Choose breast milk or formula milk? Choosing between breastfeeding or giving formula milk to a newborn is a big decision for new parents. The world's major health organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend giving babies breastfed for 6 months or commonly referred to as exclusive breastfeeding (ASI only).
Although many experts recommend breast milk as the most perfect food for babies, some mothers may not be able to give their milk for various reasons. For a mother who is unable to give her milk, another alternative is to give her baby formula milk.
The nutrient content in formula milk is made in such a way as to be similar to the nutritional content in breast milk, but still cannot match the goodness of breast milk. In formula milk there are no antibodies like those in breast milk. Thus, formula milk cannot provide additional protection against infection as provided by breast milk. In the case of presentation, formula milk is more susceptible to exposure to germs and bacteria. Therefore, giving formula milk must be considered carefully to prevent babies from infectious diseases.
Rules that must be followed when giving formula milk
Unlike when giving breast milk, formula milk should be taken into account. Starting from the time of administration, bottle hygiene, how to store formula milk, and so forth. The following is a more complete explanation.
1. Amount and frequency of formula feeding
The first thing that must be considered in giving formula milk to babies is the amount and frequency of administration. Because baby's milk is less digestible than breast milk, babies usually only need to be given milk several times, not as often as babies who are breastfed.
Babies can receive formula milk gradually because the newborn has a very small stomach size which will then develop.
- After the first few days, your baby can consume 60-90 ml of formula every time you breastfeed. In a day, he may be able to suckle every 3-4 hours for the first few weeks. During the first month, if your baby sleeps longer than 4-5 hours and begins to miss his milk drink, wake him up from his sleep and offer him milk.
- At the end of 1 month of age, he may spend 120 ml of milk every time he feeds, and with the frequency of suckling that might be predictable, about 4 hours.
- At 6 months of age, your baby can consume 180-240 ml of formula milk every 4-5 hours because their gastric capacity is greater.
However, you should not be fixated on these limits because your baby's needs are different. In general, babies need 90-120 ml of milk each given during the first month and that number increases by 30 ml per month until it reaches 210-240 ml per administration. But, actually babies can arrange their intake from day to day to fulfill their needs. So, let him tell you whether or not the milk intake is enough. If he is easily disturbed during breastfeeding, maybe he is already full. However, if he is still holding the bottle, even though the milk has run out, maybe he is still hungry and wants to suckle again.
The best is to give milk every baby asks, or every time the baby cries because he is hungry, just like if the mother gives milk. Over time, babies can develop a regular schedule for feeding time, so you will find it easier to know when it's time for babies to be hungry and to be given milk.
However, you as a mother must be smart about limiting milk to babies if the intake is very excessive (usually more than 960 ml /day). If your baby seems to be eating too often or too much, try to distract him by playing or doing something else. Because obesity can begin to develop in infancy, it is very important to understand your baby's needs.
2. Always keep baby bottles clean
Another thing that babies with formula milk must pay attention to is the cleanliness of the bottle.
One of the reasons why breast milk is better for babies is because breast milk is more sterile than formula milk. Opportunities for formula milk to be exposed to larger germs and bacteria, making it less sterile for babies.
You must clean the milk bottle properly before giving it to the baby. Not only the bottle, but also the bottle cap and the dot. You can clean it with warm water and soap every time after and before the bottle is used. Use a special bottle brush so you can reach all parts of the bottle when cleaning it.
3. Choose a special bottle for babies
Don't randomly choose milk bottles for babies. We recommend that you select milk bottles labeled BPA-free and those made from polyethylene and polypropylene plastic that are safe for babies. To be safer, you should not boil the bottle, or put it in a dishwasher or microwave, because the high temperature it produces can release chemicals from the plastic milk bottle.
4. Note how to make milk
Before making milk for children, it's best to wash your hands with soap. After that, follow the instructions on how to present the milk contained in the package. We recommend that you follow how many spoons of milk powder you should mix with water. Milk that is too runny or too thick is not recommended for babies. In addition, use clean, safe water to make milk.
5. Also pay attention when buying and storing milk
When buying milk, you should pay attention to the expiration date. Do not let you buy milk that has passed the expiration date or which has expired in a few months. In addition, also pay attention to the integrity of the packaging, choose a package that is still good and not damaged.
After buying it, don't forget to pay attention to the storage method. It is better to store it in a cool place. Hot or cold storage can reduce nutrients in milk. Don't forget to always close the milk packaging tightly after opening it. The air that enters the milk pack if it is too long to open can make milk clot and damage the milk.
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