Best Formulas For Gassy Babies

33 hours of research 5 minute read

" The type of milk that your baby consumes will determine the amount of gas their body will create. "
Best Formulas For Gassy Babies 1

Are you worried about your baby being gassy every time you feed them? Did you know that the milk they are being fed may be a reason for their constant irritability and fussing?

Babies who are allergic to some of the milk components or whose digestive system is unable to digest those components - may experience gassiness every time they feed. With increasing research over the past few years, a variety of infant formulas have been introduced that particularly target this issue in babies.

What Is The Importance Of An Infant Formula?

The mother’s breast milk is considered the safest and best source of nutrition for their baby - this may not always be possible. Studies show that this breast milk contains high levels of agents which can influence the functions of the baby’s digestive system and immune system. These bioactive agents may also help in their brain development and protect the baby against metabolic conditions like diabetes and obesity-associated diseases. (1)

According to WHO, infants should be fed by the mother via breast milk for the first six months of life. This is also backed up by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that infants be fed via breast milk for the first year of their life. (2) Breast milk contains the ideal nutritional value for the baby for the first years of their life. However, in addition to the breast milk, the baby may also be fed other baby foods by the time they reach six months of age, up to 12 months. However, breast milk may not be an option for every mother. This is when they have to rely on infant formulas, which are designed in a way that they resemble breast milk very closely.

Infant formulas are made by matching the national profile of human breast milk to provide the baby with optimal nutrition. (3) The base used for infant formula milk most often originates from cow or Soy milk. However, other ingredients and nutrients are often added to this and provide the baby with additional benefits. Additional contents like Iron, fat blends and nucleotides also allow the infant formula to resemble breast milk more closely.

What Causes Gassiness in Infants?

Infant gassiness and the associated crying and fussing have been closely linked to feeding time in a number of studies. These studies show that the higher the intestinal gas produced after milk intake, the greater may be the length of crying time in babies. (4) (5)

Hydrogen Gas Produced By Bacteria

The ‘gas’ produced after milk feeding is usually hydrogen gas, which causes the distension of the lower digestive tract, and is a source of distress for the baby. The hydrogen gas is being produced due to the presence of higher levels of intestinal bacteria and their induced fermentation of the milk. This was initially investigated in a study, which showed that babies with colic or gassiness have a higher breath hydrogen level at the start; however, as their condition resolves and they experience improvement in their symptoms, the hydrogen from their breath also starts to decrease. Hence at least 25 to 50% of the infants with gassiness have higher hydrogen baseline levels in their breath. (6)

Best Formulas For Gassy Babies 2

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is another cause often linked to excessive gassiness in babies after consuming lactose-containing milk. This was also investigated in studies showing that after infants are given lactose-containing milk, the hydrogen levels in their breath increase. These levels increased by 78% after six weeks and 89% after three months. (7) These results suggest that the malabsorption of lactose in the infant digestive tract may cause excess hydrogen to be produced. Hence, it was found that rescuing the lactose levels in the milk may prevent the uncomfortable symptoms felt by the infant when their digestive tract is unable to digest lactose. Furthermore, it was suggested that by adding artificial lactase to the milk, which is the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose, the babies might experience improvement in their symptoms. (8)

The Feeding Method

Sometimes, underfeeding or overfeeding the baby may also cause excess gas production in the baby. Another factor contributing to this condition is a lack of burping the baby. The new parents are recommended to consult a pediatrician about the correct way to feed the baby and what they should do before and after the baby has been fed.

Studies have shown that poor feeding techniques leading to infant gassiness are most commonly seen in firstborn babies, as the parents are unaware of what they should and should not do. (9) One way that experts have often described to cause the baby to burp is by turning them away by 45 degrees until their stomach is resting on the lower arm. The parent should make sure also to support the baby’s head, and the body part of the parent most commonly recommended for this is the elbow pit. The position of their legs is not important, and they may dangle on both sides of the arm. This particular position allows excess pressure to b applied to the baby’s digestive tract. By patting their back, the parent might be able to effectively relieve the gas build-up in their stomach in the form of a burp.

Allergy To Cow Milk

Allergy to cow milk is commonly seen in infants. This may present with a variety of symptoms, one of which is excess gassiness. This allergy is proposed to be related to the baby’s immune system. When allergic to some of the proteins found in cow milk, their immune system gets triggered, and an immune response is generated to remove that triggering protein from the body. Moreover, the next time a baby is given cow’s milk, the body will immediately recognize the protein present in it and release chemicals that will cause the symptoms of milk allergy.

The proteins in cow milk that are commonly responsible for cow milk allergy belong to the Casein and Whey group. The Casein Proteins include Aloha S1, Alpha S2, Beta, and Kappa Casein. On the other hand, the Whey proteins have Alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactoglobulin. Therefore, individuals with a milk allergy are often allergic to all proteins and are recommended to shift to alternate milk types.

Best Infant Formulas For Gas

As mentioned previously, there are numerous reasons for gas in infants - most of which are caused by the specific infant formula being fed to the baby. This is why it is essential to consult a pediatrician who may suggest infant formulas that are either designed for babies with colic or gas or contain components considered safe for them.

