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Feeding a Colicky Baby Infant Formula


If your baby is formula fed and you believe she may be suffering from colic, you may have a lot of questions surrounding the use of formula and this baffling label. Keep in mind: colic is not a disease or condition, it’s a behavioral diagnosis given to infants usually between the ages of 4 and 14 weeks. Simply put, colic is a term used to describe excessive crying in otherwise healthy babies.


Symptoms of Colic 

So you think your baby has colic? Because almost all babies cry, it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of colic.


  • Your baby cries suddenly for no apparent reason
  • The crying continues for long stretches of time (3 hours or more)
  • Despite your best efforts, your baby cannot be calmed
  • Crying occurs at the same time every day (usually in the evening)
  • Crying bouts occur at least three days out of the week and persist for more than 3 weeks
  • Your baby passes gas or spits up more frequently during a crying bout
  • Your baby’s eating and sleeping habits are disrupted by the crying bouts


What Formula is Best for a Colicky Baby?

Although the exact cause of colic is not known, most babies suffering from colic do experience increased bowel activity during crying bouts. If you’ve noticed your baby passing gas more frequently during a crying bout, it may be beneficial to switch to a formula with no starch, which can sometimes cause stomach issues.


You can also try a formula specifically designed for colicky babies – HIPP Special Comfort formula. HIPP’s Special Comfort formula contains a hydrolyzed protein and reduced lactose content for easier digestion.


Soy-Based Formulas for Colic  

Gas (or trapped air in the stomach) can occur when a food or formula is not being digested properly. If you and your pediatrician think your babies gas is being caused by the type of formula she is drinking, it’s only natural to want to try a different formula. However, you may not have to switch to a soy-based formula. If your using a cow milk based formula, you may want to try a formula made with goat milk. Goat’s milk is easier to digest and more gentle on sensitive tummies.


Because swallowing an excessive amount of air can also cause gas, you may also want to assess how your baby eats. If she sucks in a lot of air while gulping down her food, you may want to try using a bottle with vents. When trying to reduce the amount of air your baby sucks in, you may also want to try a different nipple. Some parents have found shorter, thicker nipples are more effective at reducing the amount of air allowed in. Finally, try burping him more frequently during feedings.


Contact Your Child’s Pediatrician

Although the colicky phase can be tough for both baby and parents, it usually starts to taper off at about 3 months of age. If you think your baby is suffering from colic, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s pediatrician. Only you and your child’s doctor know how to best treat your child’s colic.

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