water. I just make sure I shake it really well.
  • Hope you're both OK today & Alfie settling in better image
    I had my son 3 weeks ago and I use cold water sterilising which keeps bottles sterile for 24 hours in the solution. I make up a few bottles at a time with just the water then add the powder as needed - it dissolves fine, no problem. My lo hasnt had any problems with this yet & this is the way I was advised to do it in the hospital as the midwife said it was unrealistic to make each feed in advance which I agree with! My lo takes about 5-10 minutes to drink 2oz and then 5-10 again to drink another 2 or 3oz, but then he was a really big baby! I use tommee tippee bottles too & found they are great. xxx
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