Bottle feeding - Better Lives Healthy Futures

Bottle feeding

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If you choose to bottle feed you may still want to give the first few feeds of colostrum (first milk) before going on to bottle feeding.
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Colostrum is full of special types of antibodies to help protect your baby’s health and develop their immune system. There’s more information on this in the links below.

If you choose to bottle feed your baby will only need first stage milk until they are aged one. Unless there is a health reason, in which case your GP or health visitor will advise you.

Read and download this NHS guide to safe bottle feeding for information on how to prepare infant formula and sterilise feeding equipment to minimise the risks to your baby.

Bottles and cups

Image of a two handled free flow sip and flip baby cupOnly milk and water should be served in a bottle – do not allow the use of a bottle in bed at night as can cause tooth decay if continually used throughout the night.

From six months introduce drinking from an appropriate free flow sip ’n’ flip cup and from age one, a bottle should be discouraged.  Avoid ‘valve cups’ and ‘anyway up’ cups as a baby must suck very hard which has the same effect as a baby bottle. Move from a lidded cup to an ‘open cup’ as soon as your child can safely handle one.

Breast milk (recommended) or infant formula should be the main drink up to one year old but from age one year the bottle should be completely discouraged.


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Further information

Expressing breast milk

There may be times that you need or want to express your breastmilk, even if you have chosen not to breastfeed but want to hand express some colostrum before you move to bottle feeding. This page helps talk you through expressing.

Hand expression video

Hand expressing can be useful whether you have chosen to breast or bottle feed. This page has a really useful video showing you how to hand express and talks about when it might be useful.

Bottle feeding advice

If you have made the choice to bottle feed there is a lot to think about such as equipment, sterilising, how to feed your baby and how to make up a bottle. This page has lots of information on these subjects plus more.

NCT feeding advice

NCT offers lots of advice on feeding such as 10 things you need to know, advice on mixed feeding and information to help if you’re not sure if your baby is getting enough milk.

Better Start Bradford

Better Start Bradford work with families to give children the best possible start in life in Bowling and Bakerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton through a range of innovative projects to support them through pregnancy and the earliest years of their children’s lives.