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Formula Feeding Advantages and Disadvantages

When deciding between breastfeeding or formula feeding, advantages and disadvantages for both methods should be reviewed. To determine which is best for you, consider your options thoroughly and go with the method that you feel is best for you and your baby.
Some of the primary advantages of formula feeding include:
  • Formula feeding gives the mother greater flexibility with her schedule. The father and other caretakers can easily step in, give a bottle, and establish their own bonding routines.
  • It is easy to tell how much the baby is getting.
  • Babies digest formula slower than breast milk. As a result, formula-fed babies typically go longer between feedings during the day and especially the night.
Some of the disadvantages of formula feeding that you should consider include:
  • While formula offers all of the basic nutrition that a baby needs, it does not offer the protective immune system antibodies available only in breast milk
  • Babies tend to not be able to digest formula as easily as breast milk, so it could give your baby gas and other gastric irritations
  • Formula costs for the first year are estimated to be between $1,000 and $1,500.
(Click Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding for more information about the advantages and disadvantages of formula feeding and to find out if breastfeeding is a more nutritious option.)
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