The Mobster’s Guide to Switching Baby Formula

The Mobster's Guide to Switching Baby Formula - the secret to keep the tummy hap There is a lot of confusion about the ins and outs of switching baby formula.

Sometimes, it really matters.  (As in, you’ll be up at 3am with a screaming baby, matters.)

Sometimes, it really doesn’t.  (As in, you’re stressing over nothing.)

Actually, it’s really easy to figure out when you need to be careful, and when you don’t.

All you have to do is think of them like little mobsters.

Determine the Formula Mob Family

A Formula Family is a group of formulas that are designed for a specific purpose or made with specific ingredients.

The first step to ensure your switching will go down like a boss is to determine the type of formula you’re using, and the type of formula you want to switch to.

If they are in the same family, you’re fine.  Switch away.

If they’re not…you’ve got a bit of work to do.

The Dairy-Based Formula Mob Family

This formula family has the most members.

If your baby doesn’t have any health issues and is drinking formula, he’s most likely drinking a formula that is built around the cow’s milk dairy proteins.

So if you’re using Good Start and want to try switching to a baby formula like Similac, go for it.  Watch your baby carefully for signs of fussiness the first day, but generally the transition is pretty easy.

That doesn’t account, however, for taste.  Although Good Start was generally my favorite formula for Lauren, Elena could never stand the taste.  Buy a small case or get a sample first to see if your baby likes it.

You can see the specific dairy-based formulas here.

The Soy-Based Formula Mob Family

If your formula container says “soy” on it, you shouldn’t switch to another non-soy formula without going through the steps I’ve outlined below.

I’ve listed the major brands of soy formula in my article Should You Switch to a Soy Formula?

The Low-Lactose Formula Mob Family

The formulas in this family are all partially broken down, and are usually sold under the names “Sensitive” or “Gentle”.

They are most commonly given to babies who are showing formula allergy symptoms.

The Hypoallergenic Formula Mob Family

These are the top-tier expensive formulas that are generally given to babies with severe allergies and colic.

They are completely lactose- free, and the proteins are so small that your baby only has to absorb them.  There is almost no digesting at all.

They are made so that ALL the proteins are already broke

Introduce the Families Slowly

The worst thing you can do for your baby’s tummy is to switch abruptly between the mobster formula families.

They don’t take kindly to having other families take over their territory, and tummy rebellion is common.

To avoid these feuds, set up a schedule for switching baby formula on a gradual basis.

  1. Start by mixing one part of the new formula with three parts of the old.  For example, if your baby drinks a 4 oz bottle, 1 oz would be Neocate (hypoallergenic) and 3 oz would be Enfamil premium.
  2. Stick with that mixture (1:3) for a day.  If your baby seems like the transition is going well, up the mixture to 2:2 for another day.
  3. On the third day, switch entirely to the new formula.

Watch Your Baby’s Reactions Closely

The best sign that you’re baby is switching baby formula effectively, is to watch your baby like a hawk in the first 24 hours.

Specifically, watch for these things:

  • excessive gas (as in: more gas than normal)
  • constipation (poop is thicker than peanut butter)
  • diarrhea (watery, drippy poops)
  • blood in the stool or in vomit (which would cause a good parent to call the doctor)
  • hives or a rash (signs of an allergy)
  • other signs of illness (limpness, clammy skin, etc.

Any of these signs are indicators that you need to try a different brand.

These are just a few of the cues your baby gives about how he’s feeling.  Here are the other baby cues that are helpful to learn.

Getting The Mob to Get Along

Switching baby formula is really a lot easier than you may think.  Just keep these things in mind:

  • If you’re going to switch to a formula that has a different function and main ingredient than what you’re currently using, introduce the new one a little a time.
  • Watch your baby closely during the transition to make sure no allergies are popping up.
  • Talk to your doctor if you think a specialty formula (low-iron, hypoallergenic, lactose-free, etc.) may be required.

If your baby seems really fussy on his current formula, by all means try switching baby formula.

Give that a week or two to see how it’s affecting him, and then, if you need to, switch again.  I mean it!  Don’t switch to more than one formula in a single week!  His little body needs at LEAST a full week to try out the formula before you can know for certain.  Switching too many times, too fast can really mess a baby up.

Be. Patient. 

And then keep trying (in weekly increments!) until you find the formula that is the best baby formula for your baby.

The more you try, the more you’ll know don’t work, and the closer you’ll be to the one formula that fits your baby.

How did your baby respond to switching baby formula? 

Was it an easy transition for you? Or did it take weeks of trial-and-error?

Comments

  1. So, i just switched my baby’s formula from i guess the “regular stuff” to designed for gassy/colicky babies. She’s not AS gassy, and she poops more often than she used to, but good lord, she cries ALL THE TIME! If she’s awake, she’s crying. We’ve tried gripe water, which is supposed to help with colic, we’ve given gas drops, i swaddle the crap out of her, I’ve tried everything. Do you think maybe we should look into a soy based formula? Could excessive crying be a sign her formula isn’t working out?

    • I don’t think it would hurt to try switching for a while and see if that helps. Does she seem MORE fussy after feeding? or does she act like she doesn’t want to eat? If so, you could have a silent reflux issue on your hands. Otherwise, I would go ahead and give soy a try. Earplugs helped my husband and I a LOT with our EM. Takes the edge off the constant screaming. :-)

      • I have a question . My daughter is 8 months old and I’m giving her Infant Enfamil wich is through 12 months but I got 3 cans that I got for free qnd they are Enfamil Newborn through 3 months . Will this cause something wrong or anything ?

        • Cielo, newborn formula is especially designed for that age range. I’m sure it isn’t recommended, because of the age emphasis, but you’ll need to talk that over with your pediatrician. It’s not something I’m qualified to give advice on. :-)

  2. *to FORMULA* designed for gassy/colicky babies .

  3. My 5 week old has been on enfamil gentlease since 2 weeks old. No reason just what the pediatrician gave us. We found out Friday he has acid reflux. Spitting up at every feeding. Zantac since then. Today is Monday still spitting up so he switched him to enfamil AR. No instructions. But his poop has gotten a little thicker already. I just switched didn’t “go slow”. I assume they are in the same “formula family”. But idk. Am I doing it right?

    • Mary, I would say they are close cousins, so you are probably fine. Both are Enfamil brands, which mean that the underlying formula is the same, with little tweaks for different issues. (Switching from a Good Start to AR may have caused tummy trouble…it depends on the baby, but it’s always better to be cautious)

      AR is very good in helping babies with reflux, but if he doesn’t seem to improve much you may want to look at these other acid reflux formulas as back ups.. Switching from AR to one of those can also be done quickly, since they are in the same formula family. Hope this helps!

      Heather :-)

      • My 4 week old was switched to nutramigen yesterday due to the fact the she was very fussy and gassy currently on gentlease. The dr told me to switch right over and she has been throwing up and spitting up worse than ever. She also has acid reflux and is on Zantac but that seems to be worse too because she is spitting up and getting chocked on the acid in her stomach. I feel like the switch was a little much because I am not sure she even has a milk allergy and the nutramigen seems a little extreme. Should I try something else to help with the fussiness and gas that will cause her to have more than one bowel movement a day? I am so desperate for some help! My dr told me to try one ounce of the nutramigen per hour until I build up volume, but that sounds crazy to me too. What should I do? My gut is telling me to try good start or something similar.

        • Carrie, I would go with your gut for a few days and see what happens. It can’t be any worse than it is right now? Usually with acid reflux, I would recommend starting with one of these pre-thickened formulas. If that doesn’t help, go with Good Start Soothe, and then transition slowly back over to Nutramigen and see what happens. If he gets constipated, add a teaspoon of prune juice a few times a day. I would also weigh him every day (or at least every other day) to make sure he’s gaining weight.

          • Ok, so I ended up going back to the gentlease and adding rice cereal, but I truly believe she is lactose intolerant. The spitting up is gone (which is great) but she has diarrhea every time she eats and her bottom is paying the price! My doctor’s office truly will not help me make a decision. Is soy my only option? I have been reading about soy so naturally I am scared to death of it now! Could she just need a lactose free formula? Should I give soy a try? This is just so frustrating and I want her belly to feel better so much! Thanks!!

          • Sounds your instincts may be right about the lactose issue, Carrie. You have two choices, as I see it. #1) Pick a soy formula. Which may or may not help, lactose intolerant babies can still react to soy. Still, it may be worth trying, since it’s cheaper than the alternative. #2) Pick an amino-acid hypoallergenic formula. I share those in this article discussing colic formulas. Elecare or Neocate would be examples.

            I know you’re frustrated, but there is a silver lining to all this. :-) Instead of having 54 different things to try…we’ve narrowed it down to two. And I’m confident one of these is going to work. Keep in mind that you may have to hand-thicken these to counteract the spitting up with a sprinkling of rice cereal. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, Carrie. Hang in there!

  4. My 4 month old has been showing signs of a milk allergy, blood in her stool. We have been using Gerber Good Start since birth, supplementing breast milk. Our Dr recommended switching to Similac’s hypoallergenic formula. We tried the new formula tonight, prior to reading your info, and switched directly to the Similac. She was not having any parts of it! We had to toss the bottle and just give her the Gerber. Is it common for babies to totally reject the new formula if not eased into it? I’m nervous that if I try the 3:1 then 2:2 ratio, she will still reject it.

    • It is common Chelsea, so don’t worry. :-) My 2nd preferred the taste of some formulas over the taste of others. (Funny that they have such preferences so early on!). This is especially common with hypoallergenic formulas, since those have a very different taste than regular formulas. Perhaps do the 1:3 ratio for a week, then the 2:2 for a week, etc. If she STILL is rejecting it after this slooooow process, try it again with a different hypoallergenic and see if that helps. That way she has a longer period of time to adjust to the taste difference. Good luck!

  5. Thank you! Hopefully she gets the hint ;)

  6. Victoria says:

    I have been using both breastmilk and formula since he was born as I was not producing adequately and he had trouble latching. The hospital gave me Similac for him and I used that for the first 2 weeks but now that my WIC for him went through, we get Enfamil for him, and he doesn’t seem to be adjusting well. He has been throwing up I think…at least 4 times since he started on it two days ago and it’s rare for him to be able to down more than an ounce or two at once. I don’t know what to do. We can’t afford the Similac, and he can’t seem to digest the Enfamil. What do I do? Any advice is welcome.

    • Victoria, Let me help you get the bottom of this, okay? First of all, the WIC website says this: “State agencies are required by law to have competitively bid infant formula rebate contracts with infant formula manufacturers. This means WIC State agencies agree to provide one brand of infant formula and in return the manufacturer gives the State agency a rebate for each can of infant formula purchased by WIC participants. The brand of infant formula provided by WIC varies by State agency depending on which company has the rebate contract in a particular State.”

      Which state are you in? I want to help you triple check the state’s policies and see if we can find either loophole for the Similac or another brand other than Enfamil you can try.

      Don’t worry friend, we’ll figure this out. (hugs)

  7. Hi, ok so our dr told us to try a soy based formula. Our LO has been having runny poops some diapers so our dr said she may be intolerant to the formula. We are using Infamil Gentlease. We have neen supplenting breastmilk with formula. Each feed has been 2oz BM/1oz F. NOW we bought soy based formula but now I am not producing enough milk to make the transistion. I know you posted that you must transition when going to soy to milk based, do you have to when its milked based to soy? I would guess so, but my dr just said to switch. Since she is intolerant to the milk based I figured to stop giving her that since she gets runny poops from it. So tonight I gave her 2oz BM and 1oz soy based formula. I only have one more feeding left of BM (long story) and now really nervous about switchig to soy so abruptly. What should i do? I am so nervous and have been through hell the past 4 weeks trying to get something that works for her since breastfeeding didn’t. Please help. Next feeding I am thinking of doing 1oz BM and 2oz soy based formula. I am not mixing the soy based formula with the milk based for she doesnt tolerate the milk based one. Why make her double sick right? BTW she only drinks about 3-4 oz each feeding and she is only 4 weeks old. Thank you and SO trying to be the good parent BUT this is so hard. Especially when the breastfeeding plan failed miserably! :-(

  8. OH, we are using the soy based Infamil. SO same brand. Just non milk based.

    • Candi, you are a good parent!! You are looking for answers, and you obviously CARE, so that makes you an AWESOME parent in my book. :-) Breastfeeding isn’t always a walk in the park, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. If you want to keep trying, I would pump every 2- hours for a few days. That was how I kept my supply up during these transition periods.

      As for the formula, some babies handle abruptly switching from milk to soy without any tummy troubles. If your baby doesn’t seem to act like her tummy is gassy and she’s uncomfortable, don’t worry about it. If she DOES, then switch back and go the slow route. That should help.

      Again Candi, YOU ARE DOING AWESOME. You are the PERFECT mother for her, and will do the right thing. Let me know how it goes and if I can help in anyway. (hugs)

  9. kayla Palmer says:

    HELP!!!! I took my baby to the Dr yesterday and she said she has eczema and it could be due to a milk allergy. To give her soy formula till I could get the dairy out of my system. I pump and give it to her by bottle. I have supplemented formula with her a couple times and she has taken it fine other then the fact it taste different. Well I gave her the soy formula late yesterday afternoon up until this morning and she has done nothing but cry and its a painful cry! I have been giving her gas drops band rubbing her belly but nothing is helping! What should I do?! She’s only 3 months too BTW don’t know of that will help knowing or not.

    • Kayla, there are lots of reasons babies can have eczema beyond just a milk allergy. There are two things that come to mind: 1. Switching to a soy formula requires a “Stair step” approach to get your baby’s tummy used to the new soy protein (instead of the milk). So perhaps the switch was too fast and that caused the tummy troubles? or 2. The eczema could be due to something else. I would perhaps try a gentle formula for basic allergic reactions and see if that helps at all. Read about those here. Hope this helps, otherwise comment back and we’ll try something else. :-)

  10. Our 8 week old has had a bad time with gas over the past 4 weeks and we switched from Similac Advance to Similac sensitve to lactose about two weeks ago, and she initially seemed to do better and her baby acne cleared up too. Near the end of the first week on the formula, she was showing the same gas pains and screaming in distress, so I took her to see the physician that was covering for her normal doctor who told us she has colic. My husbands mother urged us to switch to soy as it helped our nephew when he had colic. We have been on Similac Isomil for 5 days and while some of the colic symptoms have decreased, she doesn’t always have a full feeding and is constipated. She had regular poops on the lactose sensitive formula, so I am wondering if she will continue to be constipated on soy or if she will start to poo normally when her body gets used to it. It’s heartwrenching to see her in this much pain, I am wondering if it better to go back to the lactose sensitive formula and deal with the colic instead of dealing with reduced colic symptoms and constipation. Help!

    • Anne, I agree, it’s heartwrenching to see a baby struggle with constipation. Before you give up on it, try adding a little prune juice (1-2 tsp) to the bottle and see if that helps. Another option is to switch to a different low-lactose formula or hypoallergenic. Gerber has a formula that is as close to hypoallergenic as you can get before actually paying for an hypoallergenic. I mention it in this article. Hope this helps!

