Twinfant Tuesday: Baby Bottle Care

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Categories Feeding, Formula, Products, Twinfant TuesdayTags

We’ve written quite a bit about our infant feeding experiences here on HDYDI, but I realize that I’ve neglected to discuss my bottle feeding experiences. That realization wasn’t a surprise. As I’ve told you before, much of my identity as a new mother was tied up in breastfeeding. Baby bottles were up there with gavage tubes on the list of things that I’d rather forget.

The fact is that baby bottles are genius.

A baby bottle can allow a father to feed a child. A baby bottle can allow a working mother to provide her child with breastmilk when she can’t be with her baby. A baby bottle can allow the bond of feeding between a mother and child when breastfeeding isn’t an option.

It’s been nearly 8 years since my daughters moved on from bottles, so I’m not the person to tell you about the newest and greatest development in baby bottle technology. What I can tell you is that, like every other aspect of parenting, it’s not just about what you like. You’ll have to take your child’s preferences into account. With twins, that means two sets of children’s preference, and they may like different things.

With M and J, we used Playtex VentAire bottles for formula and Playtex Nursers with Lansinoh storage bags for expressed breastmilk.

Baby bottles are for formula and expressed breast milk alike.

Once I returned to work, J and M went through 6-7 bottles a day, each. Every night, I had 12-14 bottles to wash. During my limited hours home, I had to breastfeed, eat, occasionally shower, complete household chores, and do that thing where you lie down and close your eyes. I’ve heard it rumoured that it’s called “sleep”. That last thing I wanted to spend my time on was scrubbing bottles.

Since all the bottles we used were open at each end, a bottle brush wasn’t a necessity. I didn’t use it much once the babies had outgrown preemie bottles. Instead, I used my dishwasher.

I had three of these handy dishwasher baskets. All the small parts associated with baby bottles and breastpumps fit in the basket for dishwasher cleaning and disinfection. I was a master of placing all the nipples, rings, bottle valves, pump valves, and lids so that each one was fully exposed to water.

This basket holds small bottle parts for dishwasher disinfection.For the first several months, I would take the washed bottles out of the dishwasher and boil them in a pot of water for disinfection, but over time, I grew to trust the High Heat setting on the dishwasher. Before long, the girls’ immune systems had built up to where disinfection was no longer called for. After all, they were getting plenty of immune exercise from their time a group daycare.

For simplicity, I assembled rings, nipples and lips and stored those stacked beside all the bottles. That way, there was no need to spend time unscrewing bottles or pulling through nipples when it was time to feed.

What are your timesaving tricks for life filled with baby bottles?

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Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

34 thoughts on “Twinfant Tuesday: Baby Bottle Care”

  1. My hubby didn’t change a single diaper…but he did wash the bottles and breast pump accouterments when the girls were infants. That was a huge help, for sure. We hand-washed, and then used a microwave sterilizer. It was a process, but it worked for us.

    I appreciate this post! Bottles don’t always get the credit they deserve. We were certainly thankful for them (although I can’t say we were sorry to see them {finally} leave!). :) :)
    MandyE recently posted Simple PleasuresMy Profile

  2. Buying enough bottles that you don’t have to wash them every time. Get a system which works for you. We loved the Dr Brown bottle. I poured breast milk through one of those detachable bottom bottles and wasted a whole pumping session (mummy brain/literally crying over spilled milk) so I threw them away immediately :-)

    Mama, My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows recently posted A Dirty ProtestMy Profile

    1. I agree completely with investing a lot of bottles. I think we had about 30, most of them purchased second hand from a consignment store. And you’re not the only one to cry over spilled milk. In fact, I called my friend Sara, in tears, after knocking over a bag of milk I’d just expressed, and the first thing I said to her was, “I’m crying over spilled milk!”

  3. I had a love hate relationship with baby bottles, I hated using them because I wanted so desperately to solely breast feed, but my milk never fully came in even though I breast fed for 13months my daughter always had to be topped up with formula. It made me very sad. At the same time lucky for me bottles and formula were invented or my baby would have starved. Despite what some people believe not all breast feeding issues can be overcome even with experts involved.
    Mackenzie Glanville ( recently posted The Bellarine Big 4 Movie Trailer #mummy & usMy Profile

    1. I’ve been watching Sense8 on Netflix, and there’s a scene where a mother has to give up her baby because malnutrition is preventing her from producing milk. Breastfeeding is a privilege that many of us don’t have, for any number of reasons.

