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Breast Feeding and Formula Feeding??

Is it safe to both breast feed & formula feed a newborn baby??

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THANK YOU to everyone who sent in some feedback. It helps A LOT for me--especially since this will be my first child. Thanks again!!! :)

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Yes it is totally safe and I would recommend introducing the bottle within the first two weeks so the baby will be willing to accept a bottle, if you wait too long very often the baby will not accept the bottle. Also introducing formula early is a good idea if that is what you are going to rely on when you go back to work. I have three kids and breast fed my youngest two. Good luck!

I had my first in 1962 and I had a very progressive pediatritian. He told me to substitute one feeding a day with formula from the first and to change which time of the day I did the switch. That way my daughter got used to getting either breast or bottle. It worked great. Did the same thing with my second. They were very healthy and still are.

Hi J.,
It is perfectly fine to do both. In fact, when I had my son, the hospital had me supplement with formula since breastfeeding was not going so well. Goo luck and enjoy what little time left you have alone ! :)

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Yes I did it with all 3 of my children and it is the best of both worlds. Transitioning back to work was much easier. For my first child I had to put him on formula and 1 1/2 months because I had an emergency gall bladder surgery. He was fine with it. My second child just rejected me one day when she was about 6 months so it was easy for her as well. My third child, we found that there wasn't enough fat in my breast milk. My doctor kept telling me to wait but she became lethargic and we got very worried. so I tried a little at a time because she had a very sensitive stomach and she responded excellent to it. I kept breast feeding at the same time so she transitioned easily.

There are so many formulas out there and you have to try the one that best suits your child.

Try to breast feed as long as you can because you are giving your baby your anti-bodies to help them fight off infections and other bugs. At the same time bottle feeding does not hurt a child and in my case helped all 3 of my children adapt to whatever situation we were handed.

Being a parent means trying anything and everything that you think will work for your child. Go with your gutt instinct and you will be right most of the time. Listen to your heart!

1 mom found this helpful

You definitely can, and there are some situations in which it's a good idea... But there are also reasons it isn't a good idea. I think you should call the La Leche League and talk with one of tehir leaders so that you get more of the whole picture. It's also a good idea, I think, to talk to more than one lactation consultant type person because sometimes one has a strong preference or even agenda that they're advocating at the expense of giving you the information and letting you decide what's right in your situation. That's one of the things I liked about the LLL people I met and talked with - they seemed way less judgmental and sure that their way was the right way than some of the lactation consultants my friends were using. The LLL people were a font of MANY strategies and very practical applications + reliable facts, and their attitude is that with information you can make a choice that is right for you.

Hi J.,
It is perfectly fine to do both. In fact, when I had my son, the hospital had me supplement with formula since breastfeeding was not going so well. Goo luck and enjoy what little time left you have alone ! :)

There's nothing dangerous, per se, about doing both. I'd recommend getting a breast pump, though, and pump so that your baby has maybe a few more months of breastmilk after you go to work. Friends of mine I know have also tried pumping at work as well. I'd definitely wait to introduce the bottle for at least a good few weeks though, so that you're sure your baby has a good latch. Best of luck to you!

Hi J.,

I have 4 very healthy children whom I both breast and bottle fed, especially when I returned to work. The only trouble with it I encountered was that they got lazy after getting the bottle all day and didn't latch on as quickly when I breast fed. When I did use formula to supplement it never caused any issues. Formulas are made to mimic breast milk in nutrition, so there shouldn't be a problem unless your baby is allergic to something in it, or has trouble digesting it. Your pediatrician should have some really good tips for you on how to handle the change. They did prefer the breast milk because its sweeter though. Congratulations on you soon to be new born! E.