  11. Our 6 week old has been through so many formulas, I’m beginning to think I should have continued fully Breastfeeding! I read your blog about lactose intolerance versus a milk allergy, and my husband and I still can’t seem to figure it out! When we first started supplementing, we were using Enfamil for Infants. He was projectile vomiting it seemed, a vast majority of what we were feeding him. So we then proceeded to switch him to Enfamil A.R., which was a big mistake! He cried for days from being so constipated and his throw up was so thick I was scared he’d choke on it. We then switched to Similar sensitive, which seemed to work great, until he started getting a little on the runnier side of poo. We are also on WIC, and the only kind of formula they allow for WIC approved is Gerber. So we transitioned to Gerber good start Gentle. He now cries a lot, & is awake more from crying and having hiccups. & has the worst diarrhea I have ever seen! ): at this point we were thinking of seeing a doctor. I just don’t know what to do, or even what to think. Is it a milk allergy, a lactose intolerance, or are we switching formulas to abruptly & his tummy is taking the toll? Did I mention, he is covered from forehead to ankle is little bumps that feel like heat rash. We were told that’s normal, because of summer & maternal hormones. I still question his rough bumpy skin, and the reasoning behind it. I fear it could be eczema, or an allergic reaction. Please help!

    Sincerely, one concerned mommy!

    • Wow Morgan! You seem to have hit them all! I do think you should talk to a doctor, this is above my brain level. Those bumps sound a lot like eczema, but have your doctor check that too. I wish I could be more helpful. But it really sounds like your baby needs to be examined and a physician consulted. Good for you, though, for pursuing answers! Keep trying different things until something sticks. :)

    • One other thing that I forgot…I just did this for my 6 yr olds eczema, so you could try this: right after you bathe her, rub her all over with Aquaphor (you can get that at CVS, Target, or Walgreens). It looks like Vaseline. It will trap the water from the bath inside her skin cells and help prevent those itchy bumps. :)

  12. I have 12 week old twin girls. They were born 6 weeks early. Around 7 weeks they were diagnosed with acid reflux by their pediatrician based off of symptoms I explained to her which were: spitting/throwing up after almost every feeding, fussines, gassiness, arching of back and screaming during feedings. She was going to prescribe medication for acid reflux but when a discrepancy occurred with the pharmacist and the dosage prescribed, their ped called the NICU Dr. to double check on the dosage and was advised to have us switch to enfamil AR with no meds because meds have not shown a significance in helping reflux. So we went from enfacare (they needed the extra calories because their preemies) to enfamil AR. They went from feeding 4 oz. every 3 hrs to eating 4-6 oz. of AR every 2 hrs. Most times they would fall asleep during the feeding and then wake 30 min later to feed again. It seemed like they were feeding all day! One girl stop spitting up completely after feeding while the other would only a little and it was curdled, but the fussiness was just the same. ( Basically if they aren’t sleeping, eating, being burped, being carried, or bounced in their bouncy seat, their crying) So called the doctor and she said we could try gentle ease, we did and helped with the spit up but not the fussiness and they seemed more gassy. So I tried Similac sensitive and it got even worse, they started drooling and gnawing at their hands and the fussiness was the worst. So went back to gentle ease trying to stick it out because I read it can take up to 2 weeks. They were only drinking 1-2 oz’s and skipping feedings. I became concerned so I put them back on AR which we have been on for the past 2 days again ( 3 weeks the first time.) The doctor refuses to give us meds and said that we can try a hypoallergenic formula such as nutrimegen. But the cost is way out of our budget ( we don’t qualify for WIC). We wanted to be sure that we exhaust all options before having to get a part time job to afford the hypoallergenic formula. I know this is a loooongggg post but any advise? Oh one more thing, I still give them about 3 feedings of enfacare at night because they drink it all at once without screaming, they don’t seem to throw up or even need to be burped while their sleeping and it holds them over longer. Could this be conflicting with the other formulas actually working?

    • Laurie, having one high needs baby is exhausting. Having two…? Well, you are amazing. This will improve. Keep your head down and keep surviving. You’re doing great.

      I don’t think you need to worry about the formulas canceling each other out. Enfacare is in the dairy-based formula family, so you should be able to switch around with gentlease, etc. without too much trouble.

      1. If they do well on Enfacare, what if you continued using it all day? It is good for preemies up until 9 months. Good Start Nourish is also for preemies, so may also be a good option.

      2. Good Start Soothe is very close to a hypoallergenic. It’s not 100% lactose free, but the proteins are as small as they can get. The problem with this is that it’s thinner, so I could see your babies spitting it up. Perhaps worth the try, though.

      3. Perhaps try a different thickened brand of formula. So instead of Enfamil AR, try Similac Sensitive for Spit Up(different than Similac Sensitive).

      4. Finally, you could continue with Gentlease, just try to address the extra gas with something like Gripe Water.

      Those are the things I would start out trying. I hope it can help! You are being such a good mom. In a few weeks they’ll start rewarding you with more smiles and giggles. It’s coming!

    • Just curious what you ended up doing? I have twins and they are having similar issues…

  13. I am so glad I found this. HELP! My son is 6.5 months old. For the first 6 months we supplemented breastmilk (he never latched right so I pumped exclusively for 6 months) with formula. I’ll be honest–we bounced all over, though staying in the same family. I used Enfamil Premium for the most part, and some Similac Advanced. For most of the summer we started using the Sam’s Club brand, “Simply Right Complete.” We also started him on to solid foods, slowly as the pediatrician advised. Just about the time I stopped pumping and put him exclusively on formula (which we did do slowly!), his system seemed to go haywire. He was totally constipated, and then went to diarrhea and has stayed with A LOT of poopy diapers–most of his diapers are poopy every day. We might have one or two that are just wet. He also was refusing to drink more than 3 oz at a time when he had been calmly taking 6. I decided to pull back entirely and see if the formula was the problem, or if it was a food. So we’re back at square one with no solids, just using formula (simply right brand). He has started happily drinking more, but the diarrhea and a slight (really slight?) rash seems to continue on his little bum. I’m thinking I need to switch formulas but where do I go from here? Some of the Gentle kinds you suggest? Will that clear up the constant poopy diapers? We’re seriously flying through diapers and wipes over here!!

    • Tara, a constant poop cycle is exhausting! :). I would start with Good Start Gentle, see if that helps. If not, you could try Good Start Soothe. Start with those and give it a few weeks to see if you notice a change. Good luck!

  14. I’m going to be switching formulas due to financial issues. My 3 month old has been on Gerber good start since she was born and were going to be switching her to Enfamil Gentlease. I was told that they are the same type of formula but different name brands. Is that true? How do i start to wean her? She eats from 4-6oz in one feeding, how do i measure out the formula?

    • Amanda, Every company has a different way of formulating the formula, so no, they aren’t the same. That said, both of their brands are based on cow’s milk, so switching shouldn’t be too difficult on her tummy. For the first few days, I would do 1 scoop of Good Start and 1 scoop of Gentlease in 4 oz of water. Do that for a few days, just in case she gets gassy at the switch. After a few days you should be able to switch straight over to the Gentlease. I believe it’s 1 scoop of powder for 2 oz of water, but double check that on the formula can. :-)

  15. I have a 4 month old and we had him on the Target brand of Similac. I recently got WIC and I am getting Goodstart now. I switched him over directly two days ago. The first day seemed ok but yesterday was awful. He cried all evening and was up alot last night. I didn’t know to ease him over by weening. So now I am trying the two formulas mixed to ween him over. Is it too late to do that? And if not, how long should it take for him to adjust?

    • Normally, it’s not a huge issue to switch when the formulas are both based on cows milk, like Similac and Good Start normal formulas. That said, it does seem like you’re little one is struggling. I think you did the right thing mixing the two formulas together. If it doesn’t improve in the next day or two, I would go back to the Similac for a few days and try again in a little while. You could also try some Gripe Water to help with the gassy tummy. But I think your instincts were spot on! :)

  16. Thank you! I’ve tried gas drops but it doesn’t seem to help. Hopefully over the next few days he will be better.

  17. My Landyn is 4mths old. This is my 3rd child and by far my most difficult experience. I started breast feeding right away but he was tongue tied. After we finally figured that out and had it corrected he was eating great! His sleeping schedule is amazing and a little worry some for an infant. Since day one he has slept anywhere from 8-10 hrs at night without a feeding. Being he is my 3rd child I was not as adamant about waking him for extra feelings after I knew for sure he was progressing normally. My milk supply quickly became less and less because of this and I wasn’t pumping in between. Anyhow, at about 2-3 wks he became very fussy, gassy, Constant screaming. I thought for sure something was wrong with him. I cut all dairy and wheat out of my diet and that didn’t help. We saw a GI doctor who assured us everything is fine. Prior to that appt (I had to wait 3 1/2 wks to be seen) I switched from breast milk to Alimentum by Similac. He has done WAY better in this! I also have been giving him Gripe Water on a regular basis for at least 2mths. I have been told that this formula is doing nothing good/bad for him and that I’d be safe to switch to a standard formula that is cheaper since Alimentun is practically going to send us into bankruptcy…ok not really but it sure is expensive! After researching all diff types/brands I chose a formula called Holle. It is supposed to be the most natural formula in the world, even more so than organic. I have started the transition 1:3 yesterday and 2:2 today. Landyn is very gassy and has had multiple poops but I wouldn’t quite call them diahhrea. I would call them diff that what I’m used to and not sure really what to expect on this formula. Is it possible I’m going to quick with the transition since he’s gotten such bad gas? If this is supposed to be so natural I don’t understand how it would be so hard for him to handle? Am I doing the wrong thing here? Unfortunately I’ve done ALL of this, starting with switching from breast milk to formula, without talking to the pediatrician. He is a huge advocate of breast feeding and I just didn’t agree with him this time. It wasn’t working for me or for Landyn. So knowing he wouldn’t be supportive I did a lot of reading and talking to other parents and have made these moves on my own.

    • Kristen, don’t feel bad about switching to formula. The fact that you breastfed your third at ALL is a huge accomplishment! The more children I had, the harder it was for me to breastfeed. :) I haven’t heard about Holle formula, but I’m definitely going to add it to my research list, so thanks for mentioning it! You have to do what is best for your entire family, and sometimes that means formula. So guilt begone!

      As for your question, it sounds like you’re transitioning well. You could slow down and do 1:3 for 2-3 days, and then switch to 2:2 for a few days and see if that helps. It’s really hard to tell sometimes what is making a baby gassy. Even though it’s natural, different things react to different tummies in different ways. Many times you don’t know how things will work out until you try them. I would disagree with the person who said that Alimentum doesn’t do anything good/bad an you can switch to a different formula. Alimentum is designed for babies who have allergies – the proteins are extremely small and so are easier for babies to digest (less gas).

      If you want to move away from the Alimentum, I would recommend you switch to something like Good Start Soothe – it has a similar structure, but is a lot less expensive. That would be a good stair-step-down from the Alimentum towards a normal formula. Perhaps you could try using Soothe as a gateway between the two for a week or two, and then switch down to Holle? Just a thought. I talk about those formulas in my article on colic formula here. Hope it can help!

  18. Alee Townsend says:

    Hi with our son we started him right off on similac sensitive because my daughter needed it when she was a baby, both times my milk never came in. It was fine for a few weeks then he had diarrea screamed constantly wouldnt sleep eating habbit was crazy like an ounce every hour. We switched him to the lighter purple from similac that helps with protein problems recommended by our dr. Made it soo much worse. Finally we tried soy, worked for maybe a week or two well till today hes been constipated and slowly working back to the not sleeping wierd eating habits and constAnt screaming. Last resort is the similac hypoallergenic, the dark purple, first bottle of it tonight, not only does he obsolutely hate the taste after the first bottle he threw it up less than half hour later

    • Hmmm… Okay so hypoallergenic is out. Have you tried Good Start Soothe? That is a more normal tasting formula, but is 100% whey, so a lot easier on the tummy. The other option is you could go back to soy, but then add a teeny bit of prune juice to the bottle to help with constipation (the amount will depend on your baby’s age.) Hang in there Alee! Try those things and then write back if you’re still having issues. We’ll figure out something!

  19. Alee townsend says:

    I called the pediatric gastro he sees for his reflux he says he thinks he has a sensitivity to the soy and milk protein so dont try then keep trying the hypoallergenic and if that doesnt work its either full hypo with the amino acid protein which is super expensive or he has to see a nutritionist that our insurance doesnt cover

    • hmmm…if you have to switch to full hypo or amino acid, call the manufacturer and ask if they have any samples or special coupons or discounts you could use. Explain your situation and see if they will work with you in some way. It never hurts to ask. :)

  20. Alee townsend says:

    Thank you so much for your help! Since i hve to keep trying this formula anything i can do bout the taste? By the way hes only 2 months

    • Taste wise, I think I would just keep giving it to him and see if he gets used to it. Another option is to try a mineral water instead of tap water? Perhaps that could help?

  21. I’m just reading all this good information you have given. So my 3 week old daughter has been supplementing with simalac advance and breast milk and today it’s full on formula. We switch her to simalac gentle bc our first one was on gentle formula and assume it was better. She has spit up a little and did not have a bowel movement today, mild fussiness if we lay her down( she wants to be held) so after reading about the different families should we go back to simalac advance and slowly switch to simalac gentle ? Or go back to simalac advance ? We also have good start but haven’t tried it. I want to use the best formula for her with less pain. I just want her to have regular bowel movements and try to avoid the consitapation. Any advise ?

    • Missy, I’m so glad you’re finding the articles helpful! :-) You’re probably right about going back and switching slowly. It can’t hurt, and it will give you a better idea as to how she’s responding to the new formula. Personally, my favorite formula is Good Start. It’s the most gentle and tummies. I would try that. As for constipation, don’t use frequency as a guide for constipation. It’s possible for a baby to wait to poop for several days (especially when switching formulas), but not be constipated. The true test of constipation is consistency. If it’s thicker than peanut butter, that’s your clue that something’s slightly off. You can add 1 teaspoon of prune juice in her bottle once a day and then see how that affects her. Hope this can help Missy!

  22. Hello Heather. We have our baby on enfamil gentlease since she was 1 week Old, she is now 1 month and we want to change her formula to the enfamil for spit up because she spits up a lot and because her gas smells horrible and Dr said it could be the formula. I like the fact hat it is made with rice starch. I give my baby some of my breast milk too I give her 1.5 of my milk and 1.5 of formula. We tried the new formula today and gave it to her already twice but we did not do it slowly, we just switched and that is it. However she just had a big spit up and I wonder if it is because we did the change so quickly or because the formula is too strong for her. I want to continue giving her the new formula gradually, what do you recommend for me to do? Can I mix the old formula and the new and give her a different bottle with my breast milk?

    • I think your mom instinct is spot on, Carol. Go back to what you were doing before and do that for a day. Then start the gradual switch over. Also, I think the idea to do a bottle with the new/old formula and another bottle for the breastmilk is also a good idea. Once you have her formula issues worked out, you can add in the breastmilk.

