Switching baby formula commonly happens when babies aren’t tolerating the standard milk based formula such as Similac Advance or Enfamil Lipil. It’s important to do this in a step by step way however, so do not haphazardly go to the store and get the first formula you see besides the one your baby is on. With a little research you can make an educated guess which formula will be best for your little one based on her symptoms.
If you feel your baby is not doing well on a standard formula, switching is an easy way to remedy the situation. As usual, always consult your child’s doctor before switching baby formula, and consider his professional opinion carefully before making the transition.
Some common reasons for switching baby formula include vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, skin issues, irritability and colic. To find the best baby formula for your infant, careful consideration should be given to which one to try first. With a little luck, the next one you try will be the one she needs! If your baby doesn’t have major issues but you think she may benefit from a change you may want to consider a formula higher in whey protein than casein. Although they are both cow’s milk proteins, whey protein is easier to digest and slightly more gentle on your baby’s system. Nestle Good Start Formula is an example of this and contains 100% whey protein.
A lactose free formula such as Similac Lactofree contains all the properties of the standard formula without lactose. If you suspect your baby is lactose intolerant, this should be a great choice for your baby. Symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies include gas and bloating, abdominal distention, diarrhea and irritability. Vomiting, constipation and skin issues such as eczema are NOT associated with lactose intolerance, so if your child suffers from these a lactose free formula probably will not help her.
If your considering switching baby formula for a soy formula, consider your reasons. If you want your baby to be vegan, or if she has galactosemia, a soy formula is a good choice. If your baby is allergic to milk, lactose intolerant or colicky however, other formulas may be a better fit.
If your baby’s symptoms include constipation or diarrhea, vomiting and irritability, you may want to consider a broken down formula such as Nutramigen or Alimentum. These formulas are known as hydrolyzed formulas because the protein is broken down. They are the best choice for babies who have not tolerated other, more intact formulas. Although they are made from cow’s milk, they are so broken down there is a very small chance children allergic to cow’s milk are allergic to these formulas. The worst part about these formulas is they are very expensive, however sometimes they are covered by insurance.
Finally, as a last resort, an elemental formula made up of amino acids may be the best option if your baby has multiple food allergies or cannot tolerate any other formula. Elecare and Neocate are the 2 major elemental formulas out there. Most babies do not need such specialized formula, however if you’ve tried everything else and feel she still needs a different formula, they do help many children. Before jumping to these very expensive formulas however go down the list and exhaust your other options before jumping to an amino acid based formula to allow your baby the highest amount of intact protein she can handle.
Choosing the best baby formula for your baby can be difficult and switching baby formula should be a decision you make with the input of your child’s paediatrician. When done right though, the rewards of finding a formula that makes your baby happy and does not cause discomfort is very rewarding and certainly pays off.