Can I Give My Breastfed Baby Formula When I Go Out
Giving your baby formula in addition to breastfeeding is called supplementing. Its completely OK and perfectly safe to do, and many families choose this type of combination feeding method, whether out of necessity , convenience, or simply a personal choice.
How Long To Pump At Each Session
At each session, you should pump for at least 15 minutes on each side. It can take a few minutes for your milk to begin to let down, so give yourself enough time. You also want to try to empty your breasts fully. Emptying the breasts is an important part of stimulating the production of more breast milk.
After you drain your breasts and no more milk is flowing out into the collection container, continue to pump for one to five minutes longer. Since breast milk is made based on supply and demand, the extra stimulation will tell your body to make more.
You don’t have to go longer than 20 minutes, though. Pumping for 15 to 20 minutes more frequently throughout the day will generally produce more breast milk than pumping less often for more extended periods of time.
What Are The Different Types Of Baby Formula
All formula sold in Australia needs to meet stringent nutritional and hygiene standards. Most baby formulas are made from dried cow’s milk with vitamins, minerals and vegetable oils added. Straight cow’s milk is not suitable for a baby’s digestion, unless it has been altered to make it easy to digest and so the nutrients can be absorbed.
There are 3 types of formula:
- Milk-based formulas are made from cow’s milk, with added vegetable oils, iron, vitamins and minerals.
- Soy-based formulas are made from soybeans and have added vegetable oils and nutrients.
- Specialty formulas are made from cow’s milk which has been ‘predigested’ and the protein removed or reduced. There is also a range of hypoallergenic formulas available. Most specialty formulas are designed for babies who have a milk intolerance or who are allergic to cow’s milk. Formula might also be the best choice for babies who have a food protein allergy or other form of digestive, malabsorption or gut problem. Specialty formulas can be used for specific cultural or religious reasons too.
Other types of formula include:
You May Like: When Can I Give My Newborn A Pacifier
What Is The Let
The let-down reflex means your milk is ready to flow. It makes breastfeeding easier for you and your baby. You may feel a tingle in your breast as you start to breastfeed. Milk may drip from the breast not being used. These are signs that your milk has let-down. The let-down reflex also may occur if a feeding is overdue, if you hear a baby cry, or if you think about your baby.
The reflex can be forceful enough to cause your baby to cough. If this is a problem, try to discharge some of your milk by hand before a feeding.
Getting Started With Supplementation
As you consider starting your breastfed baby on a bit of formula, youre probably wondering how exactly to begin.
There are differing views on the best way to introduce formula into your feeding regimen, and theres no one right way to do so.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both endorse exclusively breastfeeding during the first 6 months of babys life. Even if this isnt possible, many experts encourage breastfeeding for at least 3 to 4 weeks to establish your supply and babys comfort with the breast.
No matter babys age when you decide to start formula, its best to ease into it and do so at a time when baby is in good spirits. A sleepy or cranky little one isnt likely to be thrilled with trying something new, so steer clear of introducing formula too close to bedtime or to that early evening crying jag.
In general, I would recommend starting with one bottle per day at the time of day where your baby is at their happiest and most calm, and most likely to accept the formula, says Dr. Song. Once youve established a one-bottle-a-day routine, you can gradually up the number of formula feedings.
Don’t Miss: How Much Formula Can Newborn Drink
Can I Supplement Breastmilk With Formula
Although its recommended that you always breastfeed rather than give a bottle of pumped milk, if youre feeding your baby their supplementation formula and want them to have the added benefits of breast milk, you can safely mix the formula with the breast milk according to La Leche League International.
If At First You Dont Succeed Try Try Again
Dont be discouraged if your first attempt to introduce a bottle is met with confusion or outright rejection from your baby. In fact, this is likely to happen! Just give your baby time to get used to the feel and smell of the bottle. If you keep at it, even if it takes several attempts, youll find that your baby will be happy to take a bottle before too long.
You may need to time this just right, so that they are hungry and ready to feed but not grumpy or overtired. It may also be necessary to play around with the temperature of the formula or the consistency, in order to find the optimal feeding conditions for your little one. Some babies are fine with room temperature formula, whereas some really like to have a warm bottle ! Keep trying some of the strategies mentioned here, such as introducing the bottle with some breast milk on the nipple, or giving your baby a bottle before completely finishing a breastfeeding session.
Although they are different from breast milk and may take some time to get accustomed to, the formulas recommended here are all tasty and appealing to babies, having been made with high-quality, wholesome, organic ingredients and no artificial additives or chemicals. Sooner or later, your baby will get used to the feel of the bottle and the taste of formula, and will soon be looking forward to bottle feeds with their mother, father, favorite relative, or family friend.
Can I Breastfeed During The Day And Bottle Feed At Night
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is at least six months old, supplementing with formula also has benefits. Breastfeeding during the day and bottle-feeding at night allows you to get more sleep since it lets your partner participate more in feeding your infant.
Introducing A Bottle For The First Time
If youve never given your baby a bottle before, it may take some time for your little one to adjust. This is perfectly normal and just requires some patience on your part. As you would expect, the best time to introduce a bottle for the first time is when your baby is a little bit hungry and is expecting a feed. He or she will be more likely to accept the bottle at a normal feeding time. Its always best to introduce a bottle when your baby is in a good mood and relatively sleepy, rather than being cranky or overtired.
Admittedly, this can be a tricky balance to strike, as you want your baby to be hungry enough to accept the bottle, but not so hungry that he or she becomes cranky! Just because babies are very hungry doesnt mean they are going to accept a bottle. Babies may become upset if an unfamiliar feeding method is introduced when they are already irritable.
