Breast Feed or Formula?

Info on Breast feeding and Formula for babies

Babies get all of their nutritional needs from their mothers’ breast milk or an iron fortified infant formula until they are about four to six months old. There is no need to supplement with water, juice or cereal at this time because they receive all of the elements of proper nutrition through formula or breast milk. Babies will most often want to eat every two to six hours on average. Most babies will begin to follow a schedule in a sense of fed on demand, but don’t think every cry is a ‘hunger-cry'. (Dependent on the baby and how often he or she is used to eating)

In most cases, breast milk is nearly the most perfect food for your babies growing needs. Breast milk contains easily digestible proteins, many factors that support your new baby's immature immune system, and other factors that aid in digestion. It is also low in cost and requires no preparation. Breast fed babies are also less likely to have colic, upper respiratory infections, ear infections, constipation, asthma or allergies.

Quick tip for all you breast feeding moms:
Breast-feeding can typically burn up almost 500 of the mom's calories every day! Most breast fed babies will eat for 10-15 minutes on each breast every 1 1/2 to 3 hours and when fed formula, babies will take 2-3 ounces every 2-4 hours on average. By 4-8 weeks your baby should be on a more predictable schedule, that you could typically control according to the routines throughout your day. Despite all of these advantages of breast-feeding, you should not feel guilty if you decide that you would rather feed your baby formula. There are many formulas available that will provide your baby with good nutrition to promote his or her growth and development.

Some general feeding practices to avoid are giving a breastfed babies bottles before they are 4-6 weeks old, putting the bottle in bed or propping the bottle while feeding, putting cereal in the bottle, feeding honey, introducing solids before 4-6 months, heating bottles in the microwave, or adding goats milk. In addition, avoid the use of low iron formulas, which are nutritionally inadequate to sufficiently meet the needs of a growing infant. These types of infant formulas do not contain adequate amounts of iron and will put your child at risk for developing iron deficiency anemia (which has been strongly linked with poor growth and development and with several learning disabilities). Iron fortified formulas do not cause colic, constipation or reflux, and you should not switch to a low iron formula if your baby has one of these problems.

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