Pregnancy can be tough and challenging for women, especially for first timers. When it comes to breastfeeding your newborn, night times can turn into nightmares. Maybe you have multiple night-time feedings in a row and start wanting someone in the house to be responsible for it.
While we all hear about the advantages of breastfeeding over formula feeding, do you know that you could feed your baby both – breast milk and formula milk – at the same time? This approach of breastfeeding during the day and formula feeding at night has become more common among some moms, here’s why:
1. Allows moms to have assistance from others
Being a parent is extremely hard. It’s exhausting having to be ready all the time to breastfeed your infant, even when that means having to wake up multiple times at night. Without proper rest, it’s difficult for parents to give their all to their babies during the next day. That’s why formula feeding your baby at night allows moms to delegate the feeding tasks to their partners, resulting in getting much-needed rest and a happy and healthy mom.
2. Helps parents with night-time working schedules
Nowadays, there are many working moms, which means your schedule is not really your own anymore. Some moms struggle with working at night, while others have gone through very long days with their babies. Switching from breastfeeding to formula feeding gives parents more flexibility in their personal schedules.
The concept of combining breast milk and formula milk might be unfamiliar to many parents; that’s why I have gathered here 5 tips for combination feeding.
Introduce a bottle early, but not too early
It is recommended that breastfeeding moms supplement their breast milk with formula milk when the babies reach six months of age. Stanford Children’s Health comes up with a guideline for how often you’ll need to feed formula milk to your baby:
- Birth – 2 weeks old: 8 – 12 feedings in 24 hours
- 2 weeks – 2 months old: 6 – 8 feedings in 24 hours
- 3 months – 5 months old: 5 – 6 feedings in 24 hours
- 6 months – 8 months old: 3 – 5 feedings in 24 hours
- 9 months – 12 months old: 3 – 5 feedings in 24 hours
The guideline only serves as a reference to your feeding schedule, make sure to take into account your personal experience with your baby and make suitable adjustments.
Be patient with the process
When switching from feeding breast milk to formula milk, it might be best for you to slowly and gradually replace breastfeeding sessions with formula feeding. Some babies struggle with the sudden change from breast to bottle, which is normal. Do not force the baby to bottle feed since it won’t give the baby some time to be familiar with new sucking actions. Trust the process, and your baby will be bottle-fed in no time.
Be specific with your formula
When it comes to milk formula, there are many options for you to choose from. Pick the one with high-quality ingredients and useful nutrition for your baby’s health. Most babies do well with a formula based on cow’s milk containing DHA and iron. However, there are cases where some infants have milk allergies. This requires the parents to choose a formula made from soy or lactose-free formula. It is important to ask your health care practitioner if you cannot choose which type to choose.
Maintain your milk supply while giving formula
When you start introducing formula to your baby, your body will need a few days to adjust to the reduced demand for breast milk production. Make sure that you still use a breast pump to pump out breastmilk to avoid engorgement of the breast, which is when your breast is full of milk, but it’s not being used up. This can also help with preventing milk leakage and clogged milk ducts.
Share the responsibility with your partner
Last but not least, remember to share the responsibility with your partner. While you have the job to breastfeed the baby during the day, your partner can feed the baby the bottles of formula at night. Not only does it help you to have a break for yourself, but switching between you and your partner might help the baby to recognize the feeding schedule. By clearly delegating someone else with formula feeding, the baby might understand that you only provide milk while others only provide formula. This allows the baby to follow the feeding schedule by herself. Remember that feeding the baby is not only your responsibility but also your partner’s responsibility. Do try and pay more attention to your health by eating a balanced diet and protein powders that are helpful for breastfeeding.
During the shift from breast milk to formula, you might encounter hard times because of the change in how your body functions. I hope that these small tips can help you reduce stress, especially for those struggling with midnight feedings.