How to Manage Nighttime Bottle Feeding
It’s taken me about 3 months to really get good at timing night feedings for the baby. The little one drinks about 3 six ounce bottles during the night (3 ounces at a time). Living in Colorado, it gets pretty dry and sometimes it’s very clear that she just needs the moisture. The first month I was a zombie, waking up and mixing each bottle individually in the dark. We tried Dr Brown’s mixing pitcher for a while, but I found that to be an extra step that took more time for milk. No one really tells you quite how to do bottle feeding during the night, but I’ll share what I’ve found to work the best for us:
- Mix up all three bottles right before going to bed. She drinks about 3 ounces at every feeding, so each bottle has double that, 6 oz.
- The first bottle I leave out for the first two feedings. The other two bottles get stored in the fridge (or if you have enough cold paks, you can store the bottles in a mini cooler that you can place by the bed–this is really great to avoid having to walk to the kitchen during the night. Just keep the cooler by your bedside).
- Timing the feedings is the key. Each bottle allows for two feedings. No need to do anything after the first feedings. It’s right after the second feeding, when the baby finishes, that you want to get up and get the next bottle. It’s important to get the next bottle right after she’s done, because you’ll need time for the bottle to warm to room temperature. The nights I forget to get that bottle right after the feeding–and we have all said, “okay, let me rest for 10 more minutes, then I’ll get it” and then never wake up!–I find myself having to go to the kitchen and mix up a whole new bottle. Most babies won’t drink cold milk. If yours does, you are lucky!
But that’s basically it. Once your next bottle warms to room temperature, you’ll have two more feedings. For cleaning the bottles, we generally do that in the evenings before going to bed. The bottle rack works much better than trying to put bottles into the dish washer for us. Whether I’m rinsing them out or fully cleaning them out, I always toss them into a microwave sterilizer bag. We started out with the Medela ones, which work just fine, but a little secret from my experience, go for the Dr. Brown bags. They’re cheaper, and they are about 20% longer so you can fit more bottles. They work exactly the same, but half the price for the same 5-pack and bigger! [pk_check_list underline=”false”]