7 Signs that Formula Isn’t Agreeing with Baby

  • By: Sandra
  • Date: August 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 9 min.

If you’ve chosen not to give breast milk or are moving on from breast feeding your baby, getting the right infant formula for them is critical.

In this article, we will discuss 7 signs that formula isn’t agreeing with your baby and what you can do about it.

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How to know if baby formula doesn’t agree with your infant?

Generally, there are seven signs to look for which indicate that the formula you are on is not agreeing with your baby and if you might need to switch to either a different brand of formula or a different type of formula.

What is formula intolerance?

Formula intolerance is a condition that affects some babies who are formula-fed.

Babies with this condition have difficulty digesting certain ingredients in their formula, which can cause them to experience diarrhea, vomiting, gas, bloating and other symptoms.

If your baby is experiencing any of these signs, it’s important to talk to your doctor or health care provider.

They can help you determine if your baby has formula intolerance and figure out the best way to treat it.

Excessive Babies Spit Up or Vomiting

Excessive Babies Spit Up or Vomiting

Because of their immature digestive systems, all newborns spit-up.

There’s usually nothing to worry about as long as your baby is gradually gaining weight (approximately 6 ounces per week) and wetting diapers at least once every six hours.

Spitting up more than 2 teaspoons at each meal, on the other hand, might indicate a formula intolerance.

If your baby has very slow weight gain you might want to monitor their diapers, if they are not wetting at least every six hours then they might be dehydrated and you should talk to your baby’s pediatrician.

Ensure you are giving the baby the formula at the temperate he likes, some prefer hot milk, but some prefer cold milk. Check this guide to can babies can drink cold formula.

Some babies experience an allergic reaction to the protein in their formula, which can cause them to vomit.

If your baby is vomiting several times a week or more than once daily, you may want to consider switching formulas.

Diarrhea or Severe Constipation or Bloody Stools

Diarrhea or Severe Constipation or Bloody Stools

Formula-fed babies commonly experience diarrhea during the first few months of life.

It’s usually nothing to worry about, but if your baby has watery stools more than three times a day for more than two weeks, you might want to consider switching formulas.

Yes, your life now consists of monitoring your baby’s stools! Welcome to parenthood!

A baby’s poop can tell us so much about how your baby’s stomach is comping with their infant formula.

It’s worth monitoring your baby’s bowel movements for signs of food allergies or to see if the baby’s digestive system can cope with the baby formula options.

If your baby has accidentally drank old formula, this may cause these symptoms so check the date on your formula to make sure it is fresh!

Rashes

While all babies get diaper rashes from time to time, persistent redness or flaking in the diaper area could be a sign of sensitivities to certain ingredients.

Consider giving your baby’s bum some air time, and see if that clears up any rashes, and use a diaper rash cream or a natural home remedy for diaper rash.

Switching formulas can also help eliminate redness and skin irritation caused by formula sensitivity.

Our favorite diaper rash treatment is

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Maximum Strength Diaper Rash Ointment

  • 40% Zinc Oxide
  • Fast working
  • Seals out wetness
  • Free from dyes, preservatives, parabens and talc
  • Suitable from birth

Changes in sleep patterns

Some babies experience changes in their sleep patterns when they’re intolerant to formula.

They may start sleeping for shorter periods of time or wake up more often throughout the night.

If your baby is having trouble sleeping, try adjusting the temperature in their room, and see if that makes a difference.

You might also want to consider switching formulas if sleep problems persist.

Fussiness and crying

Fussiness and crying

All babies cry, but if your baby is excessively fussy or cries for long periods of time, it might be a sign that they’re not tolerating the formula.

If your baby is uncomfortable, try giving them smaller feedings more often throughout the day instead of one large feeding.

Excessive crying could be a sign of colic which may be caused by infant formulas and a sign they might need a sensitive formula.

We find this sensitive baby formula the best:

Similac 360 Total Care Sensitive Infant Formula

  • Gentle nutrition designed to ease common tummy trouble.
  • Closest to breast milk formula
  • Exclusive blend of 5 HMO prebiotics structurally identical to those in breast milk
  • Nutrition designed for immune support, brain development, and digestive health

Gassiness and bloating

If your baby is gassy or bloated, it’s a sign that their digestive system isn’t absorbing lactose well.

Lactose intolerance causes babies to have excess gas in their bellies, which can cause them to be fussy or cry more than usual.

In some cases of severe lactose intolerance, babies may also have diarrhea.

If your baby is experiencing excessive gas or bloating after their feedings, try switching formulas to find one that agrees with them better, there are many lactose free formulas on the market now.

We recommend this lactose free formula:

Plant based Lactose-free Baby Formula

  • Completely lactose and dairy free
  • Powder formula for milk sensitivity
  • Supports cognitive-brain development

Wheezing after eating

Wheezing after eating

If your baby wheezes after eating, it could be a sign that they’re allergic to one of the ingredients in their formula. If this occurs more than once a week, you might want to consider switching formulas.

Baby formula doesn’t always agree with babies, but if you’re giving your child the right formula for his age and weight (don’t give an older baby a younger one’s formula or vice versa), these signs may be nothing to worry about

If your baby is experiencing any of these signs, it’s important to talk to your doctor or health care provider about switching the powdered formula you use.

