Combination feeding or mixed feeding is a way of feeding your baby both with formula and breast milk. It may seem like the majority of women opt for either or, but the growing number of mothers choose to mix it up and mixed feed their baby. There are many reasons why someone may consider combination feeding.
Sometimes in the beginning of the parenthood journey breast milk has a tough time being produced so the baby’s nutrition needs to be taken care of via formula.
At other times, mothers go back to work and just have no time for breastfeeding so the formula needs to be introduced alongside mother’s milk.
Whatever your reasons for combined feeding may be you need to make sure that you’re doing what’s best for your baby and here’s how.
Introduce a bottle to your baby
If your baby has only been breastfed and you’d like to switch to formula, you need to properly introduce the bottle to the baby. Babies more easily accept nipples because it’s the most natural way of feeding. Conversely, feeding with the bottle needs a bit more care.
The best age to acquaintance your kid with the bottle is between two and six weeks of age. If you’ve missed this window, don’t worry. The most important thing to have in mind then offering your baby the bottle for the first time is their mood. It would be optimal if they’re cheery and not too hungry.
Positioning is important
Before you get the bottle you should figure out how to hold your baby while bottle feeding. Try holding your baby a bit differently when you give them the bottle than when you breastfeed just so they realize the distinction.
Additionally, it’s significant to hold a bottle at an angle so the air doesn’t get sucked in with the milk which could make your baby a bit gassy and uncomfortable.
Don’t fret if your baby refuses the bottle at first. Try giving the bottle to your partner. The idea is that with the baby being far away from your milk they’ll be more eager to accept formula.
Choose age-appropriate formula
Children of different ages have vastly distinct nutritional needs. For example, infants need to get a half of their daily calories from fat which isn’t the case with the older children.
Also, from months four to six solids are being introduced to the baby’s diet and they get nutrients from that food as well, whereas infants are being fed milk or formula exclusively.
To ensure that your child is getting what they need, read the labels very carefully. If you have a kid that’s one year old or older a good choice would be Enfagrow stage 3 milk supplement formula.
Don’t give your newborn cow’s milk
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make when feeding their babies is that they think that cow milk is good enough for an infant. Cow’s milk isn’t rich in proper nutrients which your baby needs to grow.
On the other hand, a lot of babies are lactose intolerant and giving them cow’s milk may cause some further trouble.
Use breast pump regularly
Some days you may be busy at work and you’ll only be able to give formula to your kid. This is completely normal, some days while mixed feeding will be more formula heavy but occasionally you’ll only nurse them with your own milk.
However, you need to be extra careful that you don’t forget to pump even on the days when you’re not giving your kid your own milk.
Clogged milk ducts are something that most of the breastfeeding mothers have dealt with and you only need to be persistent with your pumping to unclog that duct. Unfortunately, clogged ducts may lead to mastitis which is accompanied by very painful breasts, a fever, shivers and weakness.
If you have these symptoms please contact your general practitioner.
If you’re one of the mothers who would like to incorporate more breastfeeding after only giving their infant a formula for some time, here are some tips for you. The action which may restart your flow is quite wonderful and simple – cuddling up with your baby.
It would be optimal that you hold them skin to skin since then the mother-child bond is even more strengthened. When you hold your baby close a hormone called Oxytocin is released, aptly named “love hormone”. This hormone helps with the milk flow as well and may restart it.
Flow preference can be dealt with
Some babies develop something that is called flow preference. It means that they prefer the easy, fast flow of the bottle over the flow of the breast which can sometimes lead to a complete nursing strike.
There’s no need to panic. Try expressing a bit of your milk before the baby latches onto your nipple. If this doesn’t work try to bring the bottle to a minimum, or cut it off completely for at least a couple of days until your baby accepts nursing again.