Most newborns survive on breastmilk alone. Even so, this is not usually the case since mothers are different, and some struggle with producing breastmilk. Luckily, baby formula often serves as an alternative to breastmilk.
Baby formula is a safe choice for babies and is highly nutritious. Child experts report that organic formula is the best since it contains minimal toxic ingredients.
Breastmilk vs. Formula: Is Formula More Filling?
Generally, formula leaves your baby fuller and more satisfied compared to breastmilk. This is because babies consume a lot more formula than breastmilk in one feeding. Remember, you have to measure the exact amount of formula for your baby before feeding them.
On the other hand, feeding on breastmilk is different since babies have the freedom to stop feeding whenever they want to.
Experts also report that formula contains more vitamins compared to breastmilk. The quantity of vitamins is prone to fluctuation throughout the day. It depends on the diet of the mother. Mothers should nurse their babies for at least 15 minutes to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.
Formula can also bring more vitamins to your baby in one feeding session because the ingredients included are precisely measured. In contrast, breastfeeding amounts could change throughout the day and feedings.
Consider giving your baby both breastmilk and formula. If you choose to do this, feed your baby with breastmilk and then provide them with formula. Doing this helps them get all the necessary nutrients from the formula and leaves them fuller.
Formula is more filling than breastmilk because it contains organic maltodextrin. This organic ingredient is responsible for the thickness.
Thicker formulas usually stay longer in your baby’s stomach, thus enabling them to feel fuller. Such formulas work well for parents who’d like to run errands for some hours during the day.
Formula can also help your baby sleep longer during the night. This is because they won’t wake up due to hunger at night. So, if you want your baby to sleep longer hours during the night, give them formula before bedtime and breastfeed them during the day.
Ultimately, formulas offer more nutritional benefits than breastmilk. The ingredients in baby formula are highly nutritious and can be modified. Keep in mind that babies are different.
Some babies feed better on breastmilk than on formula, so formula won’t make them fuller.
Which formula is the best?
As seen earlier, formulas offer a wide range of health benefits for your baby. However, it is always advisable to choose organic formula over standard formula.
Organic formula contains natural ingredients that are beneficial to your baby’s health. Some standard formulas have toxic ingredients that are not entirely safe for your baby. There is a broad spectrum of baby formulas you can purchase today.
It would be best to consult a professional pediatrician on the best formula for your baby. Moreover, before you start giving your baby formula, make sure you analyze their requirements. Some babies typically prefer breastmilk over formula.
Do formula-fed babies sleep longer at night?
The majority of child experts report that babies who feed on formula are likely to sleep longer at night. Children feed on the exact amount of formula they need.
On the flip side, children sometimes stop sucking when they are not full. As a result, breastfed babies are likely to wake up frequently during the night. Understanding the key differences between breastmilk and formula will help you understand this theory better.
Similarities between breast milk and formula
Both formula and breastmilk contain a broad spectrum of nutrients. Small babies need a lot of nutrients for their physical and mental development.
Contrary to popular belief, both meal alternatives are perfect for your baby’s health. Nevertheless, note that the ingredients of breastmilk and formula are not entirely the same. But both are equally nutritious in their unique way.
Your baby will still wake up in the middle of the night:
Although your baby may feel fuller after feeding on formula, they will still wake up in the middle of the night to feed. So, don’t think that formula helps your baby sleep through the entire night.
Formula can help your baby sleep for slightly longer periods of time than breastfeeding. Subsequently, your baby will wake less often during the night.
Differences between breast milk and formula
How breast milk and formula are made:
Needless to say, breastmilk is natural and produced by the mother’s body after giving birth. On the other hand, formula is artificially manufactured based on the FDA guidelines. Most ingredients in the formula are organic to ensure 100% safety.
Thickness and consistency:
Generally, formula is thicker than breastmilk. Formula contains organic maltodextrin, which makes it thicker. Thus, formula is likely to make babies feel fuller than breastmilk.
Formula also has a consistent color. Breastmilk is thinner and comes in different colors. The color of breastmilk often depends on the type of food the mother consumes.
Breast milk nutrients:
There are specific components that breastmilk can offer that formula cannot. Breastmilk provides your baby with antibodies, white blood cells, and hormones. You cannot find these substances in the formula.
