Provided by Philips Avent Ambassador and midwife, Liz Wilkes


The modern mum is a busy woman and often needs to consider how best she can juggle bub’s feeding needs with her own. The ability for somebody else to give baby a bottle when mum isn’t available is a strategy mothers can adopt to ensure they can balance the different aspects of their life whilst breastfeeding.

Below, Liz Wilkes, shares her top tips on how mothers can begin the process of combining both breast and bottle feeding.


  1. Establishing the basics

The best way to successfully combine starts with breastfeeding, ensure your milk supply is well established and baby is attaching without any issue. Talk to your midwife or lactation consultant to assist you in the early days.


  1. Introduce a bottle gently

Around the six week mark is a good time to consider introducing a bottle.  Any earlier may disrupt the tentative stages of breastfeeding and later may mean baby gets firmly attached to the breast and won’t try anything else. Starting with one bottle at a regular time every few days is a good start.  Using expressed breast milk at this stage also means that the ‘product’ doesn’t taste different and you are more likely to have success.


  1. Use quality products to assist the journey

Using a colic reducing bottle such as the Philips Avent anti-colic bottles will mean that your baby has to work similarly to draining a breast and is less likely to get wind.  Having a system that works to support both methods is extremely important.


  1. Get to love your breast pump

You will need to express at the same time as you give a bottle to maintain your breastmilk supply.  Of course, it does depend on how often you are giving a bottle, as a one-off will not cause any issues.  Milk is based on supply and demand so if you do not make a demand you will not make milk. Investing in a good breast pump that you enjoy using such as the Philips Avent Single Electric Breast Pump is important as you will be using it often to sustain milk supply when combining.


  1. Don’t stress!

All parts of your baby’s feeding journey can be approached with a mix of determination and curiosity.  The same things won’t always work for every baby, some babies take time to get used to a bottle. A few other ideas to try is having someone other than mum bottle feeding, feeding skin to skin, waiting till baby is very tired to offer, offering consistently but not pushing it.

Some babies once having a bottle, always want a bottle, if that’s the case take baby back to skin to skin feeding and reduce bottle use if this happens. The most important message is not to be too hard on yourself and be open minded to trying new things.