Does Your Baby Need a Hypoallergenic Formula?

I’ve been asked to become a Similac StrongMoms Ambassador to share formula tips with parents.  In fact, they sponsored this post and provided me with some of the research.  My opinions (like all moms should choose whatever works for their family, whether it’s breastfeeding OR formula)  are completely my own. 

Does Your Baby Need a Hypoallergenic Formula?  http://www.incredibleinfant.com

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Have you felt the tug-of-war of hypoallergenic formulas?

On the one hand, you’ve heard other parents talk about how magical they are: turning miserable monster-babies into giggles and smiles.

On the other hand, you aren’t Donald Trump. Money doesn’t grows on bankruptcy trees.

You’ve got a limited amount of funds available.

This common problem leaves you with two questions:

  1. Does my baby really need a hypoallergenic? And if he does…
  2. Will those hypoallergenics really work?

Buckle up, my friend.

Because we’re about to figure that out.

Step One:
Double Check What You’re
Currently Using

This Tummy Trouble Tool is really helpful to double check you’re current choice.

Using 8 simple questions, it helps narrow your formula issues down to point you in the direction of a good fit.  While doing so, it also troubleshoots ideas on to handle any intestinal rebellion that might be going on.

Seriously, it’s awesome.  I lied my way through three kids, just to see what it said, and was surprised with how much information it shared.

I was expecting a few boring bullet points, and instead it gave me a personalized article that I had to scroll down to read.   Your point, Tummy Trouble Tool…

Did I mention it’s free?  Check it out.

Step Two:
Be Familiar with these
7 “Switching Signs”

Here are seven signs that a hypoallergenic BF(ormula)F may be in your future…

1.  If your baby is struggling with acid reflux.  A pre-thickened (and less expensive!) reflux formula can help many babies…but hypoallergenics are also being shown to be a great help for reflux-weary parents.

2.  If there is blood in his stool.  You should ALWAYS contact the doctor when you see blood in the diaper.  That said, sometimes with milk allergies there may be microscopic bleeding in the diaper you can’t see and only testing will show. (See Step Three below…)

3. If you see snot-poo.  Mucus production is a common sign of an allergy issue in the intestines.  This thick stringy mucus will often bridge the folds of the diaper.  (Isn’t parenting FUN??!!)

4.  If your baby acts like pooping is a full-body sport he hates.   Inflammation in the intestines can lead to spasm and cramping, which is really uncomfortable.  Having a bowel movement can cause babies to cry and pull their knees up during a poop – acting as if they are about to pass a planet, only to reveal soft serve chocolate ice cream.

5.  If he has almost constant diarrhea.  It’s the bowel’s way of going on strike.  Sometimes this can show up as small squirts – like baby-sized racing stripes in the diaper throughout the day. (On the other hand, sometimes babies already on hypoallergenic formulas can look like they have diarrhea – always check with your doctor on this one.)

6.  If she is plagued by eczema.  (My nemesis.)  Eczema (or tiny red raised dots everywhere) can be caused by many things, not just a milk allergy issue – but it’s worth listing.  Most babies see marked skin improvements after 2-4 weeks of being on the hypoallergenic.

7.  If he constantly sounds like he’s congested.   This is also a sign of reflux, so if your baby seems to have a chronic stuffy nose and wheezing, talk to your doctor about reflux and/or a milk allergy.  (Wheezing in particular is something that should trigger a doc-call.)

Step Three:
Talk to the Expert
(Which Sadly Isn’t Me…)

The last (and most important) thing I would recommend is to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

I’ve said it a thousand times on this website, but it definitely bears repeating…

When in doubt, give Doc a shout.

He may want to run a few tests, so when you call in to get an appointment be sure to ask and see if he needs a stool sample.

That means you’ll save the most recent dirty diaper in a plastic bag and bring it with you as an early Christmas present to the Lab Technician.  *Happy Holidays!*

Why are These Formulas so
Gosh-Darn-$30-a-Can Special?

What makes these hypoallergenic formulas so expensive?

Simple: expertise = expensive.  They require more expertise to make.

To help you visualize the difference, let’s compare these to another expertise-required, infamously-expensive product: a pearl necklace.

In our example, that pearl necklace represents milk proteins (casein or whey, doesn’t matter) .

Babies struggling with the 7 signs above don’t handle long protein-pearl necklaces very well.

Regular Hypoallergenics

This is where “hypoallergenics” come into save the day like Christian Bale swooping in and taking over the new Batman movie. (Sorry, Ben Affleck.)

The keyword here is partially hydrolyzed.  It means the milk proteins have been heated with water to break down those necklaces into extremely small pearl protein chains.

Chains that are small enough to slip through the iron-bars of your baby’s cell walls without triggering an Allergy Alarm.

  • In the US they’re sold as Alimentum or Nutramigen. 
  • In the UK you can find them listed under Nutramigen and Pepti.

Remember, use the phrase “partially hydrolyzed” to distinguish a hypoallergenic formula from a regular formula.

Just so you know… “partially hydrolyzed” is not the same as “partially hydrogenated”.  (I’m anticipating some comments here.)  Click here to learn the difference.

Hyper-Hypoallergenics

In about 20% of the “protein sensitive” cases, the child’s system still won’t accept those 3-4 protein-pearl strings.

So these formulas have to go one step further, breaking those necklaces completely and passing them across one by one. 

At this point they are no longer proteins, but are instead amino acids, which (if we can all remember from 8th grade biology) are – all together now! – the building blocks of proteins. 

Naturally, these are the most expensive formulas of all – because they are a lot harder to make than the standard formulas like Similac Advance.

  • In the US, look for the brands PureAmino, Neocate, and Elecare.
  • In the UK, look for the brands Neocate and Nutramigen AA (“AA” stands for Amino Acid).

The key phrase you’re looking for in the hyper-hypoallergenics is “amino acids”.

Common Questions
(With Answers Because I Like You)

Should I try soy formula first?

Many times babies who struggle with milk protein will have the same struggles with soy.  Still, it’s something you could try.

Is there a cheaper alternative?

If your baby is ticking off all 7 of those signs above, I would go straight to a hypoallergenic.  However, if your baby is only hitting a few of those you may want to try a very low-lactose formula like Similac Total Comfort or Good Start Soothe.

These formulas have shorter protein-pearl strands than the standard “Sensitive” formulas.  Not as short as a hypoallergenic, of course, but it’s a less-expensive option you could try, if his symptoms aren’t too severe.

Can I just switch formulas abruptly?

If your parenting sanity is not in crisis modeI would recommend introducing the hypoallergenic formula slowly over a period of 2-3 days to prevent upsetting the tummy.  Here’s how.

That said if you are at “95% chance of Parental Breakdown” than go ahead and switch.  This is crisis management dude. Gotta risk it.

These formulas STINK.  Did something die in there?

Surprisingly, no.  You can thank that stench to Mr. Partially Hydrolyzed.  It’s an after-product.  (Which sounds really really gross in that sentence…)

Most babies don’t mind the taste. (Don’t try it.  Save yourself.)  However, if your baby has swished the formula around the bottle like a wine expert and seems to find it all too bourgeois, ask your doctor if you can add a drop of pure vanilla extract to the bottle.

How have other parents handled this parenting challenge?

Excellent question.

Let me roll out the virtual red carpet and ask them.

