10 Surprising Benefits of Formula Feeding

The benefits of breastfeeding are well-documented. However, if you are formula-feeding your infant for any reason, you may be wondering if there are any advantages you haven’t considered. We’ve consulted real moms to round up the top ten surprising benefits of formula feeding!

Please note that a benefit of formula feeding does not directly translate into a disadvantage for breastfeeding. There are many nuances to consider within each personal circumstance and all parents deserve to confidently nourish their babies with love and support.

More Family Bonding

By sharing the responsibility of feeding your baby, multiple family members have the opportunity to cuddle your little bundle during meal times. This could include dad, siblings, grandparents, and even friends! Sharing this time does not take away from the very unique and personal bond you have with your baby. No one can replace you and now others will also have a small part in that sweet experience of nourishing your baby.

Body Autonomy

Formula feeding means you are not on call full-time for on-demand feeding. Being a great parent does not mean you lose your need for personal space or time alone. Formula feeding can provide some much-needed room while still ensuring your baby receives all the nutrients they need. Passing the bottle to a trusted loved one to manage a feeding can relieve feelings of being “touched-out” or overstimulated.

Better Sleep

Sharing bedtime feeds with your partner or another loved one can allow you to have more structure and some level of consistency in your sleep routine. Even if you are the one responsible for most or all of the bedtime feedings, formula-fed babies tend to have a more consistent schedule and you can plan your sleep hours accordingly with fewer surprise wakings during the night. (Although babies are living beings and not machines so there are still bound to be some!)

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Feed Less Often

Formula takes longer to digest, so formula-fed babies don’t need to eat as often as their breastfed peers. While making bottles may take more time than making a breast available, fewer feeding times overall can balance out that time spent.

No Diet Limitations

Allergies can be stressful, but especially so with babies who aren’t able to speak or express how they are feeling. Breastfeeding parents may need to make adjustments to their diet, eliminating possible foods that trigger a reaction in their baby. This is not the case with formula-fed babies! With formula, you know exactly what your baby is eating, and you can easily zone in and remove any potential allergens.

No Medication Restrictions

Parents who take medications may need to make adjustments or suspend those medications while breastfeeding. Pumping and dumping can be time-consuming and stressful, but formula feeding eliminates the unknown element of medications altogether. This can be especially beneficial in cases of medicated postpartum depression or anxiety. 

Know How Much Your Baby Is Eating

At doctor’s appointments, your baby’s healthcare provider will ask how much your baby is eating, which can be a difficult question to answer for breastfeeding parents. Formula feeding allows parents to easily measure and track how much their baby is eating, and subsequently, whether that amount is consistent with their growth and the number of diapers they are using each day.

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Initial Newborn Weight Gain

Babies will usually lose weight initially after birth before slowly regaining and then continuing their growth. While both breastfed and formula-fed babies will regain weight, formula babies may gain back that weight a little more quickly at the onset. This can be a relief for parents of babies who have low initial birth weights or other concerns that make weight gain a priority.

No Battling Nursing Covers

Covering while breastfeeding is a preference so this benefit may not apply to you; but if you choose to cover while breastfeeding, nursing covers can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. Babies who fight being covered can cause a scene, which is avoided completely while formula feeding. This can be a relief for parents with social anxiety who may otherwise wish to postpone feeding their baby until they are home for fear of being embarrassed, which can cause additional problems. 

Skipping Health Complications

Breastfeeding can come with a myriad of challenges including clogged ducts, milk blebs, and mastitis. These issues are non-existent while formula feeding, which can allow parents to focus solely on their baby and their health needs rather than being preoccupied with their own health concerns or discomfort. 


Once again, it is important to note that these “perks” to formula feeding in no way detract from the many advantages of breastfeeding. Both options are valid and only you know the unique circumstances and needs of you and your baby. Consult with your baby’s healthcare provider with any questions or concerns regarding your baby’s nourishment. 





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