Feeding your Baby Feeding your Baby

Feeding your Baby

Feeding your baby with Novalac

Breastfeeding is considered the best way to feed your baby for many reasons. It provides optimal nourishment as well as many other important benefits for your baby and for you. Breastfeeding will meet all of your baby’s nutritional needs for the first six months or so of life, and should continue after solids are introduced until your baby is 12 months old and beyond.

Infant formula is designed to replace breast milk if you choose not to breastfeed or are unable to breastfeed.

Feeding your baby is not always a question of either breastfeeding or formula-feeding. Many women choose to do a combination of both, called mixed feeding, combination feeding or partial breastfeeding.

Mixed feeding means that babies are breastfed for part of the time, and formula-fed the rest of the time. Any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial for babies, and there may be situations where mixed feeding is a good option for you and your baby:

  • Personal choice
  • Physical separation from your baby, e.g. returning to paid work
  • Health conditions, illness or surgery
  • Postnatal depression
  • Breast or nipple soreness
  • A need for flexibility

Talk to your midwife, early childhood nurse or your doctor about your options if you’re considering combining breastfeeding and formula-feeding.

When you first introduce formula-feeding to your baby, it may take some time for them to get used to the bottle, and for your body to adapt to the reduced demand for breast milk. Try the following suggestions to help you and your baby adjust to formula-feeding:

  • If you are still breastfeeding, try slowly reducing the number of feeds by 1–2 a week. Your body can take up to 7 days to begin producing less milk.
  • Be consistent with the time of day that you decide to use breast vs. formula-feeding. For example, if you are introducing one bottle feed per day, you might decide to switch your baby’s evening breastfeed to a bottle feed. Being consistent will help your baby get used to the routine and your body know when it needs to produce milk.
  • Make sure you give your baby plenty of skin to skin contact while bottle feeding to make them feel safe and to help you continue to bond.
  • Try different teats on the bottle until you find one your baby likes – remember it will take time for your baby to get used to drinking from a latex teat rather than your breast.
  • Follow the instructions on the formula tin carefully to ensure you are correctly preparing the formula – this includes sterilising bottles and equipment.

WARNING: Follow instructions exactly. Prepare bottles and teats as directed. Do not change proportions of powder except on medical advice. Incorrect preparation can make your baby very ill.

Always wash your hands before preparing a bottle. Each bottle should be prepared individually. Only use the measuring scoop provided. It is recommended that formula left in the bottle after a feed must be discarded.

Wash the feeding bottle, cap, teat and any utensils to be used and sterilise them in boiling water.

Boil clean drinking water for 5 minutes and allow to cool to 40°C. Pour the required amount of water (see Feeding Guide) into the bottle. 

Measure the correct quantity of formula (see Feeding Guide) into the bottle using the scoop provided. Always use one level scoopful per 30mL of water.

Secure the lid on the bottle and shake for at least 30 seconds until the powder is completely dissolved. Let cool to lukewarm temperature (37°C) without re-shaking. Test the temperature on your wrist before feeding.

Formula should be consumed within one hour of preparation. Any formula left over after feeding should be discarded. 

Refer to product label for additional guidance.