It’s easy to assume that only moms who formula feed and mix feed need to buy baby bottles. But even those who exclusively breastfeed buy baby bottles for a number of reasons. A lot of mothers need to go back to work and the easiest way to feed a baby with pumped breast milk (aside from cup feeding) is through a bottle.
One thing’s for sure, though, regardless if you’re formula feeding or mix feeding or exclusively breastfeeding: your baby deserves to use the best baby bottles. The only problem is narrowing down your choices because as you know, there are as many baby bottles to choose from as there are baby formula brands.
To help you choose the best baby bottles for your little one, we’ve prepared this handy guide so you can stock up on the ones that will best fit your baby’s needs.
If you’re a new mom, let me first say congratulations! Being a mother is the best, sweetest, hardest and most important thing.
From the minute you find out you’re expecting a little bundle of joy you are thinking about them. You consider their safety, their happiness, and most of all their health.
There are many competing voices that will try to tell you how to raise your child. But only you know your family and your little one. Only you can make the best healthy choices for your child.
People used to be concerned that there was a connection between using baby formula and increased diabetes risk, but studies have proven that wrong! There is no increased risk of diabetes if you choose to feed your baby cow milk based formula.
But not all formulas are created equal! You still have some decisions to make to ensure that your baby gets the best possible nutrition.
We all want to do the best for our babies. But the internet is awash with myths about baby formula and the ‘risks’ it poses.
55% of mothers choose formula over breastfeeding. And if you’re one of them, you’ve probably heard most, if not all, of these 5 myths about bottle-feeding.
Read on to bust these common formula myths and give your baby a boost.
Myth 1: You can mix up baby formula by eye.
Powdered formula comes with explicit mixing instructions. It’s usually one level scoop of powder to 1oz of water for European Baby Formulas.
But you should actually measure it out when you’re mixing the formula. Too little water can make your baby thirsty. Too much water can even reduce the calories she can absorb from the formula.
At worst, it can even cause seizures.
So save yourself and your baby any problems and measure the water. Mix up the formula properly. Don’t just guess the amounts.
You can’t leave baby formula lying around either. Once you’ve mixed it, you should feed your baby or store it in the refrigerator. It’ll keep for 24 hours.
Throw mixed formula out if it’s been sitting out for more than an hour. And definitely throw away any unfinished formula.
You can always make more next time you need to feed your baby.
Myth 2: You can warm baby formula in a microwave.
Not at all.
Microwaves don’t actually provide an even heat. And you don’t want to burn your baby’s mouth with baby formula.
It’s safer to run the bottle under hot water. Or pop it in a pan of hot water for a few minutes.
Give the bottle a shake and squirt a few drops onto the inside of your wrist.
If it’s lukewarm, it’s safe to give to her.
However, you can certainly sterilize some types of bottles in the microwave. Check the instructions from your manufacturer.
Myth 3: Babies only bond during breastfeeding.
You can still bond during bottle-feeding. After all, it’s the time spent together that builds the bond. Not the breast.
Unfortunately, it’s a pretty common myth. And it can lead some mothers to think they’re bad mothers for bottle-feeding their babies.
Some mothers even worry their babies will be less intelligent or less successful because they were bottle-fed.
But some women can’t breastfeed. And some babies just don’t want to.
Breastfeeding advocates often point to Norway as a country where breastfeeding is considered normal. So bottle-feeding mothers can’t use social pressure as an excuse not to breastfeed.
But even there, women still have problems with breastfeeding. And they’re using bottle-feeding to supplement their babies’ diet.
So don’t believe that you can’t bond with your baby while you bottle-feed.
Just make sure you cuddle your baby close and hold her so she looks at you while she feeds. Talk to her and look into her eyes.
You can also get skin-to-skin time by undressing her to her diaper. Cuddle her to your chest. You can always put a blanket over her to keep her warm.
Just make sure you give her all of your attention.
Myth 4: Iron-fortified formula causes constipation.
Some parents believe that babies drinking low-iron baby formula have softer poop.
But iron-fortified formula only has enough iron to stop anemia and aid normal growth. It doesn’t actually contain enough to cause constipation.
Low-iron formula doesn’t provide enough iron and can cause more problems than it seems to solve.
The American Academy of Pediatrics actually advise the use of iron-fortified formula until babies are 1.
The content of baby formula causes other myths too. Some believe it doesn’t contain enough nutrients for growing babies.
But formulas now contain a whole range of additives like probiotics, and even fatty acids like DHA and ARA.
They help support the immune system and they help with brain and eye development.
If you’re not sure what ingredients to avoid, this post will explain it all.
So yes, formulas don’t fully replicate breast milk, they are still safe for your baby. They also often contain extra benefits like vitamin D. Breastfed babies can miss that from their diet.
Just make sure you don’t fall prey to the myth that it’s okay to give babies cow’s milk instead of formula. It’s not.
Cow’s milk can cause intestinal bleeding, and it puts stress on their kidneys.
Babies can have whole milk once they turn 1.
Myth 5: Baby formula makes your baby ill more often
Lots of people will say that formula fed babies are overweight, always ill, or even more prone to gas.
But there are lots of other factors that get ignored in these studies.
The studies that show higher obesity rate in children fed with baby formula don’t look at their diets as toddlers.
They also don’t look at how much exercise the children got. It’s difficult to say the obesity was only caused by too much formula.
And it’s true that breast milk does pass on antibodies. But there’s no guarantee the baby will always be healthy as a result.
