Bottle vs. breast: Making best feeding choice


By DANA O'MEALLIE, RD, LD, CLC, BabyNet Coalition
For the Daily Times

GLASGOW — Did you know that formula feeding is easy? Just follow these simple steps:

1. Decide which formula you want to use: Cow’s milk? Soy? Protein hydrosolate? There are several brands of each for you to choose from.

2. Pick the type you will use: Ready to feed? Powdered? Concentrated? If you add tap water to powder or concentrate, make sure your water is safe. Check lead, nitrogen, sodium, bacteria and parasite levels. You can boil the water if you think it might have bacteria or parasites, but boiling can increase the lead level in the water.

3. Always read the directions on the label. They may have changed since you last looked, and it’s important to mix formula correctly. Ingredient changes may affect your baby’s tolerance to the formula.

4. Record the lot number from every can or bottle of formula that you open, in case of recall.

5. Sterilize the utensils needed to mix the formula.

6. Clean the tops and bottoms of the cans, since grocery stores spray pesticides.

7. Use bottled water labeled distilled, demineralized or purified. Other bottled water may have high levels of sodium and minerals such as fluoride, unsafe for infants younger than 6 months.

8. Sterilize all bottles and nipples for the baby’s first four months.

9. When traveling outside the home, keep prepared formula in a cooler.

10. Mix formula according to package directions. Adding too much water can cause your baby to not gain well and become malnourished. Not adding enough water can affect your baby’s kidneys and cause stomach problems.

11. Throw away any leftover formula after an hour at room temperature. Never reheat formula.

12. Never heat a bottle in a microwave.

13. Never prop a bottle in baby’s mouth. It can lead to choking and ear infections.

14. Switch arms every other bottle-feeding to avoid torticollis (weakened neck muscles) and to promote equal eye development.

15. Never force a baby to finish a bottle. Formula-fed babies are at a higher risk for obesity, since they eat 30,000 more calories than breast-fed babies do in their first eight months. Forcing a baby to finish a bottle stretches their stomach and promotes overeating.

Or, you can choose breast-feeding and avoid worry about waste, food safety and cleaning bottles every day. Be informed.