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Combi Feeding - Mum's Advice

March 22, 2018

Bottle or Boob? Why not both?! 

I combi fed my first baby and I will my second too, baby bear had boob and formula from day 2. When I got home, I pumped in between my feeds so I (or daddy) could give her bottles as well as booby. She used two different types of bottles and had a dummy too. After 6 weeks, we switched her to formula in bottles and boob - she would generally have 2 forumla's a day and nighttime would always be boob. By 7 weeks, she would sleep through from 10pm-6/7am - result! She never got 'nipple confusion' didn't suffer with upset stomach and she has been ill 3 times in 2 years (2 of those times were since starting creche). It worked for us and it worked for others too.. here are their stories.. 


''I never had any success in expressing, so I didn't bother! Instead I would offer 2 bottles instead of breast feeding, one during the day and the other round 11pm-midnight. I quite enjoyed the break, and hubby loved the opportunity to feed the baby his nighttime feed while I went to bed early to catch up on some sleep. TBH I didn't find my milk supply changing particularly, and over the course of the 6 months I gradually brought in extra bottles every 3-4 weeks.The only thing I did notice was that with third baby I had quite a difficult pregnancy and put on virtually no weight. I think that because I didn't have those reserves I noticed a definite difference in the milk supply after a big meal''


''''I combined Bf, ebf and ff with my eldest who is now 4. It wasn't intentional, but she had a tongue-tie and the pain was horrendous. I found trying to combine the feeding was messy and I struggles to know when she had enough. When her tongue-tie stretched a bit at about 10 weeks and the pain eased I was able to increase the bf, stop expressing and decrease the formula. By that stage she was taking an 7-8oz ff at night and sleeping for 8-10hours. When I stopped the ff at night in an attempt to exclusively bf she started wakening a couple of times at night. I expected this but after more 3 nights I decided to give the ff at night again as I was very close to losing my sanity and didn't think I was going to be a great mum being so flipping miserable. Of course then I was miserable as I was riddled with guilt about the ff (how ridiculous it seems now). That's just my experience, but in hindsight I think that if you want to combine bf and ff I would give the ff at the same time(s) each day (not by the clock but eg. always the 2nd and last feeds). If you are trying to increase your own supply then feed 40mins on one side and offer the other side before ff.''


''I have a 20 week old son, and since week 4 I have been both breast and bottle feeding, he gets one bottle of formula a day. But that one bottle has totally saved my sanity and made breastfeeding so much more manageable.I found it hard to find any encouraging advice about combination feeding.It makes me feel sad, and also a bit angry, when I read so many posts from women who are struggling with the pressure to exclusively breastfeed. I honestly feel that if the professionals were a bit more encouraging about combination feeding then it might make women mainly breastfeed for longer. I certainly would have given up by now if it wasn’t for a bottle of formula a day.This is my 3rd baby. I fed the first for about 6 months and the second for only about 6 weeks . I really wanted to try to keep going longer this time but I found it totally overwhelming. The first couple of weeks were endless feeding, pain and discomfort, all the usual, while also trying to find time for my older sons and it was just really hard.By week 3 I was tempted to just give up but felt quite sad about it, so I made the decision that I was going to give my baby a bottle of formula once or twice a day and breastfeed the rest of the time. As I expected, my health visitor was not encouraging, she stuck rigidly to the ‘breast is best’ line and put the fear in me that once I got started with formula it was a slippery slope to complete formula feeding. All the stories I found on here suggested the same, that combining the two was a short term thing or really only worked for a night-time dream feed. Having failed to find any helpful information I decided for myself that once he got to 4 weeks I was going to give him a bottle once a day, then once he got to 8 weeks I’d give him 2 bottles a day, etc, so that I could see a way out of breastfeeding, but by limiting the number of bottles I gave him I hoped I wouldn’t fall into the trap of giving more formula and less breastmilk too soon.16 weeks later, I’m amazed that I’m still going and he still usually only has one bottle a day. I think that by limiting the amount of formula I gave him, I still let him feed more when he was going through a growth spurt or whatever, I tried really hard not to think ‘oh no, breastmilk must not be satisfying him any more, I’ll need to give him more formula’.For the first few days my boobs did feel a bit uncomfortable when I skipped a breastfeed, but it quickly settled down.I don’t give him a bottle at any particular time of day, just whenever suits. At the weekend I might take my older sons out for the afternoon and baby stays at home with daddy and a bottle, sometimes I give him his bottle if I’m out at the park or somewhere I just don’t fancy breastfeeding, some days he gets 2 bottles in the day, sometimes he gets none. But he usually gets one.The only feed I try to always do is the one before bed because I sometimes wake up in the night with full boobs if he’s missed that feed. Apart from that, I’m totally flexible about it and both of us have managed absolutely fine.''


''I am also giving my daughter a mixture of breast and formula.She isn't confused at all between teat and nipple. She is able to accept both without any problems.I started off after labour believing exclusively breast feeding was the best for our daughter. It was until the forth day home from hospital where she refused to latch on and cried for six hours straight. That night we resulted on going to the supermarket to but formula so she would feed. Since then, she has one formula feed per day and usually of a night time which my husband gives her. During growth spurts we top up with formula during the day if she isn't satisfied. It works really well. My midwife and health visitor were very supportive in this approach. Especially when I broke down in tears in front of them because of pure exhaustion.I would recommend this approach to Mum's if asked for my opinion. In my NCT class there are only three or four exclusively breast feeding, the majority are combination feeding and the others are formula feed. This is for a number of individual reasons like tongue tie, traumatic births were milk supply never fully came in, babies losing too much weight within the first couple of weeks, etc. I do believe there should be more awareness of different approaches you can take when feeding your baby not just breast feeding as it isn't always suitable for everyone. It depends on the individual and their situation.''

What am I trying to say to you? Whatever feeding technique you use is totally fine! Don't let people bully you into their way of 'feeding' you may like to add ketchup to your meal whereas someone else prefers Mayo - you are both eating, both healthy so who gives a *&it! xx

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