  23. My son is nearly 4 weeks old. He was on Similac Advance from day 1 in the hospital. He had red splotches that I was told was baby acne from the beginning. Around a week old he became much more fussy and seemed to have a problem with gas. After much research I decided it wa likely he was mildly sensitive to milk proteins. So I switched him over, cold turkey, to Gentlease. He was instantly less fussy and his red splotches went away immediately. And within 24 hours I had a very happy baby. He’s been on Gentlease for about 2.5 weeks now doing awesome until the last couple of days – he began screaming an crying when having a bowel movement and it would be normal color but the consistency of modeling clay (so thick!). Otherwise a happy baby. He doesn’t cry much, he is gaining weight like a champ, no blood in stool (that I can tell), etc. Just a bloated, uncomfortable tummy, and having a hard time pooping. And again, this has only been the last couple of days. I take him to the doctor, expecting it to be just constipation and the doctor telling me to give him some juice or something but no, without examining him he immediately says to switch to a hypoallergenic formula.
    We can’t really afford the unless absolutely necessary. Plus, I feel it’s way premature to just jump to hypoallergenic formula.
    After his suggestion I decided it didn’t feel right to go that route so my husband and I thought we would try Similac Sensitive first then Gerber Good Start (going in order from least expensive to more expensive options for us). So, we switched him, cold turkey. It’s only been a few hours so its too early to tell what’s going on. But now I’m wondering, did I totally screw up switching him cold turkey? Should have I just waited it out a few more days on the other formula? Was this just a temporary constipation thing? I don’t know! And I’m so afraid I’m making/going to make te wrong choice and mess his little tummy up! Help!

    • Firstly, I think you should give yourself a pat on the back. My “Mommysense” agrees with yours – that switching to a more expensive hypoallergenic formula without seeing if you can fix it in other ways seems rather drastic.

      Did you try the prune juice trick with the Gentlease? Switching cold-turkey isn’t going to harm him. It’s just a precaution. Some babies switch cold-turkey just fine, with know tummy side effects. So it’s possible your little guy will handle the transition perfectly. If he does seem extra-specially fussy, go back to a full bottle of the Gentlease and try switching him slower and see if that helps. Also, keep up with tsp of prune juice once a day and see if that helps with the constipation.

      Don’t be afraid of making the wrong choice, Erin. You’re a good mom. He’s a resilient, healthy baby boy. There are thousands of reasons a baby can be gassier than normal or constipated. The best you can do is guess around and try things, which is exactly what you’re doing. He may be uncomfortable for a while, but you’re working on it. He’s a lucky boy to have such a caring loving mama!

      I think you’re doing wonderfully. :-) Please feel free to comment back if you have more questions.

  24. Hello I’m a first time mom. I switched my baby from enfamil newborn to gentlease because he was grunting,crying and didn’t have a bowel movement for 2 days when he was 2 weeks old. He’s now 3 months old and since I put him on the gentlease he has this diaper rash that doesn’t want to go away. Then I finally changed his formula to soy because I mentioned this to his dr. The rash went away but now I think my baby hates soy formula. I did it the way that u stated on the 3rd day he’s on the soy completely but I can see he’s drinking less and less w each feeding. He usually drinks 27 ounces in a day and he only drank 22 today.
    I’m wondering maybe I should give the enfamil infant a try? He loves milk but I’m afraid he will b constipated and miserable again if I give it to him. I just don’t want to go back to gentlease. I’m soo happy to see his butt looking normal and not raw and bloody for the past 2 months.
    I was looking at gerber gentle and was happy to see that the first ingredient was whey and not corn syrup. Is gerber gentle the same as enfamil newborn? Just wondering because I notice all the formulas that r for fussy and gas has corn syrup for the first ingredient. Can u recommend formula that won’t give my baby a diaper rash? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks

    • Mel, firstly you’re doing a good job – trying new things to find something that works. It is entirely possible he doesn’t prefer the taste of the soy, so good job, mom, in noticing that he was eating less.

      I can’t tell you what your baby will react to, since every baby is different, but generally I’ve found Good Start to be the most gentle, better than Enfamil. I would give that a week and see if things clear up. If not, we can keep experimenting until we find the formula that works best with your baby. :)

  25. I need some advice!
    when my daughter was born she was on similar regular and was regurgitating and swallowing after with the arching back and crying. So we switched to GentleEase – all went well for two weeks but then her poop was so hard it cracked the skin on her butt and made it bleed so then we switched back to regular Similac formula. all was well for about 2 weeks and no more regurgitating but then she was having frequent, watery-mucos-y looking poops! Called the dr and was told to go to nutramagin. Now she is regurgitating again after her bottles and crying for hours. Really don’t know what to do here!! Any advice is appreciated!

    oh shoot – we also tried soy for two days and her poops were so hard they made her bleed again. that was right before we switched to nutramagin.

    • Maria, I would give the Good Start formulas a go first. Perhaps starting with Gentle or Soothe? You can also add a teaspoon of prune juice to help soften up the poops. Poor baby! It’s so hard to watch our babies struggle with constipation. Hang in there Maria. Try Good Start and see how that goes. :-)

  26. I absolutely love this blog, you seem to really know your stuff so I am hoping you can help me. My dd is 4 weeks and was very gassy on similac sensitive, I took her to see her ped on Monday they diagnosed her with silent reflux, she doesn’t really spit up. She suggested I try good start soothe, we are on our 2 day of it and my daughter screams for hours after every bottle. It is awful, I keep hearing to stick with it for a week or 2 but it is so hard to see her like thelis. Could it just be her adjusting to it? Should I go back to the similac or try soy? I am so lost right now .

    • Jennifer, I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and finding it helpful. That just makes my day. :-) I’d love to return the favor…if she has silent reflux, I would give a thicker acid reflux formula a try. Usually reflux babies do better on those, since they are thicker and easier to keep down. Hope this can help! :-)

  27. My 8 week old just started having irregular bowel movementsast week. She will go up to 3 days without a bowel movement. Last night (being the 2nd day without a bowel movement), she started screaming and crying at the top of her lungs when I would offer her a bottle. I finally got her to eat 1-1.5 oz, she then went to bed and slept for 6.5 hours, when she woke up she would only eat 1 oz. At her next feeding 4 hours later I was able to get her to eat 4 oz. and she has been eating 3-4 oz most of the day. She also finally had a bowel movement (the consistency of peanut butter). She is on Similac Advance, and just tonight I am mixing bottles with Similac Senstive. She also has been very gassy from the beginning! I don’t know if this formula will help, but I can’t handle her not having bowel movements and not eating like she should. I have given her sugar water,& put Karo syrup (light) in her bottles both suggested that I do by her doctor! When I called the doctors office today they suggested I give her a suppository, but she had a bowel movement before I had to resort to that, which I really don’t want to do. I just want to find & fix the issue at hand! Any suggestions?

    • Brittany, try adding some prune juice to her bottle. 1 teaspoon. That’s the first thing I would try. The second would be to switch to a Good Start formula like Gentle or Soothe. (And just for the record, in case any skeptics are reading this, I don’t get paid anything from Good Start, I just think they have the most gentle formulas on the market. :-)) I had to do all that with Bella – suppositories, the whole sha-bang, it’s a terrible feeling. Hang in there Brittany. If those things don’t work, let me know and we’ll try something else!

  28. Question- I have been breast feeding my 4 week old son. We just found out he is struggling with digesting milk protein so I am on a non dairy diet. I have read that I should continue to breast feed while i wait for the dairy to leave my system…is this true? It seems cruel..he is so uncomfortable! Can I switch him to isomil for a few days( my other 3 drank it).. And just pump and dump for a few?

    • That’s exactly what I would do, Meghan. As long as you keep pumping, that should help you keep your supply high. You may have to throw in a few extra nursing sessions at first in the beginning, or pump more often to keep production high, so keep an eye out for that in case. I’m sad to hear he’s struggling with the milk protein, but relieved that you’ve got some answers!

  29. I just ran across your blog and I am loving all your information on formula! =) My 4 month old daughter is currently on Enfamil AR and has been since 3 weeks old (I was also nursing but had major milk supply issues and with her reflux she was spitting up every ounce of breastmilk so she is now on strictly formula). The AR has helped, but she still spits up throughout the day, however, not at night? She will only take 2-4 oz at a time during the day and yet will drink a full 6oz bottle at night and keep it all down? so weird! She really doesn’t seem to like the AR formula and she also has MAJOR sleeping issues (that’s another story all together) so I am debating swtiching her to Gerber Goodstart, which is what I originally had her on but then her Dr put her on the AR for the reflux. My 1st daughter was on goodstart and I loved it, so I have always prefered that. My question (yes, there is a question, it’s not just a bunch of random thoughts!) is do you think it would be ok to switch to a non-reflux formula like Goodstart? or since she is already on the AR does she need to stay on it? I just feel like AR is so hard on her stomach compared to a more gentle formula.
    Thank you so much!

    • Erin, I think everything is worth trying at least once. :-) But instead of Good Start Gentle, I would recommend giving Good Start Soothe a try. It’s easier on the tummy and seems to work better for high-needs babies like yours. I would try it for a week and see if you notice any changes. Lots of babies start outgrowing the reflux around 4-6 months, so hopefully this will be a good time to switch! Good luck friend!

      • awesome, thanks for the quick response! =) That was the other option I was debating so I will definitely try that! I assume I can just switch it without having to ease her into it?

        • I would ease her for a day or two, just in case. That way you’ll know if she gets fussy that it’s truly is the formula, and not the switching. :-)

  30. Question. Our 10 month old has been on Enfamil Prosobee since early on – her pediatrician recommended it for a potential milk protein intolerance. I also gave up all dairy as I was breastfeeding too. I reintroduced dairy awhile back, and she tolerated it well. But I have now weaned her completely. Is there any reason to continue with the soy based formula? I hate to be cheap, but if we can get her on something less expensive since she’s on formula only now, that would be nice…

    • Abby, I would try a very gentle milk formula like Good Start Soothe and then just see what happens. Use the guidelines above for the switch, so you can be sure it’s really the formula and not the switching if she shows any struggles. It’s definitely worth the try!

  31. Hi! I want to first say Your website is great!! So informative!! My 7 week old started on enfamil newborn, he became gassy and constipated so we switched to enfamil gentlease at 2 weeks! I was using the Walmart brand and he was still gassy so I thought it might could be the different name brands so went to exclusively enfamil. That was 3 weeks ago…once I started only enfamil he has a stinky, watery bowel movement after every feeding and sometimes 2! He’s crying bc of gas a lot too! He doesn’t have and extreme rash like other posts I’ve seen but he has a mild one….I was going to try the good start soothe to see if that worked better or I’m wondering if I should try a soy? I have to go back to work in a couple weeks and he has to go to daycare so I want to get all this figured out before then and also bc he seems to be in pain!! Just not sure which to try??

    • Dallas! Thanks for reading! I’m very thankful it’s been helpful to you. I’m not sure soy will help you, since it’s very common for babies who are sensitive to dairy to be sensitive to soy as well. There is also some medical debate about soy formula, I’ve created the cliffs notes on that in this article.

      I would start with the Soothe for a few weeks and then use the soy as a backup. Some babies do well on soy, so you’ll never know unless you try!

  32. Thank goodness for this! You are so helpful! My 8 week old recently switched from enfamil ar to gentlease. (Old pediatrician said he had reflux, new pediatrician begs to differ and suggested we do gentlease bc he’s very fussy/gassy) on the AR he ate 6oz every 3 hrs and was fussy and gassy all the time. Now on the gentlease he only eats between 2-4oz randomly! Anywhere between 1.5-4 hrs. He was bornweighing 10 lbs so he’s a big boy weighing 16 lbs now at 8 weeks and has always eaten a lot until now. His stools have also changed from yellow peanut buttery to dark green and muddy. Do you think he just needs to get used to the gentlease? He has good wet and dirty diapers and is smiley when he’s up so idk what to do! It worries me that he’s eating 10-15 oz less than what he was!

    • Martha, as long as he’s growing at a healthy rate I wouldn’t worry about the eating less. You can do a google search for “weight charts” or pick up a copy of the Milestone Marker to help you track that. It’s also possible he was eating more because he was spitting up, so it would take more to actually fill his tummy. I would give the Gentlease a solid week, and see if his fussy/gassy symptoms improve. If they don’t, give Good Start Gentle or Good Start Soothe. Fussy babies usually do well with Good Start. Let me know how it goes and if we need to come up with Plan B!

  33. This is for Carrie, if she hasn’t found a solution yet. Our little boy was born almost 2 weeks late with growth restriction (they didn’t know until after he was born!) and had to be formula fed due to low production on my side, tongue tie, etc. etc…. He would scream constantly and seemed gassy all the time. I thought it was probably lactose intolerance as I have issues with milk, my husband is African and my son’s digestion was probably not up to par because of the IUGR. Our pediatrician didn’t agree, but told me to go with my gut. I hated the idea of soy, and said I would absolutely not give it to him, but also struggled with giving him table-sugar ladened formula that’s supposed to be easier to digest. I did end up finding Colief drops that have seemed to help. It’s like baby Lactaid to help in lactose digestion – all that’s in it is the suspended lactase enzyme that can be found in the human gut to break down lactose in milk. The second bowel movement he had after it smelled horribly of vinegar – a sign of lactose overload. He now has the drops with every bottle, and if we forget he screams. We also changed just recently to a DHA-free formula, while waiting for an order of Holle to come in the mail. We are just waiting until he’s six months (he’s 3 1/2 months) to switch to solids and goat’s milk/kefir and get him off dairy. Until then, he is doing a lot better with his “drops.”

  34. My 9month old baby girl has been having some issues with her drinking her baby formula latley ..she is currently drinking geber gentle and vomits crazy .. I told the doctor shes rejecting the formula so I give he a mixture of juice and water the dr told me to just give her the formula as her only liquid …now she vomiting and has diarrhea ..could this be because of the formula

    • Ashley – firstly let me double check you’re not using nursery water to mix in the formula. Did the vomiting and diarrhea start when you started this formula? or after? If she was on this formula and she was fine for a period of time, I’m guessing it may not be the formula, she could just have a bug. I would get her into the doctor right away. Dehydration is a very serious thing for babies (the #1 reason they are hospitalized) and with her vomiting and having diarrhea…I would call and see if you can get her seen ASAP to figure out what’s causing it. Keep trying to give her as much liquids as you can give her. At 9 months she can have water, so I would give her a teaspoon of water, wait 20 minutes to see if she throws it up, and then give her 2 teaspoons etc. But firstly, call the doctor and get her in to be seen. Bring her last poopy diaper with you, as they will probably want a stool sampled to test for rotavirus, trying to figure out what’s making her sick. Hang in there Ashley. Let me know how it goes.

  35. My grandson is 3 months old. He was born about a month early but was still a good weight. He now weighs 13lbs and is gaining weight but he screams all the time even when being held. They have him on prevacid for acid reflux (he has mostly silent because he swallows it) and zantac for breakthrough acid. They also have him on Similac Alimentum. This baby screams so bad like he is in severe pain. He has had an upper gi to confirm the acid reflux but nothing is helping. He is so tired but will not sleep well. He sleeps sitting up in his vibrating seat, carseat or my daughters arms. She is exhausted. They have been living her for a little while and I have witnessed this first hand. It is never quiet around here. He has been switched between numerous formulas after much fighting with the doctor to switch him. The just keep saying he is fussy. That is not fussy when all your baby does is scream the whole time he is awake. He doesn’t smile but every once in awhile. It is so heart breaking to see how unhappy he is. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Sharon, that is heartbreaking! I know you’ve tried a ton of different formulas – has your daughter tried any of the Amino Acid formulas? I talk about them in this article. I’m wondering if the Amino Acids (like PureAmino, Elecare, Pregesteril, etc.) would be easier for him to digest and cut down on the tummy troubles.

