All posts by Baby Knowledge

Mum breastfeeding away from the camera

Combining Breast and Bottle Feeding

Combiing breast and bottle feeding - this baby is being fed expressed breats milk in a bottleCombining breast and bottle feeding (or mix feeding your baby as it is commonly known) is something that many Mums consider. If you are thinking about combining breast and bottle feeding, you should first ensure that it will suit you, your baby and your personal circumstances and is not because of a myth you have heard from a friend of a friend. This complete guide to mix feeding will help you to reach an informed decision about combining breast and bottle feeding.

Can I combine breast and bottle feeding?

It is possible to combine breast and bottle feeding. You can do this in one of three ways:

  • By giving a breastfed baby a bottle of expressed breast milk
  • By giving a breastfed baby a bottle of infant formula milk
  • And finally, by breastfeeding your bottle fed baby

Why mix feed?


The most popular reasons for choosing to combine breast and bottle feeding are outlined below with an explanation of how this could affect you and your baby:

  • Not producing enough breast milk: If you feel you are not producing enough breast milk then you do not need to give up, try talking to a breastfeeding counsellor or health professional. You can contact the government funded breastfeeding line on 0300 100 0212.
  • Wanting others to be able to feed your baby: Sharing the task of feeding your baby is one that will appeal to many as it is a wonderful thing to be able to do. However, if this is the sole reason for wanting to combine breast and bottle feeding then youIt will help my baby to sleep through the night - sleeping baby with flowers in her hair should consider how other family members can help out and bond with your baby in other ways. Combining breast and bottle feeds may cause problems with your milk supply. Other ways for Fathers or other family members to bond with your baby can include reading books, singing, changing nappies, bathing and massaging her.
  • It will help my baby to sleep through the night: It has not been proven that giving a baby a formula milk bottle at night will help her to sleep longer. It can be very tempting in those early days, when she is keeping you up all hours of the night, but night time feeds are just as important to Mums as they are to babies; they tell your body to keep producing milk, especially in the early weeks. Try to get as much help as you can during the day so that you can rest when your baby sleeps. After a few weeks she will soon be waking less frequently for her feeds.

Will I produce less milk?

You will produce less milk if you combine breastfeeding and formula milk feeding. This is the case whether you give additional bottle feeds in between regular breast feeds or if you give an additional feed in the form of a bottled formula immediately following a breast feed.

What should I be aware of?


If you are thinking of mix feeding your baby, you should be aware of the following advice before you do so and only choose this feeding option if you feel it is the right thing for you, your baby and your personal circumstances:

  • Your own breast milk production will decrease
  • Some babies find it difficult to breastfeed after being bottle fed (whilst some have no trouble adapting at all).
  • Giving any amount of formula milk reduces your baby’s protection against illness. However, if you are mix feeding then any amount of breast milk will be beneficial for his health.

What is the best way to do it?

If you have decided that combining breast and bottle is the right thing for you and your baby then you should consider the following recommendations to help you, your body and your baby to adapt to the changes:

  • Do it gradually: Your body will need time to adapt and will start to produce less milk.simple black and white clock
  • Persevere: If your baby is finding it hard but you are sure this is what you want to do then persevere with it. It may take your baby some time to get used to it as breastfeeding and bottle feeding require different techniques. Keep trying, but never force feed your baby.
  • Get somebody else to do the first few feeds: Your baby may be able to smell your breast milk whilst you are trying to bottle feed him. It may help if somebody else gives the first few bottle feeds.
  • Do it at the right time of day: If your baby is tired or hungry then you will probably find it harder to get him to accept the bottle at first. When introducing your baby to a bottle for the first time, do so at a time when he is happy and relaxed.
  • Plan in advance and give your baby time: If you have decided to combine breast and bottle feeding because your baby is entering a childcare environment/ you can not be there to breastfeed on demand, introduce the bottle to your baby a few weeks before this date so that he has time to adapt and time to get used to it.

What is the best age to introduce a bottle to a breastfed baby?

If you have decided to mix breast feeding with bottle feeding, you should do so after the newborn stage. This gives you and your baby a chance to get used to breastfeeding first.

What additional equipment will I need if combining breast and bottle feeding?

For bottle fed babies I recommend you have the following equipment in your house and ready to use before your baby is born:

  • 6x bottles
  • 6x new born teatsWhite newborns bib with walking elephant on the front
  • Bottle brush
  • Steriliser – see our steriliser guide
  • Thermal flask
  • 3-5 cartons of ready made formula milk
  • Storage container for transporting small amounts of infant milk powder
  • Plenty of bibs
  • You should adjust these quantities depending on how often you are planning to bottle feed your baby. You may also want to consider a breast pump if you are planning on expressing.