With any symptoms of intolerance, it can never hurt to talk things over with your doctor.

Tell me the best formula for babies?

Deciding which formula is best for your baby can be a difficult task, and really will depend on your child.

Babies have different nutritional needs at various stages of their development, so it’s important to find a formula that meets their changing dietary requirements.

There are several types of baby’s formula (regardless of the multitude of brands) and your baby might have an allergy to some baby formulas but not all.

So it might be worth trying a different formula type to see how they respond. Also read up on GMO vs NON GMO formula.

Cow’s Milk Formula

This is the most common type of formula and is made from cow’s milk.

This type of formula is often recommended for babies as a starting point unless there is a history of intolerance to cow’s milk in the family.

Lactose is the principal carbohydrate in dairy products.

Cow milk formula is iron-fortified, and can be helpful in preventing anemia.

Some infants and children are allergic to cow milk proteins, which is why formulas are often not compatible with all babies.

We recommend

Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Baby Formula

  • Scientifically formulated to help ease fussiness, crying, gas and spit-up in 24 hours
  • Get brain building nutrition
  • Complete nutrition for babies through 12 months
  • Easy-to-digest proteins and dual prebiotics for immune health

Soy Formula

If your baby has a suspected allergy to cow’s milk, there are alternative formulas available that are soy-based or hydrolyzed.

These types of formulas are designed for babies with allergies to cow’s milk proteins.

Soy formulas are not recommended for premature infants, as they may contain insufficient amounts of certain nutrients like vitamin E and essential fatty acids.

We recommend this soy formula

Earth’s Best Non-GMO Soy Plant Based Infant Powder Formula

  • Fortified with Iron, Omega-3 DHA & 6 ARA
  • Made with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals & essential fatty acids
  • Help support baby’s brain & eye development
  • For baby’s first 12 months
  • NO artificial colors or flavors
  • NON non-GMO ingredients

Protein Hydrolysate Infant Formula

This type of formula is made from cow’s milk that has been broken down into tiny pieces.

Hydrolyzed formulas contain milk protein that has already been broken up into smaller pieces, making it easier for babies to digest.

This makes it easier for babies with allergies to digest the proteins in cow’s milk.

Although this type of formula is designed for babies with allergies, some infants who don’t have allergies also find it easier to digest than other types of formulas.

With its easy-to-digest proteins, the partially hydrolyzed formula is meant to ease common signs of digestive discomfort, such as fussiness, gas, and crying.

Most babies with an allergy to cow’s milk protein can use formula that has been broken down a lot.

We recommend:

Enfamil Nutramigen Infant Formula

  • Delivers Clinically-Proven Relief when managing colic due to cow’s milk allergy
  • Fast relief from colic
  • gentle, lactose free baby formula that has important nutrients found in breast milk such as Omega-3 DHA, ARA, and Choline that provide brain support
  • Supports baby’s immune system

Senstivie Formula or Hypoallergenic Formula

If your baby has a confirmed allergy to cow’s milk or soy proteins, there are hypoallergenic formulas available that are free of these allergens.

These formulas are usually based on hydrolyzed proteins, which break down the allergenic proteins into smaller pieces that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

There are also a variety of speciality formulas available for babies with other dietary needs, like those who are vegan or diabetic.

We recommend:

Similac 360 Total Care Sensitive Infant Formula

  • Gentle nutrition designed to ease common tummy trouble.
  • Closest to breast milk formula
  • Exclusive blend of 5 HMO prebiotics structurally identical to those in breast milk
  • Nutrition designed for immune support, brain development, and digestive health

So what should you do if you think that formula isn’t agreeing with baby?

If you’re concerned that your baby’s symptoms may be related to intolerance to their formula, try an alternative formula to see if the symptoms ease, it may just be that one formula that disagrees with them.

If the symptoms persist after trying a few brands, talk to your medical provider.

They can help you determine if your baby has allergy symptoms or if their underdeveloped digestive systems are struggling with standard formula.

What to note about Switching to A Sensitive Formula

There are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to switch to a sensitive formula for your baby.

You might want to consider talking to your doctor or health care provider before making any changes to your baby’s diet.

They can help you figure out which type of sensitive formula is best for your child and make sure that they’re getting the right nutrients they need.

It may take a little while for your baby to adjust to the new formula. It’s important to be patient and give them time to get used to it.

If their symptoms don’t improve after a few weeks, talk to your doctor as something else could be causing the issue.

Also, keep in mind that not all babies will respond to a sensitive formula.

If your child is still having symptoms after switching to a hypoallergenic or sensitive formula, there may be another problem causing their discomfort.

How long does it take for a baby to adjust to a formula change?

It typically takes a few days for a baby to adjust to a new formula.

If your baby isn’t tolerating its current formula, it may be worth trying a different type of formula.

This can help you determine if the problem is with the specific type of formula that your baby is using or if they have an allergy to a certain ingredient.

You will know if the switch is worked if the above symptoms have gone and your baby is beginning to gain weight.

Take Away On Switching Baby’s Formula

There are a variety of formulas available for babies with allergies or specific dietary needs.

If your baby isn’t tolerating their current formula, consider switching them over to one that better suits their needs.

It may take some time for the new formula’s benefits to be felt by your little one but if they don’t respond after two weeks, it could be an indication of another problem and should not be ignored.