Learn all about our minimalist baby feeding essentials and how to store breast milk safely. These essentials can be used for formula or breast fed bottle babies!
I shared about our first child’s solid food journey in this post and this video. Since we are expecting baby #2, I am going to share the minimalist essentials we used, and plan to use again, for baby feeding in those earlier bottle fed/breastfed days!
I’ll begin by mentioning that our son was breastfed and bottle fed from his very early days of life. This was not by choice, but more of our circumstance.
I very much so wanted to strictly breastfeed my child, but modern western culture does not allow working moms much more than 6-8 weeks off work. I was only able to take 8 weeks off as a teacher, so my son was going to have to be bottle fed at some point in his earlier days of life.
We started him early on pumped milk as well as supplemented some with a homemade formula. Thankfully, he took to bottles well and that was not an obstacle we had to overcome.
I am going to share with you the minimal essentials we used for bottle feeding in the early days of his life. We began solids around 5 1/2 months, and boy was he excited! He hasn’t stopped eating since!
Although he didn’t mind modeling these bottles for me!
The most MINIMALIST baby bottles
I believe that the bottles we used are absolutely brilliantly designed. I recommend them to everyone! Anytime we would feed my son in public, we’d get asked by at least three different people what type of bottle we were using and how cool they were!
I knew I wanted to avoid using plastic for my baby, so I knew I would need to find a glass bottle option. I looked at several different brands of glass bottles, but most were pricey and had so many parts to wash. That is why we went with the Mason Bottle.
It was perfect for us! Mason jars are extremely inexpensive so we stocked up on the 4 oz and 8 oz sizes. I think we have a total of about 30-40 of these size mason jars. You definitely do not need this many just for bottle feeding, but I knew I would use these in the future for food storage as well. Can you really have too many mason jars?
All that was left to purchase was the Mason Bottle Nipples. We did not use the nipple covers or silicone bottles sleeves that you will see advertised. I just did not find them necessary.
The less bottle parts that we had to wash, the better. This set up gave us three items to wash per bottle; the jar, the nipple, and the mason jar ring! Minimalism at its finest!
Watch me assemble our mason bottles in this video
is a bottle warmer necessary?
No, a bottle warmer is definitely not a necessity! You can warm breast milk in a bowl of warm water in about 3 minutes and it is the perfect temp for baby.
However, we were nicely gifted this bottle warmer at our baby shower and loved it! The mason jar bottles fit perfectly inside and it made late night bottle feeds even easier. It has setting for refrigerated milk verses frozen milk and for different amounts of milk to be warmed.
With that being said, if it had not been gifted to us, I would not have purchased my own bottle warmer. A bowl of warm water works just as fast.
My favorite Breast Pump options
I was able to receive my breast pump through my insurance provider and chose the Medela Pump in Style. However, I HATED It! This mama was NOT an overproducer by any means and this Medela pump made it even more difficult for me. I think the stress caused by this pump inhibited my milk production even more, but that’s a story for another day!
I switched to this simple Medela Harmony hand pump for a while before my friend kindly gave me her used Spectra S2 pump! The spectra made a world of a difference in my pumping output and cut my pumping time almost in half! I will definitely get the Spectra S2 pump for this next baby!
The Medela hand pump was much simpler to use and required zero cords or outlets. The only downfall was you could only pump one side at a time. This pump was very convenient for pumping in the car.
I already told you how much we loved our Mason bottle set up! The Mason Bottle set up was MADE for breast milk storage!
I already mentioned I did not want to use plastic for feeding or storage of breast milk. Those plastic bags that are so popular for milk storage might be a space saver in the freezer, but they allow so many toxins into your breast milk which will eventually be consumed by you new baby!
The fat in the mother’s breast milk interacts with the plastic bags. Plastics are lipophilic, meaning they are “fat-loving” and migrate into the milk. This means right from the start of life, babies will be receiving endocrine disruptors from the plastics in your storage bag. (Sourced from Branch Basics blog posts, instagram stories, and testimonials)
Back to our milk storage system, I used the 4 oz or 8 oz jars to pour my pumped milk into. The milk was stored in the fridge for 2-3 days or frozen for future use.
When my son needed a bottle while I was at work, the lid came off the jar and the mason jar nipple ring was screwed on. No transfering of milk from plastic bags to bottles, no fancy parts to attach, and most importantly my milk was not sitting inside plastic for long term storage leaking toxins and endocrine disruptors into the milk.
These are all of our minimalist baby feeding essentials for the early bottle/breastfeeding days! I do not think fancy bottle sanitizers, drying racks, nipple containers, etc are necessary to bottle feed a baby.
The mason jar bottles we used were the definition of simplicity which is exactly what my minimalist mind craves!
Shop my Minimalist Baby Feeding Essentials
8 Oz Mason Bottle Starter Kit (Set of 3) – This kit is not necessary. All we purchased were the mason bottle nipples
Here is some more information about DIYing your Mason bottles if you do not want to purchase a kit.
Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer– not necessary but was nice to have
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