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The Signs of Formula Intolerance in Babies

by | Motherhood

Does your baby frequently vomit or suffer diarrhea after feeding formula for newborn? It’s time to be cautious, as your baby might be intolerant to formula milk, i.e., formula intolerance. Almost 2 to 15% of formula fed infants can suffer from this tolerance.

In this article, we will describe in detail what infant formula intolerance is, how it’s characterized, its treatment, and more.

How Formula Intolerance is Different from Milk Allergy?

formula for newborn

What does formula feeding means is one of the most asked formula feeding FAQs. Formula intolerance means your infants face problems digesting any of the formula milk components. They might be sensitive to an ingredient of the formula for newborns. Formula intolerance quite different from milk allergies. You can’t call it a milk allergy. It’s because this intolerance triggers when intake of cow’s milk sparks an abnormal immune reaction in most babies.

Allergies are way more severe than formula intolerance and their reactions are often life threatening. However, intolerance is simply an irritation reaction in the baby’s digestive system. Latter may leave your baby dehydrated or restrict growth by rapid weight loss or difficulty gaining weight.

What Causes Formula Intolerance?

Formula intolerance is often a result of cow’s milk allergy. Milk allergy is the typical food intolerance in humans. According to research, every two to three percent of kids under the age of three suffer from the signs of cow milk’s allergy or lactose intolerance.

Parents should be patient; just because your baby shows signs of milk allergy, it doesn’t mean they have one! Sometimes it’s the formula intolerance causing similar gastronomical issues.

How is Formula Intolerance Characterized?

Formula intolerance can be characterized by hay fever like symptoms. Watch out for these symptoms in your babies:

·        Vomiting

·        Diarrhea

·        Skin rash

·        Gas

·        Blocked nose

·        Cough and runny nose

·        Watery, swollen, or itchy eyes

·        Blood or mucus in baby’s stool

·        Constant crying and experiencing discomfort

·        Rapid weight loss or trouble gaining weight

Moreover, formula fed babies suffering from formula intolerance often pull their legs upward toward their bellies because of abdominal pain.

How is Formula Intolerance Diagnosed?

formula for newborn

Rush to your baby’s doctor if you observe any of the above symptoms in the baby when formula fed. Your baby’s pediatrician may ask several questions about the baby’s formula milk and the baby’s response after feeding formula milk.

The doctor might proceed with the baby’s stool test, and other tests might be performed to diagnose if your baby is allergic to milk or if it’s the intolerance they are suffering from. Sometimes, the intolerance is resolved by switching to another formula for newborns, and the treatments are done to treat the health problems caused by intolerance.

How to Treat Allergic Reactions in Formula Fed Babies?

Several treatments can be done to relieve formula intolerance caused in most babies. However, we have listed the most common ones.

Switch to Another Formula for Newborn

formula feeding newborn

This often solves the issue. The formula for newborns features several potential ingredients that might be the agents causing intolerance. These include soy, cow’s milk, and rice proteins. If your baby is allergic to any of these, they need to switch to hypoallergenic formula, for example amino acid based formula and soy formula. Each milk protein is broken in a hypoallergenic formula, helping your baby’s digestive system to digest them conveniently.

Consult your baby’s doctor for the formula milk that will best suit them, helping them with intolerance. You can’t directly switch to another formula; first, you must formula feed your baby with a mixture of new and old formulas.

Your pediatrician will ask you to increase the amount of new formula gradually with time. This way, your baby will become used to the new taste, and switching to it will become easier. You must watch out for the symptoms of intolerance while continuing to increase the amount of new formula gradually.

Consider Breastfeeding

Most mothers choose formula feeding because their breasts don’t produce enough milk or face other issues like plugged ducts or sore nipples. If that’s the case, lactation consultants or healthcare professionals might help you.

Breastfeeding will be a game changer in this situation, helping your baby with discomfort and providing them with all the necessary nutrients. You might go for pumping breasts and give breast milk to your baby in a feeder.

formula feeding newborn

Note one thing; if you are opting for breastfeeding, you must avoid soy, cow’s milk, or any other potential allergen responsible for sparking intolerance. It’s because these might pass to the baby through your breast milk.

Go for Oral Rehydration

intolerance to formula

When suffering from formula intolerance, your baby will end up dehydrated because of frequent vomiting, diarrhea, or less consumption of formula for newborns. If that’s the case with your baby, add ORS in your baby’s diet.

ORS, a drink boasting sugar, salt, and minerals, can help replace body fluids. Ask your baby’s doctor what type of ORS you should use and the right amount.

Use a syringe to feed your baby ORS. Small amounts are given if your baby has been vomiting. Does your baby vomit after feeding ORS? Wait for thirty minutes and try again.

When to See Doctor?

Talk to your doctor if your baby has a fever, the rash is worsening, has vomited more than twice in the past 24 hours, suffers from breathing problems, or more. Do keep a check of the bowl moments and urine, too; if your four or more days older baby had fewer than three bowel moments and had wet fewer than six diapers daily, it’s time to see a doctor!

Other signs include the baby sleeping more than usual, being very irritable, and being much more difficult to console a crying baby.

intolerance to formula

Wrapping Up

Formula intolerance is a relatively less severe allergic reaction to formula feeding than the milk protein allergy. Most of the time, switching to another formula for newborns will relieve intolerance; if not, consult the child’s doctor.

That was all about the formula intolerance babies suffer from; its causes, symptoms, treatment options, and more.

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