Allaitement mixte : avantages et inconvénients - Élhée

Mixed breastfeeding: advantages and disadvantages

Are you wondering if mixed breastfeeding would not be the solution to feeding your baby as soon as possible, but questions are sowing doubt in your mind?

Let's try to see together what the advantages and disadvantages of this method are.






Mixed breastfeeding: definition

Mixed breastfeeding refers to alternating between meals at the breast and those taken with a bottle. Parents practicing mixed breastfeeding decide, either out of obligation due to a busy schedule , or out of a desire to share the meal task, to give their baby both breastfeed and meals in a bottle composed of milk in powder or breast milk expressed using a breast pump.


What are the benefits of mixed breastfeeding?

More freedom 

Mixed breastfeeding offers greater freedom . The mother does not have to be present at all of her child's meals and can let her partner take care of this mission. She can, beforehand, express her milk to build up a reserve and go away peacefully.


Some women, aware of needing time for themselves, can feel free of guilt: their child still benefits from breast milk. Mixed breastfeeding makes it possible to reconcile breast and bottle and facilitates in anticipation the weaning period, which is sometimes difficult to live through.


A unique relationship with your child 

Breastfeeding is a way to strengthen bonds with your child. For some women, there is no question of deviating from it! But reality catches up with many mothers, who unfortunately cannot always achieve the breastfeeding of their dreams. Mixed breastfeeding is therefore an ideal compromise which combines all the advantages of breast-feeding and bottle-feeding! 😉


What are the disadvantages of mixed breastfeeding? 

Mixed breastfeeding does not have any disadvantages strictly speaking. It all depends on each person's choices! For a woman wishing to exclusively breastfeed her child, or those favoring bottles from birth , this will not be a feasible alternative.


Find the right rhythm 

The first few weeks, it can be confusing for the woman to find the right rhythm.


So many questions that often worry young parents, especially when it comes to a first baby or first breastfeeding.



Wait until lactation has started to give bottles

To do this correctly, it is advisable not to give bottles for the first few weeks , until lactation is well established. Including bottles too early risks harming your desire to establish mixed breastfeeding, also called partial breastfeeding.


The risk of confusion between the breast and the pacifier 

Mixed breastfeeding sometimes raises some concerns, one in particular, confusion between the breast and the pacifier.


  • Isn't the baby likely to turn away from the mother's breast or refuse the bottle?
  • Don't meals risk turning into a standoff and a nervous breakdown ?


This vast subject, fortunately providing solutions, is the subject of another blog article which you can find HERE .


The breastfeeding pump: for mothers wishing to feed babies with breast milk without breastfeeding 

The breast pump is the art of expressing milk using a special device , which can be rented in pharmacies, in order to give it to baby instead of powdered milk. In this way, the mother can continue to feed her child without being present and assigning someone else to give the bottle.


Is mixed breastfeeding tiring? 

Some women sometimes wonder if breastfeeding a baby is tiring. While others, on the other hand, hesitate to give the bottle, finding that the preparation and cleaning times at night deprive them of sleep for longer! To preserve your sleep capital as much as possible, it is essential to equip yourself with a bottle that will help you save time :

  • easy to disassemble,
  • dishwasher safe,
  • and well accepted by your child.


Generally speaking, exclusive breastfeeding is no more tiring than bottle-feeding your child. Nocturnal awakenings may, however, be more frequent in the context of exclusive breastfeeding because breast milk is absorbed and digested more quickly than industrial milk.


Did you know ? 💡


A breastfeeding mother will have deeper and more restful sleep than a mother who bottle-feeds her child. Nature being well designed, the body, under the influence of the prolactin hormone, in fact receives the signal to move more quickly into the slow-wave sleep phase. This phase is the one allowing physical recovery.



Does mixed breastfeeding allow for breastfeeding on demand? 

Breastfeeding on demand is the act of putting your baby to the breast whenever he or she shows the need or desire. Most of the time, this operation is very quick! The textile industry itself has been able to adapt by designing lingerie specially designed for breastfeeding situations , which makes breastfeeding easier and faster.


In the case of mixed breastfeeding, baby will have to wait depending on the times you prefer to give him a bottle, while you make the milk preparation, heat it and settle down to give it to him. It is therefore not really possible to talk about breastfeeding on demand in these conditions.


These few minutes of waiting can be stressful if your baby is crying; and it is important not to rush at the risk of falling with your child in your arms.


The latter only knows this mode of expression during his first months of life! The survival instinct pushes it to howl as soon as it is hungry. When parents are exhausted, it can quickly be tempting to breastfeed instead to respond more quickly to their requests. The speed of meal processing is one of the big advantages of breastfeeding on demand!


How to organize your mixed breastfeeding? 

If you plan on mixed breastfeeding, you will have to alternate between breastfeeding and preparing bottles. Try to be regular and consistent every day.


Example :

  • a breastfeed upon waking up and during the morning,
  • a bottle at midday,
  • an afternoon feeding before naptime,
  • a bottle as a snack,
  • a feeding before sleeping in the evening
  • if necessary, one or two bottles at night.


This will help your child get used to the established routine and will be less likely to be anxious. Always following the same rhythm is also useful for your body, which will produce milk regularly at the desired times.

Mixed breastfeeding requires a certain rigor and solid organization, at the risk of making your lactation anarchic and disturbing the most sensitive babies.

 In summary

  • Mixed breastfeeding is an interesting alternative for women wishing to combine breast and bottle feeding…
  • No more tiring than exclusive breastfeeding or giving bottles, mixed breastfeeding does however require a certain rigor .
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