Formula for Gassy Baby: Choosing the Right Digestive Health Options
As parents, you do everything you can to ensure your baby receives all the proper nutrients while remaining happy and comfortable. Yet, despite your efforts, your baby may still develop some level of gas.
Although having a gassy baby is normal, it's never easy to see them crying and wiggling in discomfort. If your baby keeps you up at night and is struggling for relief, it might be time to switch to a formula for gassy baby needs.
These formulas are specifically designed with your baby-sensitive digestion tract in mind; you just need to pick the right one.
Read this guide on choosing a formula for a sensitive tummy and the best practices to combat baby gas.
What Causes Gas?
It takes time for your baby to develop its gastrointestinal tract. From the moment they ingest their first feed, their body works hard, switching from absorbing nutrients from the placenta to breaking down the formula's nutrients.
This, as a result, creates a natural build-up of gas.
Not to mention the other external factors that cause gas, like swallowing air during feeds and lying flat for long periods; these combinations can make a very cranky baby.
But the biggest cause that is often most concerning is the type of formula you feed your baby. Most standard brands and generic formulas contain ingredients that are harsh on a baby's stomach during this sensitive time.
As your baby gets older, their body will create a unique microbiome (a collection of good gut bacteria) and be able to process these ingredients and pass the gas easily. Until then, a certain amount of intervention is needed during their first year.
Baby Gas Symptoms
You can likely tell your baby has gas from the smells and sounds they produce, but there are other symptoms and signs you may want to pay attention to. They include:
Spitting up After Eating
There's a reason burping cloths are a popular must-have on every baby registry. All babies spit up a lot, and it's not the first symptom to be overall concerned about.
However, you should still take the necessary steps to figure out why. Spitting up removes trapped air before it passes through the GI tract, so it's worth investigating why air became trapped in the first place.
Gas pain is very uncomfortable for young babies. If you finish feeding your baby formula, and they are fussy or crying, they may have gas.
Drawing Legs Towards Chest
Your baby might have gas if you see them draw their legs to their stomach continuously. This motion is their way of trying to relieve gas discomfort.
Change in Appetite
Like adults, babies will reduce appetite if they're having stomach issues like diarrhea and bloating. This can become serious and could affect your baby's overall health.
If you notice any or all of these symptoms, then a trip to the pediatrician is warranted. They'll explore feeding habits as well as the formula your baby eats and give you the recommendation to change your baby formula.
Then it'll be up to you to find and choose a formula that'll best fit the needs of you and your little one.
Formula for a Gassy Baby: What to Look For
What do you look for when searching for the right formula to help relieve your baby's gas while at the same time promoting good nutrition? In the U.S, every national and generic brand must meet a basic nutritional guideline to promote baby development and growth, with any additional ingredients being left to the brand or company.
Unfortunately, some of those ingredients can be harmful to your baby. Some harmful additives to look out for are:
- high levels of sucrose
- corn syrup
- glucose syrup solids
- synthetic preservatives
The formulas with these additives increase the chance of sensitivity, leading to gas and other digestional issues. You could also end up dealing with other health issues later on in your baby's life, such as tooth decay and excess weight gain.
Luckily, other types of formula, like organic-based formula, steer clear of harmful ingredients like these. They only add-in ingredients your babies will benefit from.
For example, some organic formulas list ingredients like
- Vitamin A, C, and D
- Omega 3 and 6
- Organic skimmed milk
- Lactose-free variety
With these added, your baby will get herbicide, pesticide hormone-free nutrients they need to prosper while at the same time reducing their amount of gas accumulation.
Different Types of Formula
There are three different forms of organic-based formulas, but it'll be up to you and your baby's tummy to decide which one aligns with what your baby needs.
Cow Milk Organic Formula
As written, milk-based organic formula is made with milk that comes from cows. It is altered to create a close resemblance to breast milk, giving it the right balance of nutrients. Most babies do quite well with this type of formula and see clear results after switching from regular formula.
In extreme circumstances, babies can acquire lactose allergies, so this type should be avoided to prevent an increase in gas symptoms.
Goat Milk Organic Formula
Though not as readily available as cow milk organic formulas, goat milk organic formulas are becoming a popular alternative. This organic formula is naturally high in essential vitamins and minerals babies need. It is ideal for babies who have a slight intolerance to cow milk proteins.
However, it should be noted that some babies who are severely allergic to cow milk can also be allergic to goat's milk. If your baby is allergic, they'll exhibit excessive symptoms of gas and additional signs like bloody stool, coughing, and skin rashes.
You can double-check your baby's dietary restrictions with evaluations from a medical professional.
Hydrolyzed Milk Formula
Specialized formulas, specifically hydrolyzed formulas, are great alternatives to traditional formulas. They contain milk proteins that are hydrolyzed or broken down into small molecules. As a result, it's easier for your baby to consume, which means reduced gas symptoms.
