There has always been a debate between the advantages and disadvantages of breast feeding compared to formula feeding your baby. In fact there is no right or wrong choice between breast feeding and bottle feeding, though most experts believe breast milk offers your baby the best nutritional start in life.
However, breast feeding is not always possible for many reasons; some women may be unable to breast feed either for medical or practical reasons so the best alternative is formula milk which is specifically made to contain all the nutrients your baby needs for its development during the first 6 months.
Whether you choose to use breast milk or formula milk, bottle feeding gives parents the flexibility to allow both parents to feed baby which offers valuable bonding time for dad and a rest for mum!
Here are some of the advantages of bottle feeding:
- Anyone can feed your baby with the bottle at any time, which gives mum a break, gives dad bonding time and gives parents the opportunity to return to work if they wishes.
- Formula usually takes longer to digest than breast milk, so the time gap between feeding is longer and babies need to eat less often.
- If you bottle feed your baby, they may sleep for longer between feeds.
- In public, bottle-feeding is much more convenient.
- With bottle-feeding, you know how much milk your baby is drinking.
- With breastfeeding the mother has to take precautions regarding her diet, fluid intake, medications, clothes etc. With baby formula, those restrictions do not exist and she can resume normal life much sooner.
- Like breastfeeding, bottle feeding enables a strong bond and a sense of closeness to develop between the baby and parent.
- Formula milk has added vitamin K.
The importance of getting dad involved?
Although dad can’t breastfeed, he plays a key role in the success of breastfeeding. As well as supporting and encouraging mum through the breastfeeding experience, it is important for dad to have skin-to-skin contact with his baby. Feeling his father’s heartbeat will encourage your baby’s temperature, breathing and heart rate to settle, and give dad and baby the same closeness as mums feel during breastfeeding.