WHAT IS COMBINATION FEEDING?
Combination feeding is the mix of breastfeeding and bottle feeding. The bottle could be full of breast milk or formula. Sometimes it is also called mixed feeding or partial breastfeeding. Such feeding allows you to feed your baby in a way that suits you and you little one’s needs.
There are many emotional and physical reasons why parents decide to combine breast with bottle feeding. For example:
- Returning to work or being away (your baby need to take bottle while you are away)
- Is difficult to breastfeed
- Want to use a bottle for quicker breastfeeding
- You are bottle feeding your baby and want to start breastfeeding
It doesn’t matter what is the reason, it is very important that you and your baby are happy. Talk to your health visitor – they can give you some advices on this.
It is good idea to start combination feeding when your baby is 6-8 months old, when breastfeeding is well established. But remember that you and your baby is unique and it can be different for everyone.
Basically, it is the best to have combination feeding using only the breast milk. That’s because your baby gets the best nutrition and you as a New Mom has some breaks between feedings.
If you want to start mixed feeding with breast milk and formula here are some main tips to do that:
- You should reduce the number of feeds gradually
- Yu can offer formula feeds before, after, during or instead of breastfeed
- Start it few weeks before you are going back to work
- Before introducing a formula to your baby – you should talk to a health visitor or nurse
- It helps to drop breastfeeds when it is convenient for you
- To begin try with one bottle feed per day
- Do breast feeds and formula feeds at the same time each day
- It is a good idea that your partner can do a bottle feeding, while you can have some rest
If you were unable to breastfeed and now you want to start combination feeding. It is possible, but it takes time. It is all about supply and demand. But if you finally decided to start breastfeeding, follow such advices:
- The more you breastfeed you baby, the more milk you make
- The skin-to-skin contact encourage your body to make milk
- Express your breastmilk regularly
- Choose time when your baby is relaxed and not too hungry
- Decrease the number of bottle feedings
- Try to use lactation products or consult with lactation consultant
Remember that it is natural and normal to have combination feeding. You don’t need to feel sad or anger that you are using it. Every mother and her baby is completely different and there are many reasons why mixed feeing will be the best for you both. If you still worry about this – talk to health visitor or nurse.