A mother with a weak immune system won’t pass on any benefits. And a mother who uses baby formula might keep her baby away from sick people.
Babies fed with formula aren’t always more gassy either. A breastfeeding mother with a poor diet can have a gassy baby.
But a gassy, formula-fed baby might just need a different formula. Maybe you just need to burp your baby fully.
It’s too simple to just blame the baby formula.
So if you’ve chosen to feed your baby on formula, hopefully you now feel better about your choice. Following the instructions and spending time with your baby will help you to bond with your infant.
If you’re looking to choose a formula, check out our tips to choose the right one for your baby.
If you’re worried about the presence of GMOs, pesticides, or antibiotics in your formula, don’t be. Our range of European formulas are organic and don’t contain GMOs. We’ll also give you free shipping on orders over $100!
There’s a consistent question that we get from mothers– “Should I combine breast and formula feeding?”
When it comes to being a new mother, the dynamics of feeding can feel like a mystery. Luckily, understanding the two types of feeding is fairly simple.
We put together a guide to understanding the key differences between the two and whether or not combining breast and formula feeding is right for you and your baby.
Check out this handy guide!
Understanding The Differences, Pros, And Cons
There are some pretty big differences between breast and formula feeding.
Breastfeeding is pretty self-explanatory– it is the act of feeding your infant child directly from the breast.
The Pros of breastfeeding your infant:
There are a significant number of pros to breastfeeding.
It’s free and is always available.
There are a ton of nutrients in breastmilk, including carbs, fat, protein, and calcium– all things your little one needs.
Active infection-fighting white blood cells and natural chemicals provide your infant with significant protection against infections, especially during the early months when these infections can be the most dangerous.
It has been found by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
It is easy for your baby to digest.
Can help mothers lose some weight post-birth.
May protect your baby from allergies and asthma in the future, and may reduce your child’s risk of obesity in adulthood.
The Cons of breastfeeding your infant:
While there are many benefits to breastfeeding, there are quite a few not so great things about it too.
It can be painful.
You will have significantly less freedom– you’re the food dispenser, unfortunately!
If you are modest, breastfeeding may be uncomfortable to do in public.
You’ll probably have to breastfeed in public when your baby is hungry and may face rude people and reactions from people who forget that the purpose of breasts is to feed children.
You have to make strict choices about your diet.
Formula feeding is the act of feeding your baby manufactured food. This food is designed and specifically marketed for babies under a year old.
Typically, the formula comes in an already liquefied form or as a powder that must be mixed with water.
Formula can be served to an infant via bottle feeding or cup feeding and is available in regular or organic variations.
The Pros to formula feeding:
Even though there are many pros to breastfeeding, there are also many pros to formula feeding as well.
Baby formula, especially in recent years, has become more and more similar to human milk when it comes to ingredients and nutrients.
You aren’t a walking milk supply anymore and can have slightly more freedom.
You can buy your supply instead of trying to build it yourself.
Your partner can share in the feeding responsibilities.
The Cons to formula feeding:
Of course, there’s a few.
Baby formula isn’t free– in fact, it is pretty expensive.
Your may face judgment from others.
You won’t burn calories like you would with breastfeeding.
Lots of dishes and cleanup.
You’ll have to be keenly aware of the formula you choose and will need to do some research, as not every formula is the best formula for your baby.
Should You Combine Breast And Formula Feeding?
The act of combining breast and formula feeding is known as supplementing.
It is 100% perfectly safe to breastfeed and feed your baby formula. Many families use the supplementing method, too.
With all the pros and cons of both forms of feeding, it makes sense that combining the two can give you the best of both worlds.
Professionals from the American Academy of Pediatrics, also known as the AAP, recommend sticking to breastfeeding by itself for approximately the first four to six months. After that, it is recommended to continue breastfeeding until a year or more along with starting solid foods.
The choice to supplement is yourself, and your goal should be simple– get your baby the full nutrition they need.
There are numerous reasons why parents decide to supplement:
If your baby was born premature or with particular medical conditions, a supplement may be necessary.
Breast milk has a crazy amount of nutrients, and formula can only add to those nutrients!
In that same respect, if you have medical conditions that prevent you from breastfeeding 24/7, you should absolutely consider supplementing with formula.
A past breast surgery or breast-related condition could reduce or stop the way your body produces milk.
If this is the case, be sure to speak to your doctor to properly decide if your baby is getting enough breastmilk and if supplementing should be implemented.
You Have Several Babies
If you have twins, you’ve probably noticed by now that they literally are twice as much work.
Building and maintaining breast milk for one minute is a challenge in and of itself, but two or more babies can be downrighting exhausting to keep up with.
If you’re a working mama, you may feel ready to go back to work as soon as possible.
Breastfeeding in public can be a pain, but breastfeeding in a work environment can be downright stressful and time-consuming.
Consider breastfeeding your baby outside of work and supplementing with formula during work hours.
What Formula Should I Choose To Supplement?
Always speak to your doctor before settling on an infant formula.
A pediatrician has the know-how when it comes to the best formula to use, and they can provide some valuable advice.
Regardless, a decent formula typically contains a significant amount of iron.
It is recommended to wait at least a month before introducing formula to your baby’s diet unless there are medical reasons for your choice to supplement.
Waiting a month gives you ample enough time to build up a breast milk supply before starting formula supplements.
Make The Best Decision For You And Your Baby
Was this guide to understanding breast and formula feeding helpful? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comments below!