Hydrolyzation is not an organic process, but organic brands succeed in limiting these specialized formulas to as few preservatives as possible.
Formulas That Cater to Your Baby's Needs
You've gone down your checklist and made the switch to organic formula; now, you need to narrow it down to a brand that you're comfortable with. Some of the best organic formulas in today's market are European-based because they are held at a higher quality standard than their U.S counterparts.
Since every brand is unique in its make-up, you want to choose one that's qualified to help with your baby's symptoms. Here are some examples of what to consider.
Babies Who Strain to Pass Gas
If your baby is clenching their fist and bending their legs up to their tummy, they may be having trouble passing the gas. HiPP organic baby formulas are great to ease their trouble.
Most contain prebiotics and probiotics that promote healthy gut flora to help break up the gas and ease it out. HiPP has a range of special formulas for babies with digestive issues. HiPP Comfort all stages helps with gassiness, lactose-related colic, and constipation while fulfilling the nutritional requirements of your baby. Through its special formulation, HiPP Comfort formula can loosen the baby's stool and regulates bowel movements. While HiPP Comfort does contain easy-to-process lactose as a carbohydrate source, it contains substantially less lactose than in other HiPP formulations. The milk protein contained in HiPP Comfort German formula is partially hydrolyzed, making the protein structures smaller, more similar in size to human breast milk proteins and, thus, easier for baby’s to process.
Babies With Gas and Mild Cow Milk Intolerance
It can seem stressful trying to find solutions to your baby's digestive issues when they also have a form of milk protein intolerance. One brand you may want to consider is Holle.
Holle uses goat milk as its primary source of protein. Since goats are more selective about what they ingest, their milk has less of a chance to absorb anything bad; that's why it's great at easing gas-related symptoms and very mild forms of cow milk intolerance.
Like any allergy, though, always check to ensure that your child's intolerance won't be further triggered by your child's pediatrician. They'll be able to give the okay that any goat proteins won't affect your baby in any way.
Best Practices With New Formula
After finding your new organic formula, you may be eager to give your baby a good night's sleep finally. Before you jump right into their daily feeds, you need to know the proper ways to introduce new formulas to your baby.
Introduce the Formula Slowly
Unless your baby is an emergent case relating to allergies, intolerant, or switching to the same proteins, you'll want to transition them slowly. Begin the process by giving your baby 3/4 of the old formula mixed with 1/4 of the new formula for one whole day.
If they're reacting well, you can increase the new formula ratio to 50/50 for one whole day. The next day should be increased in the same pattern, making the new formula the higher ratio.
Your baby should be ready to drink a full feeding amount of the new formula and be used to the taste with little to no fuss by the fourth day.
Wait and Watch for Results
After your baby's first full feed with the new formula, you'll want to monitor their symptoms for any signs of agitation or relief. If symptoms persist after two weeks, seek a follow-up with your child's pediatrician on the next treatment steps.
Other Tips to Help With Digestion
Your baby will gain the most benefit from changing to organic infant formula. Still, there are also other tactics you can implement daily to help relieve your baby's occurring gas build-ups. Take a look at the following tips.
Make Sure Your Baby Burps Frequently
Gas can build up as your child eats, and you may catch some of it as you burp your child after feeding time is over. If you add burping throughout the feeding, you'll likely get a lot more burps. Remember to make it consistent, so your baby isn't too upset about interrupted meal time.
Change Your Bottles
Is your baby taking in more gas than usual? Your bottles could be the culprit. Take the time to research and compare different bottles and nipples and how they release gas. Some bottles, for example, use gas-release ventilation in the nipple; on the other hand, some bottles come with gas tubing ventilation inserted inside.
Your list should contain at least three choices; that way you have options if your baby disagrees with one or two selections.
Position Your Baby for Gas Relief
There are a few positions that help babies release internal gas. One position, in particular, is tummy laying. Tummy laying is crucial to helping your baby develop their muscle and motor skills, with an added bonus of pushing gas up and out. Include more tummy time throughout the day, and you'll have a happier baby.
Look Into Baby Gas Drops
Some parents opt to use baby gas drops in partner with their organic formula. The main ingredient in the drops, simethicone, breaks up gas with an anti-foaming effect. Although known for great results, always make sure to consult your baby's doctor when using any form of medicine.
Try Baby Bicycles
Sometimes the best thing to pass the gas is to get your baby moving. Lay your baby down and move their legs in bicycle motions. This will keep their metabolism from slowing down, plus entertain your baby for a few blissful moments.
Choose the Best Formula for Your Baby
Gas is a normal phase in a baby's first year of life, but that doesn't mean you can't help ease some discomfort. When you switch to organic formula for gassy baby symptoms, you're investing in the best possible nutrition your baby can get. Eventually, the gas issues will resolve, but you'll feel good knowing that the positive effects of organic feeding will continue well into your child's adolescence.
At Organic Family Shop, you can shop for the best organic formulas Europe has to offer. Find the best formula for your baby by checking out our direct website.