An article is making it's rounds on the web summarizing a study that found breastfed babies are classified by their mothers as "more challenging" when compared to formula fed babies. The investigators encourage mothers to not give up breastfeeding and to seek out support if they need it, instead of resorting to starting to feed their baby formula. The authors claim that formula fed babies may be more content, but they are "over-nourished and gain weight too quickly".
Interesting, but I wonder if they looked at parenting styles along with infant behaviour? It would be interesting to see how the two outcomes relate. I for one would certainly classify my babies as "high needs" but only if I had a high expectations parenting approach. I know babies are babies and I do not expect them to be anything else! I wear them, I feed them on demand and I sleep close to them. I listen to their voice and I learn what they are trying to tell me. My babies don't cry unnecessarily. That doesn't mean they don't cry...but when they do, I find out why and solve the problem.
Also, these results are yet more evidence that shows mothers are not supposed to do it all alone--society needs to make it easier on mothers! I say we need to make sure mothers feel supported and informed. Breastfeeding is certainly not easy...and all we can do is try our best and not be afraid to ask for help.
Research is of course interesting, but I hope these results don't discourage mothers from breastfeeding their babies.
Have a read and let me know what you think!