It can take several weeks for you and your baby to feel happy and confident with breastfeeding. Once you've both got the hang of it, it's usually possible to offer your baby bottles of expressed milk alongside breastfeeding. This is sometimes called mixed or combination feeding.
Why combine breast and bottle?
You may want to combine breastfeeding with bottle-feeding if:
- you are breastfeeding and want to use a bottle to offer your baby some expressed breast milk
- you want to breastfeed for some of your baby's feeds, but give bottles of formula for 1 or more feeds
- you are bottle feeding your baby and want to start breastfeeding
- you need to leave your baby and want to make sure they have some milk while you're away
Take not that introducing formula feeds can affect the amount of breast milk you produce. There is also a small amount of evidence to show babies may not breastfeed as well because they learn to use a different kind of sucking action at the bottle than at the breast.
How should a bottle needs to function in this process?
Usually, It may take a while for a breastfed baby to get the hang of bottle-feeding, because they need to use a different sucking action. So, choosing a right bottle and teat is an important factor to avoid having the nipple confusion.
1. Buying bottle feeding equipments.
You'll need several bottles, teats and a bottle brush, as well as sterilizing equipment, such as a steam sterilizer or other approved sterilizer.
- Bottle- Make sure bottles are ergonomically designed. Light-weighted, strong grip, long-lasting are the important factors for this process.
- Teat- Make sure you are aware on the size and milk flow of the teats. Teats basically play the important role to combine breast and bottle-feeding. Anti colics design, soft silicone & food grade materials, are the must factors that helps your baby to transform to bottle-feeding.
2. Making up bottles for you baby.
Make sure you sterilise bottles and teats as long your baby is using the bottles and teat. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling sterilized bottle and teats.
Here we go...
Bottle feeding is a chance to feel close to your baby and get to know and bond with them. Babies will feel more secure if most feeds are given by you, your partner or their main caregiver.
Make sure you're sitting comfortably with your baby close to you. Enjoy holding your baby, look into their eyes and talk to them as you feed them.
Hold your baby in a semi-upright position for bottle feeds. Support their head so they can breathe and swallow comfortably.
Brush the teat against your baby's lips and when they open their mouth wide let them draw in the teat.
Always give your baby plenty of time to feed.