How to supplement with formula

  • Start supplementing with bottle-feeding slowly by replacing one breastfeeding session with a bottle of breastmilk or formula.
  • Introduce the bottle when she’s calm and not so hungry.

Breastmilk is the ideal source of nutrition and offers important benefits such as immune system support for your little one. Experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for four to six months to help maximize these benefits.

Whether you’re returning to work or spending more time away from your baby due to a busy schedule, you may choose to supplement with bottles of breastmilk or Iron-fortified formula.

When to start

  • If you choose to supplement, start once breastfeeding is going well.
  • Wait at least until she’s around 3 to 5 weeks old before introducing a bottle.
  • Switching to a bottle too early may be confusing to your baby, because bottle feeding requires her to suck a little differently.

How to introduce a bottle
These simple steps can help make the transition smooth.

  • Start by replacing one midday breastfeeding with a bottle of breastmilk or infant formula.
  • After several days, replace another daily breastfeeding.
  • Keep supplementing additional breastfeedings every few days until you reach the number you want to maintain.

Share the experience
Your baby is used to you breastfeeding her and may refuse to take a bottle from you initially. Don’t worry. If that’s the case, try these suggestions.

  • Leave the room while another person is bottle-feeding her.
  • Whoever bottle-feeds should maintain the close contact she experiences while breastfeeding. 

  • Introduce the bottle when she’s calm and not so hungry.
  • Offer the bottle while she’s still hungry. If she refuses the bottle’s nipple, calm her by returning her to your breast for a few minutes.
  • If she’s unwilling to take the bottle, finish breastfeeding and try again at another time.
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