Hi J.,
I Am first time mom with an 6 week old baby girl.I was planning on breastfeeding my daughter until she was atleast 6 months including pumping while I was at work. Had my daughter, I started to have complications so she had to be nursed as quick as possible so she wasnt dehidrated.I wasnt getting enough to her so the nurses would being her in and tell me to nurse as long as possible. Still not enough so they talked to me about bottle feeding with suplment on formula. I was worried about nipple confusion like any first time moms. They told me always offer yourself then offer formula, you shouldnt have any problems. It worked. I was happy and surprised. Then I had to stop pumping for medical reasons and persnol. Just fomula and then a week later tried again to see if she had a problem latching on after being an 100% formula baby and she did fine agin. I had to stop breastfeeding again for reason not making enough. My sister gave me the tip drink lots of water and brewer yeast to keep up the supply after I stopped the 2nd time.As of today my daughter is a 100% formula baby and very healthy and happy. And so am I. hope this helped. PLease contact me at anytime with any other questions. Good luck!!

No problems, you may want to start just breast feeding to make sure there is no problems, like milk allergies, then add in formula. It will help you rule out any problems if the formulas cause a problem. I have only breast fed my 3 ( soon to be 4) but know that not all formulas are created equal.

Hi J. - I breastfed and formula fed from the first day in the hospital. I went back to work when my son was 4 months old and I continued to breastfeed in the evening and morning but his daycare provider bottle fed him formula and any breast milk I pumped during the day at work, my son's pediatrician did not seem to have any problems with that.

Good luck with your new baby!

ooo you are going to have a baby very soon! best of luck w that. breastfeeding is the best thing ever and if you could, try to pump milk and breastfeed her 100%. Its the best you can do. you can get alot of support from your friends. you can email me too. pumping milk while at work is easier than i thought. its the law as well. lmk if you need more support.

absolutely. my daughter is now almost 8 but i worked part time so she had what i pumped and a few ounces to supplement when she needed a little more. it's completely safe!

I had trouble breastfeeding my first child and was worried that she would not latch on after spending the first week or so bottle feeding. I decided to sing to her the same song each time I fed her (and only then). My doctor was amazed at how well she transitioned from bottle to breast and I think it even helped when we started solid food. She knew when she heard our song, it was time to eat.

Hi J., I the best advice I can give is to invest in a good pump. They are expensive but worth every penny. I gave my daughter breast milk from a bottle from day one. I waited to give my older son one until he was a month or so and he would NEVER take one. I know everyone will tell you different things. But you will find whats right for you in time. If you are looking for a formula to combine with breastfeeding I would try Nestle good start nautural cultures (green lable). I love it, I to breast and formula feed

There are many moms who can't breastfeed due to illness or even because they adopted, who use formula from day one. That being said, breast milk really is the best and most natural food for your little angel. You can pump any excess after each nursing session and store it in the fridge (short term) or freezer (long term) and then simply feed it back to your little one when you're back at work. I don't remember the exact expiration time but you can easily find out from any number of sources such as the la leche league.

J., Congratulations on your upcoming delivery! It is totally safe to breast feed and bottle/formula feed a new baby. While I was pregnant with my first, I heard all the talk about waiting 6 weeks before introducing a bottle. Unfortunately, due to the fact that she was born with a heart condition that would need surgery when she was 3 months old, I had to cut my maternity leave to only 6 weeks so I could save my accumulated vacation time for her surgery. I did not have the luxury of waiting until she was 6 weeks old to introduce a bottle. We started with the day she came home from the hospital (day 4) so my husband could feed her too. It didn't affect my milk supply one bit. In fact, when I went back to work, I ended up getting a really good pump and was able to pump and give her breastmilk exclusively until she was 5 months old and started eating solids. After that she ate solids and breast milk and we still didn't have to supplement with formula. I pumped during the day and nursed her at night and she transitioned like a champ. There was no nipple confusion at all and my going back to work didn't have to affect my desire to breast feed.

Fast forward 2 years to the birth of my son...I had quit my job by then and was a stay-at-home-mom. Since there was no rush to get him used to a bottle I followed the rules and waited until he was over a month old to introduce a bottle. It was a disaster! We ended up buying every type of bottle/nipple combination on the market over the next 6 months and he would not take any of them. If I wanted to leave the house alone for any reason I had to time my departure pefectly to go along with his appetite. I was actually more exhausted with him than when I worked full-time and had my daughter because I couldn't ever relax.

While my daughter was young I joined a working mothers group and every mom but me had a hard time getting their baby to take a bottle when they went back to work. They had all waited until it was almost time to go back (at around 3 months.) I was the only one who had no issues and I was the only one who didn't follow the 6-week rule.

