Is Bottle Feeds The Right Choice for Babies ?
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Jun 15, 2017
Milk is an established basic food, especially for children. This is because it contains all nutrients in a nearly balanced proportion to meet the demand for human nutrition. It is rich in high-quality protein, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and other B-vitamins. The ratio in which calcium and phosphorus are present in milk is well utilizable by the body. Milk also contains fat-soluble vitamins like A and E. Milk contains trace elements like copper, zinc, iodine, etc. and many other nutrients. Milk proteins are of the highest quality and comparable to meat proteins in nutritional efficiency. The fats, proteins, sugars present in the milk are easily digestible.
All these factors make milk one of the most economically nutritious food available to humans, especially children. Milk is, therefore, an integral part of a child’s diet not only when the child depends on milk as the only source to meet the nutritional needs but much later also when the child starts eating all other solid foods available to him.
However, for an infant, a mother’s milk or breastmilk has been tailor-made by nature to meet the necessary health requirements. It is a well-documented fact that infants grow well on exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. It not only provides all the nutrients but also antibodies that are required by the infant’s developing body and digestive system. It is a food that is most easily digestible, easily absorbed and utilized by the infant’s body. In fact, the composition of breastmilk continually changes to meet the growing baby’s needs.
What If Top Feeding The Infant Along with Breastmilk
At times a mother may consider top feeding an infant. Only if the mother is unable to lactate sufficiently, which in turn is affecting the child’s growth, then top feeding or mixed feeding is advised by the pediatrician. Following are the factors to keep in mind if you are top feeding the infant along with breastmilk –
- A combination of mother’s milk and any other milk dilutes the overall beneficial effects of exclusive breastfeeding. Breast milk is nutritionally superior to any other milk, liquid or solid foods.
- When you give your child top feed, the intake of breast milk is reduced, which in turn decreases the mother’s supply of milk.
- Also, feeding young infants with top feeds, liquids, and solid foods increase their exposure to pathogens, putting them at greater risk of contracting diarrheal diseases.
Top Infant Milk Feeding Options
In case a breastfeeding mother is unable to lactate sufficiently or unable to lactate at all, there are other options of milk which can be fed to the infant. These are -
Formula milk is easily available in the market. There are various brands that prepare these formula milk from animal milk. It is then modified to closely match the nutrient content of the breast milk. These are iron-fortified, as animal milk lacks iron, from which the formula milk is prepared.
Fresh Animal Milk
Animal milk of goat, buffalo, etc can be used for infant feeding. The fat content of buffalo milk may be too high and the infant may take some time to digest it. In that case, the milk could be diluted in the ratio of 3 parts milk with 1 part boiled water. If starting with animal milk, then iron and vitamin C supplements are to be given on the advice of the pediatrician, as animal milk lacks in these two nutrients.
Pasteurized milk is also animal milk, but since it has been pasteurized, you are sure of the hygiene. Again if you consider giving this to your child, then supplements of iron and vitamin C are important on the advice of a pediatrician.
What Is Recommended: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, followed by breastfeeding along with complementary foods for up to two years of age. In its true definition, an infant is considered to be exclusively breastfed when the infant receives only breast milk without mixing it with water, other liquids, herbal preparations or food in the first six months of life, with the exception of vitamins, mineral supplements or medicines.
| Jun 01, 2016
Hey, I was unable to breastfeed my child. Tried a lot for the first 2 months by taking a lot of medications and home therapies but the milk supply wasn't there to support my baby. He was majorly on nan pro only. What precautions do I take now? He is 8. 5 months now.