You know your baby best, so choose a time when you think your little one will be most likely to try something new. Of course, sometimes the best-laid plans dont work out, so dont be discouraged if your first attempt are unsuccessful. Be patient with your baby and with yourself youll find the right time eventually.
Also Check: How To Give A Newborn Their First Bath
Consider Pumping Or Hand Expressing
Either practice can help maintain your breast milk supply and prevent some of the common breastfeeding problems that can pop up when you skip nursing to bottle feed. Removing your breast milk will help relieve the fullness that breast engorgement can cause.
Another benefit is that you can store your pumped breast milk to use at a later time. Depending on how you store it, breast milk can stay in the freezer for up to one year.
When To Start Combination Feeding
Discuss with your health visitor or public health nurse if you plan to start combination feeding so they can give you guidance. Here are some starters on when to start combination feeding:
- Its best to wait until breastfeeding is nicely established to make sure youve got a good supply and baby is latching on correctly, before gradually introducing a bottle.
- Around 6 to 8 weeks is ideal before you introduce a bottle of expressed milk. Any changes with the breastfeeding routine can affect your supply.
- If you start using formula for combination feeding, then its worth knowing the amount of breast milk produced will reduce.
- If youre having difficulty getting breastfeeding established you may want to supplement the breast feeds with formula, until breastfeeding is more established.
- Expressing milk regularly will help boost your supply.
Recommended Reading: What Do You Really Need For A Newborn
Combination Feeding With Breast Milk Only
Combination feeding using only breast milk gives your baby the best nutrition, but allows mum some breaks between feeds to get much-needed resting time and allows your babys other family members to much-needed bonding time. Combination feeding baby in this way means youll need to express breast milk either by hand or using a manual or electric breast pump. Our expressing breast milk article covers how to express and store breast milk.
How Much Should My Breastfed Baby Eat
- Most breastfed babies eat more frequently than those who are formula fed. They tend to nurse every 1-3 hours. Plan to nurse your baby on demand, which is about 8-12 times per day in the beginning.
- Watch for signs of hunger such as waking up, putting hands in and around the mouth, turning the head from side to side, smacking lips, sticking out tongue. These are all cues that your baby is hungry.
- Crying is a late sign of hunger and fussy babies can be more frantic at mealtime so try to feed your baby when you see the early cues of hunger, before the crying begins.
- Try to nurse your baby 10-20 minutes on each breast during each feeding. Do not let your baby stay latched longer than 20 minutes on each side.
Also Check: Why Does My Newborn Not Sleep At Night
What Are The Disadvantages Of Breastfeeding
Its common to need help with breastfeeding in the beginning, especially if its your first baby. Most hospitals and health centers have staff who can help you learn and practice breastfeeding.
Disadvantages of breastfeeding include less vaginal lubrication , which can make sex uncomfortable. Using lube can help make sex more comfortable.
There are also many reasons why parents arent able to breastfeed, choose not to breastfeed, or use formula in addition to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding takes a lot of time and energy which may not always be available to you.
Parents may choose not to breastfeed because of:
Lack of support in the workplace
Some people have more privilege because of social, economic, and environmental advantages that help make breastfeeding easier. However, some new parents have less privilege and may face systemic issues that create barriers that make it hard or impossible to breastfeed. For example, people of color can have a harder time accessing breastfeeding guidance and support from the health care system. And some people can have a harder time finding the space to pump and save their breast milk at work due to discrimination and/or bias from others because of things like their race, gender identity, or ability status.
Many policies and practices in public spaces and workplaces are improving, but more work is needed to provide better breastfeeding support to parents of newborns, especially parents who face barriers.
Tips For Starting Solids
- Use a baby spoon and bowl to feed your baby. Do not put the cereal in a bottle. Your baby should learn to eat his or her food, not drink it.
- Only take out a small amount of the baby food at a time. You can leave it at room temperature or warm it slightly. You can then refrigerate the open jar and use it in the next two days.
- You can make your own baby food if you would like. Steam vegetables or fruit and then blend them. You can make the texture thinner if needed by adding a little bit of breast milk or formula.
- Use caution with the microwave as it can heat food unevenly. Always mix food well and check the temperature before feeding your baby.
- There is no need to add any extra salt or sugar to your babys food. This is discouraged.
- Wait until your baby is 1 year of age before feeding him or her honey. There is a type of bacteria in honey that can be very dangerous and cause paralysis in babies.
Don’t Miss: What To Buy For Newborn Twins
How Much Should My Formula
- Formula-fed babies tend to go slightly longer between feedings than breastfed babies, usually every 2-4 hours.
- Plan to feed on demand, which may be more frequent in the beginning and space out as your baby gets older.
- Watch for signs of hunger such as waking up, putting hands in and around the mouth, turning the head from side to side, smacking lips, sticking out tongue. These are all cues that your baby is hungry. Crying is a late sign of hunger and fussy babies can be more frantic at mealtime so try to feed your baby when you see the early cues of hunger and before the crying begins.
- When bottle feeding, there is no need to force your baby to finish the bottle. Babies know when they are full. They will tell you buy turning their head away, dozing off, or pushing the nipple out of their mouth.
- Treat feeding time as a special bonding time. Hold your baby and enjoy your time together. Never prop a bottle during a feeding as your baby could choke if he or she cannot push the bottle away.
- After the first few days, your formula-fed baby will take 2-3 ounces per feeding. By the end of the first month, your baby may be up to 2-4 ounces per feeding.