Baby Hints & Tips

Mix Feeding – Breast and Bottle

Close up of baby drinking his bottleI am pregnant with number 3. I have discussed with my Dr, my midwives and my partner and due to our health and family circumstances we would like to combine feed. Just looking for advice from others who have done this and how they did it, and what they found worked and didn’t. 

  •  I mix-fed my first and my twins as I couldn’t keep up with them. My twins were initially topped up after every feed as they were 35 weekers, then I worked really hard to drop their bottles to one per day but they barely gained any weight in two weeks so were fully bottle fed by 8 weeks. With my son I tended to feed him all day then he’d have a bottle late in the evening after a lot of cluster feeds, eventually he needed a lunchtime bottle as well, then once he needed a third bottle consistently by about 5.5 months I weaned him to full bottles. I coped a lot better with my first as I felt a lot more in control and was able to wean on our terms, probably over 2-3 weeks we slowly reduced feeds and had a few comfort feeds in the evening at the end of our bf journey whereas with the twins I really felt I had to choose one way to feed as having to top up all their feeds or express just wasn’t feasible with 3 under 15 months. I basically stopped bf immediately and expressed a few times for comfort, and I was really sad about it. My fourth baby was born 3.5 months ago and is my first ebf baby, no bottles at all and no formula, I even have some milk frozen! I am a staunch believer that you do whatever you need to to get through it all, and the only people whose thoughts and opinions matter are yours and your partner. Congratulations, I hope all goes well.   Jo
  •  I fed all of four of mine with combined feeds as I did not have enough milk so would do top up feeds. I would breast feed first thing in the morning and I would breastfeed a couple of times during the day and also breastfeed before bed and give formula in between when bub was hungry. I demand fed and my bubs were little piggies lol. Do what you feel comfortable with you will work out a routine when to feed. I also found bub would go to sleep easier when given some formula burp them than give a breastfeed. You will do great with bub no matter what. Good luck.   Sonya
  •  When I started to wean my son I would give him formula before bed (he slept much better) and usually first thing in the morning. I’d breast feed during the day but eventually I wasn’t producing enough milk and had to top him up with formula anyway. My advice is express as well to keep your supply up!    Cat
  •  I always make the last feed before bed a bottle feed. Also, if I’m out and about I take a bottle.    Kelly
  •  I started giving my daughter 1 bottle of formula at night when she was about 6 weeks old. We now do 2 bottles. I breast feed her when she wakes then again 3 hours later then she has a bottle around 1 then breast at 4 then a bottle before bed. I found this has worked best for us.    Kate
  •  Your hospital should have a lactation consultant midwife. I’d ask her how to best go about it. They’re super helpful.    Laura
  •  I mix fed and found that night feeds were easier as breastfeeds (no getting bottles ready etc) & then I alternated between bottle and breast during the day.    Angela
  •  I started combine feeding at 6mths when I went back to work so I was only doing 4 feeds per day. Morning and night were bf and 2 daytime were formula. my DS had no probs with this. As long as he was getting fed he didn’t care lol.    Bec
  •  I supplemented all of mine…due to supply issues, but I fed first then bottle if still hungry…..although with current child, they get bottle morning and night and b/f every other feed..Jody
  •  I have started my 3mth old 1 bottle at 5pm and then breast for rest, now due to the heat he only bottle feeds day and breast of a night….when going to give bottle for first time do it in the am after sun up so if any pains occur your not up all night.   Hayley
  •  I never actually ‘BF’ my twins but I did mix feed (formula and expressed Breast milk). I would recommend giving bub as much BM as possible and using formula when you feel you have to like maybe before bed? I often topped my son up just the once with some formula before bed. With my girls I always fed them the expressed milk first then formula after if they were still hungry as ultimately Breast milk is more beneficial.   Monique
  •  If I was mix feeding my lo (may have to be soon) I think I would like to keep at least the morning (to start out the routine of the day and also to kick off the supply for the day), night (my bub likes the emotional connection to go to bed too) and lunch feed if available for. Depends on who does the night feed how it gets done (so you can split it between Mum and Dad) and any extra day feeds by formula.    Sami
  •  I mix feed my baby – 3 formula top up bottles in the day: 11.30am, 3.30pm, 7.30pm. BF only for night feeds. I find this works well for my baby. Just find a teat that is similar to a nipple so bubs may be more inclined to take the bottle. I use Nuk bottles.    Rox
  •  Depends if you have time to bf during the day ( are your other two kiddies at school/daycare) I combination feed I have for the last 2 wks I bf during the day as I only have one bubba and have the time to then my husband will give her first feed anywhere between 10-1am then I do a bf at 4-5am depending on her jus so I can get some more sleep. U could alternate or jus at night bf or ff depends what works for you! Either way bubba will get their milk!    Shannon
  •  I have twin one is EBF and the other is mix fed he started of mostly breast with top ups and slowly gone to mostly formula and breast at night it’s easier than making bottles in middle the night half asleep.   Teresa
  •  Combine feed is great because it gives them the best of both worlds and can give you a break! I give a bottle at 1030pm feed as this can help them keep fuller for longer and sleep thru the night. And sometimes I give one during the day, mostly just at night. Good luck!     Cary

 

I have a 9.5 month old. She has always been exclusively breastfed. In the last couple days I’ve started giving her some formula and shes been happier. I think my milk is drying up. I’d love to know how other people mix feed?

