Which formula to avoid constipation/gas?

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by praises1139, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. praises1139

    praises1139 Well-Known Member

    We switched to formula a couple weeks ago and our boys got constipated rather quickly. They never had issues with breastmilk except a normal amount of gas. Now they have painful gas/BM that wakes them up. I hate seeing them in pain and it is frustrating that it cuts their sleep short. I give them 1/2oz prune juice in their bottle 2x/day, which the nurse suggested. It helps with the constipation but not the gas.
    One of our boys however, doesn't have as much trouble though, so he is still on the original formula, Similac Advance. He also has had the BJ's version of Similac Advance. We had to try other formulas with his brother though--Similac Sensitive, Enfamil Gentleease and now the generic version of Similac Organic. I was looking online to find suggestions and people said Nestle Good Start was the only formula that didn't cause constipation for their baby. Anyone else find that to be true?
  2. twinkler

    twinkler Well-Known Member

    I can't help with your constipation issue but with the gas, which my babies have had lots of issues with, I can. Firstly from what I know from my own experience and research, is that it's not the formula that causes gas, but the bottles they are drinking from, with air getting into the bottle therefore into them.

    One of our twins who had surgery has a narrow oesophagus, so has serious gas issues so these are things we have tried, some successfully, some not.:

    1. - changed bottles to Dr Brown's - expensive but worth it IMO.... there are few parts to it but I don't find it any harder and when they turned 4 months, I just wash in the dishwasher (no need to sterilise)... Here's a link : Dr Brown's Bottles if you want to check it out a bit more. Even if you don't get these bottles, I would definitely try experiments with different teats/bottles, as this is usually the main cause of gas.
    2. - try keeping them upright after feeds, for at least 10-15 minutes - I usually sit them in their Bumbo seats during the day, and at night, read a book before bed. Almost always, the difficult burper will take somewhere between 5-10 minutes to get her burp out (but it's usually good one lol!)
    3. - at night if they wake up with gas, try putting them on their tummy, bicycle their legs or give water (I use this as a last resort but it helps in bringing the burps up) - all these will help with constipation too as you probably already know.
    4. - I use Infacol wind drops in every feed, do you find the gas issue worse at night? It's because there's a build up from the course of the day. I'm not entirely sure whether the wind drops works or not, but I'm happy for the placebo effect, for sure.

    My pedi said that gas/colic is the worst at 4 months and should start easing, well I've found it hasn't eased and my bubs are now nearly 7 months. The only thing that I have noticed is that the frequency at night time is less and the duration is less, I put this down to changing to Dr Brown's bottles rather than their age.

    The specialist has also put my baby on reflux granules (Nexium) - well that hasn't worked either and at the end of the month, with no improvement, we will stop.

    The most marked improvement I have found is using the 4 things I listed above. I've been told that feeding them in an upright position helps too, but I could never figure out how to do this while feeding both at the same time! It's also been suggested to raise one end of the crib, but I've never done that as I feel it's too unsafe as my littlie started rolling over at 3 months and is all over the place.

    And last but not least I'm sure, also try pear juice, it's fantastic for constipation!

    GL and I hope some of this helps you in some way!
  3. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Personally I found Good Start to be the best for all four of my kids. It's already partially broken down, closer to breastmilk, so it's easier for their tummy to digest. I also preferred the playtex drop in bottle/liner combo. They don't get any excess air with them because you just push all the air out the nipple hole before putting it in their mouth, all they are getting is liquid. And so easy to clean up.

    However I'm wondering, are you mixing each bottle individually or mixing up a batch and keeping it in the fridge? Mixing bottle by bottle, since you shake it to mix it, leaves lots of little air bubbles in the formula itself. If you mix it ahead of time, or in larger batches and leave it in the fridge, the air bubbles settle out and it will cause less gas issues.

    You can try simethicone gas drops, either before a feeding, or right into the bottles themselves, to help settle the air bubbles down.

    Now, for constipation, per my pedi's recommendation, I used dark karo syrup in each bottle until they were going consistently, then tried to back off a bit until I found what helped keep them regular. I had tried all the juices already, and nothing was working for them. I just used a tablespoon or so at a time in a bottle and see if it helped. Once I found what dosage worked, since I made my formula in big batches, I would add the karo syrup to the formula jug so it was all mixed into each and every bottle. I never had problems as long as they used formula by doing this. It was recommended to me back when my older dd had troubles (she's 5 now), and again when the twins started having issues.
  4. mom2gc

    mom2gc Well-Known Member

    I agree try changing the bottles/teats.I did this too and it made a big difference. I did raise her mattress by rolling up a few towels and putting it underneath the mattress, the elevation was slight, but it did help. I also added probiotics to her bottle ( the paediatric powder kind)and this helped.

    Hope that this will not last long for you.
  5. yuliav

    yuliav Member

    I feel your pain! my boy twin had bad gas, I've tried almost every formula out there(i still have them sitting on the shelve in my kitchen) until my pediatrician recommended Nutramigen A+ by Enfamil. It's a Hypoallergenic and very easy to digest - it's an expensive formula, but i'll pay any amount to have a calm baby :)
    Hope this helps and keep us posted

    Good luck!
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