Best Formula For Reflux & Spit Up: The Ultimate 2022 Guide
Gas and spit-up can happen to both breastfed and formula-fed babies. Reflux or spit-up is normal during infancy and happens to almost every healthy infant. Throwing up regularly can be stressful for parents because it can cause the baby to lose weight.
If your baby has reflux along with other symptoms, including excessive crying and poor weight gain, then it’s time to change the infant milk formula. Finding a suitable formula from a reputable brand can help moms deal with this stressful situation.
This article discusses everything about reflux in babies and what baby formula is suitable for babies with spit-up.
What Is Acid Reflux In Babies?
Acid reflux is a condition when the babies spit up formula through their nose or mouth. Spitting up in infants is entirely normal and occurs when their tiny esophagus is not fully developed.
Typically, a healthy infant spits up several times after feeding. However, if acid reflux happens more frequently and interferes with your child’s development and growth, this may be a serious condition. There are three types of acid reflux occurring in infants:
1. The Happy Spitter (GER)
GER or gastroesophageal reflux is a typical type of spitting up in babies and is called the “milk reflux” or “happy spitter.” In GER, the baby’s esophagus cannot keep the fluids down to the stomach. If your baby doesn’t cry or is irritated after spitting up, then they are a “happy spitter.” In most cases, babies feel better after spitting up.
The age at which GER occurs ranges from 2-3 weeks to 9-12 months. When the digestive tract of your baby matures, GER typically disappears.
2. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is a type of acid reflux that occurs when the stomach acid flows back in the esophagus and injures/irritates it. GERD is usually less prevalent in infants and affects 1 in 300 infants. If your baby acid refluxes more frequently, the damage to their esophagus is more likely to occur. Also, there happens to be a large amount of reflux in GERD, which makes it difficult for the baby’s esophagus to clear away the stomach acid.
Babies with GERD hate to eat, have wheezing and breathing problems, and seem to have constant colds.
3. Silent Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Silent GERD)
Silent GERD is one of the severe conditions, which occurs when the baby re-swallows the spit-up, and you never know they have reflux. Silent GERD causes twice the damage to the esophagus because the stomach acid burns the food pipe on the way up and the way down.
Since silent GERD is difficult to diagnose, you can look for the signs, such as crying after feeding or hating the sight of a bottle.
Reflux vs. Vomiting: What’s The Difference?
You should not confuse reflux with vomiting because vomiting during the first month of a baby’s life can be a sign of a serious condition. Therefore, it is important to know the difference between reflux and vomiting.
The following details indicate reflux (normal spitting up):
- No crying or pain during reflux.
- Your baby is healthy and looks well.
- No diarrhea.
- May occur for several weeks or months.
- No effort with spitting up.
- It occurs in the early days after birth.
Vomiting involves the following:
- The baby looks sick.
- Forceful vomiting.
- Diarrhea is present.
- The baby is uncomfortable during vomiting.
- Vomiting contains bile (green color).
- You notice a new symptom every day.
- This is the most serious and common cause of vomiting in young babies, during which the pylorus becomes tight and narrow.
- Risk of dehydration or weight loss.
- Projectile vomiting.
- Occurs between 2 weeks to 2 months of the baby’s life.
- The baby is hungry right after vomiting.
Signs Baby Has A Reflux
The following are some signs that your baby has reflux:
- Baby is losing weight and has difficulty gaining weight.
- Refusal to eat.
- The baby has a hoarse voice or cries.
- The baby has a chronic cough.
- Wheezing or choking.
- Irritability or fussiness.
- The baby arches their back right during or right after feedings.
Should I Continue Using Regular Formula, Or Should I Use A Specific Formula For Reflux?
If you see your baby suffering from the conditions above, it is essential to change the infant formula. The proteins that are usually present in cow’s milk are the primary cause of these refluxes.
The baby’s digestive system is not fully developed and cannot digest the complex proteins present in the formula.
In such cases, you can go for “hypoallergenic formula,” these formulas are enriched with proteins that are broken down into smaller peaces. Otherwise, you can opt for goat milk as it is easier to digest.
Anti-reflux formulas, commonly referred to as thickening formulas, are an excellent solution for lowering the intensity of reflux. These formulas are specifically designed for babies having reflux issues.
Breast Milk For Reflux
Breast milk is generally great for babies in many ways, including in reducing the risk of reflux in the first case. Breast milk is not only soothing for the baby’s stomach, but it leaves their stomach quickly compared to formula milk.
The Best Formula For Reflux And Spit up
The following two are proven to be the best formulas that are effective for baby’s suffering from reflux. Let’s have a look:
✓ Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics
✓ No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy
✓ Organic locust bean gum makes formula creamier
✓ Popular for babies that spit-upCheck Price
HiPP AR is a nutritionally-complete formula for babies dealing with reflux. This formula contains Organic Locust Bean Gum which makes HiPP AR creamier and easier for babies with reflux / spit up
- Best Features: Organic Locust Bean Gum to reduce reflux, contains LCP (Omega 3 & 6), prebiotics, and probiotics, rich in nutrients and vitamins.
✓ Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics
✓ No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy
✓ Hydrolyzed milk proteins reduce allergic reactions
✓ Popular for constipated babiesCheck Price
HiPP HA is made under strict EU regulations and contains all essential protein in hydrolyzed form. The formula is easy to digest for babies and has no added sugar and soy.
- Best Features: Extensively hydrolyzed protein for easier digestion, Contains lactose, prebiotics, and probiotics. Free of synthetic preservations and non-GMO.
Other Recommendations/Tips To Keep In Mind
The following recommendations should be considered when feeding your little one:
- Burp your baby during each feeding.
- Try to feed your baby in small portions.
- Feed your baby upright, possible for better swallowing.
- Don’t move your baby around too much after feeding.
- For bottle-feeding, try different sizes of nipples and bottles.
This list is beneficial to avoid the risk of reflux. If the baby has severe refluxes, try consulting a pediatrician.
Frequently Asked Questions
What nipple size should I use?
Small nipple sizes are much better for babies suffering from reflux as less milk makes digestion smoother. Large nipple size bottles can make the baby's digestive system frustrated and increase the risk of reflux.
Which kind of bottle is best for reflux?
A good bottle makes the swallowing of milk easier. Many pediatricians recommend Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle as the bottle’s quality design not only keeps the nutrients well but keeps the baby prevented from ingesting air trapped in the nipple.
How much formula should I feed to my baby?
The formula feed entirely depends on the baby’s age and stomach. Newborns should be fed 2 ounces of milk in one feed. 2 months old babies can take about 4-5 ounces in one feed, and for 4 months old babies six ounces of milk are recommended.
Lastly, 6 months old babies should be given about 8 ounces in one feed. As your baby grows, their feeding time will increase along with the quantity of milk.
Reflux can cause frustration and discomfort to your baby, but it is treatable. Certain lifestyle adjustments can reduce the risk of recurring reflux. If your baby shows extreme signs of reflux, then it is recommended to consult a pediatrician to avoid any health complications.