If you are a mother, then you must be aware of the importance of breastfeeding. Though a mother’s milk is important for a child and forms the first food for the infant, it cannot be consumed forever.
After a certain time switching from breastmilk to formula becomes necessary. Formula feeding is the next stage following breastfeeding. Through the introduction of formula, a child slowly starts to get independent. However, the transition is not easy. It is not something that can be done all at once. It should be a gradual process.
New mothers are often concerned about the breast milk to formula transition. So to that end, here is all that you need to know about switching from breastfeeding to formula.
How To Transition From Breastmilk To Formula?
If you are ready for switching baby from breastmilk to formula, it is important to note that it is not an overnight process. It has to be done gradually so that your baby does not face any side effects or flops.
The sudden switch can badly affect the health of the mother too. If the transition is made all of a sudden, then the breast can become painful and swollen. This is because it continues to produce the same amount of milk as earlier.
Thus while switching baby from breastmilk to formula, it’s important to consider such fallouts. In that light, dropping out on breastfeeding slowly helps both the mother and the baby.
It a very good idea to drop one session every day until the transition process is complete. However, your baby may still require morning and bedtime feeding even after they wean from breastmilk to formula process is complete.
Since nowadays most women are working mothers, it’s only natural for them to miss multiple nursing sessions. Thus it makes it necessary to take up transitioning from breast to bottle. Under such circumstances, it is advisable to pump while away. However, if you want to consider switching from breastmilk to formula at 6 months, then reduce the pumping sessions to cut out on the production of milk.
This also makes the transition a little easier since the babies are already used to bottle feeding. Under such circumstances, alternating breastmilk and formula become easier.
Yes, there are times when your baby might throw tantrums. In such times, it’s better to step away from the child and let another adult feed then the formula from a bottle. Once the baby cannot see the mother in the room, he/she might decide to have the formula.
While many mothers wait up to 6 months to start the weaning process, it is ideal to consider switching from breastmilk to formula at 3 weeks. By this time the baby gets a hang of breastfeeding and can handle a bottle with ease. Through most mothers may not know, breastfeeding is more difficult than drinking formula from a bottle.
Honestly, there is no ideal way of starting with formula feeding. Some babies just get along with it and are comfortable with having a formula when they are hungry.
However, it does not apply to all babies as some will not be happy with the change and may refuse to feed a few times.
Thus, as mentioned earlier, a gradual transition is required. You have to let your baby get accustomed to the taste by introducing one feed a day. After he/she is used to the taste you can try the same for another feed.
Are There Any Changes After The Switch?
After you wean from breastmilk to formula, you will gradually notice that your baby will start to prefer formula feeding over breastfeeding. Generally, it is due to the quick delivery system that bottles offer which works out great for quick eaters.
In addition to that, you might notice that your baby is not getting as hungry as he/she was used to getting earlier. This is because babies take longer to digest formula feeding in comparison to breastfeed.
Can You Mix Formula and Breastmilk?
Many young mothers are often concerned about this. To end all worries, it is important to arrive at a solid answer and that is -yes.
Yes, mixing formula and breastmilk is okay and is pretty common. Many women take on this process for many reasons. Young mothers might have to get back to work, their breasts might be sore, or there might be a demand-supply crunch. Under such circumstances mixing breastmilk with formula can be a good idea.
Again the transition must be made gradually. It is advisable to discuss with the doctor first before taking any decision. However, if you wish to continue breastfeeding then it is advisable to pump at least a few times a day so that the supply does not fall suddenly.
So to answer the question, can you breastfeed and use formula? The answer is yes.
Can You Breastfeed and Formula Feed?
Yes, it is possible to combine breastfeeding with formula feeding with the use of expressed milk and formula. However, one has to wait for at least 8 weeks before they can try this combination or else it might affect the milk supply to a great extent.
Many mothers go for this combination when they find it hard to express milk. It is a good idea to combine breastfeeding and formula feeding than stopping breastfeeding altogether
Adding Formula To Breast Milk
Yes. It is possible to add formula with breastmilk that too in the same bottle. Many mothers do this to provide that extra dosage of health and nutrition to their child.
However, if you are planning on doing this then you have to follow the instructions of the formula mixing very well. Adding too much formula in breast milk can cause a heavy concentration of nutrition and pose some serious health issues for your baby.
But why do people consider adding formula to breast milk?
- Required sleep: Sometimes mothers mix breastfeed with formula so that they can get extra sleep at night. Such a mixture takes time to digest and thus the babies do not wake up as quickly as they do when they are breastfed.
- Back to work: A combination of breastfeeding with formula often works out well when people have to return to work after a period.
- Low milk quantity: Some mothers stop producing enough milk after their kids pass through the weaning stage. In such cases mixing breastmilk with formula can be an effective option.
Also Read: When Do Babies Sart To Walk?
How To Supplement Breastmilk with Formula
It is important to note that any amount of breastmilk is useful for the child. So if the mother is not producing enough milk, it is okay to supplement it with formula if that works with the mother and child, However, before taking any decision, it is a good idea to discuss it first with a lactation specialist.
Though health specialists suggest feeding the baby with breastmilk right up to the age when they are ready to eat solids, supplementing breastfeed with formula feeding can be opted for. Mothers may do it for various reasons and there is nothing to worry about.
However, the process must be gradual. Ideally, it should start with one feed at a time until the baby is completely used to having a formula. An aggressive drastic drop in breastfeeding will not only affect the baby but also the mother.
Your baby’s health depends on the decisions you make. Thus put in some thought in the process and discuss your plans with the doctor before arriving at any decision.