Formula for Gassy Babies: 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.
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 extended 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 ages, their body will create a unique microbiome (a collection of good gut bacteria) and be able to process these ingredients and pass the gas quickly. 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 still need to 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 and could create fever-like symptoms. They may have gas if you finish feeding your baby formula and are fussy or crying.
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 their appetite if they're having stomach issues like diarrhea and bloating. This can become serious and could affect your baby's overall health. You should visit your pediatrician if you notice any or all of these symptoms. They'll explore feeding habits as well as the formula your baby eats and give you the recommendation to change your baby's 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 deal with other health issues later 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 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, and 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 your baby's 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 well on cow formulas and see clear results after switching from the regular formula. The best example is our HiPP Dutch Stage 1 Formula which is the most popular cow's milk formula we carry.
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 more readily available than 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 with a slight intolerance to cow milk proteins. However, it should be noted that some babies severely allergic to cow milk can also be allergic to goat's milk. If your baby is allergic, it will exhibit excessive symptoms of gas and additional signs like bloody stool, coughing, and skin rashes. The German version of our Holle Goat Stage 1 Infant Formula contains organic maltodextrin starch and organic lactose, resembling the proteins naturally found in a mother's breast milk.
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.
Please note: HiPP Hypoallergenic (HA) baby Formulas are technically not organic because hydrolyzed milk protein is not available in organic form. However, all other ingredients included are organically sourced.
Formulas For Sensitive Tummies
Some newborns are more sensitive than others. Nothing is worse for parents than seeing their little one dealing with spit-up, gas, painful bloating, or rashes. Organic Formula Shop carries a range of specialty formulas developed to help ease some of the most common feeding and digestive issues. These gentle formulas are specially made for babies with cow’s milk protein intolerance, suspected allergies, or reflux.
Formulas That Cater to Your Baby's Needs
You've gone down your checklist and switched to organic formula; now, you need to narrow it down to a brand you're comfortable with. Some of the best organic formulas in today's market are European-based because they are held to a higher quality standard than their U.S. counterparts.
Since every brand is unique in its make-up, you want to choose one 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 have 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 helps with gassiness, lactose-related colic, and constipation while fulfilling your baby's nutritional requirements. Through its special formulation, Comfort formula can loosen the baby's stool and regulates bowel movements. While HiPP Comfort contains easy-to-process lactose as a carbohydrate source, it has substantially less lactose than other HiPP formulations. The milk protein in this formula is partially hydrolyzed, making the protein structures smaller, more similar in size to human breast milk proteins, and, thus, easier for babies 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 formula as its primary source of protein. Since goats are more selective about what they ingest, their milk has less chance to absorb anything bad; that's why it's excellent at easing gas-related symptoms and very mild forms of cow milk intolerance.
Like any allergy, always check to ensure your child's intolerance won't be further triggered with 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 finally give your baby a good night's sleep. Before you jump into their daily feeds, you need to know how 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. You can begin the process by giving your baby 3/4 of the old formula mixed with 1/4 of the new formula for one day.
If they're reacting well, you can increase the new formula ratio to 50/50 for one day. The next day should be increased in the same pattern, making the new formula the higher percentage.
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 many 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 the 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 use baby gas drops to 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 consult your baby's doctor when using any medicine.
Try Baby Bicycles
Sometimes, the best way to pass the gas is to get your baby moving. Lay your baby down and move its legs in bicycle motions. This will keep their metabolism from slowing down, plus entertain your baby for a few blissful moments.
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 invest 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.
Not sure which formula to order?
Please know that, while all of this information might seem overwhelming, we have a dedicated parent support team who are ready to answer your questions. Please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll get back to you shortly. We are here to help!
Please note: every person/baby and situation is different so we always advise you to talk to your pediatrician first and see how these guidelines and tips can help you. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.