New moms are often in a quandary whether to breast-feed or bottle-feed their babies. Both breast-feeding and bottle feeding has their share of pros and cons. However, breast milk is undoubtedly the best source of nutrition for infants.
Advantages of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is recommended by pediatricians in the baby’s first year. During the first six months, breast milk should preferably be the sole source of nutrition. Breast milk is full of essential vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins. Besides these nutrients needed for the growth of the infant, breast milk also contains hormones, digestive enzymes and antibodies needed to fight infections.
Moms might slowly introduce their babies to bottle-feeding after six months. Sometimes bottle-feeding is the only option available for working moms, who cannot devote enough time caring for their babies. Moms looking for freedom might consider breastfeeding a time consuming process. Despite her close bonding with the baby, women often wants to go back to a normal life. Instead of abruptly stopping breastfeeding, moms should gradually introduce babies to bottle-feeding. Remember that if you introduce bottle-feeding too early, your baby will give up breast-feeding. This may not be beneficial for your baby’s health.
Choosing formula milk
You should choose formula milk with care. Unlike mother’s milk, it is difficult to digest formula milk. Therefore, while choosing formula milk, you should look for products that closely resemble mother’s milk. Cow milk based formula milk can be beneficial for your baby. However, if your baby suffers from lactose intolerance, you can consider giving him/her soy based formula milk. Formula milk is available in three forms – powder formula, liquid concentrate formula and premixed ready-to-feed formula. Powder formula milk is the most affordable. The ready-to-feed formula milk is most expensive but easy to use. If you are using powder or liquid concentrate formula for feeding your baby, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for milk preparation.
You need good quality bottles and nipples for feeding your baby. They are available in different sizes. Your baby’s feeding habit will help you to determine the right bottle and nipple. While choosing a nipple, make sure that the flow should not be two fast for younger babies. Older babies will however prefer fast flow. You should always properly sterilize the feeding equipments after every feed.