We all want to do the best for our babies. But the internet is awash with myths about baby formula and the ‘risks’ it poses.
55% of mothers choose formula over breastfeeding. And if you’re one of them, you’ve probably heard most, if not all, of these 5 myths about bottle-feeding.
Read on to bust these common formula myths and give your baby a boost.
Myth 1: You can mix up baby formula by eye.
Powdered formula comes with explicit mixing instructions. It’s usually one level scoop of powder to 1oz of water for European Baby Formulas.
But you should actually measure it out when you’re mixing the formula. Too little water can make your baby thirsty. Too much water can even reduce the calories she can absorb from the formula.
At worst, it can even cause seizures.
So save yourself and your baby any problems and measure the water. Mix up the formula properly. Don’t just guess the amounts.
You can’t leave baby formula lying around either. Once you’ve mixed it, you should feed your baby or store it in the refrigerator. It’ll keep for 24 hours.
Throw mixed formula out if it’s been sitting out for more than an hour. And definitely throw away any unfinished formula.
You can always make more next time you need to feed your baby.
Myth 2: You can warm baby formula in a microwave.
Not at all.
Microwaves don’t actually provide an even heat. And you don’t want to burn your baby’s mouth with baby formula.
It’s safer to run the bottle under hot water. Or pop it in a pan of hot water for a few minutes.
Give the bottle a shake and squirt a few drops onto the inside of your wrist.
If it’s lukewarm, it’s safe to give to her.
However, you can certainly sterilize some types of bottles in the microwave. Check the instructions from your manufacturer.
Myth 3: Babies only bond during breastfeeding.
You can still bond during bottle-feeding. After all, it’s the time spent together that builds the bond. Not the breast.
Unfortunately, it’s a pretty common myth. And it can lead some mothers to think they’re bad mothers for bottle-feeding their babies.
Some mothers even worry their babies will be less intelligent or less successful because they were bottle-fed.
But some women can’t breastfeed. And some babies just don’t want to.
Breastfeeding advocates often point to Norway as a country where breastfeeding is considered normal. So bottle-feeding mothers can’t use social pressure as an excuse not to breastfeed.
But even there, women still have problems with breastfeeding. And they’re using bottle-feeding to supplement their babies’ diet.
So don’t believe that you can’t bond with your baby while you bottle-feed.
Just make sure you cuddle your baby close and hold her so she looks at you while she feeds. Talk to her and look into her eyes.
You can also get skin-to-skin time by undressing her to her diaper. Cuddle her to your chest. You can always put a blanket over her to keep her warm.
Just make sure you give her all of your attention.
Myth 4: Iron-fortified formula causes constipation.
Some parents believe that babies drinking low-iron baby formula have softer poop.
But iron-fortified formula only has enough iron to stop anemia and aid normal growth. It doesn’t actually contain enough to cause constipation.
Low-iron formula doesn’t provide enough iron and can cause more problems than it seems to solve.
The American Academy of Pediatrics actually advise the use of iron-fortified formula until babies are 1.
The content of baby formula causes other myths too. Some believe it doesn’t contain enough nutrients for growing babies.
But formulas now contain a whole range of additives like probiotics, and even fatty acids like DHA and ARA.
They help support the immune system and they help with brain and eye development.
If you’re not sure what ingredients to avoid, this post will explain it all.
So yes, formulas don’t fully replicate breast milk, they are still safe for your baby. They also often contain extra benefits like vitamin D. Breastfed babies can miss that from their diet.
Just make sure you don’t fall prey to the myth that it’s okay to give babies cow’s milk instead of formula. It’s not.
Cow’s milk can cause intestinal bleeding, and it puts stress on their kidneys.
Babies can have whole milk once they turn 1.
Myth 5: Baby formula makes your baby ill more often
Lots of people will say that formula fed babies are overweight, always ill, or even more prone to gas.
But there are lots of other factors that get ignored in these studies.
The studies that show higher obesity rate in children fed with baby formula don’t look at their diets as toddlers.
They also don’t look at how much exercise the children got. It’s difficult to say the obesity was only caused by too much formula.
And it’s true that breast milk does pass on antibodies. But there’s no guarantee the baby will always be healthy as a result.
A mother with a weak immune system won’t pass on any benefits. And a mother who uses baby formula might keep her baby away from sick people.
Babies fed with formula aren’t always more gassy either. A breastfeeding mother with a poor diet can have a gassy baby.
But a gassy, formula-fed baby might just need a different formula. Maybe you just need to burp your baby fully.
It’s too simple to just blame the baby formula.
So if you’ve chosen to feed your baby on formula, hopefully you now feel better about your choice. Following the instructions and spending time with your baby will help you to bond with your infant.
If you’re looking to choose a formula, check out our tips to choose the right one for your baby.
If you’re worried about the presence of GMOs, pesticides, or antibiotics in your formula, don’t be. Our range of European formulas are organic and don’t contain GMOs. We’ll also give you free shipping on orders over $100!