3 Myths About Baby Formula Parents Should Ignore
Everyone has an opinion! And when it comes to baby feeding, this statement can not be more true. There are a few persistent untruths about giving baby formula that scare new parents. A lot of new parents choose to breastfeed then along the way something happens and they find themselves unable to follow their original plan. This can lead to anxiety or fear that your baby is now at a disadvantage. While breastfeeding is great for babies, it’s not always possible to do exclusively or wanted to do at all.
Is it bad for baby? Absolutely not. Modern baby formula is far more wholesome than its reputation suggests. So I am here to debunk the 3 biggest myths about baby formula.
Myth #1: Formula-Fed Babies Won’t Be as Smart as Breastfed Babies
This is a myth that’s hung around from when formula was first invented. Yes, the early versions of baby formula were lacking in certain aspects, and were not as effective of a nutrition source as breast milk. Today’s formulas have come a long way. Just like with everything around us, science has helped progress it a lot. Formula manufacturers have a much better understanding of how the human body works and of human breast milk composition. There is a lot more knowledge and consideration about the nutrient types and ratios that contribute to optimal growth in babies.
Research into the components of breastmilk have been essential for the improvement and development of formula. Infant formulas now include critical brain-boosting ingredients like DHA and ARA, two of the nutrients that are now known to be essential in brain development. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that formula-fed babies won’t be as smart or have just as many advantages in life.
Though no research or formula has ever been able to perfectly match breastmilk, it has drastically improved in the last few decades.
Myth #2: Formula-Fed Babies Don’t Bond as Much With Mothers
This idea came from an old study that suggested damage to bonding between babies and mothers if baby was not held or breastfed within the first few hours of life. The reality is, current thinking and studies no longer support that claim. Yes, breastfeeding increases the time a baby spends experiencing skin-to-skin contact, which is extremely important. But that doesn’t mean that formula-fed babies will be deficient in parental bonding.
There is no reason skin-to-skin contact can’t happen while bottle-feeding. There is plenty of time for parents to bond with baby while feeding formula. Bonding with baby comes down to two important factors: skin-to-skin contact and facial recognition, not just baby’s connection to your breast. So don’t worry that a bond won’t form simply because you’re bottle-feeding.
Myth #3: Formula Lacks the Complete Nutrition Baby Needs
As previously mentioned, there are definitely differences between breast milk and baby formula, but today’s formulas are a safe and nutritious alternative to breast milk. The nutritional composition of baby formula is very strictly regulated. All infant formulas in Canada are subject to specific mandatory nutrient requirements. Modern formulas are designed to ensure adequate growth!
Formula is made out of a regulated amount of water, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals to meet a baby’s nutritional needs. As long as baby is growing according to your pediatrician’s recommendations, it’s a good sign your child is getting enough nutrition—regardless of whether you’re breastfeeding or formula-feeding.
How To Make Sure Baby Is Getting Enough Nutrition From Formula?
Make sure to add a 400IU Vitamin D drop to your baby’s bottle each day – this is recommended by Canadian Nutrition Guidelines as there is not enough Vitamin D in breastmilk (unless the parent is supplementing) or in Formula.
Make sure that you follow the EXACT instructions on your Baby Formula tin or bottle. Proper storage, mixing, and use is essential to ensure your baby’s health and safety. Feed baby when they’re hungry – as baby grows their needs will change. Just like adults, at some points in the day you’re more hungry than others. Read your baby’s hunger cues and consider using a method of feeding called Paced Bottle Feeding – it can help reduce gas and prevent over feeding (ie: reducing spit ups).