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Combination Feeding

Combination feeding or mixed feeding is something that many women decide to do. This usually means combining breastfeeding with bottle feeding. The milk in the bottle can be either breastmilk or formula milk. 

Mums decide to combination feed for a variety of different reasons. Their baby may have struggled getting breastfeeding established and they decided to feed their child some formula alongside breastfeeding. Or they may have to return to work so may not be able to breastfeed their baby when they are at work. 

  • If you want to mix breastfeeding with formula feeds both you and your baby can carry on enjoying breastfeeding together.

    If you choose to introduce infant formula:

    • It's best to go slowly and gradually. This gives your body time to reduce the amount of milk it makes and lowers your chances of getting uncomfortable, swollen breasts, or an infection.
    • If you're going back to work, start a few weeks beforehand to give both of you time to readjust.
    • If your baby is 6 months old or more and can drink milk from a cup, you may not need to introduce a bottle at all.

    For more information on drinking from cups *click here*.

    Even when combining breast feeding with formula, your baby will still see the benefits of breastmilk. for example they will still gain some of the antibodies that will protect them against infection.


  • Breastmilk supply is created by feeding often and responsively. This means feeding your baby when they start to show hunger cues.

    Giving your baby formula can affect your milk supply, especially when you first start breastfeeding. It means your baby breastfeeds less often so your body produces less milk.

    The NHS suggest that it can take up to six weeks to successfully establish breastfeeding. It's often recommended to wait until feeding is firmly established before introducing a bottle.


  • When introducing a bottle to a baby, it's best to:

    • Hold your baby in a semi-upright position, close to your body.
    • Offer the teat so that they can draw it into their mouth.
    • Hold the bottle at an angle so that they can suck milk in avoiding air.
    • Take the bottle out of your baby's mouth as soon as they begin to show signs that they've had enough.

    This all helps to build a close loving relationship, responsive feeding, and avoid overfeeding.

    For more information on introducing a bottle *click here*.

Who Can Help?

If your baby is less than 28 days old you can contact your local midwifery team or you can contact the Healthy Child Programme at any time following your baby's birth by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590.

Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. Norfolk Healthy Child Programme has a team of infant feeding champions who can contact you by video call/telephone initially to discuss your questions and refer you to further help if required. All of our staff are trained to Unicef standards to provide you with the best possible feeding support and advice.

*Click here* to read the Essential Guide to Feeding & Caring for your Baby. 

If you would like to make connections with other parents please click on the links for our Just One Norfolk Community Forum; the Norfolk Community Directory and Early Childhood & Family Service (ECFS) below


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