Table of contents:
Mixed feeding - what is it?
Mixed infant feeding
7 most important rules
For how many hours should you feed?
Mixed Feeding and Vitamin K Supplementation
Mixed Feeding with Vitamin D
When to expand a toddler's diet?
Mixed Feeding Ratio
What is called mixed feeding is a baby feeding method that uses both bottle and breast feeding. Mixed feeding can only take place using natural lactating milk (when a woman extracts it with a breast pump and for example freezes later) and mixes of artificial milk . One of the most common situations when mixed feeding wins over exclusive breastfeeding is when a young mom comes back to work and cannot personally latch the baby at the designated meal times.
It is also possible that mixed feeding is needed after a difficult labor or in premature babies who have problems with correct suction. Bottle feeding becomes necessary, otherwise the toddler would be hungry. However, keep in mind not to give up trying to breastfeed your baby. Increased training, regularity and a little bit of patience will soon bring expected results.
In other cases, mixed feeding may be recommended by your doctor. It happens when there are justified prenatal or neonatal complications. You should not start mixed feeding earlier than in the sixth month of a child's life without a doctor's recommendation for specialists claim that natural feeding should be done for as long as possible.
The first six months its life a toddler should be fed only with natural milk - this way we are guaranteed that it receives a properly balanced diet and its development is complete. However, there are situations in which it is necessary to provide support in the form of a bottle full of natural or modified milk.
The health and individual needs of a baby are are considered the most important. Mixed feeding is ment, among other things, for a situation in which mum has too little breast milk and repeated attempts to stimulate lactation are unsuccessful. You cannot allow the natural weight gain of the kid to grow improperly, so in this case you should use modified milk. In the meantime, the mother should go to a lactation counselor who will help to select the appropriate method of inducing lactation.
Another situation where bottle feeding may be necessary is a sudden trip that the youngest member of the family cannot be brought on. Then it is best to use a breast pump and extract enough milk to last during your absence. At the time the feeding could be done by the daddy or another close relative.
Sometimes breastfeeding is not possible because of the need to take a specific pharmacological treatment that is prescribed to the mother. Medications that should not be taken while breastfeeding are primarily iodine and iodide specimens used in the treatment of thyroid diseases, all drugs for the treatment of cancer, and orally taken metronidazole.
Medications from the risk groups are also some antibiotics. Do not feed naturally if your doctor prescribed you streptomycin, doxycycline or tetracycline. The use of antidepressants, sedatives and hypnotics may also negatively affect your baby's development. Breastfeeding should also be stopped when using blood coagulation or anti-epileptic therapy.
If for health reasons you are forced to discontinue natural feeding, return to it just after the completion of the pharmacotherapy. To maintain the lactation process, regularly use a breast pump and extract another portions of milk. Do not give them to the baby because it could harm him - the activity is meant to extend the natural processes of food production. What is comforting, the most harmful drugs in the body are discarded just 48 hours after the last dose. Do not forget to consult your doctor for advice!
If you decide to mix, you need to keep in mind some very important rules that will allow your baby to grow properly and you - to sleep quietly, convinced that the baby's diet is certainly all right.
- If you are considering introducing mixed feeding to a newborn, remember that your baby should first learn to suck the breast properly. It is a process by which the correct coordination reflexes of the tongue, jaw, and throat are formed. Toddler learns the proper process of sucking, swallowing and breathing while eating. When you are using milk from a bottle, even if it is equipped with a teat imitating the nipple, all these functions are disturbed. A newborn baby who is more often fed with a bottle may have problems with a normal bite in the future.
- It is also important to remember that a child who is accustomed to a teat can have significant problems with latching to the breast. This also works the other way round - children who are constantly fed naturally can rebel when you are trying to feed them with a bottle. It happens that the toddler gets angry, kicks, and even vomits when it is not getting the preferred way of feeding. Do not panic, because such situations are passing quickly, and the baby, after some time, will completely switch to a new feeding mode.
- If you are worried about suction problems, do not give up the bottle and the teat. The child may also be fed with a teaspoon or a special cup that does not directly affect the breast sucking ability.
- Remember never to stop breastfeeding overnight, as the baby needs to get gradually used to the new feeding method. Start mix feeding once a day, for example only in the afternoon. Over time, change methods also at other times of the day. A sudden jump in the feeding technique may cause the baby to be unable to accept the bottle, which is usually manifested by crying, wriggling, or even a vomiting reflex.
- Remember that every serving of natural food is a vital source of nutrients and antibodies for your baby and it helps to shape the immune system of its small body.
- If the decision to take on artificial feeding is a must do, consult your doctor for the kind of milk that you will be giving to your child. There are many variants of artificial combinations available on the market - choose the one that best suits your baby's individual needs. In this case, the age of the toddler is extremely important - up to 4 months of age, the mixture is labeled as "starting milk", up to 1 year old "next milk" and "junior milk" for children who have completed their first year.
- Try not to change the type of milk you choose too often, as this can adversely affect the child's natural bacterial flora.
