Yesterday day I wrote a post called “Choosing the Right Type of Formula for Your Baby?” If you read this post, you will find out how overwhelming it can be to pick a formula for your child. Most parents start out with a cow’s milk based formula which is tolerated by most babies. Some babies have trouble tolerating or digesting regular cow’s milk based formula even thought the milk protein has been specially altered so that infants can easily digest it.
If your child doesn’t tolerate milk based formula don’t worry there are plenty of formula options available on the market so that your baby continues to the adequate nutrition that they need in order to thrive. However, some of these specialty formula’s available on the market require a prescription from your child’s doctor in order for you to purchase it for your baby.
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only. I am not a doctor or nurse and don’t have any experience with choosing formula for my baby. Please contact your child’s pediatrician if you have any questions about the type of formula, especially, a specialty formula, that you should use for your baby.
So what other types of specialty formula is available for your baby’s pediatrician to recommend for your baby, if your baby has difficulties tolerating regular cow’s milk based infant formula. Here is some great information that I found about the different types of specially formulated formulas on the market:
Lactose Free Formula
If your baby is unable to digest the normal lactose that is found in cow’s milk, lactose is a natural form of sugar that is found in regular cow’s milk. In fact, the chances are pretty slim that you won’t have a baby that is lactose intolerant or has trouble digesting the lactose. However, if your baby in fact has this rare problem, there is a lactose free formula that you can purchase and feed your baby. The lactose in the lactose free formula is replaced with another type of sugar such as corn syrup that is easier for your baby to digest. If you think that your child is lactose intolerant, please visit with your child’s doctor before attempting to switch your child’s formula on your own. You should allow your pediatrician to recommend the right formula for your child. Doctors will sometimes give this type of formula to your baby if your baby is suffering from acid reflux after other suggestions haven’t worked.
Soy Based Formula
Soy based formula is formula that is derived from a plant based protein. This type of formula is often given to babies who’s parents want to keep their child on a vegan diet or has difficulties digesting milk based formulas. The protein that is found in plant is altered so that your baby can digest it easier. Many doctors suggest trying soy formula if your baby has trouble digesting milk based formulas, has mild rectal bleeding that often indicates a milk allergy to cow’s milk, or if your baby has colic. The carbohydrate, the type of sugar, found in soy formula is sucrose or glucose instead of lactose, making this a possible alternative to a baby who is lactose intolerant or has difficultly digesting lactose. However, there is a slim chance that your baby might be allergic to soy formula or won’t tolerate this type of formula.
Extensively Hydrolyzed Formula
This type of formula is often used if your infant has multiple allergies or eczema. Extensively hydrolyzed formula is designed to help infants with multiple allergies be able to easily digest the formula, especially, preemies. The protein in this formula is broken down into smaller molecules making it easier for your baby to digest. Often times babies with multiple allergies have a difficult time digesting the larger protein molecules that is found in regular formula.
Formula Made Specifically for Premature and Low-Birth Weight Infants
If your baby is having a difficult time gaining weight on the standard formula, your doctor may switch your baby to a high calorie formula that is specially designed for preemies and baby’s who were born with low-birth weight. This type of formula is packed with more protein, calories, and contains fat that is easier for your baby to absorb. The type of fat that is used in this type of formula is called medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) and the amount of MCT varies by the brand of formula so it is important that your doctor recommends the right type of this special formula for your baby. Never choose this type of formula for your baby unless your doctor recommends it. Your doctor is monitoring your baby’s growth and development and will choose the right brand so that your baby gains weight at the right pace.
There are so many choices of formula available on the market and as a mom I would be overwhelmed if I had to choose my baby’s formula. Let alone choosing the right type of formula if my baby had digestive problems, showing signs of multiple allergies, was born early, or had trouble gaining weight. If your child is having any of these difficulties, schedule your infant an appointment to see the pediatrician to discuss the symptoms. Never switch to a specialty formula unless it was recommended by your child’s doctor.
Did you have to use a specialty formula?