Last Updated on May 29, 2020 by Kinacle.

Breastfeeding Vs. Bottle Feeding - The Pros And ConsBeing a parent isn’t easy! From the very first day your little one is born to the day they leave home, you are faced with many difficult decisions. One of the first challenges you’re faced with is what should be the simple task of feeding.

The breastfeeding and bottle feeding debate has been around for years and it’s one thing you’ll never be short of advice on. Everyone has an opinion, but it’s important to make the decision based upon what’s right for you.

So how do you decide whether to breastfeed or bottle feed? Here we’ll look at the pros and cons of each option to help you make a more informed decision.

Breastfeeding – The Pros

happy woman breastfeeding her babyThe majority of experts agree that breastfeeding is the best option for your baby. It comes with a wide range of benefits that definitely shouldn’t be ignored. Below you’ll discover some of the biggest pros to breastfeeding your little one.

Health benefits – Your breast milk contains natural chemicals and white blood cells which aid in fighting off illness and building a strong immune system. This is especially important in the first few months of your baby’s life as this is a time they are more prone to infections.

Another important health benefit according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, is that it can help to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It’s also effective at preventing asthma and allergies. Your milk basically contains everything your newborn needs to stay happy and healthy.

It’s easier for baby to digest – As it is natural, your baby will find it much easier to digest breast milk than they would with formula. This means they’ll be less likely to vomit after feeding.

A free, constant food source – Having a baby is expensive and there are so many things you need to buy. If budget is a worry, breastfeeding is definitely the best option due to the fact it’s absolutely free. You also produce a constant level of milk so it’s always available whenever your little one needs to feed. You won’t have to spend time making up a formula and checking it’s the right temperature before giving it to your child.

A steady balance of nutrients – Your baby’s nutritional needs change as they get a little older. Your body knows this and automatically varies the content of the milk depending upon what stage your infant is going through. So you can be 100% sure that your child is getting the right level of nutrients at all times.

Better bonding – The act of breastfeeding itself really deepens the bond between mother and baby. It’s not always a pleasant experience, but the connection you feel is definitely worth the discomfort you may feel.

These are the main advantages of breastfeeding, so what about the disadvantages? You aren’t often told much about the potential cons, but there are some you should be aware of.

Breastfeeding – The Cons

While there aren’t many cons of breastfeeding, it’s still worth being aware of the few potential issues it can raise. They include:

You always have to be available for feeding – If you’re purely breastfeeding, you need to be physically present and available during feeding times. This can make it difficult when you’re out and about if there aren’t any suitable breastfeeding locations.

If you’re going to be away from your baby, you’ll need to pump milk into bottles – There will be times when you are away from your little one. This means you’ll need to use a breast pump to make up bottles to be used when you’re not around. Of course, as well as being inconvenient, this also presents another dilemma in the fact you then need to train your baby to drink out of bottles as well as from the breast.

Some medications can prevent the suitability of breastfeeding – When you’re breastfeeding, you’re not supposed to take certain medications. There are a lot of drugs that can be harmful to your baby if passed on through breast milk so you will need to discuss this with a doctor if you are on any medications.

It can be an uncomfortable experience – One thing many new moms aren’t prepared for is just how uncomfortable breastfeeding can be. While the discomfort level will vary depending upon your pain threshold, it’s surprising how uncomfortable it can be considering no teeth are involved! So it’s definitely something that may take some getting used to.

Your baby might not take to breastfeeding – Breastfeeding is the most natural experience in the world, so it can be devastating if you’re struggling to get your baby to actually take to it. This is something else you aren’t often told and it can leave you feeling like a failure if it doesn’t work out. Not all babies take to breastfeeding no matter how hard you try. So this is something you potentially need to be prepared for.

So as you can see, there are potential issues that can arise from breastfeeding. Being aware of them gives you a better understanding of whether in your case, breast truly is best.

Bottle Feeding – The Pros


At one time, bottle feeding was frowned upon and considered irresponsible parenting. These days however, thanks to progress made with the types of formula available, bottle feeding can be nutritious and in some ways better for your baby (especially if you’re experiencing any of the downsides of breastfeeding).

