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Bottle-Feeding: Disadvantages for Babies - Topic Overview

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

Children With Special Dietary Needs

Many day cares and preschools in the U.S. have prominently posted signs asking parents not to pack food for their kids containing peanuts, because so many children are allergic. It seems like special dietary needs are an ever-growing issue. Food allergies affect as many as 8% of children in the U.S., leaving a challenge for parents: What can you pack for lunch? How can you be sure your kids don't trade snacks with a friend? How should you handle occasions like birthday parties? To find answers...

Read the Children With Special Dietary Needs article > >

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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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