Can I re-start breastfeeding after stopping?

If you have been mix feeding your baby or have even stopped breast feeding all together and want to restart, it is possible. You should discuss with your midwife/ health visitor/ breastfeeding counsellor ways in which you can reduce your baby’s bottle feeds. You could

also try the following:

  • Skin to skin contact: Cuddle and hold your baby closely as much as possible. This will give your baby
    Mother nad baby enjoying a skin to skin cuddlethe time and opportunity for breastfeeding to happen more easily.
  • Offer both breasts: Even if your baby doesn’t seem interested in the second breast you should always immediately offer it to your baby. It doesn’t matter if she is not interested or doesn’t feed for very long. It will also help to boost your milk supply if you feed your baby off of this breast first next time.
  • Decrease the bottles slowly: When you start producing more milk you should gradually start decreasing the amount of bottles your baby has. It may help to do this one bottle at a time.
  • Continue expressing: If you have been expressing most of your baby’s feeds rather than breastfeeding then you should continue to do so during the changeover period. This will help to keep your milk supply high.

 

Do you or did you combine breast and bottle feeding? Did you have any difficulties? Would you recommend it? Your comments will add value to this page so please let me know your views and experiences.

Petite Star Extreme Charisma travel system

Petite Star Extreme Charisma 3 in 1 Travel system

The Petite Star Extreme Charisma 3 in 1 Travel system is certainly named appropriately, for this travel system is bursting charisma, charm and style; it’s 3 huge pneumatic tyres, swivel front wheel, bulky frame and one handed fold down contraption will Petite Star Extreme Charisma travel system with car seathave you dreaming about pushing your little one long before your due date. And if that wasn’t enough, you should check out the price!
This travel system includes the buggy, car seat, pram, rain cover and footmuff, it also comes with a pump for the tyres. It is suitable from birth and will last you right up until your baby no longer needs pushing!
For newborns you simply attach the carry cot to the frame and you have yourself a comfortable, safe snug pram for your tiny baby, once your little one outgrows this, you can place him/her into the buggy. The buggy comes with its own matching fleece footmuff and can also be adapted to allow more ventilation on a hot day – you do this by folding up the rear ‘skirt’.
The car seat is group 0+ and is suitable from birth – this can also easily be attached to the pushchair which is essential for when you are moving your sleeping baby from the car. If you like big you will love the Petite Star Extreme Charisma.

Good Points

  • Easy to assemble
  • One handed folding contraption (very easy to fold)
  • Pneumatic tyres (pump included)
  • Very smooth ride

Negative Points

  • It is quite heavy
  • Bigger than most travel systems so may not fit in smaller cars

Who is it good for?

Petite Star Extreme Charisma travel system with footmuffIf you are an outdoorsy type of parent then the Petite Star Extreme Charisma 3 in 1 Travel system is the perfect choice for you with a price that is unbelievable value. This really is an all weather, all terrain travel system that will help to ensure every walk is an enjoyable, stress free one. If you are keen to do a lot of walking with your baby in the buggy, then this is for you. Similarly, if Daddy wants to push something a little less feminine than other the other pushchairs out there then he will be totally at ease with the Charisma Extreme.

Buy the Petite Star Extreme Charisma 3 in 1 Travel system

Top of page

petite Star Kuvi Klassic 3 in 1 travel system side view

Petite Star Kurvi Klassic 3 in 1 Travel system

The Petite Star Kurvi Klassic 3 in 1 Travel system is a stylish looking 3 in one comprising of a buggy (forward or rearward facing), a car seat and a pram. It is competitively priced and is well designed.

petite Star Kurvi Klassic 3 in 1 travel system including car seatThe rearward facing car seat is built to EU specification meaning that it offers side impact protection which is absolutely paramount for the safety of your child, the car seat is also very easily attached to the chassis (frame). The buggy and the pram are not two separate pieces as is usually the case with 3 in one travel systems, it is an ingenious design that allows you to simply lower the back and straighten the foot rest for a comfortable, snug, safe pram, and to use it as a buggy- which can be forward or rearward facing, you just lift the footrest, raise the back and you are good to go. This means one less thing to store once your baby grows out of it which for me and for many parents is a huge plus!
The height of the handlebar can be easily adjusted to accommodate taller parents and it also comes supplied with a good sized rain cover that fits perfectly. The sun shade has two positions so there is no need to completely block your baby’s view on a sunny day if the first position offers sufficient protection.
The buggy is nicely padded and comfortable and can be reclined from sitting up straight, all the way to lying flat. This buggy will last you for the whole 2-3 years that your little one will need to be pushed around and comes at a very competitive price.
Dimensions are as follows:
Folded: 61cm x 94cm x 29cm
Weight: 10kg

