What is the best formula for babies with sensitive tummies?
There is surely no better food for a baby than a mother’s breast and her milk.
But sometimes, no matter how beneficial it is, breastfeeding is simply not an option.
Maybe because the mother has health issues which could negatively affect the baby, or she is absent and away from the baby, or maybe she does not want to breastfeed the baby out of personal beliefs.
That is where the baby formula comes in. Baby formula is usually a safe alternative to breast milk.
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It is a manufactured food designed for feeding babies under 12 months of age. It may appear tempting to just feed your baby regular milk because it’s cheaper and handier. But you really should not do that. The formula is designed to be more digestible and nutritive for babies, making life easier for the both of you.
So, you went ahead and bought some baby formula and fed it to your child thinking everything will be perfectly fine. But, it didn’t quite turn out the way you thought it would.
Your little one is crying without stopping and you don’t know what you did wrong. In general, babies who drink formula are more subject to gas and bloating than babies who are breastfed.
The reason for that is that a great number of babies are sensitive to formulas which are mostly based on cow’s milk. So, if you notice that your child seems troubled after drinking the formula, it may be a good sign that your little one needs a different formula which won’t give him or her any troubles.
But, there are so many of them in the market! How are you supposed to choose the right one? Well, that’s where we come in to help! In this guide, you will find everything you ever needed to know about how to feed the right formula to your baby.
What will I learn in this guide?
- What is the best formula for babies with sensitive tummies?
- Formula Preparation and Formula Content
- Different Types of Baby Formulas
- Baby Massage to aids your Baby with Digestion
- What Formula to Get for Babies with a Sensitive Tummy?
- Similac Sensitive with Iron
- Similac Soy Isomil
- Enfamil Gentlease
- Enfamil ProSobee Soy Formula
- Tips when Feeding Formula to Your Baby
- Other Ways to Help Relieve Gas
Formula Preparation and Formula Content
First things first. Let’s get a better understanding of how to correctly prepare the formula and what is in it. Infant formulas are designed to be prepared in small batches and fed to the baby either using a baby bottle or a cup.
It is of great importance to accurately measure powders or concentrates given to the baby, as doing otherwise could lead to serious problems, like malnutrition.
Also, it is advisable that all equipment that comes in contact with the baby is properly cleaned and sterilized before use. This is done in order to prevent any diseases.
It is essential to store a formula prepared in advance in a refrigerator so that it does not become bad. As for the content of the formula, there are some varieties:
- Cow’s milk formula is the most used type. The milk has been altered in a way that makes it similar in structure to breast milk.
- For infants that are allergic to lactose or particularly cow’s milk, soy protein-based formulas are used. Parents often choose this formula when they want to exclude animal proteins from the baby’s diet.
- Babies that don’t tolerate either cow’s milk or soy-based formulas, usually consume protein hydrolysate formulas, in which proteins are broken down into much smaller sizes.
Different Types of Baby Formulas
Decisions, decisions, decisions. What kind of formula should I use? Is the powdered one better than the concentrated one? Or maybe the ready-to-use formula after all?
To help you with these questions, it is important to point out that all three preparations are the same from a nutritional standpoint. The choice depends on your personal preference and financial situation.
Let’s take a look at all the three options:
it comes in a canister with a little scoop or in little travel packets. It has to be mixed with water before being fed to the baby. It’s the cheapest option on the market. The biggest issue with this type is that it may be constipating for some babies.
Concentrated Liquid Formula
This is the most convenient type of formula, but also the most expensive one. Its content is rich and thick, and you don’t have to add any extra water to it. Chances of constipation are much lower.
So, think about which of these options you can afford, but keep in mind that your baby deserves the best you can give it.
Baby Massage to aids your Baby with Digestion
What Formula to Get for Babies with a Sensitive Tummy?
And finally, to the most important question.
How to stop the baby from suffering because of a wrong choice of the formula?
First off, you should know that gas is a natural occurrence happening to a great percentage of infants.
You surely feel some relief now that you know that your little one isn’t the only one with this problem and that he or she may not be as unhealthy as you may have thought.
One of the main causes of gas is that babies eat all day, and therefore digest all day long as well. During that time, gas is produced naturally.
The other cause is that babies swallow a lot of air during eating or crying, which afterward gets trapped in the digestive tract. That makes the baby feel bloated, in pain and constantly crying.
So, how can you know which formula has the best quality and won’t cause any trouble? It is a difficult question, but we are here to assist you. Listed below are some of the best products out there that can solve the problem of an extra fussy and gassy infant. These formulas are specially designed to reduce gas and get rid of all the tummy issues.