Hypoallergenic Milk Formulas For Gas

Hypoallergic Milk formulas, also called Protein Hydrolysate formulas, are designed for infants who cannot tolerate both cow and soy milk-based formulas. These milk formulas contain proteins that have been broken down, either by complete hydrolysis or partial hydrolysis. These protein fragments are much smaller than those found in cow milk or soy milk formulas.

Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics

No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy

Hydrolyzed milk proteins reduce allergic reactions

Popular for constipated babies

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hipp ha german hypoallergenic

Goat Milk Formulas For Gas

Infants with gas may also experience improvement by shifting to a goat milk-based formula. What differentiates goat milk from cow milk is that it contains lower levels of whey proteins. Since these Whey proteins may not be completely digested by the infant’s digested tract and lead to gassiness, bloating, and cramping, the absence of these from Goat milk might make it favorable for the baby.

Clean formula ingredients

No palm oil

Contains DHA, & ALA

Popular for babies alergic to cow's milk

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holle goat formula

HiPP Dutch Formula For Gas

Because of the clean way in which HiPP Dutch is made and its nutritional values, many parents find HiPP Dutch to be an excellent choice for their gassy baby. With no nasty ingredients and the benefit of probiotics and prebiotics, a baby’s digestive system is able to digest HiPP Dutch relatively easier than other comparable formulas.

Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics

No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy

No starch

HiPP's most popular formula

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hipp baby formula guide

HiPP Comfort Formula For Gas

HiPP Comfort was specifically created for babies who are gassy. This formula is super easy to digest and reduces the likelihood of gas buildup in the digestive system. It is one of the most popular formulas for gassy babies.

Contains Probiotics & Prebiotics

No sugar, no corn syrup, no soy

Reduced lactose with hydrolyzed milk protein

Easy to digest formula for sensitive babies

Check Price
hipp comfort formula

Other Prescription Formula Options

Amino Acid-Based Milk Formulas

Amino acid-based milk formulas were introduced for babies unable to digest proteins, no matter how small the fragment may be. These infants are then recommended Amino acid-based milk formulas, free from any milk proteins and only free forms of amino acids, without any presence of peptides. These formulas are very difficult to find and not widely available without special help from a pediatrician.

Soy Milk Formulas

As the name suggests, Soy Milk formulas are made from soy proteins. They are particularly recommended for infants with galactosemia, or those who are deficient in the lactose digesting enzyme known as lactase. Due to a lack of lactose, these formulas prevent lactose intolerance and its associated symptoms. However, some infants who are entirely allergic to cow milk may also experience allergic reactions and gassiness with Soy Milk. (10)

The Bottom Line

Some formulas may cause gassiness in the baby, which may be a source of distress for the baby and the parents. In these cases, they may switch to more digestion-friendly milk formula after consulting a pediatrician. The infant milk formulas often recommended for gassy babies include goat milk formulas, Soy Milk Formulas, hypoallergenic formulas, and amino acid-based formulas.

Most Popular Formula For Gassy Babies

  1. HiPP Combiotic Dutch Formula
  2. Holle Goat Formula
  3. HiPP HA Germany Formula

References:

  1. Kalarikkal SM, Pfleghaar JL. Breastfeeding. [Updated 2021 Jul 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534767/
  2. Hoddinott, P., Tappin, D., & Wright, C. (2008). Breast feeding. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 336(7649), 881–887. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39521.566296.BE
  3. Stevens, E. E., Patrick, T. E., & Pickler, R. (2009). A history of infant feeding. The Journal of perinatal education, 18(2), 32–39. https://doi.org/10.1624/105812409X426314
  4. Moore, D. J., Robb, T. A., & Davidson, G. P. (1988). Breath hydrogen response to milk containing lactose in colicky and noncolicky infants. The Journal of pediatrics, 113(6), 979–984. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0022-3476(88)80567-5
  5. Ståhlberg, M. R., & Savilahti, E. (1986). Infantile colic and feeding. Archives of disease in childhood, 61(12), 1232–1233. https://doi.org/10.1136/adc.61.12.1232
  6. Fatheree, N. Y., Liu, Y., Ferris, M., Van Arsdall, M., McMurtry, V., Zozaya, M., Cai, C., Rahbar, M. H., Hessabi, M., Vu, T., Wong, C., Min, J., Tran, D. Q., Navarro, F., Gleason, W., Gonzalez, S., & Rhoads, J. M. (2016). Hypoallergenic formula with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG for babies with colic: A pilot study of recruitment, retention, and fecal biomarkers. World journal of gastrointestinal pathophysiology, 7(1), 160–170. https://doi.org/10.4291/wjgp.v7.i1.160
  7. Lust, K. D., Brown, J. E., & Thomas, W. (1996). Maternal intake of cruciferous vegetables and other foods and colic symptoms in exclusively breast-fed infants. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 96(1), 46–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0002-8223(96)00013-2
  8. Infante, D., Segarra, O., & Luyer, B. L. (2011). Dietary treatment of colic caused by excess gas in infants: biochemical evidence. World journal of gastroenterology, 17(16), 2104–2108. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v17.i16.2104
  9. Fazil M. (2011). Prevalence and risk factors for infantile colic in District Mansehra. Journal of Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad : JAMC, 23(2), 115–117.
  10. Martin, C. R., Ling, P. R., & Blackburn, G. L. (2016). Review of Infant Feeding: Key Features of Breast Milk and Infant Formula. Nutrients, 8(5), 279. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8050279

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