      • Heather,

        I know she has not tried those yet. She also has not tried the Gerber Soothe so I think she is going to try that first. I will keep you posted how things are going and thanks so much for your quick response.

  36. Hi Heather! I LOVE your blog. Please keep writing!

    We’ve been struggling with colic with my 10w old daughter since about week 5. We are talking all day & night colic – not just a couple hours at night. We have tried everything – first, per doctors suggestion we went to Nutramigen with no relief. Then, we put her on Zantac after about a week. That seemed to help for a while until she nosedived into screaming again. We adjusted her dose for weight and then found relief for a couple more days, but it was short-lived. In the meantime, we did everything else suggested, including changing to Dr. Brown bottles, feeding sitting up, Gerber Soothe drops (good reviews for those too), sleeping at an incline, gripe water, ect.

    Because of the success of adjusting the doses of zantac, i thought acid reflux was the real culprit…so i changed her to Enfamil AR. The first couple days of the change were fine because i stair stepped. I actually thought she was getting better with crying and actually sleeping better at night. Then i transitioned her to just Enfamil AR and she exploded. The crying was arguably worse than before.

    So, yesterday i changed formulas again. Because we had good results with the Soothe colic drops, i wanted to try the Soothe formula. I reread your article on changing formula and decided that i did not need to stair step because i was going from Enfamil AR to a more gentler formula (Soothe). I think i may have made a mistake. While she is definitely more calm and sleeping better, I did notice some major gas and burps. She is spitting up a bit more, but that is not my major concern as she is gaining weight and thriving, and it doesn’t seem to bother her. So my question is, should i have slowly introduced Soothe? She’s only had 4 bottles of soothe and i’m wondering if i should do something differently? Maybe the gas/burps are happening because she was on Nutramigen before, then a nutramigen/Enfamil AR mix for a couple days before I gave her Enfamil AR only (2 days was all i could handle).

    Let me know what you think. Thanks for your opinion!
    Diane

    • Diane, oh friend, colic parents are in a whole new league of awesome. You and your husband have my absolute respect. It’s the super bowl of parenting, and you are getting through it day, by day. Well done. Since you already tried Soothe, I would just grit your teeth and push through for the next few days. Give it at a week, if you can. If you don’t see improvement, I would try one of these hypoallergenic formulas – focus on the Amino Acid fromulas like PureAmino, Elecare, Neocate, etc. But definitely follow the switching instructions for those, just in case. Hang in there, Diane. We have a plan, so there’s hope! Let me know how it goes. Thanks for reading! :-)

  37. My baby hasn’t been a good Pooper since switching to formula. Seems to really have to strain with each bowel movement that comes around every 4-5 days. She seems fussy at night but does generally okay during the day. I am using enfamil now. Do you think a sensitive formula would be easier for her?

    • Kayla, I certainly think switching to a sensitive formula is worth the try. Good Start is my favorite brand (I’m not paid to say that, btw.) but every baby is different, so you don’t know how they will do until you try. You could also add a splash of prune juice to each bottle for a while and see if that helps soften things up. Constipation is so difficult to watch! It’s hard to see them suffering. Hope this can help!

      • Okay. I was planning on doing that. I have been doing the prune juice and that definitely helps but the constant trapped gas is still there. While I was breastfeeding she was sleeping through the night (7-8 hour stretch) no problem at all. Since i stopped breastfeeding and doing formula she always wakes up around 3 am with trapped gas and stomach pains. I feel so bad! Would you recommend the good start “gentle” type? is that what it is called? thamk you so much for your help!

        -also when i do switch i will do the right ratios to gently switch her but do you do that with every bottle? thanks !

  38. Hi!

    I have a 10 week old little boy, he was born 9 weeks premature and spent just over a month in the NICU. While there (around 4 weeks old) he started having unexplained bradychhardia episodes and an upper GI X-Ray was done and they determined he has mild silent reflux. We brought him home on Similac Neosure and adding 1 tsp rice to each oz formula. That has worked fine until recently. He has worked his way up to 3 oz each bottle and the rice has been making the formula so thick. And he’s getting constipated more often. He will only go maybe once a day or even 2 day and it’s obvious he’s uncomfortable. His poop looks like little round balls and is fairly firm. We tried backing down the rice but now he is spitting up a few times more a day. We have been thinking of trying the similac for spit-up. What do you think?

    Thanks so much!!
    Elana

    • I think that it’s worth trying! Also, you could add a teaspoon of prune juice to the bottle to help soften up those prunes. Ask your doctor about this first, though, just to make sure. With his previous health issues, I’d want him to confirm this suggestion. Hang in there Elana!

  39. My daughter is 12 weeks old.. Been solely breastfed..
    I have started supplementing with one bottle of formula at night just to get her used to it.. I’ve used enfamil “newborn” and she’s done okay with it.. Lastnight we switched to the “infant” because we ran out of the newborn.. Can said 0-12 months so figured it was ok… She did not drink it at all.. Cried and refused.. Does it taste different? Should I go back to the newborn even tho she’s nearing 3 months?

    • Allison, you could try mixing 2/3 newborn and 1/3 infant and then slowly over a period of a week reduce the newborn amount. Also, some babies just prefer the taste of some brands over others. My favorite formula is Good Start, but Elena wouldn’t touch it – didn’t like the taste. So it really is trial and error. I would try to slowly get her used to the infant over a period of time and then if she still hates it, choose a different brand altogether. :)

  40. Hi Heather –

    We had our baby on Enfamil Newborn at 2 weeks. She fussed some when she had gas, so we switched her to Enfamil Gentlease. The gassiness subsided a bit, but her poo was thicker than normal. We had read that might occur, so we didn’t think anything of it.

    Fast forward to her six week growth spurt. Her poo is now much thicker and drier, almost like drying plaster. Like, scraping it off her bottom thick. I assume this is because of the GI changes that happen around this time.

    She’s taken to screaming when she has a bowel movement or any sort of gas. It wakes her up, screaming, from a dead sleep, so she is only napping for maybe 20 minutes a couple times a day and spends her evenings SCREAMING bloody murder until she passes out, I’m assuming because she’s way overtired.

    My gut is telling me to switch her back to the regular Enfamil formula, because her stool was normal when she was on that, and the bit of gas she had was nowhere near as bothersome as what’s happening now. I figure it’s worth a shot, at least, since we still have some Newborn on hand.

    Thoughts? I appreciate your help!

    • Liz, heartbreaking! I hate it when my kids are constipated. Such a helpless feeling. If your gut says to go back to regular, I’d go with that for a few days and see how it goes. Another option is to add a few teaspoons of prune juice (ask your doctor exactly how much, not sure her current age.) to each bottle until things loosen up, then cut back until you find the “happy place” where it’s just soft enough to avoid all the constipation issues, but firm enough not to cause tummy cramping. If that still doesn’t help, you can talk to your doctor about mixing in some Miralax. Do not do this without a doctor’s guidance. The dosage has to be just right. However, it can be a backup option to discuss with your doctor if things come to that.

      Hope this can help, Liz. (hugs!)

  41. My son is 10 days old. He was crying for about 4 hours every night on Enfamil Newborn so we switched him 3 days ago to Enfamil Gentle Ease and he has been crying all day and all night with few periods of rest in between. Is it safe to assume the Gentle Ease has made the situation worse? Should I try something else or wait and see if it gets better? I would hate to keep him on it if it’s what is causing his issues.
    Thank you :)

    • Jaimie, I would try starting over with Good Start Soothe. It’s very VERY gentle. If that doesn’t help, look through some of these hypoallergenic/colic formulas and try one of those. I would also make sure to follow the switching instructions so you can be 100% sure that the formula is working (or isn’t) and not that he’s having trouble with the transition. Give each formula at least a week (on it’s own) to see if you can notice changes. Just remember that everytime you try something and nothing changes, that’s not a failure. It’s just moving you closer to the target. It’s you eliminating options to get you closer to something that helps. (hugs!)

  42. Hello,

    I am so glad to have found your site! I have a 5 week old son who suffers from horrible gas pains and is very fussy. He doesn’t cry that often but you can just see that he is uncomfortable most of the time. His poor little belly is so hard from he gas. Before I talk about the formulas I will say that I have tried everything else, burping positions, gas drops, gripe water, fennel seed tea, sleeping in incline, infant massage.. Nothing has helped. From the day he was born I was diagnosed with a milk production problem and was told that I would have to supplement with formula. As the weeks have gone by I have had to give him more and more formula to keep up with him. We started with similac advance. He was gassy after a week so I hired a lactation consultant to make sure it wasn’t a latch issue and a neighbor recommended gerber. My tried gerber soothe. I sent my husband to the store to get more and he came home with gerber gentle.. Not knowing there was a difference we tried the gentle for 5 days and gas was getting worse. We only gave the soothe two days. We then decided to switch and tried similac sensitive. The gas did not get better. We were then told to switch to Alimentum. My poor son’s gas did not get better after a week and there is now a rash all over his body. He has also started crying at night and doesn’t poop as often. He also has very dry skin. He had severe baby acne on his face which seem to turn into severely dry skin. The dr suggested that he has a milk problem and said to switch to soy. I really didn’t want to switch to soy but figured I wold try it to see if it helped. I hadn’t seen your article about how to switch so I didn’t ease him into it. We are a day and a half into it and it seems that a lot of his feedings he struggles to eat. He takes an ounce then struggles. Do you think it’s because of the quick switch or its not working? I really don’t want him to be on soy but want him to feel better. Any recommendations? I also want to note that I just cut out dairy. Should I pump and dump the little milk I produce for him for2 weeks as I have seen on here?

    • Melissa, you and your hubby have certainly been through quite the “New Parent Initiation”! Just so I’m starting out understanding things…did you end up trying Gerber Soothe? Or was it only Gerber Gentle? (I totally can understand the confusion…took me forever to realize they were different! lol) Is your son constipated at all? Is he passing pebbles? Or is it just gas that’s making him so uncomfortable?

      The rash may be related to an allergy…As for the reaction to soy, it’s not uncommon for babies with milk allergies to also struggle with soy. (Not always, but sometimes.) So that may be part of the issue. Here are some options: (you may wish to run this by your doctor, just to make sure)

      1. Go back and give Good Start Soothe a try (unless I’m mis-reading your email) switching slowly. Give it a at least 5 days to spot any improvements.

      2. PureAmino is the next step beyond Nutramigen (which is another brand similar to Alimentium). It is based on amino-acids, so is extremely gentle, especially for very sensitive little GI systems. You can see it here on Amazon. Just in case you haven’t seen it, here are all the other very-sensitive colic formulas. You could also try Elecare, Neocate…there are several there that may help. Just remember, every brand is a bit different. For most babies that doesn’t matter, but for very sensitive babies it could make a big difference. So switch slowly, give it 5-7 days, and then move on.

      Definitely run all that I’ve said here by your doctor. Your doctor will know best. :-)

      Regarding the breastfeeding, I would follow your instincts and pump and dump. That said, you may want to increase your pumping to every 2 hours or so to help keep your milk supply up. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a supply problem, you may have to increase that to every 1.5 hours during the day for several days at first. Talk that over with your doctor/lactation consultant as well. Pumping is a blessing, but with some mothers (such as myself) it’s not quite as stimulating as nursing and so can lead to a slow-down in production. That may not happen to you, but wanted to give you a heads up just in case. :-)

      • Hi Heather,

        Thanks for the info. We only tried the soothe for like a day and a half. I don’t remember if there was a difference. The stomach is worse now than it ever has been for the little guy so maybe it was better. We tried Alimentum but didn’t try nutragimen, would it be worth trying that first before moving to Pur Amino? I will run it all by the dr. The poor little guy woke up with worse skin today. He hasn’t been constipated really. This morning he had harder poop than normal and he couldn’t get it all out so I helped him out with it. But it wasn’t small pebbles. He definitely feels better after he poops. Ugh.. I feel so bad for my little guy. I just fed him the soy formula and he struggled through it.

  43. Hi Heather,

    My daughter is 5 weeks old and was 3 weeks early. She was strictly breastfed for the first 2 weeks but then was not gaining weight so my doctor had me supplement and gave me a can of Enfamil Infant. My mom thought she was too gassy on the formula so we switched to Enfamil Gentlease and my milk supply was diminishing so she eventually moved to all formula for about a week, but she had diarrhea every diaper. I figured this was a reaction to the lactose so I switched her to Similac Sensitive for the past two weeks. At first she did really well (stools were good) but now she has been really constipated for the past 3 days. I’m debating between going back to the Gentlease and giving her more time to adjust to it or going to soy… I was on soy as a baby, so my mother suggests I try it with her, but I’m not sure what is best. What is your suggestion?

    • Michelle, this is a total side note, but wanted to mention it in case no one has gone over this with you: Always remember, as you’re looking at her milestones and watching her gain weight and grow, that she’s not really 5 weeks old. Her brain is saying she’s only 2 weeks. So all her development has to be recalculated to compare with a 2-week old, and not a 5 week old. Just wanted to mention that, since some preemie parents can start to get concerned that their child is behind, when really their baby is spot on, you just have to adjust the age. (Does that make sense?)

      As to the formula, if you don’t want to switch formulas, give your doctor a quick ring and ask about adding a half a teaspoon or a teaspoon of prune juice to her bottles. (Ask your doctor first, though, preemies require extra checking!). That usually helps to soften things up.

      Or, if you don’t want to do that I would try Good Start Gentle. I’ve found Good Start brands to usually be the most gentle and anti-gas for normal-baby-tummies. (That’s completely my opinion. It’s not a paid endorsement or anything…)

      As for soy, I have nothing against using soy, it’s a great formula base for some babies. It has been linked to some controversies…but hasn’t everything at some point? :-)

      Sounds like you’re doing a great job, paying attention to your little girl’s body language. Well done Mom! :-)

  44. Hello my 7 month old baby girl is on nutramigen lipil 1 the docter put her on it when she was a month old he said she was milk and lactose intolorence but he did not test her for it. The doctors have told me to get cow and gate and put one scoop in her bottle with the other milk. Shes started with really bad tummy ache like she did when she was born. How long will she have to do this for till she can get a test? Today we put 2 scoops in and we have to add more everyday but she gets in bad pain at night time. How do i get them to test her and when?

    • I’m not sure how they do tests for that in the UK, Fiona, so I can’t help you with that question…but I would encourage you to seek a second opinion if you possibly can. If it’s been a few days and she seems worse, call you doctor and see if you can try a different hypoallergenic or gentle formula.

