You may choose to breast-feed and give infant formula for some of
your baby's feedings. Supplementing breast milk with formula may decrease your
supply of breast milk. But it will not stop your breast milk production.
It is best to wait until your baby has been breast-feeding well for at least 6
weeks before offering your baby formula.
Some babies have problems transferring their sucking patterns back
and forth between their mother's breast and a bottle. Sucking a bottle requires
different tongue and jaw motions from those needed to breast-feed.
Sometimes the shape of the nipple plays a part in how well your
breast-fed baby adjusts to bottle feedings. Many types and shapes of nipples are
available. It will probably take some experimenting before you find one that
works well for your baby. For example, some babies may have trouble using a
flat nipple—the kind that is usually attached to bottles that have plastic
inner liners. Some babies are not able to suck on the breast nipple strongly
enough to get breast milk. But some babies have problems with longer
nipple tips because it causes them to gag during feeding. It may help to look
for a type of nipple that most closely matches the shape of the mother's nipple.
For more information, see the topic Breast-Feeding.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.