After your baby’s birth, you may sometimes rely on a feeding bottle rather than breastmilk.
However, bottle feeding may not be as healthy for your child as you may think.
Instant formula milk does not provide the same nutrients and antibodies as breast milk.
Though, even using the bottle feeder can be bad for your baby in the long run.
Hence, it is better to shift them from the baby bottle to the sippy cup soon.
This article discusses the facts about feeding bottles that you may not be aware of as a new mother. Keep reading to know more.
Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding
This decision is the mother’s choice. However, breast milk is very beneficial for a newborn.
It contains nutrients and antibodies that instant formula milk lacks.
Babies need milk exclusively for the first six months and then they adapt to eating with drinking milk in the next year.
Though, you should only give them milk in their bottles and not water or juice.
Also while you give formula milk, make sure to keep the water and formula ratio according to the instructions.
Too little water will be bad for the baby’s kidneys and too much water will lack nutrients that they need for growth.
Hence, the proportion should be appropriate.
Moreover, when you use bottles, buy BPA-free plastic bottles and anti-colic bottles.
The chemical bisphenol A can otherwise seep into your baby’s milk and become harmful to their health.
Hence, you should either buy BPA-free plastic bottles with no drip nipples and slow flow or glass bottles.
Though, bottle feeding does have some glaring disadvantages over breastfeeding.
Breastmilk is light on the stomach of infants and it contains nutrients that they need for growth that infant formula lacks.
Breastmilk is natural, bottle feeding isn’t.
Moreover, it can also lead to early childhood obesity.
Furthermore, it involves preparation hence, it is time-consuming.
You will have to purchase the feeders, nipples and instant formula milk.
Sterilizing the bottles is necessary so you will constantly be on the run between feeds, washing and sterilizing bottles plus preparing the next feed.
All this is not only time-consuming but also inconvenient.
You will have to carry bottles, milk, nipples, sterilizer if you step out of the house for a trip.
If your baby wakes up in the night, then it is quite some work before finally feeding them.
Plus, regularly drinking formula milk puts your baby at the risk of diarrhea, urine or ear infection.
This is because it lacks antibodies present inside breast milk.
Also, if you only use bottles to feed your baby from the beginning, you may miss out on some mother-child bonding.
Breastfeeding allows your child to bond with you emotionally and physically.
It is slowly taken which leads to better digestion rather than the fast flow of bottles.
Also, for the mom, breastfeeding helps to reduce weight and later in life, it can help you from developing breast cancer or osteoporosis.
Though, it also has a few advantages that we will discuss later.
Facts About Feeding Bottle
Difficult To Give Up
Weaning your child off breast milk is hard but getting rid of the feeders is also difficult.
The milk flows more slowly in a bottle and your child will soon start holding it too.
The sucking motion is also comparatively comforting hence, they may prefer it over breast milk.
This may continue for years if your child prefers to drink milk in a feeder.
Also as drinking from the bottle is soothing, it is harder to let go even if they become a little older.
This can pose problems for their teeth later on and they may even develop buck teeth.
Hence, bottle addiction is common and hard to let go of. It isn’t great for your child in the long run.
This is because…
Causes Decay and Cavities
Milk contains sugars and these are bound to stick to your child’s gum line if they take the bottle to bed.
Parents feed children before bed and they develop a habit to do so.
This way milk is the last thing they drink before they sleep.
Hence, the sugars in the milk accumulate in the gums.
If your baby is teething then it is especially bad for their oral health.
This could lead to cavities in kids and tooth decay.
Hence, the last thing they should drink before sleeping is water.
You should also wipe their gums with a warm washcloth so that the sugars do not result in cavities.
If they already have their baby teeth then milk in the feeder before bed is likely to cause cavities.
Stop this unhealthy routine before it is too late.
It is much easier to stop this habit rather than taking your child for tooth fillings.
A toddler needs about 300 to 400 mil of milk each day.
However, formula milk supplements about 600ml to 800 ml a day.
Isn’t that good?
Well, that would be good if it also included food.
The daily requirement of milk also refers to dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.
If children drink more milk, they skip meals and other nutritious foods.
Hence, this can result in iron deficiency in children.
Therefore, they should get a moderate amount of milk and food as well as soon as they turn one.
Hence, it isn’t ideal to give your child feeding bottles for a longer time.
Though, it also has its fair share of advantages.
Feeding Bottle Advantages
- Allows anyone to feed
Breastfeeding is exclusive to the mother however, feeding through a bottle can also be a bonding moment with the father, siblings or grandparents.
This will also help the tired mama take a break from all the activities of her newborn.
And the people feeding the child can do it anywhere in the public space with ease.
- Steady Supply
You do not have to worry about your breast milk supply.
If it is ever insufficient then bottle feed can always replace it.
Moreover, this will not run out and your child will keep growing.
You can also keep a tab on their daily intake of milk.
This is not possible to do with breast milk but you can see if they have had enough milk for the day using a baby feeder.
- Helps Babies with Lactose Intolerance
A few babies are born with an intolerance to lactose, the main sugar in milk.
Hence, they cannot digest breast milk.
This can be extremely dangerous for infants and parents need to identify it soon so that it does not cause malnutrition and dehydration in their child.
You can feed them soy protein instead from a bottle as formula milk will not be suitable for lactose intolerant babies either.
- The mother does not need to change her routine
Mothers usually end up eating nutritious foods and make changes to their diet so that the breast milk supply remains steady and nutritious.
While it is good to eat nutritious veggies and fruits, you will not have to worry about it if you feed your child through a bottle.
Similarly, if you have a disease or an infection, you will not have to worry about transmitting it to your child through your breast milk.
Even if you fall ill, you will not have to worry about your child being unfed as they can be fed through the bottle easily.
After every use, thoroughly wash and sterilize the feeders.
Not sterilizing the bottles can cause health problems in your child.
Hence, you need to buy a sterilizer to make sure your feeder bottles are safe to use.
Even sanitize the tongs that pick up the bottles and nipples.
Wash the bottles using a bottle brush and a nipple brush.
Pay special attention while cleaning the nipple holes so that there is no leftover milk residue trapped inside.
Wipe the bottles with a soft and clean cloth to dry them out.
Do not store formula milk, throw leftover milk and do not give it to your child again.
It is best to throw it if it has not been refrigerated and has been out for 2 hours.
Before giving your child the formula milk, first, put some drops on your hand to gather its temperature.
Do not give your child microwaved or boiling water.
This can burn their mouth badly.
Rather, run the milk bottle under the hot water for a few minutes.
Give your child milk as they prefer, cool, room temperature or warm.
However, it is still better to avoid bottles if you can feed them breast milk.
You can swiftly shift your child to a sippy cup from breast milk by they are 9 months old.
By they are one they can use normal cups at home.
Sippy cups are comparatively better because it is hard to carry them all the time or take them to bed.
Hence, there are fewer chances of your child developing cavities.
A feeding bottle has its pros and cons, however, remember that if you cannot feed your child breast milk then it is fine.
Mothers are shamed into believing it is bad if they don’t feed their child however, some mothers do not have an option.
When you do have an alternative, utilize it!