  45. Jess McDonald says:

    Hi there, I’m from NZ so have different formulas to you guys but my qurstion is about my 11 month old little man.
    He had a bug not so long ago that gave him diahrrea. However, this continued for a good two weeks following (was happy chappy still though) I starting doing a little research and found something on late developing lactose intolerances. So I watched him after he would have a normal cows milk based bottle. (Stopped breast at 9months) The diahrrea seemed to co-inside with his milk bottle almost an hour later each time. So I brought a soy based formula and tried to that this week. (Without knowing youre supposed to I troduce it slowly) For the past 3 nights hes woken up crying in pain and only wants to be cuddled. (Absolutely draining me) Then this morning he would only lye comfortably over my tummy with me rubbing his lower back. He then did a good morning poop, which had gone back to a normal consistancy since being on soy.
    I am wondering if you think its because I didnt introduce it properly that hes in pain or the fact he may have an intolerancy to soy aswell? Will probably end up taking him to dr soon either way, but wanted your opinion first. (He is still eating and drinking and being my normal happy boy)
    Thanks in advance

    • Jess, firstly…I’m only a TAD jealous you’re writing me from NZ. (complete lie, I’m totally jealous!) My FIL lived there for a year, working as an ER doctor and he just loved the people, the scenery (and most importantly to him…) the skiing. :-)

      Okay, the more important things: It’s not uncommon for babies with lactose issues to not do well on soy. (Not exactly sure on the science behind that, but it’s true.) I would look around for a hypoallergenic formula based on amino acids. If he’s got a lactose issue, he should do okay on those. I know you don’t have the same formulas, but just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here are these hypoallergenic formulas…pay particular attention to PureAmino, Neocate, Elecare, any formula that has “Amino acids” as it’s base. Those should help!

  46. Jess McDonald says:

    Hehe! You’re FIL is a rather smart man, we love it here and are born and raised kiwis! The skiing is fantastic, and soo are the summers :-D

    Thank you for your response, it made my day. Last night he actually slept almost right through (which is what he normally does) he guzzled a whole 200mls extra and went straight to sleep. Im thinking his tummy is settling on it. We had gone away to the beach on holiday last week when I was starting him on it, so im guessing he just wasnt settled to begin with.
    Its been a big wake up call trying to figure out what he can and cant eat at the moment.

    If he hasnt settled by the end of the week, ill have a look at the others you have suggested.

    Once again thank you soo very much :-D

    • Jess, always happy to read when a mom feels the confidence that comes with realizing that your instincts are actually spot-on! :-) I hope you don’t have to use my suggestions and things continue to get better! As or the kiwis…pretty sure my girls would pass out from all the cuteness! :-) (Totally adding that to my “When in Heaven” list!)

  47. Hi! Is it okay to mix Similac LF with Babynat Organic milk? Our 6 weeks++ son have been drinking Babynat Organic cows milk for around 4-5 weeks, he got some greenish watery poo but not frequent like diarrhea case, that’s why we think it might due to the organic cows milk. What is your opinion on organic cows milk and is it okay for us to mix the milk?

    • James, I’m afraid your question is over my expertise level. It’s very important babies get the formula, since they need the extra nutrients that you don’t find in just plain milk. It’s my (unprofessional) understanding that it’s best to wait until 5-6 months to introduce regular dairy to a baby’s system, in that they don’t have enough of the good bacteria in their gut to process it. My suggestion would be to A) contact a pediatrician on this issue and then B) conduct a little experiment. Give your son a week’s worth of bottles without the milk added (so either using ready-to-feed or powdered mixed with water – but not nursery water) and see if you see any changes. Hope this can help!

  48. First, I wish I had known of your blog with my second son. He suffered from major constipation and his pediatrician was never much help!

    My 3rd son is 5.5 months old and has been on Good Start Gentle pretty much from the start. He went through a brief period of excessive gas early on, but no trouble since. He spits up a lot, in between feedings mostly. But the biggest issue is that all of his poops are very loose. I’m starting to wonder if we need to try another formula? He poops a few times every day. All are very loose, and most cause blow outs. This has been going on for over a month. He sees his pediatrician in a couple of weeks but was wondering if you had any advice. Thanks!

    • Melinda, I’m so glad you’ve found me! I’m not qualified to give guesses as to what could be causing the loose stools, but if it doesn’t have any mucous in it, I’d say go with your instincts and try a different formula like Good Start Gentle or something. Just make sure you give that new formula at LEAST a week to see what happens. Skipping around to fast can add problems, rather than fix them. :-)

      BTW, if you do see mucous I would give your doctor a call, it could be a virus and he’ll want to know :-) Good luck!

  49. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.
    When I came across this blog post about a month ago I had no idea that it would change my life. My once fussy, irritated, grumpy baby has transformed into a happy baby! All because of a formula change. I cannot thank you enough.

  50. Dear heather:
    My baby is now 7 months old, he was completely on breastfeeding till 6 months and then I gradually introduced formula (1:3, 2:2 and 3:1) within 5 days, on the sixth he started vomiting immediately after feed. I have changed the milk but no better, vomiting even if just very little amount of the milk I added. he is fine with pure rice so I mixed it with little amount of the milk, the result was immediately vomit. I have mixed rice with baby food containing some milk, vomiting for 2 days and then be fine but not happy. naturally, I asked the doctor, said give him the milk gradually but I do not think it is the right way as I have been 5 weeks trying. I really need your advice. Thanks in advance

    • Nagat, firstly make sure you are keeping your little one as hydrated as possible. Give him clean water if you have to, you want to do what you can to prevent dehydration. I once put ice chips inside a dishcloth, and used a rubber band to seal off the end (so it’s like a cloth-popsicle) so my little one could gnaw on it and drink in some fluids. It sounds like he’s vomiting, no matter what you give him? Is that right? On solids or on formula? I would encourage you to visit the doctor and have him looked over. If your current doctor is less-than-helpful, see if you can get a second opinion. In this situation, I think there may be something else going on other than a formula intolerance. Just to make sure, I’d have another doctor look him over. Poor baby!

      • Thanks a lot for your quick response, do not worry about hydrating as he is fine with breast feeding, water and juice but not any amount of formula milk (I have tried two different types and the one in baby food). Also I have asked two doctors, both said he is not allergic to cow’s milk (with out test) as they both said the vomiting is not sign off allergy????, and his stomach does not like the formula, introduce it gradually but I don’t think that!!!!
        wondering if you have any advice

        • Okay, so he’s only vomiting on the formula, and not because of an illness. (Sorry, I didn’t understand that!) In that case, I would consider trying a different brand of formula, like Good Start Soothe (seen here on Amazon). Give it a week and see if he fares any better. Good luck!

  51. Hi Heather,

    I wrote to you a while back about switching my baby’s formula from good start to similac and you were right. She immediately stopped vomiting. Thank you so much! I just wish Wic would give me the similac sensitive but they don’t I guess I’m just going to bite the bullet and keep buying it =( do you know their laws on it in Florida? It’s getting very expensive and I’m not working so it’s really tough sometimes. Also she’s 4 months and refuses any kinds of solids I’ve tried everything. Maybe she’s not ready yet? Sorry for all the questions !! Your advice is very much appreciated.

    • Cindy, I’m so glad to hear that things have improved! I’m afraid I don’t know the laws in Florida much. My social work experience was limited primarily to Indiana and Tennessee. However, I did some brief searching and found this WIC document you may find helpful. It appears that if you can get a doctor’s approval that you need the Similac instead, WIC may provide that for you. Obviously, you seem to have a good case for needing the other formula. I may be completely wrong about this guess, but I would encourage you to call your doctor, show this form, and ask if it means what we think it means, and if SO, if he would request an exemption to purchase the Similac instead. Praying this works out for you, please let me know what happens! (hugs)

  52. Priscilla says:

    Hi Heather,

    My doctor suggested that we take my 6 month old son off of Similac Neosure. He was a month premature and had been on the Neosure and breastmilk for 4 months. He had been on strictly on Neosure formula for the past 6 weeks. Two weeks ago we switched him to Similac Advanced and he had a bad reaction. He was pooping a lot, it wasn’t diarrhea, but it cause a severe diaper rash. I took him off the Similac Advanced and put him on Goodstart Gentle for the past 8 days. He is still pooping all the time, it isn’t diarrhea but a yellow soft consistency. He is pooping about 6-11 times a day. Should I wait a little longer to see if he will adjust and stop pooping so often. Or should I try to switch him to another formula, Enfamil? I wanted to start him on solids soon, but I wanted to wait until this formula situation is a little more settled. Thanks in advance.

    • Priscilla, always wait at least a week between formula changes. And I would also get your doctor’s input on the 6-11 times a day pooping, just to confirm there’s nothing else going on there. :-)

  53. I am so glad to come across this post! My 6 week old was just diagnosed with reflux. When he was born we had a hard time latching him on the breast so the doctor had us supplementing with gentle ease…this gave him terrible gas and he started gaining weight (went to exclussive pumping) so he took him off.
    My supply has gone down and with the reflux my doctor suggested supplementing with AR formula. Well, it’s been 3 days and I’m thinking he’s got an allergy to it. I read the other article and he has the ring on his bottom that won’t go away and little bumps on his chest.
    My question now is which direction to turn!?! I just have no idea honestly and need some help!

    • Miranda, I would give your doctor a call and let him know. Usually the recommendation is to give every new formula at least a week to get into the system, but if there’s an allergy he may recommend doing something different. It’s a good idea to let him know what’s going on, and then he can let you know whether to switch or not.

  54. Hi Heather,
    Your site has so much great info, thanks! Quick question : Are Alimentum and Gerber Good Start Sooth considered to be in the same “family”?

    • No, Alimentum is a hypoallergenic formula, and Soothe is considered a almost-not-quite hypoallergenic. I would consider them as different and move slowly, just to limit the possibility of extra gas. Hope that helps!

  55. Hi Heather!
    I love your site!! So informative, thanks. My Joey is 21 weeks but born 5 weeks premature so adjusted age is 16 weeks. Initially solely breast fed while in the NICU. At 7 weeks he became very gassy. I tried doing everything I could to help. Long story short, even after seeing a GI specialist we are still dealing with his gassiness and crying, especially at night. So unbelievably frustrating and sad. No sleep = unhappy family. Well not all the time. He has went from breast feeding to nutramigen, then neocate, then enfimil prosebee back to nutramigen. We have some relief but then he resorts back to being miserable and always has gas.(burping-even 3 hours after a bottle and farting-both keep him from sleeping sound, therefore overtired. I’ve tried it all. Colic calm does help but isn’t solving the problem. He’s on Zantac. Just today I decided to switch to gentle ease. He’s had 2 bottles. I’m giving him 2 oz GE to 4 oz nutramigen which is what he’s been on for 5 days. Do you think this is a good choice to switch to?? Any suggestions or help I’d greatly appreciate. Again, love your site!!
    FYI so far today he’s napped 2 times at 1 1/2 hours each which is more than he has in 2 days. The soy to nutramigen really messed him up. Was pooping 3-4 times a day, very soft stools and now has a raw heinie. My poor boy… Please help!

    • Danielle, what a nightmare! He is so lucky to have such loving and attentive parents! As you’re switching, just make sure you’re giving each formula at least a week to work through his system before trying another one. Has he been checked for signs of acid reflux or tongue tie? A recent reader had similar issues and they discovered that a tongue tie was causing her to swallow lots and lots of gas. Another thing to discuss with your GI specialist is perhaps trying, for a short term, Prevacid or Prilosec. Zantac makes the spit up less acidic, Prevacid and Prilosec actually cut back on the spit up. Those are just some things I would ask your doctor about. If you feel that this doctor isn’t helping you find solutions for your baby, I would definitely seek a 2nd opinion. I hope this can help Danielle! Hang in there, keep seeking answers!

  56. Tired Mommy says:

    My son is 8 months old. My son is constantly up through the day screaming with gas. At night, he gets up every 1/2 an hour to 2 hours sometimes if we are lucky if we get 3-4 hours and that has happened a handful of times. Went to see the dr and was told to try acid reflux medication. We tried this for 4 months and did not get better. Finally switched formula Gentle ease, just as bad then went to Lactose free. He is still just as bad. He does not tolerate any cereal or solids (fruits,veggies etc..) wondering if should change to soy formula. Desperate sooooooooo exhausted!!!!

    • Oh friend! That’s so difficult! What a Gold-Star Mom you are! I know this is hard, but you are slogging through day after day, and that deserves some praise. Well done. My suggestion is to see another doctor and ask him about getting him tested for allergies. Something is definitely going on here, and the first doctor doesn’t sound like he was too helpful. Dig for answers, you are your little man’s advocate, and if your mommy-gut is telling you something’s wrong, you have every right to pursue answers. Ask your friends or on Facebook for some good pediatrician recommendations in your area and then set up an appointment to see him this week, if at all possible. I wish I could give you more answers, but I don’t have the medical training, and I think a physical face-to-face talk with someone qualified to help you is going to be your best bet. Hang in there!

    • Sounds exactly what we went through but after a 1-2 months we switched to soy and saw immediate improvement. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do what Heather said and go see about allergy testing.. I just can’t imagine going through that for 8 months. Trust your gut. Obviously your little one is not tolerating the formula well. Hang in there!! *hug*

  57. Hey Heather! I was going to ask your advice on a formula issue. We had out sweet girl six weeks early at only 3 lbs 13 oz. She is doing well and growing everyday but we can’t seem to find the right formula for her. She was in the NICU for a week and was eating Enfamil Enfacare 22 Calorie and breast milk. I fed her that and breast milk for six weeks and just couldn’t produce anymore. At that point, I had her strictly on the Enfacare. She started to get constipated, excessively gassy and fussy, dry skin all on her face and forehead. Nothing my husband and I did could comfort her or give her relief. She started arching her back, bending her legs, spitting up, etc. so we thought it was reflux and some tummy issues. The doctor switched us to Nutramigen and gave her a prescription for Zantac. For a few weeks she seemed to be okay but her bowel movements have gotten worse and worse. She has diarrhea all the time and it’s a constant battle with diaper rash. A friend of mine had a lot of luck with Gerber Good Start so I thought we would try the Protect in the green can because we have heard wonderful things about it. We’ve been mixing half and half her our Doctor but she still seems so fussy but doesn’t seem to have diarrhea. Should I just switch to the Protect cold turkey and see how she does? Any suggestions? I just don’t want her to get constipated again! My cousin also said Soy could be an option? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    • Crystal, poor little baby girl! So sorry to hear it’s been a bit of a roller coaster! Whatever you decide, since she was premature and had some health issues I would run it by the doctor to make sure. If she’s on Nutramigen now, I would potentially consider going to Good Start Soothe, it’s the gentlest of non-hypoallergenic formulas, and is a good way to step down. I would also NOT do cold turkey, but follow the instructions in the article above, since you’ll be moving from the Hypoallergenic family to the Non-hypoallergenic family. Again, get your doctor’s input and blessing first though! He’s got a wealth of knowledge and can give you the best advice. :-)

  58. Hi. I hope you can help. My daughter is 4 1/2 months old and around a month old we were having a horrible time finding a formula her system could tolerate. Eventually, after having no luck with most everything we tried, including Alimentium we put her on Similac Soy and suddenly it was as if we had a different baby. No more non-stop crying. She would sleep for longer than 20-30 minutes. No more diarrhea and constant farting. Within 3 days she was a happy baby. Since then, we have had to dEal with thick dark greenish/black poop, but otherwise no other issues.

    We tried getting formula through WIC but they only will offer us Enfamil Soy (which caused constipation so bad that juice/water didn’t help and our little girl would scream while pooping and would actually cause bleeding). Even with a Dr’s prescription WIC was unable to offer us Similac (which she tolerates). So, we struggle to buy her formula ourselves.

