Can I Switch From Breastmilk To Formula Right Away Can Bottle-feeding Cause Ear Infections?

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Can Bottle-feeding Cause Ear Infections?

Many mothers have heard the above. The answer is yes, bottle feeding can cause ear infections in your baby. Here are the reasons why and how you can prevent it.

There is also an ancient story which says that a child will get ear infections if the child is breastfed while sleeping. This is not true; in fact, breastfeeding actually lowers the risk of a baby getting an ear infection than bottle feeding.

Breastfeeding ear infections are often caused by milk entering the baby’s ear, where the warmth of the ear combined with the moisture and sugar in the milk provides the perfect environment for bacteria to breed. This is true for both breast milk and formula. However, the mother’s nipple is wonderfully designed, so that milk only comes out when the baby is sucking. Therefore, there is less chance of breast milk getting into the baby’s ear during breastfeeding. Bottle nipples are poorly made, and it is very easy for milk to leak out of the nipple even after the baby has stopped nursing. This is why ear infections are more common in formula-fed babies than breast-fed babies; it has nothing to do with milk but everything to do with technology.

Therefore, if you are feeding your baby formula, you should pay extra attention to prevent ear infections. The first thing to note is that formula, unlike breast milk, is foreign and usually contains a high level of sugar; remember heat, moisture and sugar are the best growth factors for bacteria. Also, even when feeding a baby in a sitting position, it is possible for milk to find its way into the baby’s ear, so watch this. Most importantly, never leave the bottle in the baby’s mouth for too long, allowing the baby to feed. This is a habit that some mothers do when putting their baby to sleep. Your baby is not monitored; it is very easy for milk to enter the ear. This habit can lead to something called bottle tooth decay. Finally, it’s important to remember that you should be careful of contamination when you bottle feed. Breast milk is full of maternal antibodies: infant formula has none of these. And, it’s these antibodies that help your child fight off infections.

Bottle feeding isn’t the only thing that can cause ear infections. Other causes are exposure to tobacco smoke, allergies, using cleaners, being in a childcare facility, and being around other children who may have ear infections. Like most aspects of responsible parenting, it’s just a matter of being aware of the risks.

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