The best advice I was given as a new mom was to just do was feels right to me - everything else will, and did, work out. If you decide to continue feeding breast milk after you go back to work, I would be happy to give you some pointers. If you decide to use formula exclusively after I have some tips that I learned from the leader of the working moms group that I attended. Just let me know. Best of luck to you and your new baby!

hi..i will tell you i tried to breast feed and was unsuccessful so my son was basically formula fed from birth..he is now 2 years old and totally fine..i tried to breast feed and it was just too hard..i had a very complicated birth so everything was difficult in the beginning..get hooked up with a lactation consultant at DayOne..take one of their breast feeding classes..formula is perfectly safe and my son is fine..good luck..S.

Hi J.!

I have a 5 month old little girl that I have just in the last 2 weeks had to start supplementing formula. They do fine with it. The only downside that I have seen is she gets lazy when nursing because she knows she can get it a lot easier from a bottle. But health wise I don't think there is a downside. Try the Nestle Good Start Formula. It's very gentle & has the breastmilk ingredients. Hope it goes well for you!

I am a working mom so I always started my kids off on breastmilk and formula. It made the transition easier when I went back to work. I have a sister that had a hard time getting her baby to take a bottle so I didnt want that. Even though breastmilk is better for the baby there is great formulas out there now, so don't let anyone make you feel bad for giving your baby formula. It is really what you feel most comfortable with.

I have never heard there is any problem providing both formula and breast milk. My little one couldn’t tolerate formula until around 8 months. I mixed the two in a bottle and then slowly added more formula as time went on. The one thing I have heard is if you introduce the bottle too early you baby may “become lazy” and not want to take the breast as it is harder to suck from. I don’t think there is any right answer. Your child will ultimately dictate how he/she is fed. Mine never took to the breast. I pumped for 8 months.

I would suggest getting set breastfeeding, before starting with any bottles. My son latched on well, and I got sick in the hospital..so he had bottles in the hospital. We didn't have any problems with it. But, I wasn't so gung ho about breastfeeding, and as my milk supply slowed, I just quit. I think it depends on how important breastfeeding is to you. If it is something you feel you absolutely need to do, you want to be a little more careful.

Good Luck!

Breastfeeding is really ideal for as long as possible. It changes their gut once you introduce something other than the breast which shouldnt happen til at least 6 mos or longer. Sets up the possibility for allergies and rough digestive stuff. I would stick to breastmilk then pump your milk if your going back to work.

Yes it is totally safe and I would recommend introducing the bottle within the first two weeks so the baby will be willing to accept a bottle, if you wait too long very often the baby will not accept the bottle. Also introducing formula early is a good idea if that is what you are going to rely on when you go back to work. I have three kids and breast fed my youngest two. Good luck!

I have a five week old that I breast feed only. I just introduced a bottle (with breast milk) yesterday. It is better to wait until your milk supply is in and your baby is good at breast feeding before you introduce a bottle.
Once you introduce a bottle you can breast feed and bottle feed. Some people mix formula and breast milk together. I did that with my first two children. But with this one I am only doing breast milk untili I have to go back to work.

Okay, So I know this is mommy site, but somehow I (a daddy of 10 month old got this news letter... J., I can't give you a medical yes or no, but I can tell you that my wife who has and still does breastfeed our son, did start introducing a bottle at about 6 weeks, and added formula when he was around 7 months old. This was more so that I could help out and create a bond with him other than "Daddy is the one who makes me laugh by blowing on my belly and cheeks!" We now alternate through out the day depending on who is taking care of him.

Breast feeding is very important for helping the kidos in developing a strong immune system and for the bond between you (mommy) and baby. And try as they might, scientist have not been able to replicate natures original. That being said, once you start introducing other food sources, adding formula into the mix will be good for you, daddy and baby.

I hope this helps.

