Breast feeding is the most natural way for a mother to feed their child, thus having various advantages to bottle feeding, particularly in the first four months, where a newborn is extremely vulnerable.
Breast feeding is a good choice because:
-It is readily available,
-It is FREE,
-Easily digestible for the baby,
-Nutrient proportions of protein, fat, calcium, and fat are in harmony,
-Contains fatty acids for brain development,
-Decreases the baby’s future risk of obesity,
-Protects against future allergies and asthma,
-Can potentially protect against SIDS,
-Contains active white blood cells that protect the baby from infection (this is particularly important during the first 4 months because of the babies low immunity),
-Helps mother lose weight.
Despite the numerous advantages breast feeding provides, there is no reason to feel guilty about bottle feeding.
Bottle feeding is a good alternative because:
-Formulas have become great at matching ingredients of formulas to breast milk,
-Infections are relatively rare, whether the baby is breast or bottle fed
Some tips for formula use are:
-Room temperature formula is perfectly acceptable,
-Do NOT reuse formula the baby has sipped from,
-Less expensive brands of formula are essentially exactly the same as more expensive brands; be money conscious,
-Use iron-fortified formula for brain development,
-There is no significant difference between concentrate, powder, or ready-to-feed formulas (powdered formula is the least expensive),
-Use cow’s milk formula over soy formula to start with.
Sources: Web MD