Allaitement mixte : concilier sein et biberon - Élhée

Mixed breastfeeding: combining breast and bottle


Mixed breastfeeding allows feeding a child both breast and bottle , with breast milk and formula depending on schedules. Not always easy to set up and get the baby to accept, mixed breastfeeding sometimes requires patience and flexibility in the organization of the parents and especially the mother. Detailed review to know how to do it and above all, hope to get around possible obstacles.

When to start mixed breastfeeding in practice

The idea that is often hidden behind mixed breastfeeding is that of a need for freedom, voluntary or not.

  • End of maternity leave : you must return to work and will soon no longer be fully available to feed your newborn.
  • Thirst for moments of your own : you practice a sporting, cultural or relaxation activity that you would like to repeat one or more times a week. You will therefore have to be absent, sometimes during your baby's meal times.
  • Want to share : you want to offer your other half the opportunity to feed your baby from his very first months. To do this, you would like your child to accept bottles of milk.
  • You simply want stop breastfeeding.
Whatever your reason, for everything to go well just one watchword: an-ti-ci-per.

When to start mixed breastfeeding from a physiological point of view

For mixed breastfeeding to be successful, baby must accept both the breast and the bottle without this disrupting his or her way of eating . For your part, lactation must be well established . Therefore, it is advisable to wait at least 6 weeks to put it in place.

This precaution also avoids breast/pacifier confusion – to prevent the baby from turning away from the breast to the pacifier which requires less sucking effort than at the breast.

On the other hand, the WHO recommends for the health of babies, exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life.

Equip yourself well for successful mixed breastfeeding

To get through this, you will need some very useful childcare accessories.

  • THE draws milk . Not very sexy both from an aesthetic point of view and from its little name and yet, learning to use it is one of the almost essential steps for breastfeeding and alternately, giving the bottle. To choose the right breast pump, you must deal with single or double models, electric or manual and different technologies intended to stimulate the flow of milk. But thanks to it, your child can enjoy bottles of breast milk at any time.
  • A bottle . It is, among other things, to facilitate the transition to mixed breastfeeding that we designed our Elhée bibRond . Made from medical grade silicone, it is almost as soft and just as round as your breast, to accompany baby during his milk break. Its pacifier, also made of extra-soft medical silicone , protects your little one's health and helps them learn to suck. Also, its physiological shape adapts perfectly to babies' mouths. Finally, an anti-colic valve facilitates digestion after a meal.
  • A infant formula adapted to the age and nutritional needs of your child, which you will give him alternately before weaning him from your milk.

Of course, small pots for carrying doses of powdered milk and freezing your own could be useful, as well as a little cleaning equipment.

Baby drinking her Élhée medical silicone anti-colic bottle

How to alternate breast milk and powdered milk?

The main thing here is to find the right pace to satisfy both your infant's hunger and your respective need for contact.

To wean baby off your milk, start by replacing a single feeding for at least 5 days . If everything is going well, baby is eating well and you are not suffering from engorgement, you can proceed in the same way to gradually replace each of the other intakes of the day.

Please note: to continue mixed breastfeeding over time, maintain at least 2 feedings per day . They will stimulate your milk production and allow your little one to maintain the habit of taking the breast. Morning or evening feedings, but also when you get home, are undoubtedly the most important.

Which infant formula is closest to breast milk?

Difficult and almost impossible to answer this question as breast milk regularly changes taste and consistency depending on the period and what you eat and drink.

However, choose an infant formula adapted to the age of your baby. (first-age milk, second-age milk or follow-on milk) and avoid classic cow's milk, goat's milk and plant-based milk before at least 12 months .

How much milk to give your baby?

Exclusive breastfeeding is done on demand while bottle-fed babies are fed at fixed times and amounts. So, is mixed breastfeeding a real headache or a total feeling? In reality, once again, it all depends on your baby.

If, since the introduction of mixed breastfeeding, you have prioritized morning and evening feedings to gradually replace those of the day with bottles, follow the guide: that is to say, baby! Is your child a regular eater of small quantities? Plan several light doses during the day. If, on the contrary, he or she likes to nurse for a long time, a large 330 ml bottle (equipped with a slow flow teat) is more interesting.

What if baby refuses the bottle?

Breastfeeding by alternating bottle and breast may be the ideal solution for you, but may completely displease your child. Disturbed in his habits, he may refuse the pacifier and push the bottle away each time you offer it to him. How to do ?

Above all, and especially if you want to extend mixed breastfeeding, reserve feedings for yourself and delegate other meals . Pass the baton to the dad or the person who shares your life, to the nanny, to the nursery staff or to the older siblings. This dissociation helps children get used to and initially accept both the breast with you and the bottle with another person.

Is it still stuck? Maybe you can test the lukewarm bottle at the temperature close to breast milk (37°C) or conversely, the bottle at room temperature for a completely different sensation that he might like.

What if you don't have enough milk?

Reducing the number of daily feedings can lower your milk supply. To avoid this situation, continue to stimulate your breasts as much as possible . The remaining feedings contribute to this, but outside of these gentle moments, do not hesitate to express your milk, if possible at regular times. You can freeze it in doses already ready for baby, or, if he refuses to take it from the bottle, pump it anyway and then throw it away, simply to maintain lactation.

Galactogenic and tasty, don't forget the breastfeeding herbal teas ! In addition to being beneficial for your baby's tummy – they generally contain fennel which helps relieve colic – they stimulate the flow of milk.

3 additional tips in case of obstacles

Because everything doesn't always go as planned, here are some additional tips for reconciling breast and bottle.

  • Offer him a bottle often without waiting until he is too hungry . So the meal is not rushed, baby can take the time to discover this new way of eating and the risk of failure is lower.
  • Dip the pacifier in breast milk one or two minutes before taking the bottle so that it retains the smell.
  • Maintain or resume skin-to-skin contact . Being against you reassures your child and calms him down. Take the opportunity to offer him a bottle instead of the breast, then you have a better chance of him accepting.

Finally, to best respect the child's rhythm, the LecheLeague recommends give the bottle horizontally . Baby is installed in a seated position in your arms and his drink, presented horizontally in relation to the line of the ground. He takes a few sips and you lower the bottle to give him time to breathe and find his own rhythm. The milk does not flow too quickly, baby does not get scared, he breathes calmly, without the risk of swallowing air and more easily enjoys this new form of meal with you.

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