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  • Olivia Batzner

Combination Feeding Your Baby

Do you need or choose to feed your baby both breastmilk and formula? Let us help you navigate that and ensure that you can meet your feeding goals along the way.

Mother breastfeeding her baby

Feeding your baby with breastmilk doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

There are so many reasons a family might choose to combination feed their baby, either temporarily or long term. Return to work situations, low milk supply, or simply personal preference can make this a great option for many families. With messaging from marketers, opinions of family members and friends, and figuring out life as new parents, it can be confusing to know where to start. Let’s dive in.

What is combination feeding?

Combination feeding is feeding baby breastmilk either at the breast or with a bottle in addition to feeding baby formula. Specific amounts from each source will look different for every family and situation. Families can choose to do this while the nursing parent is working to increase their supply, keeping it steady or gradually weaning.

Why is this beneficial for both parent and baby?

Nursing at the breast in any capacity allows nursing parent and baby to bond with built in skin-to-skin time. It also has immunological benefits that last a lifetime. It also helps baby avoid diseases and prevent allergies. Even just as little as a teaspoon a day of breastmilk can provide these benefits.

For mom, breastfeeding even some can reduce the risk of breast cancer and aid in postpartum weight loss. Families also benefit from missing less work due to doctor’s visits for common childhood illnesses like ear infection.

Using formula or donor milk from a bottle can support the whole family. It often gives the nursing parent some freedom to spend less (or no!) time pumping at work, and helps other caregivers enjoy feeding the baby. 

How can I combination feed? 

Every family’s goals for combination feeding are different! Most babies take between 24 and 32 ounces of breastmilk or formula a day. If mom is nursing at the breast, and wishes to reduce their supply, there are safe ways to do this while increasing the amount of breastmilk or formula a baby takes. It’s important to always follow safe formula preparation guidelines. See more info in this post.

Every dyad is different and should be assessed by a lactation consultant. 


Need more help with combination feeding? Book a visit with Wisco Lactation! We offer home & office visit in SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois. We also offer virtual visits worldwide.


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