Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Share this Article
X
Baby Formula Feeding Concerns

Baby Formula Feeding Concerns

 

Most formula fed babies will be very happy on the baby formula you first choose. However it’s important to know that not all formulas suit all babies. Below is a list of common feeding problems some baby’s may experience, however in most cases you will find these aren’t really cause for concern. However if your baby experiences any severe feeding problems from a baby formula, such as vomiting or diarrhoea, you should seek the advice of your doctor or health care nurse immediately.

 

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Constipation

If your baby has infrequent bowel movements, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are constipated. There can be big differences between babies when it comes to the duration between stool movements, some being daily, some being weekly. You can’t rely on your baby’s facial expression while doing a poo to conclude constipation either, this can be a very normal response. Constipation in infants is more frequently defined as passing hard, dry (like small pellets) poo.

With formula-fed babies, generally their poos are thicker and pastier and sometimes less frequent than breast-fed poo but this doesn’t mean your baby has constipation.

Your baby’s bowel motions can be affected by a number of factors, including:

  • Fluid intake
  • Introduction of solids
  • Age (as age increases the stool characteristics change)
  • Illness and infections
  • Medications

If you have any concerns about your baby’s bowel motions, it never hurts to seek the advice of your doctor or health care nurse.

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is characterised by very frequent, liquid stools. Diarrhoea results in a significant loss of water and mineral salts and therefore presents a serious risk of dehydration. In extreme cases, it can even result in your baby having to be hospitalised to receive fluids so diarrhoea must be taken seriously.

Your baby’s bowel motions can be affected by a number of factors, including:

  • Fluid intake
  • Introduction of solids
  • Age (as age increases the stool characteristics change)
  • Illness and infections
  • Medications

If you have any concerns about your baby’s bowel motions, it never hurts to discuss possible dietary management options with your doctor.

Poo Colour

Formula fed babies generally have stools that vary in colour according to the nutrients in the formula they are using.  If your baby is happy and thriving, colour changes should not necessarily be a cause for concern.

The colour of stools of babies on a H.A. formula can range from yellowish mustard to green.

The colour of stools of babies on non-H.A. formulas are usually light yellow/green to brown.

If you are using a combination of breastfeeding and baby formula, your baby’s poo will vary from the descriptions above depending on the ratio of breast milk to baby formula.  Generally, a breastfed baby will have more yellowish to slightly green colour poo

It’s also useful to note that if you are moving your baby from breastfeeding to baby formula or between formulas, it is normal for there to be changes in bowel motion, and this can include the colour of your baby’s poo.

At the end of the day, if you are worried about the colour of your babies poo, then it doesn’t hurt to see your doctor or health care nurse to get some reassurance.

Poo Smell

I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone whose poo doesn’t smell, LOL! And of course when we all have a different nose to one another, there lays another variable. What I’m trying to say is that poo does naturally smell, and in most cases it shouldn’t be cause for concern.

Formula fed babies tend to have more pungent smelling poos compared to breastfed babies. Unfortunately there is not much you can do about that.

It’s also useful to note that if you are moving your baby from breastfeeding to baby formula or between formulas, it is normal for there to be changes in bowel motion, and this can include its smell.

Colic

Colic is an unexplainable unsettled period where your baby is crying for a long time, sometimes for hours, and is inconsolable. The true definition is crying for more than 3 hours a day, at least 3 times a week for more than 1 week. According to statistics, up to 20% of babies, both breastfed and bottle fed, between the ages of two weeks and six months suffer from colic. There can be several causes of crying but when there is no obvious cause, and no failure to thrive, fever or illness, the inconsolable periods of crying are labelled colic.

If you are bottle-feeding, limit air intake via the teat as much as possible. For formula fed babies – try an anti-reflux system and make sure you burp your baby properly, don’t change infant formula without seeking the advice of a healthcare professional and make sure you use the correct scoop and quantities of powder and water.

Discuss with your doctor about other possible treatment options. There is emerging evidence that certain probiotic strains might help reduce crying and colic.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a clinical condition which is due to the intestine’s inability to digest lactose, the main carbohydrate, or sugar, found naturally in milk and milk products. This inability to digest lactose is because the intestine does not make enough of the enzyme lactase, which is what is needed to digest and breakdown lactose. Enzymes help the body absorb foods and not having enough lactase is called lactase deficiency.

There are generally two forms of lactose intolerance:

1. Primary Lactose Intolerance:An extremely rare genetic condition which requires medical intervention.

2. Secondary (Transient) Lactose Intolerance:This is much more common. It occurs when the small intestine cell lining is damaged. The cell lining is where the lactase enzyme lives, damage to these cells can mean an interruption and reduction of lactase activity.

If your formula fed baby suffers from lactose intolerance, an infant formula suitable for lactose intolerance would be a suitable alternative to a standard infant formula. Speak to your health care professional before changing any infant formula.

Regurgitation

Regurgitation is when stomach contents flow back up into the oesophagus. This may or may not include vomiting and is harmless in many cases so there is often no particular need to worry, but if you are concerned please consult your doctor.

For formula fed babies, there are infant formulas that are suitable for infants with regurgitation. You should always check with your doctor before changing your current infant formula to ensure you choose the most appropriate one for your baby.

Bottle refusal

Feeding your baby from a bottle for the first time doesn’t always happen easily. Suckling from an artificial teat is different from suckling from the breast so your baby may need to learn how to do this. Persistence is the key, however there are many different teats available on the market, as well as different shaped bottles to hold, which may help your situation. So try a few different options. If you are still having difficulty, discuss this with your nurse or health care professional who can offer you personalised advice.

Read more

Join the program today!

Helping you navigate through your motherhood journey.

  • Practical Nutrition Tips tailored to every stage of the journeyExpert nutrition advice from Nutritionists
  • Easy to access eLearning Nutrition ProgramDecide what's right for you
  • Handy interactive tools and video contentHandy interactive tools & trackers
  • Exciting discounts, deals and giveawaysExclusive access, deals and giveaways

Join now!

Related Content

Still haven't found
what you are looking for?

Try our new smart question engine. We'll always have something for you.