Many new mamas find that determining the best route to nourish their baby is a bit of a struggle. Should you exclusively breastfeed? Should you offer formula only? Should you try both? This is a topic that is highly dependent on various variables that may include parental preferences, ability of the baby to latch, ability of the mother to produce milk, parent work schedules, and so on. After considering the whole picture, many find that breastfeeding works well at certain times while supplementing with formula at others is the best route. If this is the case for you and your baby, we are here to offer you support by answering some commonly asked questions in regards to supplementing!
1. Is it ok to breastfeed during the day & formula feed during the night?
YES! This is completely ok! If you find that you are able to nurse your baby during the daytime but need to supplement for any reason through the night, this is absolutely a valid route to take. Here are some tips to make that initial transition as smooth as possible:
If at all possible, try to have someone else feed the baby formula from a bottle during supplemental feedings. Babies who are breastfed often smell their Mama while she is holding them and therefore feel the desire to nurse. If they are being held by someone else for a feeding however, they may be more likely to grow accustomed to taking a bottle.
Transition slowly! If you have been exclusively breastfeeding up until this point, try and slowly add additional feedings one at a time opposed to having your baby transition all at once.
Be sure to pump during supplemental feedings so that you avoid discomfort from leaking and engorgement.
Try to have a system in place for the one who will feed the baby from the bottle at night! Consistency helps to make this transition much easier.
Prepare all feeding supplies before heading to bed! This just makes feeding times through the night much easier. Likewise, have pump parts washed and ready before bed as well.
2. How do you combine breastmilk and formula?
To combine both of these together in one bottle, we do have a couple of suggestions for Mama as well as the individual who may be offering the supplemental feedings. Make sure you are both on the same page for combining the two liquids to avoid confusion.
Aim to prepare the formula portion first in accordance with the formula’s preparation guidelines. Once you have reached the correct mixture of formula and water, you can go ahead and add in the breast milk.
As always, if you are warming up the bottle before feeding, be sure to check the mixture before offering it to the baby.
3. How long can you store formula and breastmilk mixed together?
Keep in mind that breastmilk and formula each have a unique shelf life on their own.
While breastmilk that has just been pumped can be kept in the fridge for up to five days, freshly prepared formula can only be kept for up to 24 hours. This means that if you have combined both into a bottle and placed it into the fridge, it will need to be tossed out after 24 hours. If you have already warmed the mixture however or it has been out at room temperature, it needs to be tossed after one hour to avoid bacteria growth. Here are some additional tips to consider in regards to preparing and storing formula: https://organicbabyfood.shop/blogs/information/all-things-formula-preparation-storage-life-quick-tips
4. What are the advantages of supplementing?
Many parents choose to supplement for a variety of reasons. Some feel that breastfeeding offers Mama a special opportunity to bond while bottle feeding allows Dads to have a special bonding opportunity as well. Oftentimes, sharing the feeding responsibilities helps to avoid one parent becoming fatigued by allowing them to get some extra rest at certain feeding times. Also, some babies have a food sensitivity to something the mother may be eating, or a mother may be unable to produce enough breast milk, so supplementing can help her to feel less pressure in providing all of the baby’s required nutrients.
5. What are some formulas you recommend trying out?
If you are looking to try out supplementing with your baby, checkout the following formulas:
Holle Baby Formula is made using raw ingredients from biodynamic or organic agriculture, free of chemical processes and preservatives. It offers the exact nutrients a baby needs in those very early months of life and is certified by Demeter Standards, which is the largest certification for biodynamic agriculture and the first organic label for foods.
Lebenswert Formula is organic & non-GMO. It provides necessary nutrients for growing babies without the added ingredients you want to avoid, such as artificial ingredients, additives, preservatives, corn syrup, cane sugar, gluten, and soy.
We hope this post helps to address any questions you may have surrounding supplemental feedings. Are you trying to determine which would be the best route to take or are you already supplementing? No matter how you choose to nourish your baby, we hope you feel informed and supported. If you have any further questions, leave a comment below!
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