  • How did you know your baby needed a hypoallergenic formula?
  • What did you end up using?
  • Does it seem to help?  (Aka – is it worth the extra money?)

Help another suffering parent out and share your experience in the comments.

Does Your Baby Need a Hypoallergenic Formula?  7 Signs to Watch For... http://www.incredibleinfant.com

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Meet Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor

Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at Incredible Infant and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007.  She's certified in baby sleep coaching (yes, that's a real thing), has served as an Expert Parenting Panelist for numerous events, and has been a featured writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, My Kid's Adventures, Cafe Mom, and others.  If it's 2am and you're desperate to read SOMETHING, click here for all her darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn't be allowed to blog.  


 

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Comments

  1. If my son has been on alimentum for a week and is still gassy at night what should I do

    • I would talk to your doctor about adding some probiotic drops like these. Gas drops and gripe water works on gas bubbles in the tummy, but don’t help much with bubbles trapped in the intestines – which is exactly where the drops shine. Discuss this option with your doctor, I’ve heard nothing but positive things with these drops. 🙂 Hope this can help friend!

      • Ok thank u I will definitely see if he can start him on probiotic drops because he does good doing the day but wakes up out his sleep at night

  2. My baby had very bad reflux for the first 6 months of her life and she seemed to tolerate breast milk only, any formula made the reflux 10 times worse. As my milk supply was decreasing, the doctor prescribed Nutramigen as a back up ( which is with partially hydrolized proteins and lactose free). My baby didn’t seem to take it very well in the beginning, but I started mixing Nutramigen and expressed breast milk once a day for about 2-3 weeks, then mixing more and more feeds, then introducing full Nutramigen feeds until we switched to exclusive formula feeds. It takes time for babies to adjust to Nutramigen but it is the most gentle formula on the market and the next best thing after breast milk. At the time being I was in the UK and was given the Nutramigen for free with a prescription from the doctor – if your baby has a condition and needs this specialized medical formula, do speak to your doctor and ask for free prescription. When my baby got rid of her reflux at 6 months ( yes, it happens eventually) I was scared to switch to normal formula and decided to try HIPP Hypoalergenic formula ( with partially hydrolized proteins but it is not lactose free, good thing it also has lots of probiotics). My little one loves it and feels great on it… maybe she does not need a special formula anymore, but if she feels good on it, I do not seem a point to change it.

  3. My Baby is 6 weeks old she was switched from Similac advance to enfamil gentle ease . I told the doctor at her 3 week visit that she was uncomfortable, complaining , grunting and squirming with gas . She switched me right away to a hypoallergenic formula Similac alimentum . She was on it for not even 48 hours when she started throwing up and had diarrhea at the same time . I called the dr ( that was on call) she told to go back to the gentle ease . She was on that again for 2 weeks she still had the same symptoms I called again they switch her to gerber soothe she been on it for a week with the same symptom the only difference is now she is constipated .. She is pooping little pebbles . Now the dr wants to switch get to enfamil nutrigmen . I’m a little scared to switch formulas again to the hypoallergenic since she had such a bad reaction with the alimentum .. I really don’t know what to do any advice will be greatly appreciated .

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Janet,

      So sorry you have had such a run for your money! I am wondering why the doctor didn’t try Soothe before Alimentum however…it sounds like your little one could use some help moving things along. Check with your doctor to see if you can add a little prune juice to her bottles. This might do the trick and I would definitely try this before switching formulas again!

  4. Jacqueline says:

    How long will it take to see results on a hypoallergenic formula? We are about week and a half in on nutramigen. We decided to try it out with our 2 and 1/2 month old son because he had some of the symptoms listed above, but mostly for reflux, gas and eczema. He’s on probiotics and oval drops at night. His spit up is worse but I think it could be due to the formula being so thin. His gas at night is still bad and keeps us up from 4 am on with grunting. We previously tried the thickened formula but it made him horribly constipated. His eczema just flared up again too. How much longer should we stick it out on hypoallergenic? I want to give it a fair trial. And do you think it would be worth a try to mix in some thickened formula with it? Is that OK to do? Just to thicken it a bit without constipating him? His daytime gas seems better and his bowel movements are better (more like breast milk stool) Thanks for any advice! I love your blog!!!

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Jacqueline,

      So many variables, huh?! I can tell you are working hard to find a solution for your sweet little guy!
      Regarding the Nutramigen, I would give it another week. Also, talk to your doctor about adding some rice cereal to it to make it just a bit thicker.
      Some other ideas…make sure he is sitting up for 30 minutes after eating and for sleep, I highly recommend The Baby Bean Bag or the Rock n Play . Hope these ideas help you in finding more comfort for your little one!

  5. I have a 5 week old and at our 1month appt. I told my doctor about his series of spitting up and unknown cries, she recommended similiac alimentum and gave me samples. He’s currently on goodstart gentle but last night I mixed him a bottle of 4oz alimentum he drunk all of it..the next two bottles I offered he only drunk 1 of the 4oz and was very fussy during the feed and after like a special fussiness. I’m not sure if he dislikes the alimentum or the smell altogether so I gave him his goodstart gentle at his next feedings..he’s eating but not finishing the bottle. what do you suggest?

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Sade,

      It takes a week to find out if a formula will work for you (not fun when your little one isn’t eating it with much gusto!). Take a look at this article for ideas about making the switch from one to another. I think you will find it helpful!

  6. My 4 month old daughter has a rash on her cheeks and forehead. Rash isn’t getting any better. Also only poops once a week and it’s seriously runny. Could she need hypoallergenic formula?

  7. Evelyn Lizardo says:

    My 5 weeks old developed a rash that he’s had for a week already & I took him to the hospital the dr there told me it was eczema I started putting aveeno eczema therapy & it’s clearing up but he also has nasal congestion does it mean he’s allergic to something? he also spit up alot at times almost half of what he eats his poop is mushy which I think is normal for a formula fed baby. he is drinking enfamil gentlease now at first he was just breastfed but he had the same problem spitting up. Can it be that he has a milk allergy ? How can I know what to do or if to switch him to hypoallergenic formula?

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Evelyn,

      Since your little guy is only exhibiting a couple of the possible symptoms I would start by switching to another brand of formula in the “gentle” category. Take a look at this fabulous article with a complete list to choose from. Then take a look at this article that deals directly with little ones who are sensitive to milk protein. Hope this helps!

  8. Hi,

    My 4.5 month old baby is struggling with acid reflux. We only figured this out last week because it’s the sneaky “silent” type. After a series of symptoms (that we didn’t know we’re symptoms) that got progressively worse, her pediatrician prescribed Axid and switching to Alimentum formula for 5 days last week. After 5 days we were to confirm if it was either reflux or a milk allergy. (The pediatrician really was leaning toward the allergy, but after reading about all the sneaky symptoms of silent reflux I realized that she had been showing so many of the symptoms for months.) Over the last week the severe symptoms that had developed decreased and her poor sleep improved – somewhat. After another bad night full of night wakings and difficulty laying her down after a bottle (despite holding upright for 40 mins and mattress on an incline), I followed up with the doctors office. The nurse said to switch to Nutramagin for a week, and if that didn’t work then we can discuss medication changes.

    My question is – is there really a difference between the hyper allergenic brands? I feel like we’re going down a rabbit hole and it’s so frustrating.