Similac Sensitive with Iron
Similac Sensitive is designed for infants who are lactose intolerant, one of the main culprits for stomach problems.
It’s especially recommended by moms who have had similar experiences like yourself and got rid of them with this precise formula.
The formula is truly a miracle, so much as to even be referred to by pediatricians as the first choice of formula for sensitive babies.
It is still a milk-based formula, but contains no lactose or soy-bean based ingredients, making it much easier for babies to digest, hence preventing watery stools.
The formula offers has a high nutritional value for newborns by featuring OptiGRO, an exclusive blend containing Omega 3, vitamin E and Lutein which are all found in breastmilk and therefore crucial for the child’s development.
Those ingredients support the baby’s overall growth, brain, and eye development.
One thing to keep in mind is that this formula is not for infants with galactosemia, a disorder that affects the way how the body processes a simple sugar called galactose.
Also, never use a microwave to warm formula, as serious burns could occur. It comes both in powder and ready-to-use form.PRICE & REVIEWS
Similac Soy Isomil
This is another formula by the same manufacturer as the number 1 formula listed above.
It is intended for infants who are definitely sensitive to milk-based formulas. As the name already suggests, it is a completely soy-based formula.
With its special design, it comforts the baby with the gentleness of the soy and relieves the tummy. Isomil is the top studied soy-formula and it has been clinically shown to help reduce feeding problems.
Parents may be skeptical whether the soy-based formula will deliver all the necessary nutrients to their baby in growth. But, taking a look at the ingredients suggests that it contains all the same important and irreplaceable ingredients as the milk-based formulas.
That is, it is still based on the OptiGRO blend made up of Omega 3, Lutein and vitamin E which all can be also found in breastmilk.
It contains a sufficient fat amount that ensures the newborn obtains its recommended levels of fatty acids.
Besides getting rid of gas and fussiness, it also helps with spit-ups and lactose-associated diarrhea.
But, before switching to this soy-based formula you should first talk to your pediatrician whether it is really safe too.
Generally, this formula is not recommended for premature infants with birth weights 1800g (4 pounds) or less.PRICE & REVIEWS
The manufacturers say that this formula is designed to ease fussiness, gas and crying in 24 hours.
Parents are confirming this with their own experiences, telling that they have noticed a significant difference in only 24 hours after introducing this formula to their little one.
It is nutritionally complete for infants under 12 months of age, with its Unique Triple Health Guard blend which is an easy-to-digest gentle protein blend that has been partially broken down.
Because of these broken-down proteins, the formula is especially gentle to the baby’s digestive tract which still has to mature during the first year of the child’s life.
Similar to the Similac Sensitive formula, the Enfamil Gentlease formula is based on cow-milk but with a significantly reduced lactose content, although still not as low as the Similac one.
This should be the first try, before referring to soy-based formulas.PRICE & REVIEWS
Enfamil ProSobee Soy Formula
And the last, but certainly not least formula in our list is going to be the Enfamil ProSobee soy-based formula.
If your baby can’t handle the cowmilk-based formulas at all, you may want to try this soy-based formula. Its design still provides the complete nutrition your baby needs for healthy development.
Although tailored to be naturally easy on your baby’s tummy, some parents find that this formula tends to cause solid stools.
But, the good news is that most babies have resolved this issue on their own, by getting used to the formula. So little, but so fierce!
If your baby can tolerate neither cowmilk nor soy-based formulas, which is quite rare, there are still some alternatives that don’t contain any of those ingredients.PRICE & REVIEWS
As to the question whether to choose Similac or Enfamil formulas, it is an indeed a tough one.
It is important to point out that the vitamins and minerals in both formulas are similar, as they are governed by strict regulations.
But, there are still some slight differences from nutritional standpoints.
A great factor in the process of choosing one of these brands may be that Enfamil is significantly cheaper.
Similac claim that their infant formula provides 50% more calcium absorption than Enfamil and that it has fewer bubbles and makes the baby less gassy.
While on the other hand, some babies have spat less when they changed from the Similac formula to the Enfamil one.
In the end, it is all trial and error. You should try both of them and see which one fits your baby more. Or, you may consider the pricing and decide based on that.
Tips when Feeding Formula to Your Baby
Here we will provide some information in order to make the baby’s life easier when being fed formula.
When feeding, and a short time afterward, you should keep your baby in an upright position.
