It’s hard to really understand how amazing baby colic formulas really are, unless you have a fussy screaming baby. Let me attempt to explain it with one simple word:
Fabio is the shirtless man with the Pantene hair that showed up on 99% of all the cheap romance novels published in the 80’s and 90’s. Yes, it was his well-waxed torso that graced the covers of top literature selections named Gentle Rogue, Savage Thunder, Golden Surrender… You get the idea.
If you’ve experienced the helpless, excruciating, stress of listening to your baby screaming (read: SCREAMING) for hours, you know how incredibly surreal a few minutes of quiet can be.
A baby colic formula can give parents that ecstatic euphoria. Yes, my friend with the dark eye-circles, your Fabio has arrived.
The Not-So-Romantic Thing
Is that no one is really 100% sure why causes colic. Technically, colic refers to any healthy, well-fed infant who cries more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. It usually starts around 2 weeks (if baby was full term) and can last 3 to 4 months.
Three to four MONTHS.
You don’t have to live like this.
Most doctors believe colic is related to the digestive system in some way, so it makes sense that we should take a long hard look at what you’re baby is eating.
If you were breastfeeding, the doctor would probably suggest you start cutting dairy products, but since this article specifically is for baby formulas for colic, we’ll skip all that and head straight to the bottle.
There are three different paths you can take on this soiree.
- Add some healthy prebiotics to regular formula.
- Remove the proteins entirely, and offer amino acids.
- Ditch the cow’s milk proteins and move towards the sunny skies of goat’s milk formula.
Baby Formulas for Colic:
Fortunately, the first romantic player on this path to help your baby overcome his colic is usually the cheapest. It’s a regular formula…only with something special added in.
Let me back up a second.
Your baby’s digestive system has bacteria called probiotics living inside it. Picture them as living in a miniature van, down by the river of your colon. (I realize that’s a tad, well, gross, but stick with me.)
These bacteria campgrounds are a good thing! In fact, 70% of our Immune System is happening inside these little Good Guy Campgrounds. Like all living organisms, though, they need to eat. What do Probiotics eat?
Prebiotics. (You totally knew that, didn’t you?!)
Yep. Those Probiotic Hippies all sit around their little vans, fishing and roasting Prebiotics for dinner.
Prebiotics are carbohydrates that your body can’t digest. Since they’re going to be (literally) flushed down the toilet anyway, the Probiotic Hippies put that waste to good use.
Happy, fat, well-fed Probiotics are more motivated to keep your baby’s gut happy. Happy Probiotics = Happy Tummy = What Colic?
Three Baby Colic Formulas with Prebiotics
So this begs the question: Where do babies find the prebiotics those Probiotics are fishing for? They partially find them in the form of Human Milk Oligosaccharides, or HMOs. (Not to be confused with your health care plan.)
Those HMOs are delivered via breastmilk and are one of the “wonder ingredients” that make breastmilk so unique. They are one of the reasons breastfed babies usually have stronger immune systems.
But you’re not breastfeeding! Is your baby just screwed? Hooray for science, because you’ve got OPTIONS. Both Good Start Soothe and Similac Pro-Advance contain HMOs in their formula. A good option if you’re watching pennies!
If organic baby formula is important to you, look no further than HiPP. As a European formula brand, it has passes the extremely-strict organic guidelines of the EU. Don’t let the German packaging scare you, I’ve got all the translations and other details here for you.
Baby Colic Formulas:
There’s a lively debate about whether or not colic is caused by tiny digestive systems struggling to break down the proteins in cow’s milk formula. In those discussions, sometimes a child can be helped by moving away from regular formula and moving into the land of the hypoallergenic.
Picture the regular proteins in a standard formula (like those I just mentioned) like a long strand of pearls. Hypoallergenics formulas break that necklace down into smaller parts which are easier for your baby’s tummy to digest.
Baby Formulas for Colic With Short Protein Pearl Strands (Less Expensive)
These formulas take the long protein strands and break them down to smaller, bracelet sizes. They are more expensive than the prebiotic-added formulas above, so you may want to start with those before moving up the pay-chain.
HiPP HA is the only organic hypoallergenic formula on the market at this time. If the box makes you nervous (it’s in German), pop over to my article here to learn how to translate and use this excellent organic option from overseas.
Baby Colic Formulas with Individual Protein Pearls (More Expensive)
If you’ve tried those hypoallergenic formulas and nothing seems to be improving, it may be wise to talk to your doctor about switching to a hyper-hypoallergenic baby formula for colic.
These very expensive formulas go one step beyond and shatter the whole protein strand, serving your baby’s digestive system individual amino-acids instead. (Remember 8th Grade Biology? Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein!)
A Final Baby Colic Formula to Try
(For a Lot Less)
There have been numerous studies that have linked cow’s milk to chronic constipation (here, and here for starters) because of the dense curd that is created in the tummy once the milk is mixed with the natural digestive juices in the stomach.
Goat’s milk formula, on the other hand, creates a very soft curd in the stomach. If regular cow’s milk formula formed a baseball in the tummy, goat’s milk formulas would create a wiffleball. In other words, lots of holes for digestive enzymes to slide in and get to work.
Kabrita (the only FDA-approved brand of goat’s milk formula available) has a formula that is suitable for babies who have started eating solid foods. (It’s labeled” toddler.”) Chances are, though, your colicky baby is too young for solid foods. In your case, talk to your health care provider. Some doctors have been known to approve the formula for younger babies.
Kabrita LOVES to give away freebies, so click here and request your sample!
If you want an organic goat’s milk formula, your best bet is Holle Goat Milk Formula. It’s a German brand, so the packaging can be a little overwhelming for English-speakers. Not to worry, though. I’ve got you covered.
Ready to be Swept Away?
Listen carefully, exhausted parent of a never-satisfied newborn-screamer:
You are not doing anything wrong. Your baby just doesn’t feel well.
These screams aren’t a referendum of your parenting skills. They aren’t being shouted in hate. You, more than other new parents, are getting a really REALLY big dose of “parenting is super hard”. The GOOD news, though, is that you will be better prepared in the future, because you’ve already been through the fire before.
Get through today. That’s it and that’s enough.
Hopefully, one of these baby formulas for colic will help that task feel a lot easier. Hang in there and keep trying these baby colic formulas, leaving a week in between each transition to really look for change. Oh, and if you do decide to switch formulas, be sure to follow these directions. They will help prevent any extra tummy disruptions.
There! Did you see that!
A horse rears up on the top of the hill, the silhouette of a man’s perfectly toned torso outlined against the rainbow sunsetting sky. It’s him. Your hero. The man who is going to bring peace and calm back to your living room.
It’s Formulio, long hair blowing with the breeze.
Your heart leaps.
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We Love Citations
Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas. Pediatrics.AAPPublications.org
Human Milk Oligosaccharide. Wikipedia.com
Intolerance of cow’s milk and chronic constipation in children. NIH.gov
Does milk cause constipation? A crossover dietary trial. NIH.gov