    Also, is the formula part of the puzzle potentially as affective as the medicine? I’m wondering if one of the prethickened options will work better?

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Julia,

      Dealing with a reflux baby can be such a challenge. Good for you for persevering and continuing to look for the answers your little girl needs.

      To answer your questions about hypoallergenic formula, yes, it is worth trying a different brand. Babies can respond differently to different brands. And yes, give it a week before you decide how it’s working for you (unless there is a BIG problem, like diarrhea that can lead to dehydration).

      You cannot get the hypoallergenic formula pre-thickened but talk to your doctor about how to thicken it yourself by hand. The main thing to remember is not to over thicken but I’m sure your doctor will explain all of that to you. If the Nutramigen and thickening does not work it may be time to try out a hyper-hypoallergenic. Keep at it, this stage will be over before you know it!

  9. Hello! My daughter is three years old and recently she began to have symptoms of allergy to cow’s milk protein.

    We live in Brazil, and next month we will travel to USA. I would like your help about the formula should I buy to give to it. Here in Brazil she takes Aptamil Pepti.

    Thank you very much!

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Ana,

      Do you mean three years or three months old?

      • Danielle,

        She is three years old.

        I know it’s not the most common, but the symptoms began five months.

        She started to have colics and diaper rash, and according to the doctor, the milk is changing the ph your intestines.

      • Danielle Miller says:

        Ana,

        My six-year-old has a milk protein allergy as well. We switched her to almond milk when I weaned her at 14 months. Have you considered an alternate milk?

  10. When the doctor suspected my daughter was allergic to cow’s milk, he suggested I give the rice milk. And my daughter accepted very well the rice milk.

    But a few days ago I returned to the doctor and he asked to give the Aptamil Pepti by nutritional issues.

    Next week I will see a new doctor to get a second opinion.

  11. Ok So My Baby Start With Similac Advance Since she was born she would vomit the formula.. then like a month ago she started with diarrhea, dr change her to soy formula with no luck, plus the vomit she was constipated.. then she told me she was going to give me a hypoallergenic formula so my baby so she give me enfamil nutramigen, my baby started to ease the vomit but she was so fussy and gassy then we change her to similac Alimentum with no luck either she still the same vomit and thick poop, i went to wic and they told me to try similac sensitive, after that i call my dr office and i told them and they told me to use it and see whats up.. well baby stop with all her symptoms but she cryies thru the day so bad almost crying all the time she even turn purple when she cry.. she is been so fussy and i dont know what to do any more..she is about to turn 3 months old..

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Bianca,

      I’m so sorry your little one is struggling! It’s hard when they can’t tell us what is wrong, the parent guessing game is tricky sometimes. However, you really do know your baby better than anyone and it sounds like you are working hard to be her advocate!

      Take a look at this article just to educate yourself about the formula options out there. I think that sometimes doctors switch to hypoallergenic formulas too soon. Sometimes just switching brands can really help. I like to recommend Gerber Good Start Soothe because it has probiotics in the formula (this helps with gas in the intestines). Each time you switch you need to give the new formula a week before you can know if it will work for your baby. Take a look at this article about how to make the switch.

      Has your doctor considered whether or not your little one might have acid reflux? Notice if she cries more around 20-30 minutes after a feed and if it makes a difference if you keep her upright for 30 minutes after eating. Both of these things can help you (and your doctor) decide if reflux might be part of the feeding issues.

      I hope this helps!

  12. Hpw long do you wait to switch formulas? DS was born 5 weeks early so had to have him on preemie formula. We have the snot-poo, eczema, lots of spit up and congestion. He’s now 4 mos. Finally convinced doctor I needed to switch formula. (She wanted him on preemie formula for 12 mos!). We switched to soy based. Saw a difference in the first couple of days with the spit up but then right back to everything within a few days. I think I need to switch to something else but didn’t know how long I should give this one a try. Also have trouble affording formula bc I’m a full time student and my husband only makes min wage but of course we don’t qualify for any help bc we make too much money so I hate to waste anything I already have. thanks for any suggestions.

    • Firstly, Amy – double check with the doctor that he doesn’t have reflux. Reflux will often peak at 4-5 months AND it’s more common in babies who were born premature. If he does have reflux, then talk to your doctor about using a prethickened formula (like Similac for Spit Up) first (since it’s cheaper) and then a hypoallergenic. But start with the reflux question first. 🙂 Hang in there friend!

  13. Just make sure if your little one has reflux and you put them on an AR formula (the added rice or thickened) that your doctor hasn’t put your baby on any reflux meds. The thickened formulas thicken in the stomach when it comes in contact with the lower pH but relux meds work to reduce the pH of the stomach meaning the formula won’t thicken correctly–not a huge deal, but makes the change in formula counter intuitive and may save some frustration/money. And then as you said, most babies who are allergic to cow’s milk will also have a cross-reaction to soy. Because soy formulas compete with bone mineralizing vitamins and minerals for absorption, it can have detrimental effects on bone health and the whole phytosterols thing could be a concern, so I really think soy formula is not necessary or indicated for any babies. I’ve had a healthy newborn baby boy admitted to the NICU with seizures and very low calcium and high phosphorus on labs–switched him off soy formula and he immediately corrected and improved. Obviously an extreme example, but I like to remind people it’s not a benign formula and certainly isn’t any healthier than any other formula, much less breastmilk, and there are no clear indications for it’s use (maybe galactosemia but they usually end up on something more broken down).

    Lastly—definitely allow for at least 2 weeks after changing formulas to see full effects before attempting to change formulas again. It can take time for GI villi to regenerate and adjust for maximum absorption and too many changes in a short period of time can exacerbate issues or mask symptoms. Thanks for the great post!

  14. Georgette says:

    My baby is 3.5 months old and has had what we believe to be silent reflux for the past 2 months. We’ve been to our pediatrician about every week, and a gi specialist too. Baby was put on Prevacid and thickened formula (which was a nightmare). Just when I thought he was improving, about 4 days ago, the symptons got worse! He screamed and squirmed after every bottle. After yet another visit to the doc, they assured me it was the reflux and he would outgrow it when he began to sit up! After a near nervous breakdown, I ran to the store and bought a bottle of Allimentum. 24 hours later he’s a different baby! He’s not too happy with the flavor, but he’s drinking it and is not in pain! This site has helped me make sone decisions, and I appreciate it very much. My advice to the moms out there… You know your baby best, and do not rest until you feel comfortable with what doc is telling you!

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Georgette,

      Thank you so much for posting this. You did the right thing in trusting your mama instincts. We really do recommend getting a second opinion too if you don’t feel right about the kind of advice your doctor is giving you. So glad your little one is doing better. I wanted to mention to you that probiotics have also been proven to help babies that have acid reflux. Here are some drops that we recommend. When your little one is older (6 months and older), I recommend the Udo’s Choice Infant’s Blend Probiotic. We have been using this with our little one and it has been a help to her.

