Can You Mix Formula and Breastmilk

Updated on January 30, 2008
R.W. asks from Los Angeles, CA
39 answers

I am trying to get my daughter to take a bit of formula but she hates it. Can I slowly introduce it by mixing it with a bit of breastmilk?

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

She hates it? Have you tried it? When my kids say they don't like something, I try it. Maybe it tastes bad? Looks like you've got plenty of good advice here on mixing the two. sorry, I'm really no help here.
Good luck,
M.

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L.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I breast fed both my children but at about 6 months I started to dry up (joys of pumping at the office). So I started to mix in the formula. In the beginning I just added a small amount and gradually increased the amount until it was mostly formula. It took about a month or so to completely switch it over but it worked very well for me. Try adding just an ounce and work up from there. Also, have you tasted breast milk and formula? I did taste comparisons on a few formulas and found that Enfamil tasted the closest to my milk (sweeter than Similac) so that brand worked best for me.
Good luck - hopefully it works as well for you as it did for me.

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M.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I really don't think that would be a good idea to mix in, but maybe you should alternate one breastmilk bottle and then the next bottle would be of formula. I thought using powder formula was a little easier on the stomach. Breastmilk is so natural it is easily digested. Giving a formula bottle at night helps baby sleep a little longer.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

She hates it? Have you tried it? When my kids say they don't like something, I try it. Maybe it tastes bad? Looks like you've got plenty of good advice here on mixing the two. sorry, I'm really no help here.
Good luck,
M.

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N.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son is 6 months and have been doing the mix breastmilk (pumped) and formula ever since he was born. You can't leave it out though because it will spoil just like formula. If your baby does not drink it all at once, it is done after the feed. N.

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K.H.

answers from San Diego on

You can try to mix the two together, but it might make it too rich and your baby may throw it up. A good formula to switch to is Horizon Formula. Stay away from Walmart and other cheap brands, they are full of chemicals and fillers. Soy formula has a lot of natural estrogen in it, that is not good for the baby. Eventually your baby will drink the formula, if she is hungry enough. If you are going to mix breast milk and formula, you will have to play around with dilution, til you find what your baby will accept. Good luck. K.

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.,I'm a lactation educator and I often get asked this question. While I'd love to see your baby get only breastmilk, I understand the need to introduce formula for various reasons. It is fine to mix formula with breastmilk as long as the two liquids are the same temperature and both are fresh. I would suggest that you start with 90% breastmilk and 10% formula for several bottles, then slowly increase the mixture. Thus, with an 8 oz bottle- start with 7 oz. breastmilk/1 oz. formula for two or three days. Then go to 6 oz. breastmilk/2 oz. formula. It will take a bit of time, but she should start drinking it more readily if you do it slowly. Good luck. J.

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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, you can mix formula and breastmilk. I've done it and known other moms who have, although breastmilk is still much better for the baby than formula!

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D.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Definitely. We did it with our little guy for a month or two and now he takes a bottle with only formula every once in a while. You can slowly decrease the amount of breastmilk so you're left with only formula. Worked for us. Good luck!

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A.J.

answers from San Diego on

Yes, you can definitely mix breastmilk and formula. My milk supply is low at bedtime and I've been supplementing with a little formula mixed into some breastmilk I have had frozen. I usually mix at a 2/3 breastmilk 1/3 formula concentration. My daughter is 5 1/2 months.

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there,

Why not just stick to the breastmilk? It's such a great way to bond with your baby, healthier, and oh yeah...free!

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C.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Why do you want your daughter to drink formula? Formula poop is the NASTIEST ever.