There is no universal recipe for the frequency of mixed feeding. Both breast and baby bottle should be administered when the baby is hungry. We apply the principle of feeding on demand, which guarantees that our toddler will get food at the most optimal time. If we are interested in sustaining the lactation, it is worthwhile to introduce a scheme whereby the child during the meal first gets a breast and then a bottle. This order is safer for the milk production process and the baby's habits. With a teat it's much easier to drink from a bottle than with a breastfeeding nipple, so it's much easier for a baby to get used to bottle feeding - it has to put in a lot less effort.
Regardless of whether our baby's diet consists exclusively of natural milk or whether it is supplemented by modified blends, it is important to remember about supplementation with vitamins D and K.
Vitamin K is essential in the process of proper blood coagulation. If vitamin K deficiency occurs in the baby's body, the baby may contract hemorrhagic disease. Symptoms of the disease are bleeding from the navel and gastrointestinal tract. There may also be vomiting stained with blood and black faeces. Hemorrhages can cause anemia and many other serious complications. The most prone to early stage of the disease are premature babies and newborns from c-section. In order to prevent hemorrhagic disease all hospitals are required to give newborn children vitamin K in oral form (2 milligrams) or intramuscular (half a milligram). To make sure this is not overlooked, look at your child's health booklet.
Polish recommendations state that apart from the first hospital dose of vitamin K, children up to the age of 3 months should receive 25 micrograms of vitamin per oral dose.
Artificial blends contain about 5 micrograms of vitamin K per 100 milliliters of milk, so if your toddler is exclusively fed with modified milk, it is enough to eat about 500 milliliters of food a day. The situation is different if mixed feeding is included in the game. Then you need to count how high your child's vitamin levels get along with artificial milk and adjust the dose to its deficiency.
Vitamin D supplementation is essential to support the correct development of the baby. It is supporting the development of strong bones and teeth, starting with the nervous and immune system, is important in skin development. Its shortage may cause the threat of a disease called rickets. The most common age for this illness is from 3 months to 2 years old. Rickets is otherwise known as English disease and is manifested by disturbances in the correct bone structure and growth. It is the result of interference in the correct absorption of calcium and phosphorus, that is, what is indicated by proper occurrence of vitamin D in the body.
Natural mother's milk contains small amounts of vitamin D, hence the need for additional vitamin supplements. From the first days of the baby's life it should be given 400 doses of vitamin D with the help of special drops. However, the dose should be consulted a pediatrician.
Children fed with artificial milk do not require an additional portion of vitamin D, for the milk is already enriched with it at the stage of milk production. You should just whether the amount of absorbed milk is fully matching the daily requirement for the vitamin. Here you should use some help from a pediatrician who can calculate the necessary values based on data such as the baby's birth weight, the speed at which the baby gains weight and the size of the portion of milk being eaten.
With mixed feeding, the matter looks similar - it is the specialist who has to determine whether a vitamin D supplement is necessary in the baby's diet.
Do not forget that not only the deficiency, but also the excess of vitamins may have a negative affect on the toddler. Therefore, no mother should decide on the daily dose by herself.
Regardless of whether your baby is breastfed or mixed fed, sooner or later the time will come, when we have to add other foods to its daily diet. Theoretically, the child becomes ready between the seventh and the eighth month of life. But no age determines a moment of introducing nutritional novelty - What each mom should be suggested by are the individual signals given by the toddler. If they appear, this means that the baby is already prepared for the introduction of solid foods. These include:
- The moment in which the child is able to sit. It may be sitting without support or with slight assurance. The moment usually comes between the sixth and the eighth month of the toddler's life.
- No vomiting reflexes when feeding solid food. If during feeding the toddler pushes the food out using his tongue it means he is not yet ready for chewing and swallowing yet. If the reflex is gone that means you can try to expand the baby's diet.
- The situation in which the baby happily eats food. If it has problems with this, wait until the whole process goes smoothly. Nothing by force!
- One of the signals is also the baby's clear interest in solid food. We are not talking about the typical for the 4 weeks and 5 months olds observations of the environment, but a real sign that the baby is ready for a new diet.
- It is also important to develop the ability to catch objects between the thumb and forefinger. Motor development of children is of great importance for the correct process of eating solid foods.
Remember that there is no golden rule for what to do next. There are children who are already beginning to show interest in solid foods in the sixth month of their lives, and even if they have exceeded ten months! Let's listen to the natural needs of our baby and we will know when to introduce some diet varieties whether we feed naturally use a mixed diet.
Mixed Feeding Ratio - For how long should you breastfeed and for how long should you feed your baby artificially?
The daily rhythm of breastfeeding your baby is quickly regulated individually. We know when the child is hungry and how quickly can he empty the milk supplies. However, when the mom is forced to use mixed feeding with modified milk, it is difficult to determine exactly how large portions should be administered. There are no other recommendations except for the method of trial and error. We feed the baby loosely following the instructions on the back of the pack and carefully watch the baby to see if there are no side effects. These include increased irritation, rash, abdominal pain or diarrhea. If we notice any of these symptoms, it is time to notify the specialist and together adjust the new type of milk.
If you do not notice any signs of drowsiness when serving milk to your baby, always give it when your baby shows signs of hunger and let it eat as much as it wants. Portions will vary depending on how much natural milk (or other foods) the toddler received that day. Soon you will work out a specific pattern of nutrition together, which will give you an idea of the amount of milk to prepare for a single feeding.