Advantages and Disadvantages of Bottle Feeding
Every new parent has their own way of raising their child. Some parents switch up their parenting styles with each new child they have. Although traditional ways are proven to raise efficient and responsible children, it never hurts to try out new ways which may be beneficial for your little one. One such newer method of raising children is bottle feeding.
Bottle feeding is an alternative to breastfeeding. Many new moms who are unable to breastfeed or want to feed formula milk along with breastfeeding, choose to bottle-feed their babies. Some moms even feed breast milk through bottles. If you’re a new mom, considering bottle-feeding your little one, we suggest that you first read the advantages and disadvantages of bottle feeding a baby and make an informed decision.
What Are the Pros of Bottle Feeding?
Like everything else on the planet, there are pros and cons to bottle feeding too. First, we’ll discuss the pros of bottle feeding to ease you into the topic. There are several benefits of bottle-feeding a baby. Read on to know what they are!
1. Anyone can feed the baby.
One of the benefits of bottle feeding is that either parent can feed the baby. Feeding is an important bonding moment; breastfeeding doesn’t give the daddy an opportunity to bond with the baby. Bottle feeding allows the siblings, father and other family members to spend some time with the newborn baby.
2. It can be done in public.
Some moms are not comfortable with breastfeeding their babies in public. If you don’t want to expose your breasts or go to a private area for breastfeeding, bottle feeding is the way to go!
3. Keeping a track of your baby’s intake is easy.
It isn’t easy to know how much milk your baby is drinking when you breastfeed. Bottle feeding helps you find out your baby’s daily milk intake.
4. You don’t have to worry if your breast milk supply is low.
Many moms worry that their baby will remain underfed if their breast milk supply is insufficient. In such a case, many parents resort to bottle feeding. This ensures that your baby gets all the milk he needs to grow and develop. However, because of this baby does not suck on breasts, which leads to a lack of milk supply.
5. You don’t have to worry about making changes to your diet.
A mother who feeds formula milk to her baby doesn’t have to worry about adding specific fruits and veggies to her diet. She can eat and drink anything she likes.
6. Bottle feeding helps babies who have lactose intolerance.
In rare cases, infants cannot process breast milk or animal milk. This situation is known as lactose intolerance. Then, suitable formula milk, such as soy protein, can be fed from a bottle.
7. The mother’s health condition doesn’t affect the baby.
If the mother falls ill after childbirth or faces health issues that don’t let breastfeed, a bottle can be used to feed the baby.
What Are the Cons of Bottle Feeding?
Now, coming to the disadvantages of bottle feeding. Keep in mind that although there are negatives, some mothers still choose to bottle-feed their babies due to various reasons. It is up to you to weigh your pros and cons and then decide whether you wish to bottle-feed your baby or not. The disadvantages of bottle feeding are:
1. Formula milk is not as nutritious as breast milk.
Breast milk has all the nutrients that your baby requires to grow and develop. It is also light on the stomach than formula milk. Bottle-feeding may increase the risk of obesity in early childhood.
2. Preparing the milk for bottle feeding takes time and effort.
You can breastfeed your baby on demand. But if you’ve habituated your baby to bottle feeding, you need to wash and sterilise the bottle, pour milk into the bottle and warm it. It’s a lot of work! Improper sterilisation can also put your infant’s health at risk.
3. Bottle feeding equipment is an added expense.
Bottle feeding your baby can be expensive. If you choose to bottle feed formula milk to your little one, you will need need to buy feeding bottles, a cleaning brush and also a steriliser. You’ll also have to invest in a good-quality breast pump or formula milk powder. All this can be an added expense to your monthly budget.
4. Bottle-feeding may compromise your baby’s immune system.
Studies show that breast milk develops and improves your baby’s immune system. Formula milk, on the other hand, doesn’t contain vital and natural nutrients. Formula-fed babies also carry the risk of developing certain illnesses like a chest infection, ear infection, urine infection or diarrhoea.
5. It affects the mother-baby bonding.
Feeding is a bonding moment for the mother and her baby. When the baby latches on to the mother’s breasts, skin-to-skin contact is established. Bottle-feeding may hamper this bonding.
6. Bottle feeding can be inconvenient.
You’ll have to carry clean bottles, formula milk, baby nipples, and other necessities while travelling. It can be troublesome to manage the things as well as the baby at the same time. Bottle feeding is also inconvenient if your baby requires midnight feeding sessions as you have to get up and prepare the milk each time.
7. Breastfeeding keeps the mother healthy.
Some studies have proved that moms who choose to breastfeed rather than bottle-feed have a lower risk of suffering from breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.
8. Your baby may not take to formula milk.
For some babies, formula milk-fed from a bottle may not be suitable. They may experience diarrhoea and a loss of fluids from the body.
1. Why Do Doctors Not Recommend Bottle Feeding?
Doctors do not recommend bottle feeding because the bottles used to feed babies can harbour bacteria and can cause harm.
2. Why Do Mothers Choose To Bottle Feed?
Usually, mothers who can’t breastfeed opt to bottle-feed their little ones.
Bottle feeding has its own pros and cons. You should carefully consider both sides of the situation before settling on the method of feeding your baby. The aim is to ensure that your baby is neither underfed nor overfed and gets the essential vitamins and nutrients while she adapts to the world around her.
Also Read: Bottle Feeding Problems & Solutions