  15. Hi- my LO is 11 weeks old and we have been struggling with what we think is a combination of colic, silent reflux, and irregular BM since he was born. We’ve been on Alimentum for 6 weeks, pepcid for 2 weeks, and gerber soothe drops for 6 days. Unfortunately our baby still cries most of the day and appears extremely uncomfortable- grunting, red face, and like he’s trying to have a BM. Some days he has one, some days he doesn’t- but they are always soft when it happens. I can’t tell if his discomfort is from trying to have a BM, from his silent reflux, or just gas stuck in his tummy. I feel terrible for him- he’s in constant discomfort. I’ve been to my pedi multiple times and a GI specialist twice. They tell me he will just grow out of it soon. Or they said I can try elecare. I’m not sure if it’s a milk protein allergy and if I should switch to elecare. What do you think we should do?

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Cathy,

      I do think it would be worth while for you to try a different hypoallergenic formula before you switch to a hypo-hypoallergenic formula (for you it would be Nutramigen). If you do the switch and it isn’t helping after one week then you should try a hypo-hypoallergenic formula instead. Sometimes just switching brands can really help. Also, you might try a different brand of probiotic drops too. Here’s one that we recommend.

      I hope this helps your little guy!

  16. My son is using Liptomil HA but we had to travel to india i cant find the HA formula any where ,please help me what can i do

    • Abeer, I’m not very familiar with the Liptomil HA formula, and I’m not sure what formulas they have in India so I’m not going to be much help. 🙁 I would call your pediatrician back home for some secondary options. Or look over the formulas they have, read labels carefully, and try to find something that will treat the same issues.

  17. Hi my 4 month old baby has eczema and most of the 7 signs you listed, the sister at the clinic suggested I give he infasoy but I noticed after every feed she would get red dots on her face and forehead and also behind her ears and she would scratch behind her head aggressively, please help as this is the 3rd time we changed her milk. Was first in nan1 screamed after every feed then lactogen then sister suggested we change her because of the eczema

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Sue,

      I’m sorry your little one is having trouble with eczema! Regarding formula, Have you tried a hypoallergenic formula yet? It sounds like you need to get her off of soy. Here is an article to help you do the switch. Also, ask for a suggestion for a cream to help decrease the inflammation (redness and swelling) that comes after your little one has been scratching. Heather will be publishing a post soon about several reader’s experience with hazelwood as a homemade remedy. You may find that article helpful as well. It should go up sometime this week. Subscribe to Incredible Infant and it will come straight to your e-mail inbox! I hope your little one gets relief soon!

  18. Hello,

    I’m unsure if my baby has an allergy, reflux, or just plan ole fussy from feeding! She is currently 2 months old. I am unable to breastfeed, so have to resort to formula feeding. When she was about 2 weeks, she developed constipation to similac advanced formula, so I switched her to similac sensitive formula…which did not help either. I would tell her pediatrician, which the doctor would state was “normal” for her, which I know wasn’t because we had to always resort to using a q-tip with water-based lubricant to force her to poop hard clay-like poops. I searched online and stumbled upon an article that recommended gerber good start gentle formula, so I decided to give it a try. After about 1-2 days, she was pooping again! I was relieved, even if she only pooped once a day. However, after about 5-6 weeks of age, I noticed something was wrong again. When my baby would feed, she would constantly cry, fuss, and pass gas. I also would notice as I feed her, she would start to squirm around and clutch up…resulting in her crying with the bottle in her mouth. She at times would let out a screeching scream before, during, and after feeding. She also would not finish all her formula in one feeding session. Normally she would drink between 3-4ozs. But when she starts to scream and fuss, she only drinks about 2ozs, stops, then drinks the rest about close to 45 mins later. Her feeding sessions went from 15 mins to now almost an hour long. Every time I try to burp her and take the bottle out her mouth between feeding, she will fuss and cry…and sometimes burp/pass gas. Then when I go to sit her back to continue feeding, she will scream and fuss again then clutch her mouth to the bottle in a desperate attempt to feed. Right now, I have resorted to giving her organic cows milk, with trivisol drops on the side as a vitamin supplements, just until I see her doctor soon. So far it’s been about 24 hours, and my baby has pooped twice and I don’t notice her squirming/clutching. However, she still does the crying/fussing, but not as much as before. It has overwhelmed me as a first time mother, because I want her to be happy while feeding. Please I need some kind of advice as to what this can be and what to do.

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Rosa,

      It’s so tough when your baby is struggling with feeding! I would definitely take her in to your pediatrician for possible reflux.

      If you find out that she does, indeed, have reflux here are some things to talk over with your pediatrician:

      #1) Try a a thickened formula or a hypoallergenic formula if the thickened formula isn’t working. They (hypoallergenic formulas) are more expensive, but have been shown to be helpful. Ask your doctor for free samples or coupons.
      #2) Make she’s sleeping on an incline – incline the crib mattress safely: tips on how to do this can be found in this article), or try a Rock N Play (!).
      #3) Talk to your doctor about probiotic drops. Recently studies have shown they can be helpful.
      #4) In cases like this, medication may be your best chance of getting a handle on it. Zantac is usually the first drug prescribed – it makes the bile less acidy. It can be prescribed and used for a long period of time. Prevacid is usually the next thing they prescribe. It actually reduces the amount of acid being produced. Because of this, it can only be prescribed for a short period of time – which is why it’s usually the last resort.

      I hope this helps and your baby is eating better and happy again soon!

      By the way, you can also talk to your doctor about adding a little prune juice to her bottles for the constipation (though the probiotic drops should help that too). Just make sure to get the dosage from your doctor since it’s important to get it right.

  19. My daughter had blood in her stool so I took dairy out of my diet for breastfeeding but she got this really bad rash/eczema too so I’m putting her on the hypo formula because i feel theres somethings bothering her. Should i try the Similac Total Comfort as the hypo one is so expensive? I haven’t seen blood in her stool for 3 months so could she have grown out of it? should i keep breastfeeding? I’m more worried because her body has it all over to so i feel something is bothering her.

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Trish,

      I would definitely take this to your pediatrician. Follow your mama instincts on this one! If you see eczema everywhere then there is something that needs addressing. It might be time to consider seeing an allergist.

  20. Hello
    I have a 7 week old baby since she’s born we’ve had nothing but issue after issue with feeding. At first she would gag, choke sometimes turn blue while eating no matter what kind of bottle or feeding position she was in. Then she would spit up, be really gassy, act like shes pooping from all the grunting and turning red nothing in the diaper. We’ve tried enfamil newborn, infant, gentlease, AR and now similac isomil. All she does is scream never wants to sleep, really gassy, she’s projectile vomit. The Dr put her on zantac to see if she has acid reflux or colic. It took her fussnies away a little. We’ve tried so much formula and hurt our wallets don’t know what else to try. We’re desperate sleep deprived and her pediatrician is no help. Any advice or formula ideas? We’ve also tired gas drops, colic calm and gerber soothe drops none help.
    Thank you.

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Melissa,

      So sorry that these 7 weeks have been such a struggle for you and your little one regarding formula. It’s such a worry when your baby doesn’t seem to be able to find a formula that fits! Good for you for continuing the search. You have quite the list that you have already tried so the first thing I would say is we recommend that you spend a week with a new formula before you decide it isn’t working for your little one. It can be hard to wait it out but it really does take about that long for your little one’s intestines to settle with a change (so long!). Take a look at this article for more information on that.
      It sounds like your doctor was correct to assume acid reflux. I’m glad the zantac is working.

