Formula Feeding: Myths, Positives & How to Formula Feed Your Baby

Yes, breastfeeding is best for your baby! That said, many new moms often face situations that affect their feeding choice. However, choosing to bottle feed is never an easy choice for any mom. Most of the times, formula feeding guilt takes over. You think you are not doing enough or worse, that you have failed! Besides, you may also question the nutritional benefits of baby formula. On the other hand, you many choose formula feeding due to a medical necessity, by choice or supplementing your breast milk with formula. Relax, even if you do so, it can still provide the nutrients that your baby requires. Admittedly, one needs to consult their pediatrician before getting started. Moreover, as a mom, you would know what's best for your baby, so act on your instincts. 

Let's look at some formula feeding myths:

Formula fed babies are not healthy:

I have heard this question abundant times, "Are formula fed babies healthy?". Doubtless, breast milk should be the first choice but if you decide to formula feed, it can provide the nutrients that your baby needs to grow. According to an article in Harvard Health, formula feeding helped newborns gain weight in cases where breast milk supply was low.

There are long term effects on formula fed babies:

Since formulas are closely regulated, studies show that this myth is unsupported.

Formula fed babies immune system is weak

Nowadays, many modern formulas are designed to provide adequate nutrition to your baby. Some formulas also contain ingredients that help support the immune system of babies. However, breast milk does provide better immune support & hence is preferred by pediatricians & lactation consultants the world over.

It leads to weaker bonding between mom & baby:

For a first few months, your baby identifies you with your smell. Although, your baby may miss the skin to skin contact, experienced during breastfeeding, formula feeding does not lead to lesser bonding.

Positives of formula feeding:
-A great choice for babies with lactose intolerance
-A good choice if the mom is facing a medical condition & cannot breast feed her baby
-Dads, parents & other family members can also feed the baby
-One can keep a day-to-day track of baby's intake
-Mother's diet does not affect the child

In the same manner, let's also look at a few disadvantages of formula feeding:

-Formulas are expensive
-Babies may take a while to adjust, especially if you are making a switch from breast milk to formula
-Mom's may constantly worry about their baby's nutritional needs
-Some formulas may cause irregular bowel movements
-Breastfeeding is good for mom's health too

The Art of Formula Feeding Your Baby:

First & foremost, we cannot stress enough the importance of discussing this with your pediatrician. Since the decision has an effect on your child’s health, do choose the baby formula carefully & how much formula to give your baby. Equally important is to follow instructions while preparing formula & to clean & sterilize your baby’s bottles adequately to avoid infections.

While choosing a formula, take care to read through the ingredients carefully. Look for baby formula ingredients like  DHA, Lutein, and Vitamin E that support your little one's development. In addition, some formulas come with Prebiotics that promote digestive health & Nucleotides to support your baby’s developing immune system. Take a quick look at for more FAQs regarding finding the best formula for your baby! Additionally, do check your baby's tolerance to formula by watching out for issues like colic, diarrhea & constipation.

The formula you choose shall come with an easy to follow formula feeding chart according to the age group of the baby. Besides, take adequate care to choose a BPA free or glass bottle for feeding. Also, pay attention to opt for age suitable correct bottle teats that allow the right flow of milk- not too much or not too less!

Happy feeding! Tell us about your experiences about formula feeding your baby in the comments section. Share this article with any new moms you know. Also, for expecting moms, we have made an easy newborn essentials list guide, do take a look here


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