Hi J.,

I have two 7.5 month old sons, and we had to supplement them with formula from day 3. They were small, and could not latch well in the first days, so I mostly pumped and we gave them bottle. My milk supply was not enough for two, and they were crying from hunger, so we started supplementing. They had quite a bit of gases and discomfort up until they turn 4 mths. old(including excessive burping, and later excessive salivating). My friend's exclusively breastfeed baby girl never burped like that and cried much less. It is best for the baby just to have breast milk in the beginning, for at least 3 - 6 mths. Even 4 mths would be perfect -- if that's the time you're going to stay at home, and you can pump at work afterwards. If I could I would exclusively breastfeed, although my babies are fine and healthy now, at 7.5 months of age. We use Organic formula (first Similac, and now Earth's Best found in Wholefoods), but all formulas organic or not are commercially made and include lots of ingredients which are not the best for baby or adult alike. For starters, most formulas are based on corn syrup or cane sugar... and cow's milk which is not recommended to babies until one year of age. I think that my babies would have much less problem and discomfort if they only had breast milk. (And to top it off formula is extremely expensive!)
I hope this helps to make your decision,

It sounds like you will be going back to work and want to get your baby used to something other than breast milk. However, you can actually store up breast milk for later. Have you thought about using a breast pump to express milk? You can store the extra milk in the freezer for use when you are back at work. This worked well for me with my babies when I went back to work. It only takes a few minutes to pump. Breast milk is much healthier than formula and free. Formula costs quite a bit.

Good luck!

It is safe to both breastfeed and formula feed a baby. The question is, will the baby go for it? I found that my baby would not take formula OR a bottle when she was at daycare (I pumped milk at work and school during breaks), so I had to feed her as soon as I picked her up from daycare. Explore your options and be prepared for the possible "picky". I myself am currently pregnant with my sixth, so I will soon have to face this dilemma. I understand and hope you get the answers you need and all goes well for you. Good luck to you!!!

Hi - In my opinion, breast feed for a few months until your baby is comfortable with the practice, at least 2-3 months. Try pumping breast milk and feeding it to your baby with a bottle - have someone else do the feeding as your baby may become confused as to why he is not able to nurse from you. I found it was more difficult to get the baby to take a bottle (regardless of breast milk or formula) than to take formula. Breast milk is so much better for your baby and if you can nurse, it is not necessary to switch to formula until you cannot keep up with your baby's demands. And besides, breast milk is free and formula is very expensive!!

About me - mother of 2 yr boy and 5 month boy

Hope this helps!


I hope you have a great time with your new baby. I am a Birth and Postpartum Doula and I have worked with lots of clients in the early days of parenting. Because Breast milk production is a supply and demand system, as the baby eats a hormonal feedback tell your body to amke more milk, it is important to start off by breastfeeding for at least a while. That way your milk production will be established and you will have more options for infant feeding, breast or formula for a longer period of time. In the beginning of breastfeeding your body lays down these hormonal pathways that allow for good milk productin, many of these are laid down itn the first three weeks or so of Breastfeeding, then for most women the milk supply is well established by about 6 weeks.

I often suggest to breastfeeding clients that they offer a bottle of breastmilk around 4 weeks and then to make deciisions about breast, bottle and formula after 6 weeks. This allows you the most flexability and often more choices at that point. Breastmilk especially early on is easier for the babies to digest and you end up with less fussiness and constipation and as a new parent having less to deal with is just easier.

It is important to have support and help if you do decide to breastfeed in those early weeks.

T. Mclean

It's definately ok to bottle feed and breast feed. I did with my son and he was totally fine. I found it easier because sometimes with the hectic lives we lead it's easier to have dad feed him formula (no time to pump some days) or when he got bigger and needed to sleep longer. I found if I gave my little guy a bottle of formula at night he would sleep better.

I have three teenagers but I do remember when I was brestfeeding them. From what I remember you can potentially cause nipple confusion with your baby. The bottels nipple will never replace the feel of the real thing. Alot of time the milk comes out of a bottel faster then your own brest. This caused my oldest to choke on it when I first introduced the bottel to him. They also tend to gravatate more to the bottel after introducing it to them because it is easier to suck the milk out. My suggestion to you si to wait. the first three months are very important to your child to receive the immunitys through your brest milk. It will also not cause a loss of brest milk production. Once you skip brestfeeding once or twice a day your body naturally stops producing as much milk because the demand is not there. I hope this information helped you.


