Combining Breast And Bottle Feeding: What You Need To Know

Everything You Need To Know About Combining Breast And Bottle Feeding

Want to switch to mixed feeding, but not sure how to go about it? Ohmymag brings you all the useful tips you need.

Mixed Feeding

1. Advantages: Mixed feeding involves alternating between breastfeeding and bottle feeding: it's much more convenient than exclusive breastfeeding when you have to go back to work, especially since you can express and keep your milk in advance if you have to stay away (4 days in the refrigerator at 4° C, or up to 3 months in the freezer).

In addition, this technique allows the father to participate actively, including giving night feeds: a very good point, which reinforces the relationship between the father and the child while allowing the mother to take a little rest.

2. How to go about it: It is advisable to wait at least 4 to 6 weeks to start mixed feeding, until the lactation is well established and baby places their tongue to suckle. You can express your own milk, or use an age-appropriate infant formula.

In the beginning, it is better to alternate breast and bottle: it is necessary that the breasts are sufficiently stimulated so that the lactation continues. This alternation also limits the risks of clogging. Afterwards, you can combine several baby bottles, but it is better to keep 3 breast feeds per day if possible.

Another important point to know - baby drinks more milk and faster via bottle than breast. Care must be taken, otherwise baby may feel frustrated during breastfeeding: therefore opt for a slow flow bottle. Also hold baby in a semi-sitting position with one hand behind their neck to support them: the milk in the bottle will end up in a horizontal position, which will further reduce the flow.

At the beginning of the bottle, let baby take the teat by themself, and take breaks by removing it a little from time to time. This allows the baby to catch their breath and better perceive when they are no longer hungry.

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3. The amount of milk per baby bottle: The amount of milk needed by your baby varies according to their age and weight. The best thing to do is to seek advice from your pediatrician.

However, it should be remembered that when using mixed feeding, baby bottles are usually more numerous but less full than for exclusive breastfeeding: this helps to keep baby to a good pace. For information, a baby aged 2 to 3 months may need a bottle of 120 to 150 ml every 3 hours.

• Emma Jensen