How many baby bottles do I need?
The last month or so before your baby is born is hectic. You want to make sure that you have everything that you need before the baby arrives, but all of the details can be a bit overwhelming. Diapers and noisiest and blankets and bottles… how much is too much? Realistically, how many baby bottles do you need?
1. Your needs will vary
How many bottles you need is going to depend a lot on your feeding plans. For a baby that is going to be fed primarily at the breast, you will probably only need about five bottles. If your baby is going to be drinking from a bottle at least part of the time, then you will need closer to 12. A good rule of thumb is to think about how many bottles you are likely to use a day and buy enough bottles to cover about three days of feeding. This means you won’t have to clean and sanitize bottles and nipples every day.
2. Consider your storage space
Bottles are going to take storage space that you may not have. You might be tempted to overbuy just to be on the safe side, but remember that you are going to need dedicated storage space for bottles, nipples, and other bottle accessories. The more you buy, the more space you’ll have to find. If you are living with limited storage space, then you are probably going to have to make do with fewer bottles.
3. Consider your budget
Baby bottles are inexpensive compared to many baby items, but they can still be a pricey investment. If you are unable to buy enough bottles right away, you can always buy more over time. Under buying bottles is inconvenient but you can always buy more.
4. How often you wash bottles
How often do you think you’ll be able to wash bottles? You are going to be exhausted and overwhelmed for those first few weeks. If your baby is primarily bottle-fed, you are going to be going through a lot of bottles. Even if you are primarily breastfeeding, you will still use some bottles. Consider your circumstances. You’re much more likely to be able to wash bottles every day or every other day if you have a dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, washing bottles is going to take a lot more time and effort, and you’re probably not going to get a chance to do it as often and will need more bottles to compensate.
5. You don’t have to sanitize for every use
You can sanitize your bottles every week or so, not after every use. As long as your bottles are getting washed regularly and thoroughly, you don’t need to sanitize them every day. This will make it, so you don’t have to buy new bottles as often and cut down on your need to buy as many bottles.
6. Preparing bottles ahead of time
Preparing bottles ahead of time can impact the number of bottles you want to keep on hand. For a busy parent of a newborn, it might be a good idea to prep bottles ahead of time, if possible. If you want to try to keep a bottle or two on hand for quick access, you might want to consider buying a couple of extra bottles. Even if you are breastfeeding most of the time, you’re still probably going to be using bottles for when you need to leave the house without the baby or to give your partner a chance to be involved with feeding time.
7. How often should I buy bottles?
Something to remember is that the bottles you buy for your newborn don’t have to last you forever. Your bottles are going to need to be replaced about every two months, depending on the material that they are made from. Plastic will need to be replaced more often than glass, but glass bottles are easier to break. You will need four-ounce bottles for your newborn, but at four months, you’re going to want to upgrade to the eight or nine-ounce bottles as your baby’s appetite increases. So when you’re considering how many bottles to buy, you don’t have to worry about making them stretch out indefinitely.
8. Does your baby go to daycare?
You will need more bottles for a baby that goes to daycare than for a baby that stays home. When you pack your baby’s things for a day at daycare, you have to think of how many bottles to send with them. A newborn will eat about every three hours, so they could need three bottles depending on when their morning feeding takes place. While some daycares will kindly wash and sanitize any bottles than they use, this is not universal. When you pick up your baby from daycare after work or school, you may not feel like going home and washing those used bottles immediately. You are probably going to want to make sure you have enough bottles to cover two days of daycare. That will make your life a little easier.
There isn’t a hard and fast rule for how many bottles you will need to buy to meet your baby’s needs. You need to consider several factors to come up with the right answer for your circumstances. You need to weigh convenience and cost, take into consideration your choice of feeding style, and think about things like how often your baby will be in someone else’s care. Every parent wants to feel prepared before the baby comes, and it can be easy to stress out over the little details. Don’t let how many bottles you need to be one of those overwhelming details.