Monday, July 27, 2015
The Sea of Formula
My last entry on formula was about the three forms of formula, now I will go into the various types of formula. Walking into the formula isle and staring at all the different color coordinated labels and purposes can be daunting! Hopefully this list will help you be prepared before you take the trip down that isle.
Standard: This is the basic of the basic formulas that most babies will be just fine with. It is cow milk based and loaded with essentialnutrients like DHA and vitamins for first year growth. This would be Similac Advance, Enfamil Newborn and Premium, Gerber Good Start. There have been a few additional choices added to the market over the last few years. Such as organicformulas and just this year Similac introduced Advanced Non-GMO.
Gentle or Sensitive: These names are interchangeable and mean the same thing. Formula that has reduced lactose for babies who do not tolerate standard formula. They may have symptoms such as fussiness, gas with hard or distended belly, constipation or diarrhea. Frequent projectile spit up may also be a sign. These are Similac Sensitive, Enfamil Gentlease, Gerber Good Start Gentle or Gerber Soothe.
Acid Reflux: All babies spit up to some degree, although some do have actual acid reflux and have a hard time holding down their milk. Acid reflux or spit up formula has very small rice cereal particles added to it to make it a tad bit thicker than the standard consistency. Back in the old days parents were advised to add cereal to bottles for this reason or just to make it thicker to fill a baby up so they slept longer. If they are refluxing, this can be a choking hazard. Some old pediatricians out there will still recommend it but there are better options on there in our present day. Doing anything to “make a baby sleep” is not advised…AT ALL! Back to the formula….Similac Spit Up, Similac Spit Up Sensitive, and Enfamil AR.
Soy: It’s soy, fairly self-explanatory. Babies who do not tolerate lactose at all, not even the sensitive variety may be a fit with soy formula. Soy is not a choice for everyone as there are concerns about soy messing with hormones and those who have a history of breast cancer (or the breast cancer gene BRC1) in their family should not consume soy at all. Just is just food for thought, I cannot provide medical advice or tell you what is best for your baby. Please consult your pediatrician with any health concerns about soy. Soy formulas are pretty obvious; Similac Soy Isomil, Enfamil ProSobee, and Gerber Good Start Soy.
Hypoallergenic: this type of formula is for babies with a milk protein allergy. It is one of the more expensive formulas so it’s not one you would probably want to buy willy nilly. I totally understand trying to find the right formula for your baby who may have been having tummy or other troubles. I’ve been there done that, I really do understand! However if feeding troubles have become that bad for your baby it’s time to make an appointment with your pediatrician. Request a sick visit so you can been seen in the next few days or even the same day. Hypoallergenic is generally the next step if sensitive or soy formula is not being tolerated. Hypoallergenic are Similac Alimentum, Enfamil Nutramigen, and Gerber Extensive HA.
Amino Acid base: an amino acid based formula is for babies and even toddler and older kids who have severe milk protein allergies or GI issues. To my knowledge it cannot be bought in retail stores as I have never seen it on the shelf at the big box retailers. When turning to this type of formula it is done so under the direction and supervision of a doctor. I will link to where they can be bought online, however the physician referring you to this type of formula may know of a local medical supply company. Also, your insurance provider may provide some coverage to alleviate some of the cost. The brands that provide amino acid formula are Neocate, Elecare and PureAmino by Enfamil.
WHEW!! It can be hard, I know! Calvin was a reflux baby and still has trouble with reflux time to time as a toddler. The AR’s back then weren’t sensitive or lactose free and the Similac Spit Up Sensitive was brand new and not always readily available. I did buy it when I could get my hands on it, but we ended up using Similac Sensitive and Calvin took Zantac twice daily. He was switched to Prilosec as a toddler. Calvin was five months pushing six before we really found the magic combo. I have so much sympathy for parents of babies with formula trouble.