This is to prevent excessive spit-ups. Burp the infant after every 2-3 sips in order to release stuck gas bubbles in the esophagus through the mouth.
These bubbles cause a feeling of fullness and discomfort, which causes the baby to cry.
Especially, when drinking from a bottle, babies swallow a lot of air, so it is important to burp often. Always feed the baby smaller amounts of formula so they can easier digest the food.
It is better to feed them small portions more often, rather than one big portion at a time.
Also, you should always first calm your baby if it is crying (maybe because of hunger) before feeding, not trying to force it, in order to prevent too much air gulping.
Bowel movements are one of the biggest measurements of your baby’s health and nutrition. As already mentioned earlier, the formula can make the baby’s bowel movements less regular.
But the number of bowel movements in a day differs from baby to baby and also depends on the age.
What is more important is the appearance of your baby’s stool while being formula fed.
For newborns, with age less than 1 month, 3-5 bowel movements per day are normal.
But, if there are loose stools, stools linen with blood or only 1 to none at all bowel movements per day, your baby may be constipated.
You should consult a doctor, as there may be a need for formula change or maybe something else is wrong. The appearance of stools will change after the first few days of your little one’s life.
Normal stools will have brown, tan, yellow or greenish color.
The frequency of bowel movements mostly changes between 1 to 2 months of age.
At these times, your baby’s bowel movements will decrease to probably one per day, or once in two days. Still, the stools should remain the same color, with content neither too hard nor too liquid.
Signs of constipation at this age include hard stools, pebble-sized stools, infrequent or bloody stools.
If your baby is older than 4 months and has constipation you could try giving some extra water to your baby, besides the normal number of formula bottles.
Other Ways to Help Relieve Gas
If you already tried many formulas, but your baby still has gas problems, there are some other ways to help.
You first have to identify if the inability to pass gas is indeed the problem.
First off, when mixing the formula do it in a separate container and then pour the contents into the baby bottle. This will reduce the amount of air in the bottle, which would be swallowed by the baby.
Also, make sure that the infant’s head stays above its tummy during feeding time, to make the formula sink to the bottom and not come up.
If the baby does not want to burp, which has already been advised to do often while feeding, lay him or her down for a few minutes and then try again.
There are also some other factors to keep in mind in case you are breastfeeding your baby while also feeding it formula.
You need to cut down on some food that is harmful to your baby’s tummy because some amount of that food you have eaten passes into your breastmilk.
The baby may even have allergies to certain foods, which you should then avoid completely.
Sometimes it can be hard to switch to formula from breastfeeding, so you may have to switch back and forth until you find the best formula for the little one which he will truly enjoy.
What are signs that my baby is suffering from gas?
One of the signs is definitely constant crying, but that does not say too much, as crying can be caused by many things.
Another sign is if the baby is pulling his or her legs very close to the chest. Also, hiccups, spit-ups and bloating are good signs that the child has gas problems.
Which food causes gas in babies?
The most common culprits that tend to cause gas are green veggies, beans, and some fruit.
Specifically, that includes any beans, cabbage, prunes, peaches, oatmeal, broccoli…
But you should not completely cut out this food from your baby’s diet since it could cause malnutrition.
Why does my baby always cry the most at night?
Sometimes baby’s painful gassiness is much worse at night because that is the time when most digestion takes place in their bodies.
As recommended before, to stop this use proper feeding techniques and burp often.
How to burp my baby?
As burping is so important you should definitely learn to do it correctly. Mainly there are two positions for doing this; over your shoulder and sitting on your lap. You should try both of them and see which fits your baby more.
Over your shoulder
Hold the baby over your shoulder, facing towards you. Hold the baby with one hand and use the other to lightly pat it on the back for about a minute. Make sure that the baby’s head is nicely supported.
Sitting on your lap
Sit your child comfortably on your lap and use one arm and hand to support the baby’s body, head, and neck. Again, use the other hand to gently pat the baby’s back.
Whichever position you choose, make sure that you have a burp cloth ready to catch any spit-up coming from your baby’s mouth. If the child does not want to burp, lay it down on your lap for some time and then try again.
My baby is sensitive to both soy and cowmilk-based formulas. What should I do?
There are some formulas that contain neither cowmilk nor soy contents.
They are mostly formulated without sucrose, a sugar that some babies have trouble digesting.
An issue may be that these formulas can have a pretty bad smell.
But you get over it, and surely your baby won’t mind.
Anyways, you should first talk to your pediatrician if both the cow milk and soy formulas have caused problems before referring to other solutions.