      The other things you can do to help babies with acid reflux are:
      1. Try having her sleep in a Rock N Play if you aren’t already doing this. It can make a huge difference to her sleep if her head is slightly elevated.
      2. Try probiotic drops. These help with gas in the intestines (gas drops only help with gas in the tummy) and have been proven to help babies with reflux
      3. Make sure her head is elevated for 20-30 minutes after each feed. A baby carrier is so helpful for this. Plus it will give her some extra snuggle time with mom or dad. Take a look at this article if you are interested in learning more about the different kinds of carriers.
      You mentioned Gerber Soothe drops, have your tried Gerber Good Start Soothe formula? If not, you might want to give that a try. If she is on a hypoallergenic and it’s not working, go ahead and make the switch to Soothe. Just make sure to do it gently (as explained in the earlier linked article). Some people have commented that Soothe can be a bit constipating If that is the case for your little one I recommend you add a little prune juice to her bottle. It’s important to get the dose right so run that past your doctor for the correct dosage.
      I also noticed that you do not feel like your pediatrician has been much help in all of this. I would encourage you to consider getting a second opinion. You need to feel heard and helped, especially when your little one is so young.

      Hope this makes a difference for you!

  21. Mellisa,

    I have a 5 month old that has been on Prevacid since 4 weeks old, he is very colicky and seems uncomfortable. He wakes up screaming from naps and I pick him up and he throws up all his food, he might have one day he keeps some down but most of the time he throws up most of what he eats. He has normal poos but has a rash on his face around eyes and nose. I did breastfeed for the first 3 months but I could keep up as he threw up all that milk too, he is just on formula now I have tried gentle formula, lactolse free and thickened with no improvement, please help exhausted mom!

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Leanne,

      So sorry your little one is having such tummy troubles. I’m sure you are exhausted! Good for your for continuing the search to help him find something that works!

      Let me list out what we say to mamas that have babies with acid reflux. You probably know all of this but it’s better to just make sure!

      #1) Try a hypoallergenic formula if the thickened formulas aren’t helping. They are more expensive, but have been shown to be helpful. Ask your doctor for free samples or coupons. Also, this article talks about how to save money on formula!

      #2) Make sure he’s sleeping on an incline – use the tips in this article to incline the crib mattress safely

      #3) Keep him upright for 20-30 minutes after each feed- a baby carrier is great for this. Take a look at this article for more information on the types of carriers.

      #4) Talk to your doctor about probiotic drops. Recently studies have shown they can help babies with reflux.

      #5) Medication may be your best chance of getting a handle on the reflux. Zantac is usually the first drug prescribed – it makes the bile less acidy. It can be prescribed and used for a long period of time. Prevacid is usually the next thing they prescribe. It actually reduces the amount of acid being produced. Because of this, it can only be prescribed for a short period of time – which is why it’s usually the last resort (wanted to make sure that you knew this).

      I hope that something on this list will help as you talk things through with your doctor. Let us know if we can help from here. Keep strong, mama! Your baby is so blessed to have you!

  22. Sorry I put the wrong name I mean Danielle!

  23. Allison McMurtry says:

    My son had blood in his bm starting at 2 wks and 2 days old. I’m mostly breastfeeding, but had to supplement 2-4 ounces per day and was using Similac supplementation. I now have him on Similac alimentum and have not seen any blood for a couple of days (he’s 3 weeks old today). Just wondering if out of the three hypoallergenic formulas: Similac alimentum, Enfamil nutramigen, and gerber extensive ha….do any of these smell or taste better than the others? My son makes faces at the alimentum and seems not to like it.

    • Allison, firstly I would have the doctor look at the stool sample – to make sure there’s nothing else going on. After all, why toss out all that extra money for a hypoallergenic if you don’t need to! As for the taste – I would perhaps switch to another brand for a few weeks and then gauge how he’s eating. Unfortunately, some babies have more discriminating tastes than others. You won’t know until you start testing. 🙂

  24. Sulann DSouza says:

    Hello there.. so i’m pretty much addicted to your blog but now I’m hit with an overload of information :\. I wonder if you could help me out.. My son who is now 3.5 months old was born premature at 34 weeks and 5 days. He was in the NICU for a week and was already being bottle fed (my breast milk). On his return home, it was impossible to get him to latch on because he was so tiny and would tire very easily. I would give him expressed milk but after the first month my supply decreased as well. I alternated breast milk and formula till he turned 3 months old. When he finally decided to latch on I was only getting a few drops of milk and had to resume work which makes me so frustrated. So from his second month we introduced him to formula and because he was premature and was already spitting up breast milk a lot the doc recommended Similac total comfort.. This didn’t work for him because he got severely constipated. The doc then moved us to Aptamil Comfort which worked out pretty well except the spitting up was back and the doc then diagnosed him with Acid Reflux. We were then asked to move to Aptamil Anti Regurgitation. This worked out well for a while except now he’s got Eczema, stuffy nose (only at night), inconsistent poop (sometimes hard and sometimes snot-poo). We even introduced a small amount of water to his diet because we live in the desert (UAE – Dubai), lack of breast milk and because of his constipation. He even has a small red ring around his anus. I initially thought it was from the straining to poop but now after reading your blog on milk allergy, I think it fits most of his symptoms. The worst part is we realized that his nanny (trust me I’m racked with immense guilt because I cannot be there at home with him) was not mixing the right amount of formula and water. Now my question is do we stick to the current formula for a little while longer while closely monitoring how his formula is being mixed? Should we move to a hypoallergenic formula? Or should we go back to Aptamil Comfort and add Gaviscon infant to it to manage the Acid Refulx? Please let me know your thoughts. To be honest I have given up on professional medical help.

    • Sulann, the biggest enemy to every mom is Guilt. 🙂 You are not in a lower class of parents because you don’t stay at home with your baby – or because you are using formula. Remind yourself everyday, as you are cuddling and caring for him – you truly are the best mother for him. Kill that “immense guilt” dead, you are good mother NOW. 🙂

      Okay, now I’m off my soapbox on how awesome you are, let me deal with the question at hand: The red ring around the anus is something that usually isn’t linked to anything else, so I would be asking a lot of questions to your doctors about a possible allergy. I can totally understand the feeling of giving up with the professional doctors, but I would encourage you to continue to persevere. Your baby needs a physical examination and some testing. If you’ve not felt supported, it may be time to shake things up and see if you can find a different doctor. (Chelsea’s article on this may help – find it here.)

      I wrote an article a few weeks ago on constipation relief you may also find helpful. I doubt the ring around his anus has anything to do with how the formula is being mixed, so I would go ahead and start moving to a hypoallergenic and monitor how things go. If you do that, be sure to make the switch slowly (here’s how) to avoid extra tummy troubles. (No long term damage if you didn’t move slowly, it just can cause some babies to get really fussy.) Another thing to consider is picking up some baby probiotics – they can help with constipation AND with reflux.

