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A baby consumes breast milk several times a day to stay full and relaxed. Breast milk is a complete food for babies below 6 months of age. You should try mixed feeding when the child is 6 months old. It is not recommended before that age, parents can try it in some special circumstances.
You must be wondering what is mixed feeding and why you can’t try it for a newborn baby. Continue reading to reveal the definition of mixed feeding and how it benefits the child.
What Is Mixed Feeding?
Mixed feeding is referred to feeding baby formula along with breast milk. Most women nowadays prefer breastfeeding if the child is younger than 6 months. They add formula milk to the baby’s diet only when he is ready to process it properly. However, mothers need to switch to mixed feeding in some special circumstances to nourish the child.
The baby consumes a different amount of milk as he grows older. A newborn baby consumes milk quite often in small quantities. That frequency reduces and the amount of milk increases as the baby gets older.
It is possible to divide mixed feeding into three parts depending on the age of the child. Newborn mixed feeding, infant mixed feeding, and baby mixed feeding are different. Let’s find out what changes in mixed feeding when your child grows older.
What Is Newborn Mixed Feeding?
Mothers need to feed the newborn baby on demand several times a day. Mixed feeding is not an ideal way of nourishing a newborn child. Doctors recommend it only if the mother cannot provide breast milk to feed the child.
Breast milk should be the first food of the child after his birth. It supplies colostrum that improves the baby’s immunity by supplying vital antibodies. Breastfeeding is the best way to keep a newborn child healthy. However, the doctor may recommend mixed feeding in certain conditions.
Under What Circumstances Mixed Feeding Is Ideal For A Newborn Child?
You can feed formula milk with breast milk under the following circumstances:
Low breast milk supply
Do you feel you are not supplying enough milk to meet your newborn child’s demands? Every mother worries about it, but sometimes it is not true. You should rectify the issue by checking whether your baby is hungry after feeding or not.
A newborn child will urinate about 6 times a day and defecate 3-4 times. Urination and defecation frequencies reduce when the child is not getting ample milk. It is possible to have a low milk supply for one or two days and you should not worry about it. You may need to feed formula milk if this issue does not resolve within two days.
Breastfeeding is a new experience for both mother and the child. There might be some issues due to which the child may not get an ample supply of breast milk. A woman with sore chipped or bleeding nipples cannot breastfeed the baby for several days. Blocked milk ducts make breastfeeding a painful experience, therefore some women avoid it.
Health issues like mastitis, nipple vasospasm, etc. also make it daunting for the mothers to breastfeed the child. Therefore, parents need to switch to baby formula to keep the child healthy.
Babies can also have certain issues due to which it gets tough to breastfeed. Newborn babies, who are too weak, cannot suck the milk. They need formula feeding to gain some energy and get healthier as soon as possible.
It is not always in your hand to choose between breastfeeding and mixed feeding. Certain health conditions may force you to add formula milk to your newborn child’s diet. It will ensure the child is full and healthy.
The baby’s weight is quite low
Your newborn baby is healthy if he weighs around 3kgs. Breastfeeding alone won’t be enough to nourish the child if his weight is below 2.5kgs. The baby will be too weak to suck the milk. Doctors feed special baby formula to increase the child’s weight quickly. It not only soothes the baby’s hunger but also improves his overall health. Mixed feeding is a short-term solution to nourish underweight babies.
What Is Infant Mixed Feeding?
Infants are children between 2 months and 12 months of age. Mixed feeding is not a good nourishment solution if the child is younger than 6 months. You already know mixed feeding conditions for babies up to 6 months old.
Now, let’s find out how to follow a perfect mixed feeding routine for different age infants:
0-2 months old infant
Babies do only two things willingly when they are 0-2 months old. They eat and sleep. You will have to feed the child every 2-3 hours to soothe his hunger. Pick top-quality formula milk for your child if breastfeeding alone can’t satisfy the child’s needs.
Follow each baby formula preparation instruction carefully. Feed breast milk and formula milk alternatively to nourish the child. You might experience some changes in the child’s urination and stool patterns. Discuss with the doctor to ensure the new kind of feeding method is not affecting your child’s health.
3-4 months old infant
You need to feed the child every 3-4 hours when he is 3-4 months old. He will consume about 100ml of milk each time. It is the time when the child gets mature. He needs breast milk for good intellectual development.
Formula milk should be fed with breast milk only when the mother can’t provide enough. Add formula milk to the child’s diet only if your baby loses weight or his growth rate is quite slow.
6-7 months old infant
It is the right age to add new foods to the baby’s diet. He can consume complimentary meals, such as smoothies, cereal, and formula milk. You can feed more formal milk now, but do not stop breastfeeding. Breast milk is still the main source of food for a 6-7 months old baby.
It should not be too tough for the child to consume formula milk if you have fed it before. Feed baby formula in small quantities if your baby will consume new food for the first time. Make small changes in the diet as the child grows. Thus, it won’t affect the baby’s health at all.
8-12 months old infant
Parents start feeding mushy foods, several types of milk, and other foods by this age of the child. The baby has grown enough to consume and digest a variety of meals by this age. People feed different types of complimentary meals in different countries. However, breast milk still makes a major part of the infant’s daily diet.
1 year or older babies
There will be many options in food when the baby is 1 year old. It is the time when the child can chew certain foods. Parents can start feeding eggs, veggies, fruits, and various other foods. Do not stop breastfeeding until the baby is 2 years old. Wean off only when the child is ready.
It is important to feed formula milk because it will strengthen the baby’s immune system. Your baby will look stronger, healthier, and happy if you follow a perfect mixed feeding routine.
What Precautions You Should Take While Mixed Feeding?
Take the following precautions to ensure your child is after the changes you have made in his daily diet:
Always breastfeed before feeding formula milk
You should breastfeed before feeding formula milk. The baby won’t lose his interest in breast milk. The baby will easily adapt to a new kind of milk if you continue breastfeeding. Switch to formula milk only when there is no more milk to breastfeed the child.
Do not use the microwave oven to boil formula milk!
You should always pour the milk into the bottle and put that bottle in a pot filled with water to boil it. The milk will boil evenly without losing its nutritious values. The microwave heats the milk unevenly and it can be harmful to your child.
Stop feeding formula milk when it is not necessary
If the infant is younger than 6 months, you should feed him formula milk only when it is necessary. Avoid it if you can produce an ample amount of milk to soothe your child’s hunger cravings. Breast milk is easy to digest and absorb. Newborn babies find it extremely tough to digest baby formula. Therefore, feeding breast milk should be your top priority.
Always clean the bottle after feeding milk to the child
You should use 3-4 bottles to feed the baby formula. Clean each bottle after each serving. Thus, the chances of germs attack will be quite low and your baby will stay healthy.
You should consider mixed feeding only when breastfeeding is not enough or not possible at all. Your baby will be ready to consume complimentary meals and formula milk after 6 months. Feed external milk only if the mother can’t feed the child. Thus, you can nourish the child properly and keep him healthy as long as possible.