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It is called mixed feeding when you add baby formula to the breastfeeding baby’s diet. Most women nowadays prefer breastfeeding exclusively until the child is 6-9 months old. It is the right age to nourish the child with external milk. However, mixed feeding is a good solution when breastfeeding is not enough to meet the child’s food demands.
You have to learn mixed feeding method, even if the child is not 6 months old. Formula milk will be a part of his diet one day. You may find breastfeeding quite a puzzling thing at that time. So, learn the best mixed feeding method to supplement the child’s diet in the best possible way.
What Are Mixed Feeding Method?
You may probably know mixed feeding requires feeding breast milk and baby formula together. So, is there a specific way of doing this? Can it affect your child’s health if you don’t follow the right process?
Different health experts suggest different ways of mixed feeding. Yes, it can affect the child’s health if you don’t mixed feed properly. Continue reading to reveal some effective mixed feeding methods.
Feed breast milk and baby formula alternatively
It is the first method to try. Mothers with lack of milk supply should trust this mixed feeding method to nourish the baby. It is okay if you can’t produce enough milk to feed the child several times a day. Choose a top-rated baby formula and prepare it.
Now, breastfeed the baby and let him sleep. Keep the baby formula prepared for the next turn. Feed it when the child is hungry. The baby won’t deny if the nipple size is identical to your nipple size.
This method allows the mother to take some rest while keeping the child full. You will have ample breast milk to feed the child in the next turn. It will not affect the child’s health if he is not 6 months old.
Feed breast milk and baby formula together
This mixed feeding method is quite beneficial for new mums. Breastfeeding is a new experience for a newborn child. Bottled milk should not be the first source of food for your baby. He might completely lose interest in breastfeeding. Therefore, you should breastfeed first and then feed baby formula through a bottle.
This method is also quite effective on 6-9 months old infants. Breastfeeding to formula feeding is not so easy for some infants. Mothers need to trick the child to feed the baby formula. So, breastfeed him for a while and then feed through a milk bottle. The baby will suck the milk happily if the nipple size is not quite different.
Choose anyone of these two methods to nourish your child. Your baby will stay fit and healthy if the baby formula is nutrient-rich. Read the complete post if you want to know more about the mixed feeding method.
How to Begin Mixed Feeding?
You know the method and things required for mixed feeding. It won’t be too daunting for you if you know how to start feeding breast milk and baby formula together.
Do not breastfeed the baby for 24 hours
Babies do not find it amusing when their parents feed milk through a bottle. Some babies adapt to the new change easily, some take time, whereas some babies refuse it. You have to make it easier for the child. So, use a breast pump to collect breast milk in a bottle. Now, use that bottle to feed your baby.
Do it for a day to see how the baby reacts. Choose the right size nipple with a smooth flow of milk. Thus, the child will easily adapt to new feeding method. He won’t refuse to consume formula milk if you are already feeding him through a bottle.
Do not force the child to consume milk
It is okay if your child is not showing interest in formula milk. Do not force the child to consume it. He might not be hungry enough to feed right now. Breastfeed him first when your baby is hungry. Give the milk bottle when you can’t feed anymore.
Such a gentle approach helps the child in adapting to the new feeding method. Sometimes it is the bottle that infants don’t find comfy. They try to suck milk, find it too tiring, and start crying. You should carefully pick the bottle with the right nipple size. Check how smoothly the baby can suck milk through it. If it is tough, choose another bottle.
Feed formula milk only when breastfeeding is not possible
Whether you breastfeed the child or feed breast milk through the bottle, make it the first food of your child. You must give priority to breastfeeding, even if the child is 6-9 months old. Breast milk is filled with nutrients the child needs during the first two years of his life.
Switch to formula milk when there isn’t enough breast milk to satisfy the baby. Thus you can ensure your baby is receiving nutrient-rich meals every day.
Check milk flow rate and temperature before feeding the baby
Some milk bottles have quite a narrow hold in the nipple. Babies spend a lot of energy to suck milk. They get tired and sleep hungry. Some babies don’t even cry because they get too tired. Parents should fill the milk bottle with baby formula and pour some milk to check the flow rate. Carry more than three bottles at a time to quickly switch to a new one if the current bottle has poor milk flow rate.
Don’t forget to check milk temperature. It should not be too hot or too cool. The bottled milk should have temperature similar to breast milk. Thus, the child won’t experience any health issue due to mixed feeding.
Heat the milk in boiling water
Do not use a kitchenware or microwave to boil formula milk. Prepare the milk and pour it in a milk bottle. Now, put that milk bottle in boiling water. This way you can heat formula milk evenly without reducing its nutritional value.
Can Mixed Feeding Affect Your Milk Supply?
Mixed feeding is a good way of taking care of the child’s nutrient needs and hunger. However, it can affect your milk supply. Every mother produces breast milk depending on the child’s breastfeeding needs. There will be more milk to feed the baby if his diet increases.
It is quite rare to have a lack of milk supply. Mixed feeding comes into action when a woman faces lack of milk supply problem. It often affects mothers, who avoid breastfeeding the baby. That’s why it is important to breastfeed as long as possible.
Can You Feed Breast Milk And Baby Formula In 12 Hours Interval?
Mixed feeding may seem more convenient but it is not! You have to prepare formula milk, fill it in the bottle, boil it, and store it in an insulated bottle. Breastfeeding is quite simple. Just hold the baby in your arms and start feeding.
Unfortunately, breast milk loses its ability to strengthen the baby’s immune system after 6 months. The child still needs to cope with a variety of diseases. Therefore, doctors suggest introducing immunity-booster meals and formula milk.
You can follow the mixed feeding methods or feeding breast milk and baby formula in 12 hours interval. Breastfeed in the day time and formula milk during the night time. Thus, your partner can also share the feeding responsibility and you can take some rest.
Does Mixed Feeding Affect The Child?
Unlike adults, infants take time to adapt to the new diet. Mixed feeding is a new kind of diet. The baby will experience some changes when you start feeding baby formula with breast milk. Your child might look sleepy most of the time. His urination and bowel patterns may also change.
The baby will pass dark colored and more formed stool. It may have weird odor and sometimes loose too. The bowel pattern changes will start taking place since the first day. It is natural and you should not worry if the baby has one or two loose motions.
Can You Breastfeed Exclusively After Trying Mixed Feeding?
You should switch to breastfeeding exclusively as soon as possible if you have a newborn child. Babies in this age can’t process formula milk easily. Breast milk is easy to digest and more nutrient-rich. Therefore, new mothers should breastfeed exclusively as long as possible.
Suppose your child is 6 months old, you will have to start feeding complimentary foods. This change is necessary for a better growth of the child. Supplement breastfeeding with high-quality foods to improve overall health of the child.
Mixed feeding should not be a challenging thing for you anymore. You know the best mixed feeding method and how to make diet changes. Take care of precautions shared in this post. Make gradual diet changes to keep the child healthy and relaxed. Thus, your baby will happily consume new foods, stay happy most of the time, and entertain you a lot.