You may have heard about mixed feeding. New mothers often consider mixed feeding or combination feeding. They believe it is a better way of nourishing the child than breastfeeding. Although it’s not true, it might be necessary.
Breastfeeding should be the only method of feeding the baby for the first 6 months. Consider mixed feeding as an alternative option if frequent breastfeeding is not possible. Follow perfect breastfeeding and formula feeding routine to keep the child fit and healthy.
This post will provide a complete breast milk and milk powder mixed feeding guide. Continue reading to learn how to follow a safe mixed feeding routine.
What Is the Right Mixed Feeding Method?
Many women have no prior experience of nursing a child. Therefore, mixed feeding may be a completely new thing for them. It is something they never thought to do until the child is 6 months old. Everyone needs to learn it at some point in time. Do not worry if you are trying it before 6 months age of the child.
The amount of formula milk should be equal to the amount of breast milk you can provide. Follow the below-given methods to supplement the child with baby formula accurately.
1. Supplementary method
This method requires supplementing formula milk or other types of milk after breastfeeding. You have to breastfeed first and then feed formula milk to the baby. Your baby will automatically stop sucking milk from the bottle once he is full.
This method is recommended for 6 months old babies. You have to pick a bottle with the right size nipple. The nipple’s size should be the same as yours. Thus, the child will have no issue sucking it.
Here you have to notice that the child is sucking milk effortlessly. Formula milk feeding should not be a laborious task for the child otherwise he will get tired. The child may sleep for a while and then he will start crying for the food.
Carefully check the nipple size and the secretion of milk from it. Feed baby formula in a perfect bottle so that your child does not lose interest in breastfeeding.
2. Substitute method
This method is quite effective for mothers with health issues or busy work schedule. You can feed breast milk and formula milk separately. Begin the day by breastfeeding and then feed formula milk in the next turn.
A newborn baby needs milk within 2-3 hours interval. So, first, you can breastfeed and then feed formula milk after 2-3 hours. Do not try it if your baby is not 6 months old. Breastfeed as long as possible if you are nursing a newborn child. Try mixed feeding only if you can’t breastfeed.
6 months old babies can easily digest formula milk. They are old enough to process complimentary meals. So, the substitute mixed feeding method is ideal for a 6-month old infant. Choose top-quality baby formula to provide the child with all the missing nutrients of breast milk.
Should You Give Priority to Mixed Feeding?
No, you should not give priority to mixed feeding until the child is 1-year old. The milk quantity significantly increases after five days of delivery. You can provide enough milk to feed the child several times a day.
Give top priority to breastfeeding
Always give top priority to breastfeeding. Your child needs breast milk for proper physical and intellectual development. Breast milk provides colostrums to strengthen the immune system. It loses colostrum after six months. It is the time when you should try mixed feeding methods.
Try mixed feeding to nourish a newborn child when there is not enough milk supply. It is also a suitable solution if the baby is too weak to suck breast milk. You should only breastfeed the baby if both you and the child have no health issues.
Feed on demand
Always feed the child on demand. Wait until your baby is hungry. Look for the signs of food demands and then feed him. Breastfeeding intervals get longer as the baby gets older. Remember that interval to recognize the sign. Most kids cry for food when they are hungry. So, do not ignore it too long. Feed the child to keep him calm and comfortable.
What Are Some False Mixed Feeding Beliefs?
People believe in many baseless things, which they have heard from elders. Do not listen to anything which has no scientific base, especially when it is about feeding the baby. Avoid the following mixed feeding mistakes to take better care of your child.
Breast milk and formula milk are the same
Breast milk is way more nutritious than formula milk or other types of milk. It provides your child with life-saving nutrients. It aids in the rapid growth of the child. Breast milk is easy to digest and the child can easily absorb its nutrients. The child doesn’t even need water when he is consuming breast milk daily. Therefore, breast milk is much better than other alternatives.
It is safe to feed cow’s milk to the newborn child
Newborn babies find it extremely tough to digest cow’s milk. Formula milk is a much better alternative to cow’s milk. A newborn baby can also digest goat milk, but cow’s milk can cause health issues. Prefer formula milk if you are trying mixed feeding to nourish the baby. Avoid animal milk or other types of solutions.
It is quite easy to prepare baby formula
First of all, formula milk should have the same consistency as breast milk. That’s quite tough to achieve, especially when you don’t have any prior experience. A lot of people think it is like preparing a supplement drink for adult. Preparing baby formula is much tougher than preparing health drinks for adult.
You have to mix the milk powder in the right quantity to maintain a perfect milk consistency. The water should be pure and free of germs. You need to use a sterilizer frequently to keep milk bottles clean. Breastfeeding will seem much easier once you try mixed feeding.
How to Choose High-Quality Baby Formula for Mixed Feeding?
Consider the following things when looking for top-quality baby formula:
1. Type of baby formula
You can find many types of formula milk on the market. The options include cow’s milk-based formula, hydrolyzed formula, soy milk formula, powdered formula, specialized formula, centralized liquid formula, and so on.
Parents should carefully assess each kind of baby formula. Learn their pros and cons and assess how each type’s formula milk affects the baby’s health. Consider a baby formula that is easy to digest for the baby.
2. Is it easily accessible?
You will have to maintain a steady supply of formula milk. You should not change the type of formula time-and-again because it can severely affect the infant’s health. Pick a type and a brand that is easily accessible.
Make sure the local retailers or an online retailer can provide the required product whenever you want. Do not pick a rare type of product because it might not be available forever!
3. Is it easy to prepare?
You will need adequate help to prepare the baby formula on your first attempt. The manufacturer should offer easy instructions and a simple method to prepare it. Online instructions will make the job much easier.
4. Is it cost-effective?
Shortlist products that you can easily afford. You don’t know how long you may need to feed formula milk to your newborn baby. It will be a part of your child’s daily diet if he is 6 months old. Choose a baby formula brand, which is affordable and easily accessible. Do not pick something out of your budget. You may face financial issues in maintaining its regular supply!
5. Carefully assess big marketing claims
Companies make many big claims to allure the buyer. Do they always reveal the fact? That does not happen quite often. Therefore, you should not believe in big marketing claims. Believe in scientific studies. Carefully evaluate each claim made by the brand. Avoid a product that makes claims too far from reality.
6. Read customer reviews
The final thing you should check before buying is buyers’ reviews. Many parents feed formula milk to babies. They also share their experience online with other parents. People openly condemn a product if it does not meet their needs. You can easily find and reject formula milk brands with poor reputation. Thus, it can be so easy to shortlist a top-rated and feature-rich formula milk brand.
Your baby’s diet will increase and change with time. You should be ready for each change and pick reliable products to nourish the child. Do not reduce breastfeeding. Formula feeding is helpful, but not as nourishing as breastfeeding.
You must consult with the doctor before changing the child’s diet. Never make any diet change without assessing the child’s health. Switch to mixed feeding only when your doctor suggests it. Thus, you won’t put the child’s at risk and new diet changes won’t affect his health.