Myth Busters: Debunking 5 Infant Nutrition Myths

We’ve debunked the truth behind some common infant nutrition myths.

Infant Nutrition Myth Busters

We've debunked some of the myths surrounding infant nutrition. With the amount of forums, articles and research dedicated to feeding your infant, this overload of information can leave new parents confused and unsure what's fact and what's fiction. We've debunked the truth behind some common myths regarding infant formula, breastfeeding and your baby's nutrition.

Myth #1:

Formula-fed babies will not be as smart, successful or healthy as children who are breast fed.

Fact:

Researchers agree that breastfeeding can boost your baby’s immunities; however studies have shown that infants who are formula-fed also grow and develop normally.

Myth #2:

It is okay and safe to feed your baby another woman’s breast milk or homemade infant formula.

Fact:

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends against feeding your baby breast milk or homemade formula acquired directly from individuals or through the Internet. There’s no way to ensure that purchased breast milk has been properly screened or that sanitary procedures were followed. Breast milk can contain viruses, bacteria, chemicals and other elements that are harmful to your baby. The FDA reports homemade formula that contains raw, unpasteurized cow, goat or sheep milk can lead to bacterial infections and very serious short- and long-term health consequences.

Myth #3: 

Most women breastfeed their infants as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Fact:

According to the Centers for Disease Control’s 2014 Breastfeeding Report Card, approximately 79 percent of women breastfeed, nearing the US goals of 81 percent.  At six months, approximately 19 percent of mothers continue to exclusively breastfeed, while 60 percent continue to breastfeed and supplement with infant formula, or combination feed.

Myth #4:

It is OK to reheat and feed my baby an unfinished bottle of breast milk or infant formula from a previous feeding.

Fact:

Reheating infant formula or breast milk from a previous feeding is unsafe for your baby. Microorganisms from the baby’s mouth are introduced into the milk during feeding, and multiply over time. Discard any formula or breast milk that is not consumed during feeding.

Myth #5:

Giving a breastfed baby a bottle may create nipple confusion and discourage breastfeeding.

Fact:

Some say sucking on the breast vs. a nipple will rarely confuse your little one.
  • If you are unable to exclusively breastfeed your infant, plan to introduce your baby to a bottle between two to six weeks of age.
  • A breastfed baby may be more willing to drink from a bottle given by someone other than its mother.
  • Use a bottle containing breast milk for one or two feedings a day, and gradually introduce formula.

You may also like: Homemade Baby Formula is not a Safe Feeding Choice 

Making homemade food for your baby, whether it’s yummy mashed bananas or sweet potatoes, is a nutritious thing to do. Some parents therefore believe they’re making an equally nutritious selection by making homemade formula for their infants. Despite their best intentions, however, parents who make homemade formula are making a decision that, according to the FDA, can lead to very serious health consequences for their infants. Read more.