Saturday, April 9, 2011

Baby Nutrition - Is it Better to Use Formula Or Breast Feed?

Author: Jamie Anthropology of Breast-Feeding

When it comes to breast feeding and the usage of formula, opinions differ. Many mothers believe that the natural way is always the better one. Yet, scientists have been able to establish no developmental differences between babies that have been breastfed and those that have been fed formula.

A comparison can be drawn only after the pros and cons of each feeding method have been examined. Both breastfeeding and formula usage have their advantages that receive serious scientific support.

Breastfeeding Pros

If the nutritional values are to be examined, breastfeeding provides the perfect balance. Mother's milk contains useful nutrients and is very easy to digest.

The composition of mother's milk changes as the baby grows. This way, it meets the nutritional requirements of the child during each development stage. Further, the baby decides on its own how much milk it will need per feeding.

Mother's milk is always featuring the optimal temperature, unlike formula. It is cost-free and it helps the baby develop its immunity.

Formula Pros

Formula has its pros, as well.

It is readily available and designed by experts to provide the child with all nutrients that it needs to grow.

Further, the feeding of the baby is independent of the mother's diet and health condition. Many mothers are willing to breastfeed but are advised from doing so because of medical concerns. In addition, anyone can feed the baby, not only the mother.

Breastfeeding Cons

When it comes to breastfeeding, the mother needs to be available each time the baby gets hungry. It will be difficult for someone else to feed the child and it makes the mother unable to go out or perform some timely chores.

During the first weeks, breastfeeding can be quite uncomfortable for the mother.

Breastfeeding is related to some expenditure. The mother will need a special bra, breast pumps and other accessories.

Alongside the useful nutrients, breastfeeding can transfer some harmful substances from the mother to the baby. These include microorganisms, nicotine, alcohol and viruses.

Formula Cons

Some babies have difficulties digesting formula. The nutritional value depends on the right preparation method.

The formula needs to get warmed in advance. It takes preparation time and perfect hygienic practices.

Formula usage is also related to some expenditure. It has to be bought together with bottles, sterilization equipment and some additional tools needed for the proper preparation of the baby food.

Drawing a Conclusion

Scientific research shows some relation between breastfeeding and the better health of a child. Babies that have been breastfed are less prone to respiratory diseases, allergies and ear infections. This phenomenon probably results from the fact that mother's milk contains antibodies.

Further, breastfeeding is an excellent natural mechanism that allows the mother and her baby to bond. It establishes a very strong connection that can be vital to the development of the baby.

Still, the decision is personal. Formula-fed babies are most often just as healthy and active as breastfed babies. If breastfeeding conflicts somehow with the mother's understanding or if it is impossible because of some condition, the mother should not be pressured into attempting it.

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About the Author

Jamie Highland writes about various family and baby topics. For more info or to check out the baby bottle baby shower theme or some Short and Long Term Effects of Breast Feeding on Child Healthhref="">baby shower gifts, visit My Baby Shower Favors. If you want more articles, visit our site and click on the Contact Us link. Reprint Statement: Note: You can reprint this article in your ezine, blog, or website as long as the credits remain intact and hyperlinks remain active and dofollow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Passports for Newborns

Author: Alison Kroulek

When you get your new baby home from the hospital, paperwork and documents are probably the last things you want to think about. However, if you plan to travel with your little one any time in the next couple of months, it's a good idea to start the process of getting your newborn a passport as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, getting a passport for your newborn may prove to be a bit of a hassle, especially for a sleep-deprived new parent. Here's what you'll need to do:

  • Get baby's passport photo taken. The Department of State wants infants in passport photos to appear to be floating in space – nothing used to support the child, whether it's your arms or a car seat, can be visible in the picture. Unless you're Houdini and can levitate your baby, the best way to achieve this effect is to place the infant on top of a plain white sheet or use the sheet to cover his car seat. Make sure his eyes are open and he's not bawling. Yeah, good luck with that.

  • Apply in person at a passport acceptance office (usually a post office, library or municipal building).

  • Bring a state-issued photo ID for you, your baby's official birth certificate (not one issued by the hospital), evidence of your relationship to your child (the birth certificate will work, as long as your name is on it), the photo and money to pay the fees.

  • Getting a passport for a child requires the consent of both parents. Ideally, both of you should show up at the passport office to apply for the passport on behalf of the child. However, if only one parent can make it, he or she should bring a notarized consent form signed by the other parent.

Once you've submitted the application, all you have to do is wait. If you ordered standard processing, you can expect to wait 4 to 6 weeks to receive the passport. If you paid an additional $60 and ordered expedited processing, it'll be 2 to 3 weeks before you get your baby's new passport. The time will probably fly by – they grow up so fast!

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About the Author

Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.