  • I mix feed my 7 month old. Have done since he was 4 weeks old. He only gets a bottle during the day if we’re out. And one bottle before bed. Leslie
  • Well done for getting that far! I’m having to mix feed and my bubs not quiet 3 months. I do top ups when necessary and full bottles when necessary. Go with ur instinct and what feels right good luck Alycia
  • For some mix feeding works and for others it doesn’t. It depends on a few things. I can only really tell you my experience. I started mix feeding at 6 months. I dropped one feed at a time, with a decent gap before the next feed was dropped so my body adjusted without any problems. Bub was also then adjusting slowly. In the end only the first morning feed and the bedtime feed was left. Bub self weaned off the morning feed around 2yo and I instigated weaning off bedtime feed at 27 months as I fell pregnant and it was too painful. If you’re wanting to mix feed I wish you all the best and hope it works out. Take your time with it to give your body the best chance to adjust your supply as it will change by mix feeding. Natalie
  • I started mix feeding about 6 weeks ago (bubba is 7months this week) started with bottle just before bed and now have transitioned to breast feeding first thing in the morning and during the night if needed. My milk has taken a long time to adjust because I had a huge supply so done very slowly but body is nearly adjusted and bub is thriving and feeding with others around has become a lot less stressful now he is so distracted! Jess
  • my milk started to dry up around the same time. I started dropping day feeds and keep up night feeds. Dropped 1 feed at a time so had no pain or problems. By 11 months had moved to full formula feed. I knew I was drying up when it took my over 40 mins to express 20mls Louise
  • Worked for my fourth, didn’t with my third. Formula will be heavier and make her feel fuller, maybe she is ready for solids? Karlee
  • Both my babies have had bottles on and off and it’s been fine. I’ve found with both my boys my supply drops around 5/6 pm when I’m tired. I feed then top up with a bottle if they won’t settle. Would love to fully breast feed all the time but would prefer a happy bub. With my first I started mix feeding full time around ten months when he became a nightmare to feed in public. It was the beginning of the end in hindsight. I stopped the week of his first birthday. But I was okay with that I had had enough and he was more than happy to go to diary. Rachelle
  • I breast feed through out the night and day and use formula in the early evening and last feed before bed. That’s when I have the least and it makes sure they are full to go to bed. Jane
  • Gradually substitute one boob feed for a formula feed. Either way u need to do it gradually, so bub gets used to formula and so u don’t get mastitis. Courtney
  • I started mix feed from the beginning because no matter how hard I tried, still not producing enough milk. So use formula as a top up and express to keep my breastmilk flowing. If you don’t want your to dry up, keep expressing when you are not bf Carmen
  • I went back to work when my daughter was 6 months old. When i was with her she would breastfeed and when i was at work she would formula feed. I used tommy tippy closest to nature bottles. She refused a bottle at around 1 so used a sippy cup but still breastfeed untill 14 months. Kirsty
  • My 10 month old now has normal milk at lunch time and I bf morning and night. She’s been fine. Renee
  • I varied slightly. I would offer both breasts first and then a small bottle of formula on top until he was full. Heather
  • Your supply doesn’t normally just spontaneously dry up unless you have skipped feeds or not fed on demand, or pregnant. Mix feeding can be tricky. I hope it works out for you Elana
  • Give her breast in the morning when you have more milk then formula at night Kathy
  • Did that with my lo because my milk started drying up when they were 4 months at 6 months she was done breast feeding I did what was best for her at the time. 2. If they are at least crawling let the lo play until they pass out. I have my lo in the routine that when they are ready they come to me and weer cuddle until the lo falls asleep which results in a two hour nap sometimes twice in a day Danea
  • I couldn’t mix feed successfully… My daughter developed a very keen liking to the bottle and it became a very slippery slope! I had to choose 1 of the other.. I chose BF.. At her age, solids will start playing a more significant roll. You will be able to drop the feeds you want before long but you can also keep feeding for as long as you want to too! Kerryn
  • If you have bf till now with no supply issues it’s unlikely you are “drying up”. Maybe baby is hungry and needs more solids or is even thirsty? In this heat they need to drink heaps. Also offer the breast more. Kirstin
  • when I felt full I’d feed, always had a bottle on standby. I started at 2wks, went up to 6mths. Fed average 3bf a day, the rest bottles. Kate

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