| Jun 02, 2016
Hi mommy's, I am able to breast feed my baby (4 months old)day time and feel my breast is heavy but in evening times feel that I produce low milk and my baby is fuzzy and that time I feed her formula. Could you please suggest how to Increase breast milk during evenings
| Jun 04, 2016
@ Deepa Challa - Emotions are the key to milk production - Positive emotions increase milk production. You may keep your baby's photo in front of you while expressing. Read this blog here to know more about breastfeeding, I love this blog - https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/breastfeedingwhat-you-need-to-know/763
| Jun 08, 2016
Hi Rupa, you can opt for a comfortable breast pump to express milk and store it for your baby. The person taking care of your baby during the day can easily feed your milk to the baby. Here is a blog that is a step by step easy guide on how to do that - https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/breastfeedingwhat-you-need-to-know/763
| Jun 17, 2016
When storing breast milk ensure that the container used is properly sterilised, capped and BPA free. Also, Sterilise everything which the milk will touch, including the storage container and all the breast pump parts (if you are using it) beforehand itself. Boiling doesn’t kill all bacteria, so use a steam steriliser instead. Read this blog on HOW TO SAFLEY STORE BREASTMILK here - https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/how-to-safely-store-breast-milk-for-your-baby/772
| Jun 21, 2016
There is a difference between how a baby gets milk from a bottle and how a baby gets milk out of the breast. Giving bottles or pacifiers to an infant/breastfeeding babies often leads to nipple confusion. When you combine bottle feeding and breast feeding, the baby tries to use the bottle-feeding technique on the breast. This leads to the baby having difficulty latching-on and sucking the breast. Nipple confusion can even lead to baby refusing the breast. As a solution, choose a bottle & nipple designed like a mom’s breast (naturally shaped designs). There are bottles specifically designed to mimic a mother’s breast.
| Oct 31, 2016
yeah my daughter is 3 months old. I m giving her cow milk from last 20 days twice in a day in bottles. specially at night when she is not satisfied with bf. but using such powder like vayvading name to add in milk & boil then give so she can digest. I think it's batter then formula milk.
| Oct 31, 2016
@ puja- u should try to give rab made with wheat flour and sugar& milk & ghee. through this child will have milk also and it's very nutritious. but make sure you to use v. less amount of flour. Many mothers are using different flour like mix grains flours, nagli, wheat. if you don't know to make inform me I will tell you recipes. at my house most of children are having this. even feeding mothers also.
| Nov 02, 2016
Hi naishitha..... dont loose hope. Keep trying giving your breast feed to the baby... if you wont try ....your milk will start absorbing or drying... try breast pumps to excrete milk and give that milk to the baby. Also try direct. Always keep your baby with you. He will feel you and ur oader. Keep on trying.
| Nov 03, 2016
yes purva that's fine. my baby is3 months old and I m giving her formula milk first 2. 5 months and now I have started cow milk. because sometimes she is not satisfied with breastfeed. if she's hungry she don't sleep. I have concerned 3 Dr. they told if she needs more milk then you should give formula either 2-3 time or more than it don't hesitate in that . main thing child should satisfied hunger. after than my child's wait has increased.
| Jan 24, 2017
My baby is 5. 5 mnths old now from the day 1 he is having top feed along with breastfeed because of low breast milk... I tried to turn him completely into having breast milk and for this I took medicine n home made products also but my milk was not increased though it reduced day by day... I want to give him breast feed now also... Is there any remedy from which he can turn completely into breast feed and my milk also generates as it is nill almost.
| Feb 25, 2017
My baby is 5 months old.. I am giving him top feed along with breast milk. I had a second stage C-sec. So was not able to breast feed. Hence, formula milk was given to him. Gradually my health improved, resulting in more breastfeeding to my child. Now I give him top feed only before sleep in afternoon and at night, so he could sleep uninterrupted for few hours. Rest of the time he happily take breast milk.
| Feb 26, 2017
my son is now 11 month old,as I am working women l breast feed my baby in the morning before going to office and I extract little amount of breast n he will drink it later. but now my breast milk is reduced n he won't like external food, can I give him formula milk as a supplement when he doesn't like his solid food. is it OK for my baby and no harm to be my baby's health??? please suggest. I am waiting for suggestions
| Mar 19, 2017
it's is impossible to give breast milk alone.. at least one time per day we need to give formula milk.. current food does not have much strength and women body is also becoming weak after delivery.. I normally give minimum once may be sometimes rarely twice formula feed but breast milk oly giving more.. even formula feed is to adjust sometimes baby won't get satisfied she cries she need little more milk so little v can mix formula feed and give nothing is wrong.. if milk becomes low and baby cries there is no other option other than dis..
| Mar 19, 2017
first month of baby birth v will have sufficient milk and baby will get satisfied but milk issue will start from second month oly.. my baby is one month 22. days old first month I did not had any problem but from second month her demand will increase v need to adjust with formula feed..
| Mar 25, 2017
my baby is 22 days and I have issues with lactation. thus giving formula twice or sometimes thrice a day plus my milk whatsoever comes. I am having jeera, lactonic granules etc for milk but it is not helping too much. I can express 50 ml only after 15 minutes of pumping. any suggestions to improve are welcome