  4. Those dishwasher baskets are great!! In the UK we are advised to use special sterilisers which are big hefty cumbersome things that sit on your worktop, or you can get smaller microwaveable ones. I used mine for bottles and for my breast pump AND for nipple shields (oh, we don’t do things by halves here 😉 ) so I felt as if most of my day was spent cleaning and sterilising something or other! x

    Betty and the Bumps recently posted Introducing The New You PlanMy Profile

    1. Those sterilizers are available in the US too, but they don’t seem to come (affordably) in sizes that account for twins or more! It was just easier to buy the largest pot I could find. Also, I’m accustomed to boiling water for sterilization after growing up in Bangladesh, where the tap water isn’t safe to drink, so we’d boil water in bulk for all consumption, including making ice cubes.

  5. We just used standard Avent bottles with M and she loved them and took to the straight away. I had the microwavable steriliser which was a god send. I remember the faf of washing them up..we didn’t have a dishwasher then, it was a nightmare! xx #twinklytuesday
    Sophie @ Mum, M & More recently posted Toddler Bedtime Routine.My Profile

  6. Great post – I have breastfed all my children but all have gone onto bottles after that except my youngest. I am still breastfeeding him and having tried lots of bottles he isn’t interested at all. I think this time we might be skipping from breast to cup but I agree it’s about what the babies need/want #TwinklyTuesday
    Mummy Fever recently posted Family-friendly dining: part threeMy Profile

  7. Never used a lot of bottles. I expressed for daddy to give the eldest bottles sometimes, but we never had more than 4 bottles & just put them in microwave steriliser. With youngest, as only 15 month gap between, I don’t get chance to express as well as feeding her and looking after them both, so she has been breastfed only with no bottles. Which did reduce bottle cleaning work, at least!

    Never seen bottles with removable bottoms as well before! #TwinklyTuesday
    Silly Mummy recently posted DaddyMy Profile

  8. Great post. My daughter was mainly breastfed with the occasional top up bottle. My husband thought the steam stealiser was enough to clean the bottles and so didn’t bother washing them at first. Emma was fine though and her immune system is great. We stopped sterilising once she was 6 months. We wash them by hand now but I throw them in the dishwasher every now and again just to give them a good clean. #TwinklyTuesday
    Emma’s Mamma recently posted Emma and the catMy Profile

  9. Reading this I am so glad that breastfeeding worked really well for me and my boys. With the generous parental leave here in Germany I was able to feed them myself till they were 10 months old. Bottles were only used on rare occasions and I hated the washing and sterilising.
    Thanks for sharing this though. That basket is a great invention!
    Fionnuala recently posted Multicultural Family Life – Meet the Walsh-OlesensMy Profile

  10. This is a helpful post about bottles. Breastfeeding gets a lot of press – and so it should – but some people can’t breastfeed or choose not to for perfectly good reasons. #twinklytuesdays

  11. I remember when Zachary moved onto bottles and they were the bain of my life – and that was with only one child! We didn’t have a dishwasher back then so we had a steriliser. We didn’t even have a microwave so it was a standard water one. We do have a dishwasher now and you have reminded me that if we have another baby, we can use it…eeeeep! You are so right that they are magical things. I think one of my favourite photos is of Zach taking my expressed milk from his daddy. So gorgeous! Thanks for linking this fab post up with #TwinklyTuesday and of course being an awesome host! xxx
    Lisa (mummascribbles) recently posted Twinkly Tuesday 23/06/15My Profile

  12. I used to hate sterilizing all the bottles. We did have a handy microwave one that saved so much time. We used Dr Brown bottles which although were fab seemed to have so many parts!

  13. I didn’t ever use a bottle so I’m still in the baby bottle confusion stage and will need posts like this and information like this if I have another child who needs (or who I want to give a bottle to) so thank you! It does mean I can’t offer my experience here but I can offer my opinion that I think it’s an interesting post! And I like the look of the ventair bendy ones. #twinklytuesday
    Lucy at occupation: (m)other recently posted 10 Rules of Hotel EtiquetteMy Profile

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