Infant formulas take two times longer for a baby to digest than breast milk. The slower digestion of infant formula can affect:
Feeding frequency. Babies who take infant formula usually want to feed less often than babies who are breastfeeding.
Bowel movements. Infant formula causes formed, brown stools that have a noticeable odor. Breast milk causes loose, yellow stools that have less odor.
Breast milk, unlike formula, has antibodies. Breastfeeding may lower your child's risk for many types of infections. Breast milk may also help protect your child from some health problems, such as diabetes. For more information, see the topic Breastfeeding.
Medical Review:John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine