When it comes to feeding your baby, there are a lot of choices to make. One question that often comes up is whether or not you can mix breast milk and formula together. Some parents do this because they want their baby to get the benefits of both types of milk.
It is safe to mix breast milk and formula together in the same bottle. However, there are some pros and cons to keep in mind when doing this such as mixing it evenly and not using it for longer than 24 hours.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at this topic.
How long is breast milk and formula mixed good for?
If you have leftover formula after your baby has finished drinking their bottle, you can mix it with some thawed breast milk. Just make sure that the two types of milk are at the same temperature before mixing them together. You may also want to add a little water to the mixture if it is too thick for your child to drink.
Premade formula bottles should be used within 1 day. Formula mixed with breast milk, and stored in a fridge, should be used or discarded within 24 hours.
A bottle of room temperature breast milk is good for up to 5 hours, but a bottle of formula mixed with breast milk should be discarded after 1 hour from the start of use.
Bacteria reproduce quickly in anything cow-milk-based so do not try to save a partially used formula or formula-and-breast milk bottle in the refrigerator beyond 60 minutes.
You can also freeze and then thaw a mixture of breast milk and formula to use later. It can be stored frozen for up to 6 months. Once thawed though you should use it within 3-4 hours after, or discarded within 24 hours if kept in a fridge.
The benefits of mixing breast milk and formula in the same bottle
Your baby gets the nutrients from both types of milk. Formula is a good source of protein, calcium, and other nutrients that your baby needs. Breast milk is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as other beneficial substances like antibodies. These antibodies and other beneficial substances can help protect your baby against infections and other illnesses. So by mixing the two types of milk together, your baby gets the benefits of both types of milk.
There are several reasons why parents might choose to mix breast milk and formula together. One reason is that formula can be expensive. By mixing breast milk and formula together, you can save money on groceries. Another reason is that some babies have trouble digesting formula. If your baby has problems with digestion, mixing breast milk and formula together may help him or her feel better
If you are formula feeding and also want to give your baby some breast milk, mixing the two in the same bottle is a convenient way to do it. You don’t have to worry about having two bottles ready – just one will do.
The other benefit is that if you are struggling to produce enough breast milk then mixing formula and your breast milk together can help to increase your breast milk supply.
However, but there are also some potential downsides to mixing breast milk and formula together.
The disadvantages of mixing breast milk and formula in the same bottle
One issue is that it can be difficult to mix them evenly, which could mean that your baby doesn’t get the right balance of nutrients. Another concern is that if you mix formula and breast milk in the same bottle, your baby may become confused about what type of milk he or she is drinking. This could lead to problems with breastfeeding later on.
It can also be more difficult to clean bottles that have both types of milk in them. Another downside is that if you are using formula, your baby may not want to drink as much breast milk because formula is thicker and has a different taste than breast milk. This could mean that your baby doesn’t get all the nutrients they need from breastfeeding.
Another downside is that formula-fed babies who are given some breast milk from a bottle may be more likely to become obese. One study found that formula-fed babies who were given some breast milk were more likely to be obese by the time they reached school age, than those who only drank formula.
So, is it safe to mix breast milk and formula together in the same bottle? The answer is yes – but there are some potential downsides that you should be aware of. If you are thinking about doing this, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant first to get their advice.
What to do if your baby refuses a mixed bottle
If your baby refuses to drink a mixed bottle, don’t worry – you can just give them formula or breast milk from a separate bottle. There is no need to force them to drink from a mixed bottle if they are not happy with it.
One way to help get your baby to drink a mixed bottle of breast milk and formula is to warm the formula and breast milk together before giving it to them. This will make the two types of milk more similar in temperature, and may make your baby more likely to drink it.
Does mixing breastmilk and formula cause constipation?
There is no evidence to suggest that mixing formula and breast milk together in the same bottle causes constipation. However, if your baby is already having trouble with constipation, you may want to avoid giving them a mixed bottle.
Constipation from breast milk or formula is usually caused by the baby not getting enough fluids, so making sure your baby drinks plenty of water is important. If you are concerned about your baby’s constipation, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant for advice. Constipation in babies can also be caused by other factors, such as allergies or infections.
Tips to mix breast milk and formula in the same bottle
If you are using formula and breast milk together in the same bottle, it is important to use up all of the mixture within 24 hours or discard it. This is because bacteria can grow in formula that has been combined with breast milk.
You can mix the two types of milk together by adding formula to breast milk, or vice versa. Just make sure that both milks are at room temperature before mixing them together. You may also want to add a little water to the mixture if it is too thick for your child to drink.
It is important to make sure that the formula is completely dissolved before adding the breast milk. You also may want to use a different bottle for mixing the two types of milk. This is because formula can sometimes cause clogs in bottles or nipples.
You also shouldn’t mix the formula powder directly with the breast milk, but rather mix it with water first as directed on the formula container, and then add the formula liquid after to the breast milk.
You can find some more useful tips here on combining breast milk and formula together.
When it’s time to stop mixing breast milk with formula
If you are no longer breastfeeding your child, you will need to stop mixing formula and breast milk together in the same bottle. This is because continuing to give your child formula and breast milk in the same bottle could lead to problems with breastfeeding later on.
Your doctor or lactation consultant can also give you some advice on how to wean your child off of formula altogether. They may recommend gradually replacing some of the formula with cow’s milk or other types of formula until your child is only drinking one type of formula.
This will help to make the transition easier for your child.
Tips on how to store both types of liquid separately so they don’t spoil before you can use them
If you are mixing formula and breast milk together in the same bottle, it’s important to store them separately so they don’t spoil. Here are some tips on how to do this:
– Store the formula and breast milk in separate containers, such as two different bottles or a bottle and a bag
– Label each container with the type of milk it contains
– Keep the formula and breast milk in a cool place, like the fridge or freezer
– Make sure that both types of liquid are used within 24 hours or discarded
So, what’s the verdict?
At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether or not you want to mix breast milk and formula in the same bottle. Some parents find it convenient, while others feel concerned about the potential downsides. If you do decide to mix them together, just make sure that you’re mixing them evenly and your baby is getting the right balance of nutrients.
In conclusion, mixing breast milk and formula together in the same bottle has both benefits and drawbacks. If you are thinking about doing this, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant first to get their advice.
Thanks for reading!
You can also read more about mixing breast milk and formula from NCT (National charity for pregnancy, birth and early parenthood) which has well researched and vetted articles on pregnancy and motherhood.
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