      I hope this can help Sulann! Whatever you decide, the fact you are seeking knowledge and not just closing-your-eyes-and-pointing, means that you’re headed in the the right direction! xo

  25. Heather,

    Your site has been a wealth of information, and has been so helpful! My son is 8 weeks old. We’ve been on the formula merry go round. I was nursing for a few days! Then we had a hospital stay with a bout of jaundice. In the hospital, they supplemented with Enfamil Newborn. He seemed to do okay on that, so when my milk supply got low, I supplemented with it. I noticed that he was wheezing, had a ring around his anus, and had mucus in his stool. I knew right away it was a milk allergy. Knowing that my first 2 kids had milk allergies as well, I switched to Allimentum (thinking he would do well since my first child did well on it) I was dead wrong. He cried, screamed, fussed in so pain. Gas drops, gripe water, tummy calm didn’t help. Once the gas passed I knew I was not feeding him alimentum, so I went back feeding him breast milk that I had frozen. We took a visit to the pediatrician, she put him on Enfamil prosobee. He was drinking that for a few weeks. He still had gas, red ring around his anus and developed rashes on his face. We went to the pedestrian for his 1 month check up, I told her he’s still gassy on the soy, so she prescribed Zantac. It’s been 2 weeks on it and it didn’t help with the gas and fussing, so I slowly switched to Gerber Smooth. On the Smooth, he got constipated. Grunting, kicking his legs and everything else. So, I called the pediatrician, she put him on Enfamil Nutramigen. It’s been 2 days, he’s not fully switched over to Nutramigen, last night was a nightmare. He fussed cried kicked screamed from the gas pains he was having. It was so bad he broke out in sweats. I seriously thought he had finished running a marathon, that’s how wet he was from sweating. He is still gassy and in pain. Right now I’m in comfort mode, just trying to help him pass the gas.
    Sorry for the long winded story. Can you please give any insight on what formula we should switch to? His rashes on his face cleared up since switching to the Gerber Smooth. Thank you so much.

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Sammy,

      So sorry you and your little one have had such a run around! It sounds like you might want to go back to the Soothe but add a little prune juice in his bottles. Talk to your pediatrician first to see if she’s ok with that. Take a look at this article for dosage (for the prune juice) and other ideas to help with constipation! Make sure you do the switch slowly and gently. This article can help you with that. Hope this does the trick for your little guy!

  26. Hello – found this article very interesting.

    Our little fella (now 9-months old) has been exclusively breastfed. Early on we did have some real issues with acid reflux and eczema but they eventually eased off (we think this was because we learned to properly burp/care for him post feed – he is our first – and also my wife changed her diet to reduce the amount of dairy as the pediatrician indicated that this could be one of the causes).

    Anyway, my wife has had big issues with mastitis (one incident of which, combined with a urinary infection, resulted in her being hospitalised and put on a drip temporarily). She really wants to stop breastfeeding the little fella as the recurring mastitis is very hard for her to deal with. However ,as we have tried to wean him off breastmilk we have found that he seems allergic to a lot of other foods including carrot, banana, avocado, milk/dairy products, eggs and  more.

    Some of the reactions are different than others. For example on the two occasions we tried mashed fresh bananas he has thrown up the entirety of the contents of his stomach for 5/6 hours afterward (we only tried the second time as we hadn’t realised it was the bananas that caused the first incident).

    Scrambled eggs caused his eczema to break out and where they touched his skin he developed hives.

    Luckily most symptoms clear up quite quickly, but this had made feeding times a complete lottery.

    We approached our pediatrician about this who suggested we try a hypoallergenic milk – but the little fella would not swallow a drop. It didn’t cause any negative reaction as far as we could see externally – he just didn’t seem to like the taste at all. Has anyone else encountered this and have any suggestions for dealing with it?

    We have also bought a soy formula – but haven’t tried this as yet.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Nellie,

      The first thing I would recommend (to make meal times less stressful/dangerous) is talk to your pediatrician about the possibility of allergy testing. They can do a blood test for the major ones but might need to do a prick test to be more thorough. It’s not fun, but a very good thing if it helps you keep your little one safe.

      Wondering if you mean hypoallergenic formula when you say milk (not sure where on the map you call home). I do hope this article has given you more ideas. After your little one turns 1 then you have more options in addition to the formula. We switched our little one to almond milk (good to have the allergy test so you know whether you have to avoid tree nuts). If you decide to use an alternate milk then I recommend you talk to a nutritionist and come up with a strategy on how your little guy will get the calcium he needs.

      Hope this helps a bit. Perhaps other parents will chime in too!

  27. We have tried sooooo many formulas in the 9 weeks since my little boy was born. We tried BF but that was a fail. Tried pumping with supplementing (another fail).
    So little man was on regular similac but had terrible gas so we switched to Similac for gas and fussiness. That didn’t work. Eventually he developed reflux and we went to the Similac for spit up but reflux turned out to be pyloric stenosis.
    After his surgery at 1 month old, we went back to regular similac but he started showing signs of colick so we switched to Gerber Soothe. He’s been on that for the past 2 weeks and it has not helped, he also got very constipated on it. The pediatrician today recommended Similac Almentum.
    He’s also on Zantac as his reflux is still a problem. His doctor said if the Almentum doesn’t help then we are to switch back to regular similac and try a different reflux medication to see if that helps his fussiness as he also shows signs of silent reflux.
    I’m so glad I found this site, it’s been a wealth of information! I had no idea there were so many types of formula as my daughter was premature and did fantastic on Neosure.
    I’m crossing my fingers that the Similac Almentum works!!

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Jada,

      Wow, you have really been around the mulberry bush! 🙂 Good job, sticking it out, mama! It’s not easy. So glad the site has been a help to you!
      If you haven’t already read this article then take a look. It’s about how to do the switch from formula to formula (especially across the difference formula families). Also, this one about constipation might be helpful right about now!

  28. Hi my daughter has been on Similac Alimentum for at least 2 months she is four and a half months old now and she has the whole time had diarrhea and congestion I’m not sure really what I should do every time she has a bowel movement it’s runny dark green and she ends up with a bright red painful bottom could it be the formula she’s not eating anything else yet

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Jackie,

      I think you are on the right track. Talk to your doctor about switching to a different formula. I don’t know the whole story of why she’s on a hypoallergenic to began with,(I’m sure your doctor does) but if it’s necessary to stay with hypoallergenics then talk to your doctor about switching to another brand. Also, it might be time to consider a hyper-hypoallergenic.

  29. My baby broke with severe bloody mucousy stool at 3 months was switched to nutrimegin from sensitive and soy. She was doing great on that for a month and now has broke with diarrhea again ,no blood, the doc put her on a cholesterol powder but its still loose when i dont give the powder. The diarrhea has mucous in it. She is back to being stuffy in the nose but the rash on her face hasnt returned and again no blood tested in the stool. I wonder if i should try switching to the gerber ha or the alimentum. Her stool needs to firm up cause its upsetting her diaper rash something aweful. And she vomited three times today. No fever, happy baby, no stomach pain or cramping.

    • Rachel, considering there are other factors here (the cholesterol powder, etc.) I wouldn’t change the formula without talking to the doctor first. Bring in a stool sample for testing, and then have him give her a physical exam, to make sure it’s not something else (like Rotavirus).

  30. Krystal says:

    Hi, need some advice my little one is almost 4 weeks and since the very beginning we have struggled with formulas… I tried breastfeeding and was not successful my baby probably got about 2 days worth of colostrum while we were in the hospital. Then decided to give formula so we started her on similac sensitive, bc she’s on wic, wic recommended that we try her on similac advance before they would allow the sensitive. So we started her on the advance and about a week into using it she was gassy, fussy, and started having bloody stools, so I took her in to see her pedi doctor and they recommended putting her on good start soy. She was on it for about 4 days and started having some of the same symptoms gas, fussy, but no blood and bc of tons of research and personal preference I wanted to see if she could try another type of milk based formula before soy, only wanting to use soy as a last resort. So I took her for a second opinion and they recommended we try Nutramigen, well we started her on it and she did fine but a week into it she’s become very constipated and struggles to have a bowel… I am totally out of ideas on what formulas to give her… any suggestions would be very appreciated.