Congratulations on your upcoming delivery!! My best advice is to relax and go with what feels right for you. My milk didn't come in for FIVE DAYS!! So I really had to offer a bottle right off the bat. In retrospect, my daughter couldn't latch on well because she was tongue tied (which I knew nothing about at the time and the dr. didn't catch it). She never really breast fed that well and I never produced much milk. My second daughter latched on the first time I held her and things went more smoothly. I did give her bottles too though which made it easy for daddy and grandparents to feed her and have that bonding time. Neither one of my girls had nipple confusion and both were very healthy despite getting some formula.

Also, breastfeeding is supposed to be so natural and you think it's going to just happen (and sometimes it does) but try not to stress out if it takes a while for you both to get the hang of it. Try to stay positive and it can be really helpful to find a support group. I delivered at Good Sam in San Jose and they had a breastfeeding support group that met weekly and it was fabulous to go sit in a room with tons of other nursing moms and get help from lactation specialists. I can't recommend something like that enough! :)

Above all, enjoy every minute with your sweet little newborn...and congratulations!

I didn't make very much milk so I had to supplement my daughter with formula from day one. She always had a formula bottle at night and around 4 months we started only breast feeding morning noon and night and gave formula in between. She was absolutely fine with this and at 5 months when I went back to work part time we were just doing morning and night. The only issue you may run into is what kind of formula she/he likes (mine wasn't picky though) and what kind of nipple they want on the bottle. Its trial and error, but safety wise, you're fine.

Yes, that is totally fine. In fact, even in the hospital my daughter was taking formula supplements b/c she had lost weight since my milk hadnt come in yet. It is absolutely fine. Do whatever you feel will be best for you. Pump and save if that works for you, that never worked for me, and I am actually planning on NOT breastfeeding at all for my next child. I am sure I will get some comments and eye rolls at that, but it all comes down to the mom being happy and comfortable and you have to do whatever works! Formula these days is FABULOUS and nutritious. Good luck!

I had to supplement with formula while breastfeeding, as I didn't make enough milk for my daughter. I used the Enfamil Gentlease Lipil, and she was fine. It was also nice that my husband and older kids could help feed her. We started supplementing her with formula when she was only about 3 weeks old, and once I got over the sadness of feeling "insufficient", I was fine, too.

We didn't have any problem introducing a bit of formula early on (a few weeks old), but it really depends on how the baby will react. I had to have surgery when our son was 10 days old, and had to get him used to the
bottle (first with breast milk, then formula). I think, the biggest issue isn't the formula, it's more about getting your baby to accept the bottle. The only advice on the subject we had from the pediatrician was that, once you've started (with the bottle), it's good to do it once in a while to keep your child used to it. We ended up breastfeeding 80-90% of the time, and bottle/formula feeding the rest of the time, which turned out being very convenient (it's not alway easy to find a quiet spot to breastfeed).

While yes it is safe, Breast is Best. If you can get your milk supply well established and get a healty start of 4 to 6 weeks breastfeeding, you will be off to the best start health and bonding wise for you and your baby. Learn to introduce a bottle slowly after that.There are many tricks and tips. Finding support for you choice is important during this increadable time. How awesome you are choosing to breastfeed!

Hi J.,
I had to supplement with formula because I didn't produce enough breast milk. My daughter latched on like a champ right after delivery, in fact she latched on a little too well. Ouch! I rented a breast pump trying to increase my production without much success. If you can use only breast milk is would be best. I rented a great pump thru a hospital's lactation dept. I would mix her bottle half and half with formula and breast milk. The Avent bottles seemed to work best for her, the other nipples seemed to flow too fast. I would have loved to use breast milk exclusively, in fact I consulted lactation specialists. Their advice was to breast feed my daughter and then pump afterwards. Well, my daughter wouldn't sleep anywhere but on me for the first 6-7 weeks so that was impossible. I tried Nestle Goodstart formula with DHA but we found that she had too much gas and diarra so switched to soy. Later we found out she was lactose intolerant. Hope this helps.
Congrats and good luck!