    Recently, I made a friend who offered to share her breast milk with our daughter. She does eat dairy, but since we were never told our daughter had a milk allergy, I was willing to try it.

    The first day I offered her one full feeding of breast milk. No reactions.

    The second day I gave her 2-3 bottles of breast milk and noticed she was spitting up a lot that night and didn’t sleep as well as usual, even though at night I was feeding her the soy. Her poops we more thinner in consistency and easier for her to pass though not watery.

    I took a day off from breast milk to see if she improved. It was a typical day and night.

    Yesterday I gave her a bottle of breast milk with no apparent reaction. However, today my daughter pooped and it was a more normal pastey soy poop (thick but not a solid). What freaked me out was, she screamed as if in agony as she continued to pass this soft thick paste. She often passes more solid type poops and it doesn’t phase her, she just grunts.

    I can’t be sure but I think I saw a small streak of blood on one part of the stool. However, when I tried to dab it to see if it was truly red the stool was so sticky it smeared to the wipe I dabbed to it, so I can’t be sure.

    I have a feeling she is allergic to dairy and she is reacting to the dairy in my friend’s diet but how do you really know?? I hate using my daughter as a guinea pig and after going through so much trial and error previously.. I am about to stop feeding her breast milk now.

    And if it is a dairy allergy.. Can babies grow out of it? Poor baby.

    • Kat, poor baby indeed! You have all been run through it!

      Unfortunately, I can’t give you advice about this. I don’t have the medical training that could give you a solid answer. I CAN however encourage you to go back and share this with your doctor (along with a dirty diaper so they can test it for blood). He has years and YEARS of training to answer these questions, and it’s just way out of my league.

      I will tell you, however, that you’re being a GREAT mom. You are seeking solutions to your questions. Sometimes we have to ask and look for answers longer than we would like with our kids, but you’re still asking those questions and seeking answers. That’s the hard work your baby needs you to do, since she can’t do it. And you are doing it beautifully. Keep at it Kat! You are the best mom for this precious little girl, and by asking these questions until you find answers, you are being her voice. Well done. Keep at it, friend!

  59. Hello
    I BF but wanted to introduce formula as I’m returning to work and am going to supplement with formula. Also, I got the flu a couple weeks ago and my supply went down so low I could barely produce enough. I have tried four different formulas and none agree with my little one. He is 13 weeks. Each time intry formula, if it doesnt work out then i take him off the formula and waite a week to introduxe a new one. Each time I’ve tried formula, I do 3.5 oz BM and 1 oz formula in three of his daytime feedings. I’ve tried gentle ease and it made his cheeks really red. Then I tried enfamil and he got red splotches all over his body. I tried earths best sensitive and he was crying in the evening and wouldn’t settle and woukdnt sleep all night. I tried Gerber good start and slept good at night but wouldn’t settle and nap during the day. Now I’m trying similac sensitive and he won’t sleep at night and wakes every 15 min. I had an allergist test him and he is not allergic to soy or milk or wheat. I don’t know what to do. Each time ive troed a formula, i only try it for about two days and pull him off if it isnt going well. Any advice? Also, should I try the formula for longer; will he get used to it?
    Thank you. This is so stressful, I appreciate the advice.

    • Erica, I can totally understand your frustration! I think your instincts (to try the formula for a longer period of time) are spot on. Doctor’s usually recommend a week. This is because it can take a week to get the OLD formula completely out of his system and see exactly how THIS formula is affecting him. Otherwise you don’t really know if it’s the current formula that’s causing the trouble, or the one he was on three days ago. Does that make sense? Try the Similac Sensitive for a week and see if any of these symptoms start evening out. I would also talk with your doctor about whether using probiotic drops could help his little digestive system. Here’s what they look like on Amazon. They’ve been shown to be helpful – but since he’s so little I would definitely talk it over with your doctor before trying.

      • Heather

        Thanks so much for the help. Each time I try a formula, If it doesnt agree with him then i pull him off the formula and exclusively BF for a week before introducing another kind of formula. so I know each time the other formula is out of his system. This way I know for sure it’s the new formula if I have trouble. I’ve done this every time ive tried a formula. Also, he has been on Gerber Soothe drops for seven weeks and they have a probiotic.
        My question is, if he’s been off formula for a week and has Been exclusively BF and I introduce a formula and it upsets him and hes up all night, then do I stick with that formula for a week and see if he gets used to it? Or do you pull him off and continue to BF for a week and then try a new formula a week later?
        I’ve now tried five formulas and none have worked. It’s so exhausting and confusing and frustrating. :((

  60. Hi Heather! Thank God for your blog and you for taking the time to answer. Here’s my story: my daughter is 6 weeks old.she’s been getting about 10 oz of breast milk a day and the rest on similac advantage since she was born. She’s been having very loose stools since birth but the ped doctor said it’s normal. However in the last week she went from 4-5 bm a day to once a day ( maybe twice if we are lucky) very loose green smelly bm. She’s gasy, fussy, and uncomfortable most day but closer when she has to go but there’s no spitting thank God. She had been showing colic symptoms since she was 3 weeks so I’ve been using fennel tea and gas drops as needed and that seemed to help. My question at this point is should I switch her to perhaps similac sensitive or continue with advantage? She’s putting weight on as she’s getting heavier as she grows, have not weighted her yet, but what bothers me is the very loose stools since she was born. They have never been pasty or harder than few curds here and there in the beginning. I hope I’m not making too much of this than it is, as in trying to ween of the breastfeeding as I return to work in 2 weeks. Thank you in advance.

    • Alina, thanks so much for commenting and sharing your dilemma!

      If she seems uncomfortable to you, go ahead and try the Sensitive formula for a week and see if she improves. If not, Similac does make a “Next Step” for sensitive-tummies babies called “Similac Total Comfort” that is the next rung on the gassy-tummy ladder for Similac. Sensitive has less lactose and Total Comfort has less lactose AND partially broken down proteins. So usually they recommend starting with the Sensitive and then trying the Total Comfort as a backup before a hypoallergenic formula. (Does that make sense?)

      Also, have you talked with your pediatrician about giving your baby probiotic drops like these? That could also be helpful. However, don’t give her anything without talking with the doctor first. He’s the baby health guru here, not me. :-)

      I hope this can help! Please feel free to comment back.

  61. Hoping someone can help. My son is 5 weeks old. The first week I breastfed. Then we slowly moved into Similac Sensitive. We were on that for about 2 weeks but awful gas and back arching. Dr. suggested moving to the Total comfort. So we moved to that and he did well but his BMS turned black/green tar like. I called the dr after about a week of this and he said we needed to make the switch to soy. He was concerned for blood in stool. We switched to Prosobee last night and since then he has been so fussy and hard to comfort. It has only been 5 feedings so I know I should give it time. Just hard to watch. The doctor said the next step would be to try hypoallergenic formula. What is your take? Do you think if they have issues with milk-based he will continue to have issues with soy or is it normal to see crying when switching? Also, which hypoallergenic formula do you prefer?

    • I’m not qualified to disagree with a doctor – always take his opinion over mine. It is very common for babies who struggle with milk to struggle with soy. My guess is that your doctor wanted to try the soy first, since it’s so much less expensive. If you had to switch abruptly, the fussy gas may be attributed to that as well. Share these recent developments with your doctor and see if he thinks it’s time to go over to the hypoallergenic right now, or to wait a week. I don’t really have a favorite hypoallergenic, since different babies do differently on different brands. :-) Start with whatever your doctor recommends first, and then test and try. I know this is exhausting, but every change and adjustment is really a step in the right direction towards finding the formula that works best with your little man. Hang in there!

  62. Hi my baby use Similac d blue tin but he was constipated so i went on 2 d orange tin same Similac for fussiness& gas he is 2months now an I realise he drinkin d tea sometimes he u to drink 4 ounce he drop to 2ounce or 1 or none pls what should I do?

    • Firstly, I would start weighing him every day to start watching for possible weight loss. If this continues for the rest of the week, give your doctor a call and ask for his professional opinion on the weight and feeding changes.

  63. My son was put on similac sensetive for some feeding issues in the NICU and he was always very grunty and seemed uncomfortable so when he was 2 weeks I switched him to soy bc that is what my daughter was on when she was an infant. He seemed to do ok although the grunting did not improve and he was now having a little more difficulty pooping so doc said 1/4 to a 1/2 a cap of miralax in his bottle bc we were having no luck with Karo syrup. I found this article after I switched yesterday afternoon and I switched him back to sensetive (he is 6 weeks now). At first he seemed to do well was passing gas easier but today he was fussier and acting more hungry than normal and tonight he was screaming. After reading thus I’m sure I shocked his system. Where do I go from here? Should I just stay with it for a week, should I add half soy back in or is it silly to do that since it’s already been 1 1/2 days? I feel wakeful and like I screwed him all up? Any advice would be helpful!

    • It’s okay Kelly, these things happen. (I NEVER figured this out with my 2nd, and we switched several times – poor thing!) Since it’s been a few days, I would just proceed and give it a week. Make sure your pediatrician is aware of the change you’ve made and you keep him up on the symptoms and things you’re experiencing. His advice is 10 times better than mine! :-)

  64. Thanks for the advice. We switched to hypoallergenic formula-Similac- last night since the soy had him so constipated. Today he is ok but he is still trying so hard to pass a BM. Last night he did have bm with help…it was rock hard and green. Hoping he regulates soon. I gave a little water to help. What all have you heard about the hypoallergenic formulas? Are most problems solved with this? I know it is “liquid gold” but I’m willing to pay if it helps him out. When he reaches a year do most babies have issues with milk or are they okay?

    • Becki, it really depends on the baby – how the hypoallergenics do. It sounds like you are doing the right thing, though, for the time being. Hopefully this will really help! Whether he has issues with milk at a year will depend on a lot of factors, including family history. Your pediatrician is best to answer that one. One other thing I thought I would mention: I’ve been hearing that some doctors have suggested adding some Miralax to bottles to help with constipation. I would NOT do this without a doctor’s advice, since it will be very important to get the right dose. However, that is something you could ask your doctor about if he is still having problems with constipation later this week. Hope things really improve!

  65. Hi heather. I have 7 week old twins. They started on similac advance but had problems with gas so we switched to similac sensitive in the orange can. My girl is now doing fine but my boy was constantly throwing up. He has been to the er and pyloric stenosis was ruled out so the dr thinks it is reflux. He is still gaining weight just not as much as his sister. We tried adding rice cereal to sim sensitive and it was terrible. A few days ago we switched him to soy and he is doing much better. I read so many controversial things about soy and would rather he be on a milk based formula. Do you have any suggestions for a milk based formula or do you think he has a milk allergy? Thanks so much for your help. It seems there is no one to talk to about all of these feeding issues and my dr doesn’t seem to be worried that he throws up at every other feeding

  66. Rochelle says:

    My 5 week old just started Alimentum but I found out WIC will only cover Nutramigen. Am I safe to switch straight over since they are basically mob brothers?

    • Run it by your doctor to be sure, but the prevailing thought is that yes, since they’re mob brothers :-) there should be minimal tummy trouble.

  67. My daughter is 8 weeks old (but born 3 weeks early) and is on Zantac for reflux. At about 3 weeks we changed her formula from enfamil newborn to similac sensitive, because she began being very fussy and gassy, and that is what my son took when he was a baby. We didn’t notice a difference and she was getting constipated, so after a week we tried Good Start Soothe since I’d heard so many good things. It seemed like she very quickly was a happier baby and didn’t have gas pains and grunting as much, but then after a couple days started crying a lot (much more than her normal) and this is when we went to the doctor and got the reflux diagnosis. I switched her back to enfamil regular because the gas was better to deal with than the crying. To me it seemed like the Soothe made her reflux worse, although it helped the gas and everything else. Dr didn’t want to add rice cereal to her bottles. Btw, her symptoms were of silent reflux, refusing bottle, fussy while eating, waking, only taking small amounts. So after about 10 days on the Zantac I wanted to try the Soothe again, hoping that since the reflux was controlled she could tolerate it. But we are back in the same boat, and she is crying much more than normal with the soothe and it doesn’t seem to be helping at all. Should I just go back to Enfamil where her reflux issues seemed to be controlled but had the horrible gas? Will all of the sensitive formulas basically be the same if I’m not able to add any rice cereal? I’d like to have the best of both worlds for her and be able to help her gas and reflux but isn’t happening so far. (Btw we use gas drops and do everything else for gas/reflux as far as during feeding etc). Our Ped isn’t big on changing formulas and doesn’t really recommend so I’m just trying what I think will help. Thanks! Love this site!

    • Being the parent of a reflux baby is ten times more difficult because you want so much to fix things! It’s hard to see our little ones suffer!

      I would go back (or call) your doctor and ask him about a few things.

          There are pre-thickened acid reflux formulas out there, they tend to clump less in the bottle and you don’t have to guess with the rice cereal, since it’s premixed. Here’s an article about them.
          Some studies have shown that babies with reflux also have allergies that can exacerbate the reflux. They show that sometimes using a hypoallergenic formula can also help with the symptoms.
          Finally, recent studies have shown that using probiotics is also helpful. Here’s an example of infant probiotics on Amazon – I would ask him about those as well.

      I hope this can give you some new things to try, Aubrey! Hang in there friend, and keep seeking solutions. Your daughter is a blessed little girl to have some loving parents!

  68. We started today with switching OFF of Alimentum to a lactose free formula. Baby is 5 months old and I’ve had suspicion that her issues when she was one month old that led us to Alimentum Were just general underdevelopment age-related issues that she has since grown out of. We were able to trek her off Zantac a little over a month ago with no problems and I don’t think she actually has MSPI. I think the Alimentum helped for a time because of her silent reflux. Anyway for the sake of our pocketbook and that awful dog food smell… We are trying lactose free. Doc said to do first morning bottle all lactose free and then Alimentum the rest of the day. Do that for a few days then up it to two full bottles of lactose free and so on. My question is: If she truly had a milk protein issue wouldn’t that first bottle today upset her tummy by this afternoon? And if it hasn’t couldn’t we move forward with your method of combining some of each in each bottle? TIA!!!

    • I would follow your doctor’s advice first. He’s spent the big bucks on learning all the ins and outs to give you the most accurate information for your specific child. Did they do a test to confirm the milk protein issue? If not, you could ask him about that.

  69. Heather says:

    Made a HUGE FTM mistake. We just recently (like 24 hours ago) switched to Alimentum by docs suggestion. The Dr didn’t say anything about transitioning and I had no idea and gave her Alimentum from goats milk. She is now constantly crying with, what I assume to be, tummy ache. Which I now completely understand given the abrupt switch. Should I go back and start transitioning or keep on since the damage is done?

    • If you’re not switching due to a severe reaction, I would go back and move slower. That said, it took me a few days to approve your post (the weekend) and I’m just seeing this…so you could just push through it and hope for the best. Don’t worry Heather, though. It’s a mistake we’ve ALL made at some point! Some babies don’t seem to notice, so it can slip by, but it sounds like your little girl seems like she noticed. Hope it’s better now!

