It is not recommended to give your baby an artificial nipple, before four weeks of age. If you are worried about nipple confusion, you can always get your spouse or daycare provider to feed your baby via alternative feeding methods discussed here.
When you start substituting
breast milk for formula, your breast milk supply might decrease, unless
you continue to empty your breasts by pumping.
Many mothers feed their babies a mixed feeding of expressed breast milk and
formula when they return to work, this is perfectly okay, but it is
possible to continue to feed a baby exclusively on breast milk. Read more about breastfeeding while working.
Many mothers decide to continue to physically breastfeed their babies only at night
or only in the mornings. This is wonderful, to continue, even if partially.
Preventing Nipple Confusion
Breastfeeding issues that might influence the introduction of combination feedings
Not capable of pumping at work.
Mothers who feel that they don’t want to pump at work.
Mom has an insufficient milk supply and has to supplement her breast milk with formula. This can be done by using an SNS, which is used to increase supply whilst breast feeding and supplementing with formula or donor breast milk at the same time.
Will my milk dry up completely with a breastfeeding bottle feeding combination?
No, if milk is removed from your breast, your body will adapt and start to produce just the right amounts for those times that you do breastfeed.
Is it Safe to Physically Mix Breast Milk and Formula?
It is not recommended to put formula and breast milk in the same container. Why? Formula spoils much quicker than breast milk. Formula bottles should be discarded after an hour, where as breast milk can be kept much longer, without being spoilt. This is to prevent the wastage of precious breast milk.
The best is to first feed your baby the breast milk and then feed him/her the formula; this way you know that none of your breast milk had gone wasted.
Do not ever mix formula with breast milk, instead of water! The concentration will be too strong for your baby’s kidneys and your breast milk's composition will be changed.
What if Baby is Refusing to Drink from a Bottle?
Sometimes, it is best to get someone else to offer the bottle to your baby. This is so that he/she does not expect to be breastfed.
Try to give him/her the bottle at night, in the dark.
If you are decreasing your breastfeeding times and
want to start mixing breast milk and formula, it should be done
gradually, this will ensure that your body has the chance to adapt and will give your baby's tummy a chance to adapt. Mothers that add
mixed feedings abruptly, may develop mastitis, and their babies may develop some digestive issues.