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Krystal,

      Absolutely, but first of all, good for you for being persistent. It’s hard to see your little one struggling!

      I agree with your reluctance to put your little one on soy. Often babies that struggle with a dairy sensitivity struggle with soy as well. I would recommend going back and trying Good Start Soothe since it is so very gentle. However, I also recommend you add some probiotics to help your little girl’s digestive system find better balance. Also, take a look at this article about how to make the switch. This article about constipation might come in handy too!

  31. My LO has had blood blood in her stool since 2 weeks old. We first used gentle ease, but the blood showed up again 6 weeks later. We then switched too nutramigen and 2 weeks after that we had blood in her stool again. My LO has no other symptoms but the blood. She is not a fussy baby at all but all the formula switching is becoming difficult . Now the doctor wants us to go on Neocate but we can’t afford it. Are there any other options? The blood is at random . Has anyone tried gerber extensive HA?

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Paige,

      It’s so concerning when you find blood in your baby’s stool, isn’t it!
      A couple of things that might help: First take a look at this article about how to save money on formula.
      Second, if you do switch to Neocate try to do the switch gently (maybe you have already been following this pattern).
      Just an FYI, we just did a newsletter on the organic brand Holle. It might not be what you are looking for for your little one but I think you should at least know that it’s out there.

  32. Camille Williams says:

    I am so glad I found this forum!!! My daughter is almost 5 months old. I had to start supplementing because I had production issues. After I fought the guilt of giving formula (silly, I know), I settled on giving her Holle stage 1. After 5 days of what appeared to be success, she had a bottle and 10 minutes later her face turned bright red with screaming and scratching at her ears. She also had small hives on her cheeks and chin. The symptoms subsided an hour later and all was well. I switched to Hipp HA and she was doing better, but after 7 days she’s scratching at her ears again and fussing a little after a bottle. It’s nowhere near as severe as with the Holle. Should I switch to Alimentum at this point or try a different sensitive formula??? She also has some mild eczema patches on her legs and face, but nothing too alarming.

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Camille

      You should run this by your doctor first but it is probably ok for you to try a sensitive formula before you switch to a hypoallergenic. When you do the switch I recommend trying to do it as laid out in this article (even though you will be going from dairy to dairy it might be worth it). You should also consider putting her on probiotic drops to help her digestive system find balance.

  33. My baby is 2 years old and recently he began to have symptoms of allergy to sea foods. our family live in beach, so we used to eat sea food everyday.

    what should we do?

    • Danielle Miller says:

      This sounds like a good question to take to your pediatrician, perhaps he will suggest a dietician or at least some resources to help you make the change (you might want to have a blood test done first to confirm the allergy to sea foods).

  34. I had to begin supplementing with Alimentum formula with my son at around 10 weeks.  He took that for a couple months, but I noticed that it made him really itchy– constantly itching his eyes and nose.  The doctor didn’t really give my concerns much weight, but I followed my instinct and switched him to the Similac Sensitive (I think that is what it is called), where the proteins are just partially broken down.  He has been doing great with that for about 3 months.  We are now starting to introduce solids.  I really hate having to make a special run to another store to pick up this specific formula.  My question is– do you think at 6 months old it would be OK to switch him to a regular cow’s milk formula??  When do those allergies/sensitivities typically go away in an infant?

    • Jenny Blake says:

      Hi Christy!

      Thanks so much for commenting with your concerns. I totally get the not wanting to run a special errand to the store just to get formula. Have you thought about having it delivered to your house? If you join Amazon Family, you can get Similac Sensitive shipped for free in 2 days. Here’s the link to do that. http://amzn.to/28SGMoS I do this with other household items, and it is amazingly helpful!

      Since we aren’t medical professionals here at Incredible Infant, just moms helping other moms, I can’t give you any real advice on the switching to cow’s milk at 6 months. However, you do seem wary of your current physician, so you might find these to articles helpful in finding the perfect pediatrician for you and your family written by Chelsea. http://incredibleinfant.com/health/birth-provider-part-1/ and http://incredibleinfant.com/prenatal/perfect-birth-provider-part-2/.

      Thanks so much and hope this helps!

  35. Heather says:

    Something to note is a baby with a milk protien allergy will eventually show signs of that allergy using hypoallergenic formulas because all of them are still MILK based. It will just take longer for the allergens to build up in the baby’s system again.

    Try switching to a non-milk based formula.

    • I believe that’s why the have the hyper-hypoallergenic formulas like Neocate or PureAmino. Those formulas go beyond milk and are just the amino acids of the protein. If your baby is still having struggles with the regular hypoallergenics (like Nutramigen) it would be good to talk to your doctor about the hyper-hypoallergenic formulas like Neocate.

      Unfortunately, many babies who are allergic to milk will also be allergic to soy, so these hyper-hypoallergenic formulas will be your best bet. Thanks for adding this comment, Heather! It brings up a an important misconception!

  36. My little girl is 7 weeks old. I was pumping my breastmilk for her for the first 5 weeks however she had very bad reflux and was extremely fussy so we switched her over to all the different formulas and on each one she old projectile vomit she did the same on the breastmilk.
    We have her on the alimentium hypoallergenic formula and she’s been on it for the 2 weeks. Well she is still fussy and seems to be constipated and is always sneezing and has a runny nose. The doctor told us we can try putting her back on breastmilk if we 2anted to however I’m unsure. I don’t want to keep switching my poor child on a bunch of different things and having her need to get use to them. I don’t want to switch her back to breastmilk and then have to have her back on formula. I can’t cut dairy out of my diet and that’s what we belive is the issue although doctors won’t run tests. On top of that my supply has gone down drastically and I’ve had 4 rounds of antibiotics for mastitis now.
    I’m not sure what to do.
    Any suggestions?

    • Jenny Blake says:

      It sounds like you really have had a tough time, Chelsea. I applaud you for diligently problem solving for your sweet little girl.
      First of all, I’d like to reiterate that we, here at Incredible Infant are not doctors and so with any kind of medical issue, we urge you to do whatever your pediatrician is encouraging you to do. However, I do have a couple of suggestions that you could take back to your doctor and discuss.

      #1. Continue to try a hypoallergenic formula if the thickened formulas aren’t helping. They are more expensive, but have been shown to be helpful. The runny nose and sneezing may just be a passing cold and have nothing to do with the formula. Sometimes doctors have free samples or coupons. If you stay within the same formula base, switching shouldn’t be an issue. Here is an article that could help.

      #2. Make sure she’s sleeping on an incline – use the tips in this article to incline the crib mattress safely, or put her in a swing or Rock N Play to sleep.

      #3. Keep her up right for 20-30 min after each feed – a baby carrier is great for this. Take a look at this article for more information on the types of carriers.

      #4. Also, talk to your doctor about using probiotic drops”. Recently studies have shown they can help with reflux.