  70. MICHELLE says:

    I started brestfeeding my baby until 4wks i did a gradule transition from breat milk to Enfamil Reg. Cows-Milk. At about 6wks she was showing signs of crankiness , constipation , and spitting up. We switched to Enfamil Gentlease, not at a gradual transition as i did with the breast milk. She was still spitting up so we tried feeding more frequently as if she was a newborn (every 2hrs) and sitting her upright for 30mins. This made a difference with the spit up but we started to notice her skin was having a “reaction”. She had signs of eczema, but there were alot of light discoloration all over her chest,tummy,and back. We took her to a allergist wk 1/2 ago. And he couldnt determine what it may be, told us to try out a Soy formula for 3wks and come back. If nothing changes, he will do a milk allergy test.

    WELL… we did a drastic switch and did not transistion smoothy..
    but we went with Enfamil Prosobee and it has only made things worse. She now sleeps through the night 9pm-5:30am . She is taking 3 1/2 – 4oz bottles, but she is spitting up small amts after feeding after a couple burps. Then within hrs until the next feeding she spits up large amts. Its not projectile. but it smells vomity.(< like that word lol ) .. Her poop has changed to harder stools also, one in which had little bit of blood. She doesnt show signs of discomfort from spitting up. She will get cranky when you pull the bottle away to try and give her a break. She has always showed great signs of weight gain.

    Her skin is showing a very little change.. So ive read and read and read but im still timid and dont know what to do. Do i try a DIFFERENT BRAND soy formula, go with a more sensitive formula like Gerber Good Start, or a well mixed broken down formula like Enfamil Pregestimil ??? Like i said the Allergist could not pin point if she had a milk allergy but bc she is so young he wanted us to do some trail & eroor before performing a milk allergy test ( URRGH)
    HELP :)

    • Michelle, what a nightmare! I would talk with your doctor about potentially trying out a hypoallergenic formula like Nutramigen or Alimentium. It’s very common for babies with a milk allergy to also struggle with soy. (Not guaranteed, but common – he was probably hoping your daughter would do better on the soy, thus saving you a lot of money on the hypoallergenics.) Talk to him about that option and see what he says. Since you’ve tried the gentle formulas and now the soy formulas, it seems the hypoallergenics is the next logical step, but he would know best.

  71. In desperate need of help! At 4 weeks old, I began the transition from BM to formula. I use Enfamil Gentlease. From this time, every evening or middle of the night, my son has a crying session. It typically is after a feeding. It begins about 30 minutes after a 5:30-6pm feeding and he cries on and off anywhere from 1-2.5 hours. If it doesn’t happen in the evening, it will happen at his 1-2am feeding. His cry begins as being fussy to a loud, painful cry that leaves him sweating like crazy. My doctor believes he is just fussy. I am uncertain if this could be a result from the formula. However, if it were, wouldn’t he be fussy after every feeding? Any insight would be great!

    • There’s no harm in switching to another gentle formula, and seeing if that helps. Give it at least a week and see if you notice any changes. Also, if this problem continues, you could seek a 2nd opinion with a new doctor. It’s not insulting. Science (including medicine) is subject to peer review. So don’t feel guilty or bad if you want another medical “peer” to give him a look over. :-)

  72. My 8 week old switched to Nutramigen from Gerber soothe after experiencing constipation, episodes of screaming and crying from gas pains during the night, he is also on Zantac for reflux and his pediatric GI suggested that he switched after we tried Miralax and gripe water interventions without positive results. Yesterday was his first day on Nutramigen, he was crying and screaming in the evening, appeared hungry but I didn’t think it was hunger due to his previous feeding schedule. My LO however had a very good night sleep (5 hours straight, and no gas pain episodes like before). I spoke with GI specialist today who stated my LO was indeed experiencing hunger due to Nutramigen not staying in his stomach as long as the other formulas, and suggested for me to add rice cereal to his bottles. Clearly Im not a medical professional but I was under the impression rice cereal in the bottles should be introduced later, before solids? Do you think its best to increase feedings instead? GI specialist said newborns receive this in the NICU and told me to not worry about introducing rice cereal, that it will simply stay in his stomach longer. My LO seems to be doing well on Nutramigen (other than the hunger signs and a few spit ups). He also had two mustardy peanut butter textured bowel movements today, for the first time since he switched from breast milk to formula at when 4 weeks old. I know its still early, but Im excited he showed progress in some areas and would like to give this formula more time. Greatly appreciate the help:)

    • Marrie, Rice cereal in the bottle is a common suggestion for babies who are struggling with acid reflux. Just follow his directions very closely in regards to how much cereal to put into the bottle. You don’t want it too thick. It’s effective because the cereal makes the milk thicker and heavier, which helps keep the food from sliding back up during a reflux episode. I would follow your doctor’s instructions, but absolutely feed whenever you feel he’s hungry. That may seem like a lot right now, because there’s usually a growth spurt around 8 weeks. Sounds like you’re doing a GREAT job, Marrie! He’s a blessed little boy. :-) Please let me know if I can do anything else to help!

      • Heather this website is God sent! Thank you for the validation and support you bring even when medical professionals (not all) don’t do so. The Nutramigen switch from gerber soothe has worked wonders for his tummy troubles, as he is no longer constipated (has two healthy looking bowel movements a day), and no longer wakes up screaming and crying from gas pain. However, since the switch to Nutramigen, and even with the added rice cereal, his silent reflux is out of control. 45 min to an hour following a feeding he cries, arches his back, makes an agony face, and typically soothes by having a pacifier or his hands in his mouth constantly, he also gets hiccups regularly. Hardly any spit ups however, so I think rice cereal (beechnut) has helped. With gerber soothe we never saw these silent reflux symptoms. My husband and I are thinking of switching him back to soothe following your recommended transition (1 oz of gerber sooth, 3oz of old Nutramigen on first day, 2:2 on the second day, then complete switch), but are hesitant to do so because we then remember all his tummy troubles while he was on it! His GI specialist has him on Zantac and mentioned Prevacid was the next possible medication to add, but was hesitant to do it last week due to possible scary side effects. I considered switching to The AR formula, thinking this might help with silent reflux, but was concerned about possible tummy troubles again as he would have them with gerber soothe. His GI specialist said it is likely that other formulas will also irritate his tummy since gerber is one of the most gentle formulas out there. I’m returning to work in a week and a half, and my heart is in such deep sorrow just thinking about my LO experiencing digestive issues, or reflux from the switch or continuing on the same, and in addition adjusting to sitter:( tough decisions, keep him on Nutramigen with added medication and pray meds will work with silent reflux instead of creating worse side effects, transition to another formula either go back to the gerber soothe (maintain on miralax, gas drops, gripe water, as dr suggested) or an AR formula. I noticed his dr doesn’t seem to not recommend any formula other than Gerber or Nutramigen. I greatly value your knowledge and response, I’m very overwhelmed! Thank you!

        • I’m so thankful that you’ve found the website helpful!

          A little background on the Zantac/Prevacid thing. Zantac is a medication that doesn’t lessen the amount of acid being produced, it just makes it less acidy. (Hope that makes sense.) Prevacid actually blocks the ducts producing the bile, so it reduces the amount of acid being created. Most doctor’s give Zantac the first try, since babies can be on that for a longer period of time. Prevacid is usually one of the backup plans used because it should only be used for a few weeks, since your baby really does need the acid being produced, it’s just that his valve isn’t completely formed. So it’s used to help buy some more time until he grows a little bigger. You may already know this, but I wanted to share it just in case. Most parents aren’t. :-)

          I will share some thoughts for you, but please understand they aren’t advice. You and your doctor know your situation best. The best decision will come from both of you. :-)

          As for the formula, I think your doctor is probably correct about staying on the Nutramigen. New studies have shown the hypoallergenic formulas really tend to well with acid reflux babies. To go back to the Soothe, or try AR (which is regular formula with pre-mixed cereal) may take you in the wrong direction. I would try to wait this out and give the Zantac time to work, potentially using the Prevacid if you have to. You are on the right path, you just have to continue to patient to see how things work out.

          THAT SAID! :-) If you haven’t yet, talk with your doctor about adding probiotic drops to your daily routine. (Here’s some baby drops on Amazon.) Recent studies have show probiotics to be very helpful in controlling the symptoms of acid reflux in babies.

          I know this is a extremely difficult time for you. A few things I would encourage you to remember: As far as “good parenting” goes, you guys are rock stars. The hardest thing to do is love and care for a baby who isn’t necessarily fun to love and care for. Anyone can hold a cuddle a baby that coos and smiles the whole time. It’s hard to consistently give love and care to a child who doesn’t seem to want it. (He does, he’s just reacting to the confusion of having pain, which is a new thing for him!)

          As difficult as this time is, take heart in the fact that your little man isn’t going to remember it. YOU will, of course, but there is no long term negative effects to this. There ARE a LOT of positive long-term effects, however, as he learns that his parents are a source of care and comfort for him. He won’t know how he knows this, but he will learn that lesson well, and it will serve him the rest of his life – to know that he is deeply loved, and that you will meet his needs. That’s a big deal. And you’re doing a wonderful job at it.
          This week’s post, I think, will be particularly encouraging to you. I’m just finishing the last edits today. I hope you can find it uplifting. It helped me just to write it!

          You are doing everything you should be doing. You are asking questions, making adjustments, seeking cures. These are all hallmarks of good parents. He’s a blessed little boy. Keep doing exactly what you’re doing, because you’re doing everything exactly right. :-)

  73. Cassidy says:

    My baby has been breastfed for 8 months and my supply has decreased so I’m trying formula. I tried enfamil infant it’s only been two days and he has been extremely fussy. Should I try another formula already or wait it out for about a week?

    • Cassidy, did you by change go slow? Or was it an abrupt switch? If it was abrupt, don’t worry. :-) I would try to last a few more days and see if it settles out. If it doesn’t, then move to a gentle formula. You shouldn’t have to slowly switch that time, as long as you aren’t going to soy or hypoallergenic. They’re all cow’s milk. Does that make sense? Hang in there! :-)

  74. Kristen says:

    I find this blog interesting and thought I might share my son’s experience. Since the beginning things were rough. After a failed induction, 2 days of labor, and an emergency c section the breastfeeding thing was nearly impossible. He had jaundice and lost about 2 pounds and despite constant attempts, 3 lactation consultants, and pumping every 2 hours I couldn’t produce enough milk for even 1 feed. Naturally we tried several formulas: similac, enfamil, gentlease, similac sensitive rtf, nutramigen. I was told my son had colic but he didn’t cry often but that was why he had blood in his diaper and projectile vomited, so try zantac. Doctor switch as well as a visit to a gi specialist where the specialist said that’s normal but try elecare. After months of that causing more vomiting the gi specialist said he’d prescribe prilosec but refusing feeds, vomiting then screaming, and occasional blood in the stool was normal and the only thing to do is stay on elecare cause if he’s allergic to anything that won’t aggravate it (never went back to that clown). So the fix which didn’t help was to put rice cereal in the bottle. After a couple more months with zero improvement and a major constipation issue I decided to forget these doctors and switched to holle. Within 24 hours the vomiting stopped. This was the end of February 2014 (he was born august 2013). The constipation was still an issue and I ended up going to a major hospital in Chicago where it was determined my son’s anus was too small. Since that time we have been stretching his butt daily with dilators and he has been on miralax to keep the stool softer. After the holle switch my son was a different baby, and now that we’ve made progress with the dilations he’s been able to go on his own sometimes. We just started weaning him from the daily probing to maybe see if he’ll start going more on his own. The hospital has not ruled out something like hirschsprungs for sure but they seem pretty confident that once he learns to poop he’ll be OK.
    As far as formula the only thing that seemed to be fine was the milk based holle. The thing that seemed to cause the problem was dha/ara. I don’t think it was only a coincidence that my son’s constant spitting up and projectile vomiting stopped within a day of the holle. I thought maybe corn was a problem but now that he eats that and has no side effects the only thing left is the dha/ara. If you’ve tried just about everything and nothing works I’d seriously consider a switch to a formula without it. The only 2 I know of are holle and another called Bellamy ‘ s organic Since it’s easier for me to get the holle I tried that. I know how miserable this all is and I’ve been there, but know that it’s temporary. I know it’s hard to believe when you’re in the thick of it but it will improve and you’ll finally get to meet your real baby (not the crying, in constant pain little being that’s trying so hard just to get a little relief and can’t).

    • Kirsten, thanks for sharing this with us! I’ve heard Holle brought up a few times, but haven’t researched it yet. Seems like it might be time to dust off my notebook and start digging in! Love your encouragements at the end, that’s definitely something moms need to hear! xo

  75. I want to know is gerber gentle snd gerber gentle supplement the samething?

    • Sheri, I believe the supplement formula is relatively new. It’s my guess that the “Supplement” is being recommended for moms who want to do both breast and formula. If you’re not breastfeeding, I would do just the gentle. My guess is that it’s just marketing – that they’re basically the same. But, just in case, I wouldn’t use the “supplement” formula if you’re not breastfeeding. Hope that makes sense…

  76. At about 2.5 months the pediatrician put my little guy on Alimentum after he spit up a tiny bit of blood and a little bit was found in one diaper. I stopped nursing and followed his recommendations even though I felt that the blood probably came from me. Don’t get me wrong, I was alarmed. He had been very colicky and was on medication for reflux as well but we had problems with nursing (arching back, biting, pulling). When things didn’t get better, we were referred to a Gastroenterologist who changed his dosage of Omeprazole and added Baclofen and Gerber Soothe drops (probiotic). We saw improvement and were then given the ok to “try” Gerber Soothe formula instead of the drops. I did a very gradual shift… maybe too gradual (2 days 1:3, 3 days 1:1, 2 days 3:1). He’s now been on Soothe alone for nine days. His bowel movements are very difficult for him. Where he was going every 2-3 days during the transition, he’s now going daily but he strains, turns red and often cries. His poos are very solid mixed with looser poo. His eczema seems worse (cheeks and patches on back) and he’s been a bit fussy but he is also teething. I bought Alimentum last night thinking I may need to go back despite the cost ($60/wk) but I guess I want reassurance. Do you think it’s the formula? Have I given it long enough? I am an over analyzer to the tenth degree so… HELP! Please.

    • Rhyea, what an emotional roller coaster! I think you may be on the right track to go back to the Alimentum (but your doctor will be able to confirm that for sure – definitely share this with him). My guess is that he’s still struggling with the digesting of things. I would talk with your doctor and then go back to the Alimentum for another month and then try again. In particular, make sure your doctor is aware of the straining and having mixed solid/liquid poos. You may also need to bring in a stool sample, FYI. Hang in there Rhyea. It won’t always be like this. One day at a time. (hugs)

  77. Hi there, first off- I love your website, thank you! My daughter is now 8weeks old with silent reflux that we thankfully picked up very early but probably due to the severity of her symptoms. Impossible to overlook. Our pediatrician put her on Neocate immediately(to be taken for two weeks and then transition over to Pedicate), it’s now been 8days. Day 1-6 was downhill; remarkably day 7 I had a new smiling happy baby girl. I thought my prayers have been answered. For some reason on day 8 we are right back where we started with the constant screaming; arching back; refusing bottle; hiccups; interrupted sleep etc. Could day 7 just have been a fluke? Could it be the taste of Neocate that’s suddenly putting her off? What’s the next step in terms of formula?(I.e. Do I stick with the Neocate a while longer or do I consider a change, if so to what?) I live in South Africa- the only other AA formula is the Alimentum one but very difficult to find here. I’m not sure why the pediatrician wants to move over to Pedicate(it’s similar to neonate but whey based and less hydrolised)- do I stick it out and follow her advice(what if I do and it ends up not helping) or do I search for a solution for my poor baby girl… Also, pediatrician doesn’t want to medicate, said if this doesn’t work that we would do a gastroscopy/endoscopy on my little one. Heartbreaking. Any suggestions?

