Is My Baby Allergic to Formula?
Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right formula for your baby. Babies are born with immature intestines; and can be extra sensitive to some of the ingredients in formula. If your baby is experience excessive fussiness, gas or bloating, excessive spitting up or vomiting, acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, diaper rash, sore bottom, mucus in the stools, black or green stools or eczema, this is likely the case.
Cow Milk Allergies
The most common offender in formula fed babies is cow milk. Many babies are allergic or sensitive to the proteins, and occasionally the lactose, in cow milk based formulas.
If your baby is experiencing gas, bloating, acid reflux, or excessive spitting up, it may help him to switch to a cow milk free formula. Often a switch to goat milk formulas will help with these issues.
If your baby is experiencing diarrhea, and has a persistent diaper rash, sore bottom or mucus in his stools, goat milk formula may help here as well. There are however, some baby’s that cannot tolerate any form of dairy. If this is the case, you may have to switch to a soy based formula. Though it is not recommended that you do so unless absolutely necessary, as soy comes with its own set of problems.
If your baby is allergic to dairy, take note and be cautious when it comes time to introduce him to solid foods. Wait until he is a year of age to introduce any form of diary product; and watch him closely for a reaction. Sometimes babies will grow out of a dairy allergy; but, many continue to be sensitive well into childhood and even adulthood.
Allergies or Sensitivities to Additives
If you are not already using a natural, organic formula, please consider doing so. Many companies include ingredients in their formulas that can cause sensitivities. Unfortunately, there are several additives that have been shown to cause upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, and reflux in infants. Ingredients like DHA and ARA are processed with chemicals, such as hexane, and are very irritating to the intestines. Please refer to our article “Understanding Formula Ingredients,” for more information on what ingredients to watch out for.
There are so many formulas on the market. If your baby is sensitive to his formula it may take some trial and error to find the right one. Starting with a good, natural, organic formula will help you rule out chemical sensitivities. If your baby is still experiencing any of the above symptoms while on an all-natural, organic cow milk formula, reevaluate the ingredients. Consider switching to a goat milk formula. If all else fails, look for a soy formula that contains as little chemicals as possible; is free of GMO ingredients; and is organic. Helping your baby to avoid formula sensitivities and allergies will make both of you happier and more comfortable. Don’t give up until you find the right one.