Is Mixed Feeding A Right Solution?

Is Mixed Feeding A Right Solution

What Is Mixed Feeding And How It Affects The Child’s Growth?

There is no better alternative to breastfeeding when it comes to improving the child and mother’s health. A newborn child can develop perfectly if the mum feeds breast milk on demand. It won’t be the only source of food for a long time. Parents can supplement breastfeeding with formula milk when the baby is 6 months old.

Most women have no issues with breastfeeding. They are perfectly capable of nurturing the baby. However, some health conditions prevent mothers from feeding the child. Babies also find it quite tough to consume when they are ill. Therefore, health-care providers suggest mixed feeding.

What are the features of mixed feeding? Is it good for your child? Continue reading to reveal some important facts about it.

When You Should Consider Mixed Feeding?

Babies look quite relaxed when they are full after breastfeeding. Your child will sleep calmly once you soothe his hunger. Suppose the baby is crying after breastfeeding and your breasts feel empty, there is some issue with milk supply. You might not be producing an ample amount of milk to fill the baby’s tummy.

How to find out the baby isn’t getting enough milk?

Babies cannot ask for milk when they aren’t getting enough. They simply cry or give other signs to gain your attention. Crying does not often mean the child is hungry. It can be a sign of discomfort or a health issue. You should check the baby’s nappy to know whether you are soothing his hunger or not.

There should be 6-8 wet nappies or at least 5 wet diapers if the baby is full. That’s how much a baby urinates when he is getting a sufficient amount of breast milk. The baby will defecate every day.

He will get quite active once he is 6-8 weeks old. You can spot a smile on your baby’s face and play with him. The baby will look upset and cry most of the time if he is hungry. This sign indicates the child is not getting enough milk.

When is mixed feeding necessary?

Some women can have breastfeeding issues. Cracked or bloody nipples can prevent a mother from feeding her child. Infectious diseases, like active tuberculosis, HIV, herpes on the breast, and HTLV also prevent mothers from breastfeeding. It won’t be safe to feed the child in such conditions.

Consult with the doctor if you are experiencing a health condition. Certain medications can affect milk quality. The doctor may suggest you prohibit or limit breastfeeding. It’s the time when you will have to consider mixed feeding.

How Soon You Can Start Mixed Feeding?

The World Health Organization does not recommend new mums to try mixed feeding for the first six months. Every mother may not follow this guideline due to health issues and other reasons.

Health-care experts recommend mixed feeding only when breastfeeding is firmly established. It is not a wise decision to introduce a bottle before breastfeeding. The baby might not take interest in it once he is habitual of a milk bottle.

You should try to delay mixed feeding as long as possible. Thus, the mother can establish an emotional bond with the child and take better care of him.  

Mothers, who have fed the baby for several weeks, can prepare for mixed feeding. Try it only when you can’t provide enough breast milk. Start the preparation as soon as possible to ensure your baby can adapt to the new diet without any issue. Thus, it will be a comfortable change for you and the baby.

How to Prepare for Mixed Feeding?

Whether it is a health condition, lack of milk supply, or something else, stay prepared to feed the baby. You will need a pack of high-quality formula milk, feeding bottles, and a sterilizer. Arrange these things and do not rush. Check the reviews of top formula milk brands and then choose the best one.

Pick milk bottles with a nipple similar to the size of your nipple. Learn how to boil the milk properly. You should also learn how warm the milk should be to feed the baby. It will be quite helpful if you can feed breast milk more than baby formula. Thus, mixed feeding won’t affect your child’s health.

What Are the Benefits of Mixed Feeding?

A mother would never willingly try mixed feeding if the child is not 6 months old. There is no need to get worried about it if breastfeeding alone can’t meet your child’s needs. Mixed feeding also has certain perks, which are as follows:

The baby won’t be hungry anymore

There is nothing more important than keeping the baby full. Newborn babies demand milk 8-12 times. This frequency reduces with the baby’s growing age, but his milk demands increase. The child should not be hungry! Hunger will affect his mood and health.

You should switch to mixed feeding when you are worried that breast milk is not enough. It is a wise decision, which you must make in time.

Assess the signs of hunger, consult with a pediatric doctor, and then make the right decision. The doctor will most probably recommend mixed feeding instead of keeping the child hungry.

Your partner can share the feeding responsibility

Only the mother takes care of the child while breastfeeding. The partner can offer emotional support, but sometimes that’s not enough. Mixed feeding allows your partner to take care of the child. He can feed the baby when the child wakes up for food during the nighttime.

Mixed feeding allows the mother to take ample rest. You can recover your health condition faster if you take proper rest. You will be able to breastfeed the child properly as soon as you get healthy.

The baby won’t starve when the mother is not around

Babies need food several times a day. Working women get back to their work after 4-6 months of delivery. They get busy, but the child does not know anything about it. He will seek food whenever he feels hungry.

Mixed feeding helps working women in nurturing the baby properly when they are at work. You can carry formula milk in a bottle and store it in an insulated bag to feed the baby whenever required. Your child won’t stay hungry when you are working. That’s a key advantage of mixed feeding.

It extends breastfeeding time

Even if you can breastfeed the child for a while, it’s enough to keep him healthy. Formula milk might make most of the child’s diet! The baby won’t rely completely on formula milk. Your child will breastfeed much longer and stay healthy. The baby can start consuming complimentary meals after 6 months. This change will not affect his digestive system if you are mixed feeding him for the last few months.  

What Are Disadvantages of Mixed Feeding?

Some babies can lose interest in breast milk due to mixed feeding. They may like the taste of formula milk more than breast milk. It is a genuine concern associated with mixed feeding. Other disadvantages include the following:

Health risks

Many germs and bacteria can get into the child’s body through contaminated milk or bottle. It is not easy for a newborn child to digest formula milk. He may suffer from diarrhea and other gestational health issues.

The chances of disease increase when you supplement breastfeeding with baby formula. Do not prepare thick formula milk. Sterilize milk bottles regularly. You will significantly reduce the risk of health issues this way.

Insufficient nutrients

Breast milk is a nutrient-rich food for the newborn baby. Formula milk can never replace it because breast milk provides colostrum. The child fights health issues better when colostrum supplies disease-fighting antibodies. The risks of health issues and poor nutrition will be quite low if you breastfeed more than feeding formula milk.

Mixed feeding is more difficult

Breastfeeding is easy for mothers. They don’t need to boil the milk or clean the bottle to breastfeeding. Mixed feeding involves regular cleaning and preparing high-quality formula milk. It can be a daunting task for novice mothers.

Issues related to the child’s intellectual development

Health experts believe breastfed babies are smarter than formula milk-fed babies. They get an ample supply of nutrients for proper brain development. Lack of breast milk creates troubles for many parents. However, it is important to breastfeed the child as often as possible. It will ensure the proper growth of the child and he will be as smart as other babies are.

Lack of breast milk supply

Breast milk production increases in mammary glands as the baby’s food demands increase. Excess reliance on formula milk can reduce breast milk production. It can deprive the child and the mother of health benefits associated with breastfeeding!


Mixed feeding is necessary when there is no other option. Your focus should always remain on feeding breast milk as long as possible. The child will eventually start consuming external foods. It is your responsibility as a mother to keep the baby fit and healthy before the weaning period. So, stay healthy, follow a good diet program, and feed your baby whenever possible.

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