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:
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:
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.
Breastfeeding is best for babies and has many benefits, such as protecting your baby from infection while their immune system develops. It is important that you eat a healthy, balanced diet in preparation for and during breastfeeding. Infant formula is designed to replace breast milk when an infant is not breastfed. Combining breast and bottle feeding in your baby’s first weeks of life may reduce your supply of breast milk, and reversing a decision not to breastfeed is difficult. The social and financial implications of using infant formula should be considered when choosing a method of feeding. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when preparing and using infant formula, including proper sterilisation of bottles and using boiled water. Improper use of an infant formula may make your baby ill. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health care professional for advice about feeding your baby.
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