Bottle feeding advice

It is recommended to exclusively breastfeed your baby until around 6 months of age. There is no alternative to breastmilk that will provide the same optimal balance of nutrition and protection during a baby’s growth and development. However, sometimes when breastfeeding may be difficult or not possible for a variety of reasons including illness, or the mother’s return to paid work.  At such times when breastfeeding is not possible, bottle feeding may be introduced.

For mums who are unable to breastfeed or express breastmilk to meet all of their baby’s requirements, mixed feeding with infant formula may be considered. The decision to use infant formula is an important and complex one with many considerations.

Once babies are on formula and their reliance on breastmilk is being reduced it can be difficult to reverse this feeding style, particularly if breastmilk is not being expressed to maintain supply, as your own milk supply will diminish.

It is important to seek advice from your healthcare professional in advance of making a decision to transition from breastfeeding to either partial or total infant formula feeding.

Whether you choose to mix feed with expressed breastmilk or with infant formula, here are some tips to assist.

Tips for bottle feeding

  • If complementary feeding is needed, it is best to wait for breastfeeding to become established, at least 6–8 weeks before introducing a bottle.
  • When possible, always offer the breast first, followed by the bottle with expressed breastmilk if you are doing top up feeds. Otherwise, expressed breastmilk in a bottle can be used to feed your little one by a babysitter if you are away from your baby.
  • If your baby is being bottle fed while you are away from your baby, if your circumstances allow it, try to express at feeding times to maintain your supply. Adopt the practice of expressing at least the same amount of breastmilk your baby takes from a bottle to keep up your supply.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommend that all infant feeding equipment be sterilised until the infant is at least 12 months old. Bottles and teats should be sterilised after each use and stored safely for as long as you use them.

There are several safe and reliable ways to sterilise infant feeding equipment.

First wash the feeding equipment in hot water with a bottle or teat brush before sterilisation to ensure no traces of milk or milk residue remain, rinse with hot water and air dry, or alternatively dry with a clean paper towel.

Sterilise bottles and feeding equipment with one of the following methods:

Fully submerge all infant feeding equipment in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Wash hands before removing the feeding equipment. Dry and store in a clean and dry location.

Steam steriliser (electric)

Ensure that all feeding equipment is dry and free from residual water before placing in the steam steriliser with teat and bottle openings facing down. Use the steriliser according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Wash hands before removing all items and store safely in a clean and dry location.

Sterilising solution

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparing the solution, combining the correct amount of sterilising solution or tablet with the correct volume of water in a clean, plastic container. 

It is important that you fully immerse the bottles and teats in the container and ensure that no air bubbles are trapped inside them. Leave the bottles and teats in the solution for the required amount of time. 

Wash your hands before removing the infant feeding equipment from the solution. Do not rinse off the sterilising solution or there will be a risk of re-contamination. 

Drain the bottles and teats well on a clean dry surface. Bottles and teats can stay sterilised in the sterilising solution until needed for up to 24 hours.

After sterilising

After sterilising your feeding equipment store any equipment not being used immediately in a clean container in the fridge.

Re-sterilise all infant feeding equipment every 24 hours whether used or unused.

  • If complementary feeding is needed, it is best to wait for breastfeeding to become established, at least 6–8 weeks before introducing a bottle.
  • When possible, always offer the breast first, followed by the bottle with infant formula if you are doing top up feeds.
  • Introduce mixed feeding slowly to allow your little one to make a smooth transition to mixed feeding.
  • This will also allow you to keep up your own breastmilk supply. It may take at least 3 to 4 weeks to achieve the desired mix of breast and bottle feeding.

Breastfeeding is best for mother and baby and support should be accessed early if difficulties exist with feeding, attachment, low supply, or any other aspect of feeding. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), recommends exclusive breastfeeding to around 6 months, while the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age and beyond.

If breastfeeding cannot be used as the sole form of nutrition for infants, a2 Platinum® Premium infant formula may be selected by families who would like to choose a formula based on our a2 MilkTM. for overall wellbeing. If after two weeks on a2 Platinum® Premium infant formula, unsettled behaviour persists, medical advice should be sought.

In addition, if you are still breastfeeding, your diet should be reviewed by an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), experienced in the area of allergy and intolerance. To find an Accredited Practising Dietitian in NZ visit Dietitians NZ.

For infants over six months of age through to 12 months, a2 Platinum® follow-on formula can be used either as a follow-on from a2 Platinum® infant formula, or introduced to your child for the first time if transitioning from exclusive breastfeeding. For active toddlers from 1 to 3 years whose intake of nutrients and energy from their usual diet may be inadequate for growth and development, a2 Platinum® Premium toddler milk drink may be used to supplement the diet.

Find out more at:

New Zealand Ministry of Health – Eating for Health Babies and Toddlers 

In New Zealand, to find and accredited practising dietitian in your area, visit Dietitians NZ.

Please refer to the product page under our products for safe preparation information.

  • Check expiry date of formula on base of can to ensure the formula has not passed its expiry (use-by) date.
  • Keep the scoop in the can when not in use. There is no need to wash the scoop after preparing a bottle. However, if the scoop gets wet accidentally, you will need to wash and dry it thoroughly before putting it back in the can.
  • Always keep formula in its original can and cover with the plastic lid to prevent contamination of the powder. Do not transfer the powder to another container because this is a high risk of contamination.
  • Once a can of powdered formula has been opened, it can be kept safely for four weeks if stored in a cool dry place. Discard any unused formula after four weeks.
  • The Feeding Guide provided on each can of a2 Platinum® Premium infant formula, follow-on formula, and toddler milk drink, is there to guide you on how much and how often to feed your baby. Different mixing ratios and scoops may be used for other infant formula products, so it is important to specifically follow the instructions on the can when preparing a2 Platinum® Infant Formula.
  • There is much individuality in how much each baby will drink and variation in the amount that the same baby will drink from day to day. The following is a guide to how much babies of different ages will need to drink and the frequency of consumption. It is important to always be guided by your baby and allow your baby to drink to satiation point, even if this means discarding any unused formula in the bottle. Unlike breastmilk which changes composition as baby grows, infant formula concentration remains constant so it is only the volume consumed which changes as the baby grows.
  • It is important to prepare the infant formula with the right amount of powder and water, as per the instructions provided on the can.  This will help ensure your baby’s nutritional requirements are being met. If you add too much powder to your baby’s bottle your baby’s feed will be too concentrated. This can lead to constipation, causing your baby abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort when trying to do a poo. If you add too much water, your baby’s feeds will be too diluted and they will not receive enough nutrition to help them grow well.
  • Do not prepare formula with a different concentration to that which is prescribed on the can, unless under the specific guidance and instruction of a qualified healthcare professional such as your GP or paediatrician.
  • Guidelines aside, around 6 wet nappies daily, as well as a developmentally growing and thriving infant indicate that your baby is likely to be receiving enough infant formula.

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