Don’t Let these Spooky Infant Nutrition Myths Haunt You

Infant feeding shouldn’t be scary, however, there’re some myths about this topic that can leave some parents confused and spooked. We’ve debunked some of the spooky myths regarding infant feeding that will inform parents and put their minds at ease.

Myth #1:

Giving a bottle to a breastfed baby will create nipple confusion and cause future breastfeeding problems.

 

Fact:

Experts say babies are rarely confused if they suck both breast and bottle nipple.  If you plan to transition from breastfeeding to bottle feeding (breast milk and/or infant formula), it is important to allow time to figure out what works for you and your baby. Experts recommend giving your infant a 2-6 week transition period. When transitioning begins, use a bottle for one or two feedings a day, and if you’re combination feeding, feed breast milk to start and then slowly introduce infant formula feedings.

Myth #2:

Breast feeding moms returning to work or school only have the option of feeding pumped breast milk.

Fact:

All parents have to decide how they want to feed their infant. The decision can be more challenging if they are returning to the demands of work or school. Parents have a choice to exclusively feed breast milk, infant formula, or a combination of the two. The use of formula as part of your baby’s early life nutrition has become an important part of modern parenthood.  A recent parent survey found that 43 percent of parents say they successfully use a combination of formula and breast milk. An even higher number, 59 percent, report that they include infant formula in their child’s early nutrition (0-6 months).

Click here for tips on transitioning back to work after having a baby.

Myth #3:

Babies need to drink water in order to remain hydrated.

Fact:

Young infants should only consume breast milk, store-bought infant formula or a combination of both; this is all they need to stay hydrated. Water and other rehydration beverages should not be introduced to infants zero to six months unless indicated by their pediatrician.

Myth #4:

Purchasing infant formula from online sources such as e-commerce websites, forums, or social media is safe.

Fact:

Parents should not purchase infant formula from alternative sources such as at flea markets, e-commerce websites, internet auction sites, classified listings, or social media sites. Products sold at these places may have been improperly stored or shipped, which can negatively affect the quality of the formula. Infant formula can be safely purchased from reputable retailers, either in their brick and mortar stores or through their official website. Be sure to always look for any punctures, dents or potential tampering, and check the use by date on each container of formula before purchasing.

Myth #5:

Homemade infant formula is a safe alternative to store-bought infant formula.

Fact:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends against making and feeding homemade infant formula. Parents and caregivers may incorrectly believe making their child’s infant formula is safe and nutritious. However, feeding homemade formula could lead to very serious short and long-term health consequences.

Commercial infant formulas are the most highly regulated food, and are carefully quality-controlled and manufactured to the highest industry and government standards.

More Spooky Myths 

There are numerous sources for infant feeding information that may cause new parents to be unsure of what’s fact and what’s fiction. Some additional common myths regarding infant formula, breastfeeding and your baby's nutrition can be accessed here.