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B.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Just another response saying that your daughter is doing what we call self-preservation ;)

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W.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Absolutely!! I dont know what your reasons are for wanting your child to take formula instead of mama's milk, since your milk will provide your daughter with far more of the balanced nutrients that she needs to grow and develop properly, but if you are able to pump it to give it to her mixed with the formula then at least she is still getting some of yours. if you can pump enough to givee her whole bottles of yours say, when you have to be away from her, you dont likely need to mix it with formula. Again, your milk contain literally thousands of nutrients, special fats and fighting cells crucial to the development of your child's sensitive and undeveloped immune system. You can look at any can of formula and see that its ingredients are limited, synthetic, and typically, chock full of sugar or corn syrup, which really is not best for baby. This can lead to overweight baby, and child later on, lending to higher susceptibility to obesity, heart disease and diabetes as they get older. That said, there are rare cases when the baby is failing to thrive, or if mama isnt properly nourished and her health therefore can become compromised, when a doctor might recommend formula, but any pediatrician can confirm that formula fed babies get more sick more often than do breast fed babies. if you do have to give your baby formula, and you can mix with breast milk, then by all means do!! best of love and health to you and yours!! =)

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K.R.

answers from Spokane on

Oh for sure you can mix it, that would be the best way to introduce it, not only for taste, but also to give her body a chance to warm up to the formula. Going from breastmilk to formula straight could be quite a shock for her little tummy. Just start one oz formula to the rest breastmilk, give it a couple of days on that mixture and then put in two oz formula.... you get the idea, until you're on straight formula. Not only should this help the transition, but she'll still be getting the antibodies of your breastmilk in the mixture! :) Good luck!

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L.F.

answers from San Diego on

absolutely you can! When I first started sending my daughter to day care, I didn't want the pressure of having to pump to provide her with 100% of her nutritional needs. So, I sent some breast milk and some formula and asked the caregivers to make her bottles with 1/2 of each. It worked extremely well, and it got my daughter used to the taste of formula. You can always change the proportions too. Best of luck!

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M.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

You can *totally* do this. I didnt when I wasnt able to pump enough bm and when we transistioned our children to formula from bm. You would mix your formula as directed and mix it with the bm. do you get it?

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M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, you can mix formula with breastmilk.

Is there are particular reason you NEED to? If you truly want to give your baby ONLY breastmilk, make sure you contact your lactation specialist. Your pediatrician or OB/Gyn should be able to help you get in touch with one if you know of any.

Being a working mom is no reason for not being able to give your baby just breastmilk.

Be sure that you've considered all options before making your decision. If you have, combining the 2 is not a problem.

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J.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

yes, you can mix breast milk and formula. Make sure they are the same temperature when mixing both. Your child will eventually accept the formula if you introduce it little by little.

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K.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.
I'm sure you can mix the two together. I didn't mix breast milk and formula but I did mix formula and whole milk when I was transitioning my daughter to regular milk and it worked like a charm. I don't see why it wouldn't work with breast milk. I'd start with a majority of breastmilk, adding 1 ounce of formula every few days, until the ratio had flip flopped and pretty soon she'll be on formula only. Watch her reaction and tolerance to the new taste, it may take a long time to get her used to the new flavor. Good luck!
K., mother of a 2 yr old girl with another due in 5 weeks.

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K.J.

answers from Denver on

There is no problem mixing formula with breastmilk. (I had to do it as I had low milk supply and would supplement with formula. Sometimes friends would give me breastmilk but it would not be the amount that I needed so I would mix them)

If your daughter still won't take it, you might try another kind of formula, because my experience is that there is a big difference between them.

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A.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Definitely! Start with mostly breat milk, then gradually make it more and more formula. Good luck!

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C.C.

answers from San Diego on

We mixed the two because I was not producing enough breastmilk. The doctor suggested it and it worked out well. We initially tried one brand of formula which she did not like, then we switched and she has completely acclimated to the formula.

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A.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, it is completely safe. If she drinks breastmilk from a bottle then it will be easy to add some formula. I would try a 50/50 mixture first then see what happens. If that doesn't work, then make the mixture with more BM than formula. Then you can slowly start adding more formula once she gets used to it. Hope that helps.

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L.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I breast fed both my children but at about 6 months I started to dry up (joys of pumping at the office). So I started to mix in the formula. In the beginning I just added a small amount and gradually increased the amount until it was mostly formula. It took about a month or so to completely switch it over but it worked very well for me. Try adding just an ounce and work up from there. Also, have you tasted breast milk and formula? I did taste comparisons on a few formulas and found that Enfamil tasted the closest to my milk (sweeter than Similac) so that brand worked best for me.
Good luck - hopefully it works as well for you as it did for me.