    • Meliska, I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog! I would stick with the Neocate for a few more days and see what happens. I would also seek a second opinion on the no-medication thing. I can see what he’s saying, but it’s hard to tell that to parents who aren’t sleeping and don’t see their baby getting better. Always good to have options. Then you can decide which ones to try and which to ditch. Also, ask him about using probiotics. Recent studies have indicated that can help. Good luck friend, I’m so sorry this has been such a struggle. You’re doing EXACTLY what you should be doing, though, advocating for her. She’s a blessed baby to have such attentive and wonderfully caring parents!

  78. A feeding question…
    My 4 month old son was recently put on Nutramigen due to fussiness, hefty spit up, and lack of weight gain. We were looking to see if there was a possible milk allergy. I was also given a prescription for Zantac to try if symptoms didn’t improve. My baby is seems to much happier after being on the Nutramigen. However, we are still having severe issues with spitting up after the formula switch and Zantac. We also have very liquid dirty diapers. Do you feel as if trying the Enfamil AR for spit up or maybe trying Smiliac’s Alimentum would be our best bet for the next step?

    • Ginny, I’m sadly not the person to answer that question. I would share this all with your doctor, and see what he thinks. I CAN tell you, however, that if there’s a milk allergy, the AR isn’t going to help you. It’s based on cow’s milk – it’s only prethickened for reflux babies. You could try it for a few weeks and see what happens, but I wouldn’t do so without a doctor’s approval. If he really wants you to stay on the Nutramigen, ask him about adding a little rice cereal thickener to the formula. Also, probiotic drops like these on Amazon have been shown to help with refluxing babies as well – may want to ask his opinion on that while you’re at it. I hope this can help, I’m sorry I couldn’t be more specific!

      • Thank you for getting back to me. We switched to the AR and with in 24 hours my baby was screaming and tense again. It did help with the spit up. So we are now back on the Nutramigen. However, we are still having the spit up issue. I have added the cereal to the bottles and have not seen much improvement yet. I’m going to give that another day or two to see if I can tell a difference. I can’t decide if we also have reflux with the milk allergy or if my baby just spits up a LOT. Do the probiotic drops help with spit up or just reflux?

        • Ginny, two steps forward…one step back. So it often seems with these things. Keep persevering and communicating with your doctor on all these changes. I would give it at least a week (if you can) to see how he adjusts to everything. The probiotic drops were mentioned as an effective treatment for acid reflux, but I can’t tell you exactly why (spit up or reflux) because the doctor who was lecturing didn’t get into those details. My guess is both, but a doctor’s answer is ALWAYS better than my guess. :-) Hang in there, you ARE making progress, little bit by little bit. You know what’s helpful and what isn’t, which is more than you knew 2 weeks ago!

  79. My LO is 3 months old. She had pneumonia (treated at home with antibiotics) at 7 weeks old. At 8 weeks she had chest congestion and we did a week of breathing treatments. Then 9-10 weeks she would spit up and projectile and out her nose. She was BF in hospital but started Similac Advance our first night home (I tried but was too stressed BF). Ped told us she has reflux so we switched to Similac Spit-up. After one week of it she was so congested she would almost choke. I tried switching to Enfamil Gentlease but that same day she caught a stomach bug and threw up all day. We had an appointment with a reflexologist(holistic/chiropractic doctor) that day about her reflux and was told she did NOT have reflux and her throwing up and congestion was due to her formula. With her being sick that day we had to do Pedialyte for 12 hours then watered down formula for 12 hours then regular strength. When we went to the formula after Pedialyte we used Similac Sensitive. I took her to the Ped the day after reflexologist appointment and they suggested the Sensitive. Well here again it has been another week since formula change and she’s awful congested on the Sensitive, but spitting up is only dribbles. The Ped told me to start breathing treatments. But I had a follow-up with reflexologist and he said try another formula, he suggested Soy. I bought Similac Soy and Ped said it’s okay to switch to it. But I am nervous now. I want to listen to my Ped but I do not want my 3 month old on medicine, she’s already been on too much from 6 weeks on. I want to think the reflexologist is right and it is all caused by formula. What are your thoughts? By the way, I use the Nose Frida and saline daily on her congestion and she sleeps with a cool mist humidifier. She has dry coughs but no other signs of reflux. Never fusses, burps right, stools normal, and isn’t gassy.

    • Samantha, I’m so sorry to hear about all the stress you’ve been under for the past 3 months! Yikes. That said, you are shining through this story like a beacon of “awesome mothering”. You are asking the right questions, pursuing the right leads, and being the perfect advocate your baby needs you to be. That is amazingly wonderful. Well done. :-)

      As to your question, I’m really not qualified or educated enough to give advice on this situation. I WOULD however, ask your doctor about whether allergies could be at play here and what their thoughts are on using a low-lactose formula (like Similac Total Comfort) or a hypoallergenic formula (like Alimentium). If it’s a formula issue, it’s usually related to the lactose. (Unfortunately many babies will have a similar reaction to soy than they have to lactose.) Start there and see where it leads. Most importantly, though, know that you are doing all the right things, and in time, these things WILL resolve themselves and improvements WILL be made. Eyes on the horizon my friend! (hugs)

  80. My 12 week old has been having tummy issues since day one, mostly bad gas that she had a hard time passing. She was exclusively breast fed so I cut dairy out of my diet and noticed a huge improvement. at 8 weeks I realized her latch had gotten lazy and as a result my production went down and I started to supplement as she is a very hungry and impatient baby! We got Good Start as a sample and she seemed to enjoy it, until the tummy issues started again. I couldn’t get in to see her doctor, so I decided to switch to Gentle Ease (another sample). She did not take to it well and 2 days later we switched to a lactose free formula also from enfamil. She loves it and has no trouble passing gas now but there is definitely more gas! She also hasn’t had a bowel movement in 36 hours, which is not normal for her at all. Would this be because we switched too fast? Or is it normal? I guess I’m looking to have my mind eased a bit until we can see her doctor. She only has 2-3 bottles a day of formula (maybe 8 ounces max. She likes to snack, not gorge)

    • It’s hard to tell exactly what formula changes do to a specific baby’s digestive system. She may be experiencing more gas due to the abrupt switch, but that should change after a few days. It’s not uncommon for bowel habits to change with a formula change as well. Remember, it’s not frequency that defines constipation. It’s texture. (Nasty!) If she’s absorbing the nutrients in the new formula better, it makes sense she won’t have as much waste. Keep an eye on her next poop, and if it’s thicker than peanut butter and it seems she’s really straining, ask your doctor about the possibility of adding a little prune juice to loosen things up. I hope this can help Sabrina! Sounds like you’re doing a great job!

  81. My baby has been on Nutramigen since 1 month old. He is now 4 months and no longer colicky. Can I switch formulas before starting him on solids so his body can adjust to start digesting foods instead of just absorbing the predigested formula? Or do I not fix something that isn’t broke.

    • I can totally understand why you’d like to try to switch back. Nutramigen is expensive! :-) I would firstly run this by your doctor and get his opinion. Then, if you get the thumbs up, I would switch to one of the ultra-sensitive formulas (that aren’t hypoallergenic) like Similac Total Comfort or Good Start Soothe – using the instructions in the article above. Then pay close attention for about 7 days to see what things change. Good luck friend!

  82. Hi! I have a cute 8 month old on nutramigen for reflux. She is on solids and doing really well! :) Her dr wants me to transition her to another formula now that she seems to be growing out of it. He would not offer advise as to wich one to try. She is doing so well I am hesitant to just start messing with her little body. During her first 2 months I tried several formulas (similac advance, gentlease, good start gentle) all of which constipated her and did nothing for her silent reflux. It was a terrible time and that I dont want to repeat. I want to follow the dr advise but I’m weary to just start something new. Any advise?

  83. Jamie Robersin says:

    My 4 week old has been in Good Start Gentle since birth. About 4 or & days ago he started spitting up and having really bad episodes of having gas. Stretching his legs out and just seeming like he is very uncomfortable. He seems to be uncomfortable during and after feeding. He has a ton of wet burps and gets hiccups all the time. The pediatrician switched him to the Soothe formula. Does this sound like the formula he may need?

    • I think that’s a great place to start. Soothe is as gentle as you can get without moving to a hypoallergenic. Give it a week and see if it gets any better. :-)

  84. Hi, I love your articles and website! I have a quick question. What if I wanted to switch from a regular formula (gerber good start gentle for supplementing) to an organic formula (baby’s only)? Just switch right over or do it slowly? Thank you!

    • That’s a great question, Sami! The question you need to ask is this: Are both formulas based on the same kind of milk? If so, than no slow shift is usually necessary. If the answer is NO – say you’re switching from Good Start Gentle to Baby’s Only Organic Soy – than you’d want to follow the directions above. (You’d also need to go slowly if you were going to from a regular formula to a hypoallergenic formula, btw.)

      That’s the textbook answer, of course. The “Mom” answer is to follow your gut. If your baby seems very sensitive and is naturally gassy, you may want to go slow anyway. Just in case. :-)

  85. my month old has starting to be super gassy and just uncomfortable eating little amounts more often and not in one sitting I took her to the doc to check her out and couldn’t see the doc we had been seeing and he said she might be not ok with the formula we are using Enfamil yellow can and he suggested trying nutragrimen but im wondering if I should try gentle ease I wont get wic for another month or so and cant afford the nutragrimen

    • Audrey, talk with your doctor about your financial situation. Perhaps he has some free samples or special discount coupons he can offer you for the Nutramigen. He may also be aware of some local formula assistance programs you may be eligible for. Start there, and if you’re not able to get help to afford the Nutramigen, perhaps ask him if you could try Similac Total Comfort instead for a while. That’s a very gentle formula – as gentle as you can get before you get to a hypoallergenic. Perhaps that will do it!

  86. My girl is 3 weeks old. She was very gassy and on Enfamil Infant at the hospital. We picked up Enfamil Newborn not noticing the difference on the label and used it up until yesterday. She was somewhat fussy on the Enfamil Newborn. We tried gripe water and gas drops. She was actually doing really well, but we live out in the country and ran out of formula. We had a big container of the Enfamil gentlease so we had to start using it yesterday. She has been so fussy since we switched. She hadn’t been this bad at all before. So I am thinking we made a big mistake starting this new formula. Guess we should have made the 90 mile round trip to get the formula when we ran out. Any advice on if this will get better? My first child had tummy problems as a baby. He did well on Similac Soy and still drinks Soy only now at age 3. Please help!

    • Ginger, usually it just a few days. Having grew up in rural Iowa, I can totally relate to the whole “90 minute round trip” thing. Not fun! Have you tried signing up for Subscribe and Save at Amazon? If you’re a prime member it’s free shipping, and you can set it up to mail automatically so you don’t get in this situation again. (I use it for toilet paper, and other “staples” I always seem to forget – it’s a lifesaver!)

  87. Me again. I’ll be switching to the baby’s only organic dairy with dha. He took a full bottle of the baby’s only tonight and seems to be doing fine (so far). Do you think we could start off half and half mixture and go up from there or do exactly as you write above? Thanks!

  88. I have a 7 week old that was put on soy at birth (for no apparent reason, its what the nurse gave me for her first formula) and now the ped is concerned about the amount of estrogen in soy and told me to switch to gentlease. I had a can of Good Start Soothe on hand so I cold turkey switched her. Since reading your posts I see I did it wrong. Its been 24 hours since she has been on Milk based and seems fine. Should I continue with giving her full milk or should I mix soy/milk to avoid problems? She has always been very fussy and cries all the time. I havent noticed a change in the last 24 hours of her new formula. :( Also, dr put her on milk of magnesia for hard stools. Im wondering if this is the cause of her fussiness, as it kind of started then. Thanks for any advice you have.

    • If she seems like she’s doing okay, I would continue as you’re going. Sorry for the delay in my response – somehow the computer buried your comment and I’m just now seeing it! As for the constipation, perhaps ask your doctor about adding some prune juice to the bottle instead of the magnesia. Perhaps that can help also with the fussiness!

  89. I came across this post while searching about transitioning between formulas, and oh boy am I thrilled that you are still keeping up with this page over a year later! Lol So my daughter is now 10 weeks old. I breastfed up until she was about 7 weeks old. I had a sample can of both enfamil newborn and gentle ease. I was supplementing once in awhile with the gentle ease while I was breastfeeding because my milk wasnt coming in consistently I guess u could say. she did great with it from what it seemed like. One day my milk was just gone, and I only had the can of enfamil newborn left so I started her on that. That was the WORST week ever for her! Super cranky gassy CONSTANTLY! She also has had acid reflux since she was born, she isn’t on medication because she is gaining weight and growing wonderfully she just is constantly spitting up. When I went to get her more gentle ease to switch her back the stores where I live did not have it. So I got 1 can of pro sobee the soy enfamil and 1 can of the AR because I wasn’tsure which would be best, so iI started her on the soy which she has now been on for over a week. And since I switched her she is constantly hungry and has had hard poops, screaming like I’ve never heard her before, and she will push forever and a little tiny dime size peice will come out after like a half hour of pushing off and on while crying. I’m wanting to switch her to a different formula I don’t think soy works well with her. I’m wondering what you think would be good for her? I can’t get in to see her pediatrian for a couple weeks and I don’t want to make her wait that long when she’s in pain like this. I have the can of enfamil AR still, but I wasn’tsure if the rice in it would make her cconstipation worse or not? Or should I just find a store that sells the gentle ease because I know she did pretty good with that one? Oh and she is not cow milk intolerant or anything! I just got the soy because I thought it would be easy on her tummy. But I was definitely very wrong!!

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Jackie,

      I agree with you, ditch the soy! Constipation is such a trial (for the baby AND you). Please take a look at Heather’s article about Acid Reflux here. But I also think it would be wise for you to consider what has already worked for your little one! You might consider ordering the Gentle Ease on line, whatever it takes to help your little one eat and thrive!

  90. Ok my 8 mth baby has been on simlac advanced the switch to good start soothe ,tried soy and now simlac dark purple can the alithuim ..hes been on this for about 5 months well he recently started rejecting the milk and pushing his bottle away.well i went back to the soothe good start and he drinks it fine but now he isnt taking his 30 to 1 nap.if he naps its a 10 min nap.and at night time hes really fussy and waking up crying every 30 mins.
    Well idk if im doing wrong but its been 3 days that i started giving him the soothe during the day and the alithum at time night so he can sleep..its been helping but i dont know what else to do..is there any advice or another formula that can help my little one..

    • Danielle Miller says:

      Lisa,

      The good news (and the bad news!) is that it can take up to a week to see the difference when you make a change in formula.
      If things aren’t better by now (it’s been a week since your post) try the solutions in Heather’s article for solving formula problems or the suggestions to finding the right formula here. Hope your little one will get some relief!

Speak Your Mind

*

GSC-Logo-Small