Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

I hear a lot of generalizations. A lot of blanket statements. A lot of information that, while likely founded in some scientific study somewhere, should never be used as a scare tactic.


So, just for fun, I’d like to reveal that…


My child with the highest IQ is the one who was exclusively formula fed.


Would his IQ be a few points higher had I exclusively breastfed him? Well, we’ll never know, will we? I’m not too concerned about it. Given that he’s already been classified as “severely gifted” (<– a term I find hysterical), I don’t think those 2-5 points would make any striking difference.


There are oodles of good reasons to breastfeed your child– I am NOT disputing this. But don’t let anyone convince you that your formula-fed kid is going to be academically inferior. I just don’t believe it is so.


My exclusively breastfed child had the most ear infections.


Oh, the irony! My kids are not terribly ear infection-prone, anyway. We’ve been fortunate in that regard. I think we’ve faced a half dozen or less in eighteen combined years of life, so that’s not so bad, really. But half of those? Belonged to my youngest. And she’s the one I nursed exclusively.


Studies have shown that breastfed babies have lower rates of ear infections and perhaps she would have had even more had she been formula-fed. Again, we just don’t know. What I do know is that there are clearly multiple factors at play.


My child who had chronic lung disease (AKA broncho-pulmonary disease) manages to dodge more cold germs than the rest of us.


Very early preemies who’ve been on a ventilator frequently have “weak lungs.” They are often red-flagged as being particularly vulnerable to any upper respiratory problems and are followed closely any time they get colds.


My former micropreemie, who spent a month on a ventilator, rarely gets colds. Her immune system is strong and she stays healthy when the rest of us fall. When she does happen to catch a cold, she recovers every bit as quickly as any other child I know.


So. There you go. I’m not attempting to disprove any studies out there, nor am I promising that these scenarios would hold true for another family.


If there’s one thing I hope you might take away from this post, it is this:


Do not panic about such things. Do not let people convince you that you are dooming your child or guaranteeing her perfect health. The fact is, there are too many factors to reduce it to one common denominator.


Relax. Do your best. And maybe you’ll find yourself giggling alongside me as you realize how your child has managed to “break the rule.”

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7 comments to Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

  • mlearley

    Both of my babies were exclusively formula fed and both only had one ear infection the first year of life. On the other hand, I have a friend who exclusively breastfed both of her sons and they both had tubs put in their ears as infants b/c they had so many ear infections. I’m like you where I try not to listen too much to the “studies” b/c every child is different. One thing I have found true with my oldest is that she had pneumonia has a 3 month old and we were told that studies show if a child has penumonia at such a young age they are very likely it get it again and again. She’s now 4 and has had penumonia 2 times, we’ll see if it continues.

    • Our C. had pneumonia when she was in the NICU– really early on, at about 2 weeks of age. We were also dealing with MRSA in her bloodstream, at that point. She has not had it since, but it will be interesting to see if that holds true through the years. (I’ve had it a few times, but I was 17yo the first time I got it…)

  • Susan

    My super preemie was in the hospital for the first 6 months of his life, had RSV, was on a ventilator forever. He was exclusively bottle fed with a super high calorie preemie formula. He did not eat food until he was about 5 years old. Now at almost 12, I can say that he’s never had an ear infection, never had a nose bleed, got straight A’s last semester, his asthma and allergies have finally cleared up and has not had a school sick day in at least 3 years. I don’t think he’s had the flu or a cold in 3-4 years. He does get flu shots every year.

  • Jennie

    My favorite thing to say is” my baby didn’t read the book”.

  • Renata

    THANK YOU. I breastfed both my girls only for about 2 months. When I started having problems with my milk supply both times I heard sooo many bad comments. Like it was my fault and they would be always sick because of me…Which never happened. They got e few colds like any other kids – actually less colds than their cousins who were breast fed for more than a year! If I have a 3rd baby I will do my best all over again to breast feed, but if it doesn’t happen for long I will not be so hard on myself because of other people tell me.

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