Are there other reasons a baby may wake during the night?
There are so many reasons that can make your baby wake up in the middle of the night. So, before you conclude that your baby wakes up because of hunger, take time to monitor your baby.
Sometimes, babies may wake up due to discomfort, illness, or insomnia. Although formula can make your baby sleep longer, you may not be able to control your baby’s sleep cycle fully.
Other reasons why your baby may wake up during the night include:
When babies start teething, they feel sickly and uncomfortable. Thus, expect them to wake up at night crying. Please do your best to soothe and cuddle them back to sleep. If this problem worsens by the day, seek help from a medical professional.
Underlying health conditions:
Babies may sometimes experience health conditions that disrupt their sleep and peace of mind. Some of the most common health conditions that could attack your baby include colic and jaundice.
When babies feel any discomfort or pain, they are more likely to wake up crying in the middle of the night.
As babies grow, you’ll notice a change in their sleep patterns. Some babies generally struggle to sleep when they start becoming curious.
Small objects can catch their attention and give them trouble sleeping. Also, at times, your baby won’t sleep until you hold them in your arms. Babies often need a sense of security.
Can I mix breast milk and formula?
It is totally safe to give your baby both breastmilk and formula. But can you mix them in the same bottle? Well. Yes. There is nothing wrong with mixing formula and breastmilk in the same bottle. In fact, this combination is highly nutritious since it contains a wide range of nutrients.
So, how do you mix breastmilk and formula?
The first thing to do is prepare your formula. Do this based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Mix the correct amount of formula with water. Ensure you use safe drinking water to mix the formula.
After preparing the formula, mix it with breastmilk. Do not mix formula with breastmilk before mixing it with water. Also, use the correct water to formula ratio as indicated in the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Mixing the formula with too much water can strip off the nutrients present in the product. On the other hand, mixing the formula with very little water poses a danger to your baby’s health.
Concentrated formula can destroy your baby’s digestive system and kidneys. In turn, this can cause brain disorders. Nevertheless, note that some formulas are ready to drink.
Before giving your baby formula, read the product label to understand the product better.
Ensure safe storage and disposal of breast milk and formula
Are you wondering how you should store breastmilk? Experts report that you can freeze breastmilk in a container for about six months. When storing breastmilk in the fridge, expect it to last for five days.
Not all mums are usually available to breastfeed their babies. Luckily, mothers can pump and store breastmilk for their babies.
Unlike breastmilk, formula is likely to last only two days in the refrigerator. A mixture of breastmilk and formula will only last a day when refrigerated.
Avoid giving your baby a combination of formula and breastmilk stored at room temperature after an hour from when you open the bottle. The mixture is more susceptible to rotting.
Benefits if using a combination of breastmilk and formula
A mixture of breastmilk and formula is tastier, making feeding sessions more enjoyable. Some of the most common benefits of using a mix of formula and breastmilk include:
- Quick adjustments. Surprisingly, babies are likely to adapt to the taste of a mixture of breastmilk and formula faster. The combination is tastier than plain breastmilk; thus, they quickly get used to the new flavor.
- A baby is likely to sleep longer. Giving your baby a combination of formula and breastmilk helps them stay nourished for extended periods. As a result, they will sleep longer at night and won’t wake up frequently.
Disadvantages of feeding your baby with formula and breastmilk
Although a combination of breastmilk and formula is highly nutritious, there are several downsides to giving your baby this mixture.
A waste of breastmilk:
As mentioned earlier, a mix of formula and breastmilk only lasts for several hours. Therefore, mothers may end up feeling that their breastmilk has gone to waste. Keep in mind that pumping breastmilk is not simple. Thus, no woman wants to feel that her breastmilk is going to waste.
Limited breastmilk supply:
Incorporating formula into your baby’s meals can limit your breastmilk supply. Remember, the more you breastfeed, the more you increase your milk production. Therefore, if your breasts don’t produce a lot of milk, this limits your supply.
Based on previous surveys, formula is more filling than breastmilk. Consequently, feeding your baby with formula can help them sleep longer.
Even so, your baby needs breastmilk for immunity and growth. So, consider giving your baby a combination of both breastmilk and formula.