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Guide to Babycare Choices

Feeding

What to consider:
Repeat this to yourself as often as necessary: Your baby will grow and thrive whether you breastfeed, use formula, or use a combination of both. Having confidence in your choice will make feedings go more smoothly.

Factor in how you'll be spending the day with your baby (are you also chasing a toddler around, or going back to work?) and who else (such as your mom or husband) will be around to help.

One side:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as the first choice for infant nutrition. Nursing offers your tot such benefits as fewer illnesses and infections and a lower risk of asthma, diabetes, and obesity. It's very convenient, since the milk is ready when your baby is; however, breastfeeding a newborn every two or three hours can be exhausting, and using a pump can still feel like work.

The other side:
Formula feeding is pretty simple: Just fill 'er up and go. And you can easily share the work. But formula costs (along with bottles, nipples, and other accessories) can really add up. And every time you go out you'll have to plan ahead to measure, tote, and store feedings. Bottle-fed babies sometimes have more constipation and may also develop an intolerance for formula, which can make finding the right one a challenge.

For more info:
For breastfeeding support, visit La Leche League International

What moms say:
"I breastfed because I knew it was best, though I ended up having to add a few bottles of formula into the mix. I'll do the same with my next baby  -- just combine the two."
 -- Danielle Spears, Indianapolis

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