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Questions about combination feeding?

I haven't planned on using forumla to feed my baby, but have been considering expressing milk and bottle feeding as well as feeding her by breast. Have you found nipple confusion a problem when trying to do this? Did your baby take to bottle and then back to breast easily? At what age did you start to combination feed if not from birth? My daughter is only 10 days old so I don't plan on expressing milk and bottle feeding her yet, but I just think I'd be more comfortable feeding her by bottle when out and about. Thanks


Asked by Melissa15 at 7:59 AM on Mar. 6, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

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This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • It totally depends on the baby. Some babies go easily between bottle and breast and others don't. I have friends who could never get their BF babies to take bottles. I have other friends whose babies refused the breast after just one bottle. I have had 3 kids who have gone back and forth with no problems (I just got lucky).
    I'd encourage you to consider that you can learn to feel comfortable nursing when you are out. Go to a LLL meeting and be around some other moms who are nursing. Pumping and bottle feeding is a huge pain! I only ever did it when I had no other option.
    Wait until your supply is well established around 6 weeks. A really good nipple to go back and forth with is the Playtex Natural Latch. The worst is the nuk (it encourages them to latch on and suck incorrectly).
    According to La Leche League's Breastfeeding Answer Book, on average most breastfed babies take between 2-4 ounces about 8-12 times a day.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 12:20 PM on Mar. 6, 2010

  • My daughter is 3 months old and I do exactly as you are planning on doing. I feed her from breast at night or when we are home and then pump and feed her with a bottle when we are out. With all of my kids I gave them a nuk /pacifier while still in the hospital and then breast fed exclusively until 5 weeks or so. The main thing is to make sure breast feeding is established and going well before switching to a bottle. Around that 5 week mark I have someone else give her a 4 oz bottle, we start with once a day and do that until she is able to drink from the bottle without any problems. After that it seems to be okay, at least with my children, to switch back and forth from bottle to breast whenever it's convenient. Make sure your bottle nipples are slow flow or stage 1 flow. Don't forget to burp part way through the bottle and just as a reference for daughter switched from 4oz to 6oz at a feeding about 3 weeks ago

    Answer by l-momoftwo at 8:33 AM on Mar. 6, 2010

  • I couldn't do it....I wouldn't have had the time to pump and nurse and bottle feed! That is at least one third more time....and I simply didn't have the extra time.

    Answer by BJoan at 9:02 AM on Mar. 6, 2010

  • I waited 8 weeks. We had latch issues. I had my husband use a cup, spoon, or eyedropper (i went back to work part time 1 week after birth). After that he used the adiri bottle (they are out of business but you canstill but the bottles), though an alternative are the mimijiri and breastflow bottles.

    I agree 100 perecenr with what maggiemom2000 said too.

    I advise to not do bottles unless you need to. And no pacifiers unless necessary for work.

    I thought at first that I wouldn't be comfortable NIP, but found that it was so easy and traveling with bottles would be a PITA! I used my moby sling, and asked for corner booths. In the early days when i was learning I would wrap in the ladies room to get her situated then go back to the table or wherever. Bonus is that I had free hands to eat or shop! Can't do that bottle juggling!

    Answer by amileegirl at 1:21 PM on Mar. 6, 2010

  • We started at 6-8 weeks with bottle/breast, only because she had to be away from me. If we had been together all day, we would not have done that. Start pumping about two weeks before you start to combine, so you can get used to the pump and you can build up a small stash. We did not have problems with nipple confusion, but we did have nipple preference problems- even the slowest flow nipple is easier to get milk from than a breast- clamp down and milk comes out. Those hit us around 8 months, along with teething, so I had to teach her not to bite. The rule for amounts (this is based on mom being away from baby) is one to one and a half ounces per hour of separation (in your case if it has been three hours since baby nursed and you want to give a bottle, a three ounce bottle should suffice) Some babies take to the combo just fine, even if Mom's there, some refuse to take a bottle if Mom's there- they like it from the tap.

    Answer by preacherskid at 1:24 PM on Mar. 6, 2010

  • I also agree with pp-personally, no bottles unless you have to. Pumping is a hassle, and if you're right there, it IS easier to just feed her than to try and convince her to take a bottle, then find an opportunity to express the milk she would have nursed out of you so your supply stays the same and you don't end up super engorged before she nurses again- going by the three hour model, if you don't get a chance to pump while/after she takes a bottle, and there are no opportunities to do so until she nurses again, you could be looking at 5+ hours of no milk leaving your breasts- ouch. Nursing her in a sling, covered to your and her comfort levels in public might be less aggravating. Not saying you have to NIP, but that it may be easier in the long run, especially if your daughter decides she wants you, not the bottle.

    Answer by preacherskid at 1:30 PM on Mar. 6, 2010

  • I breastfeed and use a bottle with my 12 week old son and have regularly since he was two weeks old. My doctor told me that as long as your infant is well established with breastfeeding then there should be no issue using a bottle. I do not like breastfeeding in public...not that there is anything wrong with it, I just feel uncomfortable. She also told us that not using a pacifer was ridiculous...if a baby is hungry, then a paci is obviously not going to satisfy his hunger. Sucking is one way infants calm themselves and relaxes them, it isn't always because they are hungry. I was a human pacifier for three days and finally ended up at the doctor's office hysterically crying b/c I thought I was doing something wrong and it was just that my son wanted the comfort that sucking gave him. Basically, You have to do what is right for you and your child, not what everybody and their brother believes you should do.

    Answer by suthrnpeaches at 3:40 PM on Mar. 6, 2010

  • About the pacifier... itis sucking that triggers production. Some one just establishing bfing or especially who has supply issues should avoid pacifiers unless really necessary. I despise the term "human pacifier" -- it implies that there is something wrong with babies sucking at the breast. We are NOT human pacifiers, it is the pacifier that is the mommy-substitute! Newborns are suck demons for a reason. Comfort and food is part of the same system.

    While some babies can take the pacifier with no issues, far too many then have latch problems or mothers wonder why their supply isn't what they would expect.

    Answer by amileegirl at 4:11 PM on Mar. 6, 2010