Baby formula advantages include convenience and the ability to tailor nutrition for individual babies. Formula also provides an alternative way to nourish a baby if breastfeeding is not recommended by a medical provider. Lactose-free formula and hypoallergenic formula are available for babies with special needs.
Infants who are formula fed are 50 percent more likely to have ear infections than babies who receive only breastmilk. Formula feeding is linked to higher rates of eczema, allergies to food, inherited allergies and allergies which affect breathing such as hay fever.
For moms who can't breastfeed or who decide not to, infant formula is a healthy alternative. Formula provides babies with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.
There are two main reasons: Infants cannot digest cow's milk as completely or easily as they digest breastmilk or baby formula. And, more importantly, cow's milk does not contain enough of certain nutrients that babies under a year old need.
It may be, researchers say, that formula fed babies get more nutrients than they actually need. This means that they are, in effect, comfort eating. The feeling of being full all the time could make them appear more satisfied.
Compared with formula, the nutrients in breastmilk are better absorbed and used by your baby. These include sugar (carbohydrate) and protein. Breastmilk has the nutrients that are best for your baby's brain growth and nervous system development.
Side Effects of Changing Baby Formulas
Signs a baby isn't tolerating a type of formula well include: Diarrhea, constipation, gassiness or frequent throwing up. More serious intolerance issues include: Bloody stools, congestion or wheezing after eating.
For mothers, failure to breastfeed is associated with an increased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, retained gestational weight gain, type 2 diabetes, myocardial infarction, and the metabolic syndrome.
Breast milk or formula is far more nutritious than any solid food you could give your baby. Wait until your baby shows signs that they are ready. Some babies are ready around 4 months. When you do start solid foods, keep in mind that solids are not nutrition at this age.
Healthy breastfed infants typically put on weight more slowly than formula-fed infants in the first year of life. Formula-fed infants typically gain weight more quickly after about 3 months of age. Differences in weight patterns continue even after complimentary foods are introduced.
Formula Feeding: Benefits and Drawbacks
It also provides an opportunity for other family members to bond with the baby during feedings. Many parents also feel that formula feeding helps their babies sleep through the night at an earlier age, meaning fewer nighttime feedings and more sleep for the mother.
The nutrients in formula support a baby's growth during their first 6 months. Once they reach 6 months, they can start eating solids as well, but a baby should not drink regular cow's milk until they are at least 12 months old. The main sources of protein in formula come from cow's milk.
First infant formula is based on whey protein which is thought to be easier to digest than other types of formula. Unless a midwife, health visitor or GP suggests otherwise, first infant formula is the only formula your baby needs.
Breastfed babies cry more, laugh less, and generally have "more challenging temperaments" than formula-fed infants, a study has found. But such behaviour is normal, and mothers should learn to cope with it rather than reach for the bottle, according to researchers.
Research shows that there's little difference between the total amount of sleep that breast-fed and formula-fed babies have . It's unlikely your baby would sleep better with formula milk, though there are some differences between breast-fed and formula-fed babies when it comes to sleep.
At 6 weeks, breast-fed infants cried an average of almost 40 minutes more per day than formula fed infants; and 31% cried for more than three hours per day, compared with only 12% of the formula fed group.
New mums should be advised that it is normal for their baby to cry more if they are breastfed, say experts. The Medical Research Council team says this irritability is natural, and although formula-fed babies may appear more content and be easier to pacify, breast is still best.
Breastmilk or infant formula should be your baby's main source of nutrition for around the first year of life. Health professionals recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, with a gradual introduction of appropriate foods in the second 6 months and ongoing breastfeeding for 2 years or beyond.
Throughout the ages and until the end of the 19th century, animal's milk was the most common source of artificial feeding. As mentioned earlier, pap and panada were used only as supplements to animal's milk when the infant failed to thrive.
It's best to wait until about 12 months to stop giving your baby formula. Babies still need nutrient-dense food sources, though, and cow's milk is the best thing to transition to. But your baby's digestive system won't be ready until they're about 1 year old.