Good Points

    • Easy to use and to fold down
    • Car seat is built to EU specification offering side impact protection
    • Lightweight
    • Very easy to take the pram out and fit the car seat to the chassis
    • No need for an additional pram (that you won’t use after 6 months!!)
    • Quick release wheels
    • Rain cover is supplied and fits perfectly

Negative Points

    • Can feel a little wobbly(but not in any way unsafe)

Who is it good for?

petite Star Kuvi Klassic 3 in 1 travel systemThis is great if you are looking for a stylish, reliable travel system without the hefty price tag and/or if you are lacking in home storage space!… If you are looking for a 3 in one travel system on a budget then the Petite Star Kurvi Klassic will serve you very well and I don’t foresee any disappointment. Likewise, if you are searching for a travel system that wont take up much space when not being used then this is the one for you. It measures 61cm x 94cm x 29cm when folded, doesn’t have a pram unit that you won’t use after 6 months and as an extra space saving idea; it has detachable wheels. Your baby will be safe and snug and you will have spent your pennies very wisely indeed. Click here for a full product description of the Petite Star Kurvi Klassic (opens in new window – this window will not close).

 

Buy the Petite Star Kurvi Klassic 3 in 1 Travel system

Top of page

3-in-1 Travel System by Baby Sportive with Black & Flowers

3-in-1 Travel System by Baby Sportive

3-in-1 Travel System by Baby Sportive including car seat and pram to a changing mat, mosquito net, rain cover, bottle holder.The 3-in-1 Travel System by Baby Sportive with Pram, Car Seat, Pushchair and Accessories is absolutely fantastic value. It is lightweight, small enough to fit into most small cars when folded, easy to use and has everything you need; a car seat, a pram, a changing mat, mosquito net, rain cover, bottle holder and much more. The wheels are nice and big which makes for a smoother ride for your baby, if you would like swivel wheels you can order these from the supplier, it costs an additional £16.

As you know, when your baby is newborn, she will need to lie flat, this travel system is easily converted from a stroller to a pram; you simply adjust the pushchair so that it is flat, lift up the footrest, attach the support bar and ‘hey presto’ you have a pram. This saves having both a push chair attachment and a pram attachment which in turn means one less thing to store “until baby is big enough”.

If, like me, you want your baby to face towards you when he/she is sleeping and face forwards when he/she is awake and alert then this can be done with minimal fuss or effort. The thing I love most about this travel system is that you can easily change the direction your baby is facing by lifting the handlebars up and over the buggy. As far as I am concerned, every travel system should have this feature! The pushchair also has several recline positions which include a lie flat position.

Dimensions

  • Folded pram with wheels 99x60x56cm
  • Folded pram without wheels 85x59x44cm
  • Overall height of the pram with hood 112cm
  • Carry-cot internal dimension: 72x34x15cm
  • Weight pram: 13kg

Features

  • Removable safety bracket protects from baby falling out
  • Multi-position recline seat (including lie-flat)
  • 5-Point security safety belt
  • Adjustable footrest
  • Pocket at the hood

Car seat Features

  • 3 Point security safety belt
  • Removable foot cover
  • Seesaw function
  • Ergonomic carrying handle
  • Equipped with a removable hood
  • European Safety Standard ECE R44-04.

Other Features

  • Adjustable suspension (at the back)
  • Height adjustable pushchair handle (70-113cm)
  • Strong reciprocal brakes
  • Weather resistant materials
  • Integrated reflectors for a better visibility
  • Viewing window at the hood
  • Spacious shopping basket
  • 12 months guarantee

Customer reviews

The 3-in-1 Travel System by Baby Sportive has some excellent reviews, the only negative I can find is that swivel wheels aren’t standard. This travel system is a great product at a fantastic price. Here is a round up of the most recent reviews:

Good points

  • Lightweight, strong, robust and very well built
  • Easily adjust the direction your baby is facing by moving the handlebars over the buggy
  • Height of handlebars can be easily adjusted
  • The colour and fabric are good quality
  • Comes with everything you need (changing mat, mosquito net, rain cover, bottle holder, bag)
  • Excellent value!