I would breast feed exclusively for the first three months and then SLOWLY add formula. My baby had trouble latching on initially and I didn't want to jeopardize nursing by introducing bottle too soon. The benefits of breastfeeding are so amazing in the early months, I would advise just not to mess with it. I had to go back to work after 3 months and was able to pump enough during the day to feed her. That said, I know that sometimes it isn't possible to get enough milk and had a co-worker who augmented with formula. She breastfed in morning, when she got home and at night saving the formula for the daytime feedings.

Good luck!

I had my first in 1962 and I had a very progressive pediatritian. He told me to substitute one feeding a day with formula from the first and to change which time of the day I did the switch. That way my daughter got used to getting either breast or bottle. It worked great. Did the same thing with my second. They were very healthy and still are.

I breastfeed almost exclusively for the first 4 months and then went to all formula at that time. I gave about 1 formula bottle a day after about 3-4 weeks and my husband was able to help feed in the middle of the night. It also allowed me to run errands and continue to still have a life. I used Second Nature bottles the 1st 4 months and my daughter switched back and forth with no problem. I think she actually preferred the breast over the bottle. I then switched to Avent bottles, which I love and continue to use. I started with Similac formula and hated it- my daughter had gas all the time. I switched her to Nestles Good Start (Soy) and she was a completely different baby. I have heard from a lot of moms that Nestles is easier on their babies stomaches. My daughter has been really healthy and is almost a year old.

I would breastfeed exclusively for the first 3 months, then start switching out one breast feeding for one bottle feeding every week. Do it slow or you will become engorged! Leave the night feedings for last, or even keep them since after a month your body will adjust to only nursing morning and night. You might also start with breastmilk in the bottle then make it formula after your baby is used to a bottle and you will need to have someone else give her those bottles in the beginning because she will smell your milk and want that instead. Good luck!

Four months is an great length for you and your baby to get started.

The best is to start off breastfeeding and get the hang of that for the first four to six weeks and then slowly introduce a bottle of formula or expressed breastmilk in a bottle, preferably in the hands or dad or grandma, they will accept it better. Don't wait too long, because some children, like mine, will refuse the plastic nipple adamantly.

It often takes at least a month to get your milk supply established. Consider renting a hospital grade pump in the beginning while your supply is prolific and freeze some milk for when you return to work. It is usually good for 6 months in a good freezer, freeze it in small portions. Many women continue to provide a large portion of the milk for baby by expressing at work.

La Leche League groups and leaders- Im sure there are contacts in your area, are a great resources for helping mom's get started breastfeeding and have lots of books and other resources for women going back to work who want a little more info and encouragement with their options and resources. Look them up online and find a meeting or leader in your area.

Good Luck!

The recommendation is to solely breastfeed for the first 4 weeks, and then introduce a bottle between 4 & 8 weeks. Sooner than that, and your baby may have nipple confusion and stop taking the breast (it's rare, but you never know if your baby is going to be the one!). After that, and you may have difficulty getting the babe to take a bottle. And just curious - why, if you have enough milk for your baby, would you supplement with formula? Just pump and store that breastmilk*! Then baby can have that in a bottle.

*I'm no fanatic about this - my babe is 10 months old now, and I work part-time. A month or so ago I decided it was important to let myself off the hook where pumping was concerned and be ok with her getting formula (organic, Earth's Best) from time to time (about 4-5 bottles/week). But I wish I had pumped a lot when I was home with her and gotten a good supply in the fridge. HOWEVER, that said, you should wait to pump until you and your baby have regulated your supply - about 4-6 weeks. Good luck!

Yes you can do both, however, some children may have issues with latching on the breast if a bottle nipple is introduced to early. My lactation consultant recommended the Playtex Naturalatch nipple in silicon as it is the most like mom's. Unfortunately, that limits you to using the Playtex bottles & liners. My twins, now 8 mos, had a bottle a couple times a day during the early months to aid with weight gain but rarely get one now. With the Playtex Naturalatch they were able to go from me to it without any nipple confusion. If you are breastfeeding too, start with the slow flow nipples to encourage them to work. A fast flow nipple may teach them to prefer a bottle since the flow is faster & easier. You can also mix breastmilk & formula in one bottle. The breastmilk will aid digestion of the formula.

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