Feeding : Breast Feed Vs Formula Feed

26 Aug

One of the recent topics of discussion is whether to bottle feed or not. A part of it has been made simple by my daughter, who just refuses to take the bottle to her mouth. And if you do succeed in putting the bottle into her mouth, then too, she just refuses to suck and draw any milk. Mind you, it is not that she does not know how to draw the milk, she had been feeding on formula since the 2nd week. I stopped it in between since I was having a surplus, and I did not see any need to feed formula, as there was no scarcity.

So she had gone from formula + breast milk, to a solely breast-fed baby, and now she just refuses to take the formula. I have tried it at the time when she is the most hungry, and even then she has had just about 1/2 – 1 ounce. Previously, she used to have almost 3 ounces at one feed time! So, this has brought me to the conclusion that either she is not fine with the nipple now, or she is completely refusing to take formula feed.

Is it really that important to give formula feed? I have relatives who say that if you are not giving any formula feed, the baby tends to not develop a taste for it, and then will face a lot of problems later on when you need to introduce semi-solids. I understand this logic. But, on the other hand, I have also heard that when you start semi – solids, then the baby slowly develops the taste for formula feed, and then they do start to have the formula feed also. Now, I do not know which of these is true, so at the end all I say is that every baby is different.

My girl seems to know when its her mom and when its her bottle. She might be screaming with her eyes closed, but once the bottle nipple touches her lips, she will start to howl as if she has been so wronged! Seeing this howling baby of mine, I am forced to rethink whether it is really required to get her to accept the formula feed. How did our parents raise us? If they were able to feed, they would, and if not then other options were sought out. But, here the option is sought out, not because of a need, but because of a convenience. This I feel is wrong, and not the right attitude to take up while raising a child.

If the mother is a working woman, and needs to join back, then this might be a sought option, and today, expressed milk is said to be the better option even in that case. This is the reason, I do not understand, why should I, a person sitting at home for my daughter, force my kid to take formula feed, when I am able to feed her.

I do understand that a child will always need to be fed on breast milk on demand, as there is really no methodology to know the quantity of milk your child has had. As they grow, they will still continue to feed every 2 – 3 hours and the period of feed might only increase. In the past 4 months, that is what I have noticed with my daughter. Previously she used to sleep off just 5 mins into the feed, and she would sleep off for a good hour or so. But, now, she feeds for around 10 – 15 mins with short breaks, and then is satisfied for the next 2 hours. So, as I see it, if I need her to play and sleep in between her feeds, I would need to substitute with solid foods, or introduce formula feed. And between the two, I think I would prefer to start solid food. One portion a day, should have her tummy fuller.

If anyone has suggestions on how I should be going about this, it would be wonderful to hear them…

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2 Responses to “Feeding : Breast Feed Vs Formula Feed”

  1. mom at home September 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    congratulations on your decision to breastfeed! My daughter is also breastfed until now that she’s 8 months. I introduced her solid food at around 4.5 months. That’s also the time that I tried teaching her how to drink from a bottle but she refuses to drink milk from a bottle so what I did was get her straight to a sippy cup! Although she prefers water from the cup, she also drinks milk from the cup when we go out. But lately, i dont bring expressed milk anymore coz im more.confident now with nursing in public. Anyways, you’re right, you dont have to feed her formula when you’re staying at home with her.

  2. laidopen August 31, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

    I think you have good instincts and you should trust them. Your baby does know the difference between her mother’s nipple and the bottle, and she also knows the difference in taste between breast milk and formula. Formula is a life-saving tool for mothers who don’t produce enough milk and babies who can’t latch on. Everything I have read or heard from pediatricians is that if you have the option of breast feeding it is the best thing for your baby. We haven’t yet been able to perfectly reproduce the complex balance of fat, protein and nutrients that our milk naturally contains. Also, breast milk evolves as your baby grows, so it continues to offer the best nutrition for her needs. I breastfed both my boys and they had no trouble transitioning to semi-solid and solid foods. If you need to bottle feed, you can try it with expressed milk. Otherwise, keep up the good work!

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