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K.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, I did this to help my son with weight gain. I don't recall the proportions of each though so maybe check with your doctor.

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G.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi...I don't blame her...formula is not at all what a baby wants after drinking your breastmilk. Remember that formula tastes the same...day in and day out. It lacks all the wonderful flavors (and love) that your breastmilk offers. With each meal you eat...the subtle flavor goes into your milk. If at all possible, breastfeed untill she can eat real food. Pump and store your milk so she has it when you are not around. The health benefits are worth the extra effort. There is a lot of controversy around formula. I work in the corp world and I know how hard breastfeeding can be...but I have one partially formula fed child and one fully breastfed child and I can see and feel the difference in them:) I hope this helps:)

D.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

yes you can...i think the best one is Good Start Supreme Comfort Proteins...it's the closest to breast milk you can get w/ formula.

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N.M.

answers from San Diego on

R.,
Because breastmilk is absorbed so efficiently by her body, the theory out there is mixing it together won't be optimal for her nutritionally. Definitely use all the breastmilk first as well for it has your immunities as well as long term benefits. Is there a reason you are leaning towards introducing formula?

good luck,

N.

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T.M.

answers from San Diego on

I did that with my daughter. We started the bottles with 3/4 breastmilk and 1/4 formula. Then we moved to 1/2 of each, then down to 1/4 breastmilk and 3/4 formula until she was taking bottles with all formula. It only took a couple of days. Good luck!

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K.P.

answers from Santa Barbara on

I did with both of my kids to ease the transition to formula. Keep the ratio low with more milk than formula and gradually change to more formula than milk. The downside is that you can waste some milk sometimes if they don't finish the bottle. It's not recommended to keep the bottle if they don't finish the whole thing. Good luck!

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I always have some formula in the house in case I need to be away and don't have enough breastmilk. I mix breastmilk with the formula and it seems to go down okay. I don't recommend supplementing regularly if you want to keep your milk supply up, but if you have to be away and need a back up it works out great. Good Luck!

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P.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

You can mix breast milk with formula and I tried this with my baby but she hated the taste! There are some great breast pumps available on the market and breast milk is so much better for baby. You can even freeze it. Have you considered this?

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B.B.

answers from Honolulu on

If you can successfully breastfeed your daughter, why would you ever want to give her formula? Your daughter knows what is good for her. You can freeze your breast milk if you are going to be away from your baby.

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A.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.,
My daughter was born 13 wks before her due date. Her doctor put her on breastmilk and formula. She was on both until I ran out of breastmilk. Of course you could call her doctor and make sure it's ok for your daughter.

A.

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S.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Absolutely, I did it with both my boys and it worked perfectly!

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V.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

My question is why do you want to introduce formula. Once you start supplimenting with formula, your milk production will slow down. Are you planning on weaning soon? If you still have questions, you can call Loving Support 1-888-451-2499. I call there every now and then if I have a question regarding breastfeeding.

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H.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I did this with my first born and it worked well. I gradually added bit by bit until he would drink half formula/ half b. milk. This method also works well when you are trying to get them to drink cow's milk. We had to mix the cow milk with formula to transition him. I also would mix in a scoop of formula into his rice cereal when he started eating that. I did that immediately so he would never know the difference.

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N.K.

answers from San Diego on

There is nothing wrong with mixing breastmilk and formula as long as you know your baby can tolerate the formula. I'm curious what has led you to the decision to add formula? Is your daughter under 12 months? Just wondering. Good luck!

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

YES!!!!! please thats the best you can do instead of formula, breastmilk is sacred, use it well!!! it will work!!

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C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes R., I am an LVN and Lactation Counselor and I always suggest to my moms to mix formula with breast milk if they need to introduce it into their babies life. It gets them used to the taste slowly and also I believe is easier on their tummies to digest if mixed . Same goes for when she reaches a yr and you start giving her whole milk, if mixed it is easier on her system and her taste buds to get used to it. Good Luck, C. BestFedBreastfeedingCenter.com or ____@____.com

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