      #5. Medication may be your best chance of getting a handle on the reflux (perhaps your little girl is already on medication). Zantac is usually the first drug prescribed – it makes the bile less acidy. It can be prescribed and used for a long period of time. Prevacid is usually the next thing they prescribe. It actually reduces the amount of acid being produced. Because of this, it can only be prescribed for a short period of time – which is why it is usually the last resort.

      I hope this can encourage you! You are doing great. Being a parent of a refluxing baby is not easy at all. She’s a blessed baby to have such a long-suffering and caring mama. Hang in there, friend. Xo

  37. Hi,my son has diarrhoea from birth.He was admitted in ICU for severe dehydration and acidosis when he was 40 days old.Then doctor said to try Isomil and stop bf with which his diarrhoea became worse(27 in a day).Then we tried Neocaye for threr weeks and again he was dehydrated with no differnce in motions.Then we tried Galactomin 19,Kabrita gold,Blemil Plus HR1 (all these formulas are started after keeping him Nothing Oral for 24 hrs and then giving the formulas 10 ml complimenting it with pedialyte to make up 60 ml every 3hrs).All his reports are normal.Please please help…we have tried almost everything

    • Shazia, As much as I’d love to trot out the perfect answer here, I know that I really can’t. I’m just not a trained pediatrician. The best advice I can give you is to tseek a second opinion with a new doctor, or keep going back and “harassing” this doctor until he orders more tests and you start to get more answers. Could you refer you to a pediatric gastroenterologist? An expert on baby digestion may be able to give you some stronger clues. I really wish I could offer more, but I simply don’t have the education. Sorry, friend. You are being an AMAZING parent though – keep searching for those answers and being the advocate he needs you to be!

  38. I have a protein – sensitive son. He spent 2 days in the NICU and they were feeding him a ready-feed formula. When we went home, we switched to powder and he reacted very badly. I’d encourage folks to try the ready feed versions before feeling that they have to be tied down to hypoallergenic formulas. Babies can react to the chemicals in the powder forms. We had to go hypoallergenic anyway because he developed the protein allergy around week 3, but we still insist on ready-feed. It makes a huge difference. Also, if your LO is reacting very badly like ours was (3 kinds of rashes, black and green bloody stool, wheezing, etc…) I would recommend switching to Neocate IMMEDIATELY, especially if you don’t quite know what he’s reacting to. Don’t wait to get in with a doctor – allergies can be life threatening. Stay on Neocate until you can get in with your doctor and discuss options. Skip soy altogether of the is a severe reaction to dairy. Try goats milk, Alimentum, or Nutigemen. Do an elimination diet if you are breastfeeding or pumping. My son hated Neocate at first, even at 3 weeks old. However in a few days he acquired a taste for it and now loves it just as much as anything else, there is no ready-feed for Neocate. We ultimately settled on ready-feed Alimentum. 😀

  39. Hi! Please help me. My 3.5 month old daughter is on nutramigen now for 15 days. We switched her Bc she has many symptoms of milk-protein allergy. She was always spitting up and had very runny poops. so originally we switched her from similac advance to gentlease. After several weeks I noticed her symptoms didn’t improve and got worse… we found mucous in her stool and she developed eczema on her cheeks. Finally we did a stool sample and found blood. So doctor suggested nutramigen. Her eczema is better, and her diarreah seems to be under control. Her poop is different every time. I still see mucous in her stool and another stool sample 10 days into nutramigen she still had blood. And she is still spittting up constantly. (We hold her upright and elevate her mattress). But the biggest issue I have is her CONGESTION. It started the day before we switched her to nutramigen and o thought it was a Cold because it came out of nowhere. But it’s not. It’s clear for the most part and it’s constant. 24/7. She sounds horrible. It’s her chest and nose. what do I do?
    Does she need neocate or elecare? Should I take her to an allergist???

    • Jenny Blake says:

      Hello, Tina!

      I would take her back to the pediatrician and if he/she refers you to an allergist, I would go from there. Colds are common, even little runny nose ones. It may be unrelated to the formula, but if you are concerned, you should take her back to the pediatrician to have her looked over.

  40. My lil guy is 8 months old, he has had extreme gas issues at night but happy as ever during the day. I was breast feeding all way until 6 months and decided to cut it out bc I thought I was causing it, since then we have tried gentlease, gerber soothe, and nutramigen and nothing helped even adding gas drops gripe water colic calm u name it we were desperate. Finally we switched to neocate and it seemed to help. But he doesn’t have any severe allergies and supposedly no known milk allergies I hope it’s safe to use for him

  41. Dorothy zizxo says:

    Hi, just fell upon your blog and have a few questions. I babysit my 5 month baby old granddaughter 5 days a week. She was switched to nutramigen about a week and half ago for eczema. Her skin has cleared somewhat, but not the enough for her to not still be uncomfortable. Would you be able to give an approximate amount of time before, if at all, that more of a change in her skin is noticed. We are seeing a dermatologist in a week. Thank you Dorothy zizzo

    • Jenny Blake says:

      Honestly, Dorothy, every infant is different as far as how fast or slow they respond to changing formulas. You have done the correct thing by taking her to the dermatologist. Well, done! She’s lucky to have such a loving/concerned grandma.

  42. My little guy who is 7 weeks old is having a tough time. He has very painful gas and hardly sleeps because every time he passes gas he wakes up screaming/crying. Also by the time I get him to sleep he is hungry again because it has been 3 hours. And we start the whole process again. I could not breastfeed so he went straight to formula. He has been on Enfamil A+, then went to Enfamil Gentlease which the gas got a little bit better but when he passed gas he smelled aweful (like something died) then went to the Costco brand Kirkland for babies sensitive to lactose. His gas was the same as the Gentlease but now when he passed gas it did not smell aweful. Doctor suggested Simalac soy, unfortunately did not see your article about switching formulas, and switched him without taking it slow. He has been on it for 24 hours. Now he is in more pain and his gas is worse. Is it because I switched to fast? Should I leave him on this for a week then switch? Can I change him to something else fast or wait then do it slow? I’m lost as to what to do. He needs sleep, I need sleep. He does not like the swing, floor, bouncy chair he just wants to be held 24/7 in an upright position. Because once he is on his back he starts to scream and toot. I have given gripe and the oval drops before a feeding and after. Seems to help a little bit. I just want a happy baby. What do you recommend? The hypoallergenic formula or a different sensitive one, keeping him on the soy? Thank you so much!

    • Helen, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had such a hard time! Firstly, have you talked to your doctor about this? I would make sure he’s aware that your little one is having tummy trouble. He may want a stool sample – so be sure to ask about that and set one of those nasty diapers aside just in case.

      Have you considered probiotics? That could also help with the gassiness. This article talks about how probiotics help gassy babies. You may find it useful.

      Are you swaddling him at all? That can help soothe babies as well. The Zen Swaddle has a little weight on the front that helps babies feel like they are being held, even when they aren’t. (Giving you a little break). I talk about that swaddle in this article, another possible help to consider.

      In regards to the formula – If it’s been a while and he’s doing fine on the soy, go ahead and leave him there. If you’re still struggling, I would perhaps try a very-low lactose formula like Good Start Soothe. That would be a good “test” before bringing to your doctor and seeing if you should move to Nutramigen or Alimentium. I hope this can help, Helen. You are being a WONDERFUL mother to this sick little baby boy. Well done. (hugs)

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