There are actually quite a few benefits that come from bottle feeding, such as…

Anybody will be able to feed your baby – There are times you may not be able to feed your baby due to other commitments or because you’re simply exhausted and need a break. If somebody else is stepping in for a while, bottle feeding ensures your little one won’t have a problem when it comes to feed time. They’ll be used to taking a bottle and so whoever is stepping in for you shouldn’t have a problem getting them to drink the formula.

It’s less stressful than breastfeeding – Despite being a natural thing, breastfeeding can be traumatic and stressful for some new parents. Babies pick up on the stress of their mother, so if you’re not happy they won’t be either. This in turn will lead to problems feeding. If you’re happy using a bottle, your baby will be happy too and after all, that’s the most important thing you need to consider.

You can still experience a great bond – One of the biggest things that can be off-putting about bottle feeding is that it takes away the bonding experience that comes with breastfeeding. However, there are ways you can still bond with your infant while they are bottle feeding.

Maintaining eye contact, physical touch, and talking to your little one while they are drinking from the bottle really helps with the bonding experience.

Fewer feeding times – While not exclusively true, formula feeding your baby may result in fewer feeding times. This is because it takes a little while longer for your baby to digest formula than it does with breast milk. So there is the potential you won’t have to feed them as often.

Bottle Feeding – The Cons

There are quite a few potential disadvantages of bottle feeding rather than breastfeeding. However, most are purely inconvenient. They include:

Additional cost – When you’re bottle feeding, you need quite a few accessories, as well as the formula itself. The bottles will also need to be sterilized so you’ll need the right equipment to handle this too. If you have a fairly low budget, you may find it a struggle to afford formula on a regular basis.

Proper preparation is required – Formulas these days do tend to come with all of the nutrients your baby needs and would otherwise get from breastfeeding. However, it will depend entirely upon how you prepare it each time. If you don’t prepare it exactly the same, the nutritional content will differ in each bottle.

Allergies – Many parents find their little one doesn’t take to formula. As it isn’t natural, there is a chance your baby may develop an allergy or become ill after drinking the formula. If this happens you will need to experiment with a few different formulas to try to find one they can tolerate.


So there you have it – the pros and cons of both breastfeeding and bottle feeding. No matter which one you choose, never let anybody else make you feel bad about your decision. You need to do what is right for both you and your baby. So carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of both options before making a decision.

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  1. I agree with what you said about not letting others to make you feel bad about what choice you have made. Though it’s always said breast milk is the best food for babies, if the mother is stressed out and get grumpy because of breastfeeding or not enough sleep, then it is certainly not good for the baby, the mother and even the whole family. Though I support breastfeeding, and have been breastfeeding all my three kids, I think it’s important for every mom to find the most suitable and comfortable way for her and her baby.

    1. You’re right, in the end that’s ultimately what matters – making the best choice for you and your baby and not letting others influence that decision or pressure you into doing something you don’t feel comfortable doing.

      Fortunately there’s been a lot of advancement made with formula in recent years in terms of nutritional content and such so it’s not as one-sided as it used to be, although there are still numerous benefits and drawbacks with each choice.

  2. I remember reading so much about this before I gave birth to my firstborn – I wanted the best for my little one (don’t we all?) and I truly wanted as much information about both, the breastfeeding and the bottle feeding. Only if you do your research you can outweigh the pros and the cons of the both and decide what YOU think it is better for the baby.

    I decided for the traditional and more common approach of breastfeeding. Not because I would be against the bottle feeding but because I wanted to truly experience it. I wanted to feel that bond with my baby when he starts sucking the milk for the first time. I have to admit that I was a bit scared at first but we had a lovely nurse helping us out and the very first time was unbelievable. I felt so close to my boy so I believe my choice was the right one.

    But I also personally know a few moms that never breastfed and their babies are normal and healthy. Whatever you decide, it is okay!

    1. I think it’s natural for most moms to want to breastfeed their babies. Breast milk offers a lot of benefits to babies like strengthening their immune system.

      Sometimes though, especially for working moms, they would eventually need to give their babies formula milk so they do not starve when mom is in the office.

  3. Breast feeding is best for babies. For the working mom, we see to it that the first two months that we are at home (on leave from work), we do the breastfeeding. But when we start going back to work, much as we want to give the breast milk, we cannot be with our babies longer anymore. But pumping the milk out and saving them for their feedings while we are away, also helps a lot. But it needs a lot of sacrifice for the new moms.

