The choice of breast feeding or bottle feeding can be a very difficult decision to make. It seems like everyone has an opinion on what you should do and, unfortunately, most of them don’t agree on the subject. For some reason, this seems to be one of the first questions most people ask, and some will judge your parenting skills based on how you answer. However, it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not be right for another. The following are some of the pros and cons to each situation to help you determine which feeding strategy is right for you.
Bottle Feeding Pros and Cons
Bottle feeding your newborn can be very convenient, since you can mix up bottles of formula in advance – up to 24 hours in some instances. This can be very helpful if you’ll be leaving your child with a sitter and want to ensure that the formula is properly mixed. It can also be very helpful that other people can feed the child when you need a break. A bottle will allow the father to help with those “fun” night time feedings, too. For the exhausted mom, that can be a lifesaver.
Unfortunately, bottle feeding isn’t the right choice for everyone. Children who nurse on formula won’t have the benefit of receiving the mother’s antibodies through her milk. In addition, some children are allergic to certain types of formula, so parents may have to switch formula several times to find the right type. Some parents find the endless washing of bottles and nipples to be a major annoyance, while others feel that children who are bottle-fed miss out on the mother-child bonding that comes with nursing.
Breast Feeding Pros and Cons
Breast feeding can be much easier than bottle feeding, since you don’t have to clean or keep up with bottles. You’ll also have a constant supply of food as long as mom is nearby – which means no purchasing expensive formula mixes. In addition, most doctors agree that breast feeding is also much healthier than bottle feeding. Since breast milk is natural, it is often easier to digest for babies and many nutrients and immunities are passed on from mother to child.
However, breast feeding isn’t perfect either. For one thing, it hurts! In addition, many fathers feel left out, since they can’t take part in feeding the baby, and it can be painful to pump out breast milk if you need to leave the baby with a sitter. Another issue that many new mothers face is the continuous need to feed the baby, even when it isn’t convenient. Just because you’re in a public place, you can’t ignore the fact that your baby is hungry. Many mothers even feel embarrassed or shunned when they have to feed their baby in public.
What’s The Solution?
Well, unfortunately, there is no easy solution. Choosing whether to breast or bottle feed is never easy, but it comes down to deciding what you feel is best for your baby. You must weigh the pros and cons in each situation and make your own personal decision – don’t let others influence what you want to do. While people usually mean well when they offer baby advice, they aren’t the ones that will have to live with the decision!