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Differences Between Breast- and Bottle-Fed Babies

Infant formulas take two times longer for a baby to digest than breast milk. The slower digestion of infant formula can affect:

  • Feeding frequency. Babies who take infant formula usually want to feed less often than babies who are breast-feeding.
  • Sleeping patterns. Babies who take infant formula may sleep longer at night once they are about 2 months old. But babies who are breast-fed usually catch up shortly after, at about 3 to 5 months of age.
  • Bowel movements. Infant formula causes formed, brown stools that have a noticeable odor. Breast milk causes loose, yellow stools that have less odor.

Breast milk, unlike formula, has antibodies. Breast-feeding may lower your child's risk for many types of infections and allergies. Breast milk may also help protect your child from some health problems, such as eczema, asthma, and diabetes. For more information, see the topic Breast-Feeding.

Recommended Related to Children

Backyard and Playground Safety

The backyard offers a world of fun for children. Playgrounds offer even more chances for adventure. But the fun can end abruptly when someone gets hurt. That’s one reason the American Academy of Pediatrics reminds parents to supervise children’s outdoor play, even at home. To protect your kids from injuries, keep these backyard and playground safetytips in mind. Backyard safety basics Start by giving your backyard a once-over: Check to see that your fences are sturdy and in good...

Read the Backyard and Playground Safety article > >

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last Revised August 1, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 01, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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