Negative Points

  • Instructions could be easier to read
  • Does not have swivel wheels as standard

Who is it good for?

This travel system is unbelievable value with no compromise on quality. Why pay £400 for a travel system when you can get everything you need plus more for under half of that! This is my best buy for those looking for a quality travel system without the top end price.

This has now been discontinued…See my updated best budget buy here

Top of page

Is it safe to co-sleep with a newborn?

co sleeping mum and baby on a white sheet

Is it safe to co-sleep with a newborn baby? The current advice may be reviewed shortly as new research recently published in the medical journal, BMJ Open, suggests that co-sleeping increases the risk of cot death by as much as 5 times in otherwise healthy babies aged between the age of 0-3 months.

What is the current advice?

The current advice on co-sleeping is that you should not share a bed with your baby, particularly if you have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs, it also states that you should never sleep with your baby on a sofa or an armchair.

“We know that for the first six months of life, the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot, lying on his or her back, in the parents’ room.”

What do we already know?

  • The causes of cot death are not completely understood.
  • SIDS in the UK occur mainly in more disadvantaged families and in places where smoking, drinking or drug-taking occurs.
  • In the UK, at least 300 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly every year.
  • In a previous study by the NHS it was found that more than half of the SIDS cases (54%) had been co-sleeping (in a bed or on the sofa) with a parent.
  • There are no official figures that identify the risk associated with co-sleeping where the act of co-sleeping was pre-meditated and in a bed (rather than on the sofa), and the parents did not smoke and were not under the influence of alcohol or drugs (prescription or otherwise).

What did the new research tell us?

Professor Bob Carpenter of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine led a research team looking into the risk factors associated with sudden infant death syndrome. The conclusion of this research (which involved the study of 1,472 cases of cot death and 4,679 normal babies) concluded that 81% of cot deaths in babies aged 0-3 months could be avoided if parents were advised not to co-sleep at all. However, it was noted that many of the bed sharing deaths involved at least one parent who:

  • Smoked
  • Was under the influence of alcohol
  • Was taking drugs that may cause drowsiness
  • Was feeling very tired

Or involved a baby that was:

  • Premature
  • Of a low birth weight

The view was taken that the NHS should, as a matter of course advise all parents not to co-sleep with their baby between the age of 0-3 months.

“The current messages saying that bed sharing is dangerous only if you or your partner are smokers, have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs that make you drowsy, are very tired or the baby is premature or of low birth-weight are not effective because many of the bed sharing deaths involve these factors. Doctors, nurses, midwives and health visitors should take a more definite stand against bed sharing, especially for babies under three months. Bringing a baby into bed temporarily to feed or comfort it is acceptable, but only if it is put back into its cot immediately afterwards.”

Is everyone in agreement with the findings of this study?

The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) warned against this blanket ban and raised concerns that this could increase the risk of SIDS associated with co-sleeping as parents may end up accidentally co-sleeping, such as falling asleep on the sofa or in bed whilst trying to settle a baby.

“It could lead to an increased likelihood that a parent or carer inadvertently falls asleep while holding the baby, in a chair or on a sofa, which is much less safe for the infant.”

Is there a safe way of co-sleeping?

As the cause of SIDS is unknown, there are only risk factors associated with it which should be considered when making decisions regarding where your baby will sleep. For the first six months of life, the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot, lying on his or her back, in the parents’ room. If you are certain that you would like to co-sleep with your baby then it is recommended that you and your partner meet all of these requirements:

  • You never sleep with your baby on the sofa.
  • Your baby is not bottle fed.
  • You do not smoke.
  • Have not drunk alcohol.
  • Are not taking any drugs or medication.
  • You are not feeling unusually tired.
  • You are both aware that your baby is in bed with you.
  • You are not ill and do not have a condition that may make it difficult for you to respond to your baby.
  • The mattress is not saggy or dipping in places; it needs to be firm, flat and clean.
  • The room is not too warm.
  • You are using sheets and blankets (not quilts/duvets).
  • You do not have a water bed.
  • It is not possible for your baby to fall out of bed or get trapped between the mattress and the wall.
  • Your bed is big enough for you and your baby.
  • If a sibling is also sharing your bed, there must be an adult between the two children.
  • You do not allow pets to also share the bed.
  • You do not allow your baby to sleep alone in your bed.

 

If you require further information, I recommend speaking with your health visitor.

Do you co-sleep? Were you advised not to? What are your views on this research?