Breastmilk is always best for babies, especially during the first two years of their lives. But there are circumstances when you ask yourself – can you mix breast milk and formula? There are two methods in mixing formula and breastmilk: combining it in one container to improve the calorie content, and mix-feeding, like feeding breastmilk during the day and feeding formula milk at night. Lots of mothers are doing that for different reasons and purposes. And there is nothing wrong with mixing breastmilk with formula milk.
Possible Reason Why Mothers Mix Breastmilk and Formula Milk
Can you mix breast milk and formula? There are a few reasons why mothers choose to mix formula milk and breastmilk:
- Extra Sleep
Caring for babies will take your time and energy. Even a good sleep will be taken from you. This is because babies have different body clocks. They are asleep when you are awake, and they wake up when you are sleeping deeply at night. This is why some mothers prefer to feed their baby breastmilk during the day. And let the other parent take the turn in caring and feeding at night with formula milk. In this way, the mother can get more rest at night.
- Low Milk Supply
Mothers who have a higher milk supply are blessed. They can provide their babies with the right amount of milk that they need for the day. They can even pump the extra supply and refrigerate for later consumption. But how about those with a low milk supply? Can you mix breast milk and formula milk? When a mom cannot supply a sufficient amount of breast milk, they mix it with formula milk. They can either mix it with formula in one container, thus increasing the content. They can also let their babies consume the breastmilk first and later feed them with formula.
- Working Mother
Can you mix breast milk and formula? When a mother is working, they could not bring with them the baby to feed or care for. What they do is they left it to the other parent or ask someone to look over the baby and feed it with formula milk. This is more convenient for the working mom. And as they return home at the end of the day, they can feed the baby with their breastmilk.
How to Mix Formula Milk and Breast Milk
There are different types of formula milk: concentrated liquid milk, powdered milk, and ready-to-feed formula milk. If you choose the concentrated milk or powdered milk, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or the doctor’s advice. Prepare the formula milk first before combining it with the breastmilk. It has to be diluted to sterile or distilled water, or at least use safe drinking water. Once formula milk has been prepared, you can then pour the breastmilk you pumped.
For safety measures, you should remember not to add undiluted powdered or concentrated milk to the breastmilk. You should also not use breastmilk in place of water to dilute the milk. This may cause constipation or an adverse effect on the baby’s diet. But if you decide to take the ready-to-feed formula milk into the breastmilk, pouring it directly is not a problem. It does not have the same effect as concentrated or powdered milk.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Mix Formula Milk and Breastmilk
As earlier mentioned, there is no problem when you mix breastmilk with formula milk in one container. However, there are still a few concerns that a mother needs to consider:
- Combining breastmilk with formula milk may waste your nutritious breastmilk. This is because formula milk that is not consumed needs to be discarded after an hour, while breastmilk can be kept or refrigerated to consume later. It is still safe to drink for a number of hours in the bottle. So, if you combine the two, you need to throw the leftover, wasting breastmilk. To avoid this, you can feed your baby with breastmilk first and give him the formula later.
- Breastmilk is packed with nutrients your baby needs. Breastmilk has all the complete nutrients your baby needs to stay healthy. There is no need for you to feed your baby with formula milk. So, if you have enough supply, you can pump your milk and store it in the fridge. So, whenever you are not home, your baby still has something nutritious to drink. Breastmilk can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator and is still safe to consume.
Pediatricians always recommend breastmilk. This is because breastmilk contains all the necessary nutrients your baby needs to stay healthy. However, in some cases, mothers need to mix breastmilk with formula milk. But can you mix breast milk and formula? While combining breastmilk and formula milk is not recommended, there are cases when a mother needs to apply the method. Make sure you follow the preparation instructions on the package if you choose concentrated or powdered milk before combining them with breastmilk. Get more tips on baby milk.