Top 10 Formula Myths

There are understandably a lot of questions parents may have when it comes to formula feeding. We asked Kendamil Feeding Expert Katie Hilton to debunk some of the common myths associated with formula feeding.

1. Formula fed babies don’t bond with their mothers
It was believed for such a long time that only breastfed babies can bond with their mothers because of the skin to skin contact during feeding. However, this formula feeding myth was busted quite a while back. Formula fed babies can bond just as much with their parents, did you notice I said parents? Formula fed babies can also have skin to skin contact, during feeding or at any other time and bond with their parents in exactly the same way. However, singing to your baby, gently stroking your baby, bathing your baby and just being with your baby will help you to bond with your baby just fine!

2. You can’t breastfeed and use formula
Some people will frame the conversation as though it’s a matter of breastmilk versus formula or breastfeeding versus formula feeding, but it really doesn’t have to be an ‘either or’ choice. Many parents feed their babies a combination of both breast and bottle at some point, in fact this style of feeding is becoming more and more popular as we adapt to the demands of modern life.

3. Giving a bottle causes nipple confusion
You’ll have likely heard many people saying if you give a bottle to your baby it will cause nipple confusion and your baby will never go back to the breast. Whilst there is some truth to the fact that some teats will confuse a baby or make feeding much easier which results in a refusal to go back to the breast, there are however many teats now available which encourage a baby to use the same technique as feeding at the breast to reduce the risk of nipple confusion and encourage a baby to go back to the breast.

4. Formula feeding leads to bigger babies
There’s a commonly held myth that babies who are formula fed are bigger babies. When formula feeding, parents should always use a paced feeding technique which involves on-demand feeding in exactly the same way as feeding at the breast. This enables a baby to regulate how much and how often they feed and has been shown to reduce the risk of overfeeding, obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.

5. Cleaning bottles is so much work!!
For parents looking to make things easier, the thought of cleaning all those bottles day after day can sound tiring. But, really, it doesn’t require that much more effort than when you are loading the dishwasher at night. All you need to do is quickly wash then in hot soapy water to remove any milk residue and pop into a sterilizer, which takes anywhere from 5-7 minutes to complete sterilize everything. You can sterilize all your bottles at once and leave them there ready to go when baby needs feeding.

6. Bottle feeding causes colic
Nobody knows exactly what causes colic, but you’ll hear lots of people saying it’s related to bottle feeding. If you were in North America where they don’t believe colic exists they would tell you that the increased crying is simply a physiological stage that babies go through and there’s absolutely nothing wrong (apart from your own patience!). To date there is absolutely no evidence that formula feeding your baby will cause colic like symptoms.

7. Formula lacks complete nutrition
Formula milks readily available today are more nutritionally complete than ever before, in fact the Kendamil range is manufactured using whole full cream milk which is milder and more natural than those using skimmed milk and it contains essential vitamins and minerals including prebiotics GOS and FOS to help boost your babies overall health and wellbeing.

8. Formula feeding diminishes breastmilk
Completely false! The amount of milk your body produces correlates to the amount of milk your baby drinks. The less breast milk your baby drinks, the less breast milk your body will produce. However, introducing formula to your baby’s diet doesn’t cause breast milk to disappear. Your breasts are just adjusting as needed.

9. Formula fed babies aren’t as smart as breastfed babies
There are some studies that have claimed breastfed babies perform marginally higher on tests of mental development than formula fed babies. However, there are also studies that look at additional factors including family income, parent education and maternal age. Intelligence is much better explained by those factors than by breastmilk alone. The point is there are several factors that go into a person’s intelligence, so don’t think your baby won’t amount to their full potential because of the way they were fed as a newborn.

10. Formula fed babies aren’t happy babies
If you look hard enough you’ll find statements that say formula fed babies are fussier and cry more, as well as those that say breastfed babies are fussier. However your baby is fed, all tend to have fussy periods until at least 3-4 months of age. Babies also tend to have different temperaments, regardless of how they are fed so don’t worry your baby won’t be happy if you choose not to breastfeed.

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