    1. No other milk can equal the benefits of breastmilk. In fact, the first milk that comes out has colostrum that strengthens a baby’s immune system. It also has powerful anti-bacterial properties. Moms who choose to use formula milk instead to avoid disfiguring their breasts are depriving their kids of good health.

  4. Yes it’s true that breastfeeding is best for babies but there are some instances that due to work working moms need to alternate with formula. Case to case basis, if you’re not a working mom then you will have all the time to manage breastfeeding your little one, if you’re freelancer that’s perfect. For mothers who need to go back to work after maternity leave, maybe 2 weeks before you go back you need to make the necessary adjustment for you and the baby. Start to introduce the right formula for the baby. Gradual mixture is important so the baby’s digestive system will adapt easily.

    1. Yes, working moms have no choice but to alternate breastmilk with formula milk while they’re away working, otherwise, their babies will go hungry. When they do get home or leave for work, they will have a chance to breastfeed their babies.

      I would say even if a parent is a stay-at-home mom, introducing formula milk to a baby is also a necessity because there will be times when the mom needs to go out and cannot bring the baby.

  5. I can relate to most of the pros and cons for breastfeeding and bottle feeding as I did both with my daughter. I set my mind on breastfeeding exclusively, but as I soon learned with just about everything I planned before giving birth, things change!
    My daughter was breastfeeding for the first week and all of a sudden I felt like my supply diminished, I felt like she was crying from hunger so I sent my husband to get formula, and my daughter breastfed and had the bottle for about two months. After that we went back to breastfeeding exclusively and she actually only stopped breastfeeding three months ago, at the age of two years and three months!

    1. Yes, Jordana, you’re right about that. Sometimes the breastmilk is not enough so we turn to formula milk to supplement it. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s actually better than letting the child go hungry while you wait for breastmilk to fill up. The important thing is that you were able to feed your baby with your first breastmilk because it’s the initial milk that contains colostrum – a nutrient that is filled with antibodies.

  6. Breast milk is the best for infants. I agree that it is easy to digest. It also helps the infant’s immune system to be strong. I think the con that almost every mother experiences, is that they have to be always around the baby. Especially women who work and have a baby who is less than a year old.

    I also agree infants can be allergic to bottle milk. Most of the milk and milk powder sold have artificial preservatives to make them last longer. This makes the milk not to be friendly with the baby’s digestive system. Mother’s milk will always be the best and the bond with her baby will be stronger if she breastfeeds. 😀

    1. So true that the breastmilk is the best milk for the baby. The use of breastmilk is also convenient for stay-at-home moms – no need for bottles, just have the baby suck right away.

      But in Jordana’s case, she needed to supplement her breastmilk with formula because her supply was not enough. The baby depletes it and is not sufficient to feed her daily.

  7. Personally, I wouldn’t condone bottle feeding over breastfeeding for anything except on the cases of emergencies and unforseen circumstances, probably the tragic dead of the nursing mother. Anything other than these, breastfeeding is absolutely best for the baby, considering the health benefits it comes with and also the ease at which it promotes digestion without allergies.

    Also I have come to observe the stare into the eyes of the mother by the baby when the child is breastfeeding. This intensifies the bond and imprinting on the mother by the baby. This is actually why most babies never feel comfortable parting from the arms of their mother.

    1. Indeed, breastfeeding has a lot more advantages as compared to formula. Everything you said is true. I couldn’t agree more 🙂 But for working moms, the use of formula is a must because the baby will go hungry during the hours the mom is not home to breastfeed. She can pump breastmilk and leave it for the baby, however, it may not be enough so formula milk would come in very handy.

  8. I personally don’t think direct breast feeding is better than bottle feeding. Put asides the pros and con’s, its all a matter of choice…and sometimes certain situations decide which choice to choose.

    Its highly likely that stay at home mums will opt for direct breast feeding. The case is different with working mums. But whatever the case, I think breast feeding should be done directly once in a while, at least for the sake if bonding.

  9. I really do not get the stigma with formula. I am a working mom and had no choice but to go back to work when my child was six weeks old. Therefore, I was not able to breastfeed, and I cannot pump at work, so I had to use formula. My child is 15 months old and is very intelligent, healthy and absolutely gorgeous. I think bottle feeding is just as good.

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