Hypoallergenic Formula for Baby: Types, Symptoms & Substitutes

Does Your Baby Need Hypoallergenic Formula

Allergies are more common than you think and, sometimes, even infants may experience allergies such as milk allergies. Babies’ digestive systems may experience difficulty in processing usual formula milk and in some cases even breastmilk. This all could be because of the presence of protein in the formula milk. Sometimes your paediatrician may suggest a hypoallergic formula for your baby to provide for your baby’s nutritional needs. If you are wondering how to establish whether or not your munchkin requires hypoallergic formula, well, reading the following post can prove to be helpful in making this decision!

What is Hypoallergenic Formula?

Hypoallergenic formula, which is usually prescribed by paediatricians for babies who have milk protein allergies, is formula milk in which the large milk protein is further broken into smaller milk proteins so that it can be easily digested by babies. This process of breaking down the milk proteins makes this kind of formula milk less allergic for babies.

Types of Hypoallergenic Baby Formula

Here are some common hypoallergenic milk for infants and toddlers:

1. Extensively Hydrolysed Formula

This kind of hypoallergenic formula for babies and toddlers contains the smallest milk protein that can be easily tolerated and digested by babies.

2. Partially Hydrolysed Formula

This is a kind of formula is a formula in which the milk protein is only partially broken. Therefore, this kind of formula cannot be called completely hypoallergic formula milk. However, this kind of formula works well for babies with specific milk allergies.

3. Free Amino Acid-Based Formula

In this kind of formula, the milk protein is split into the building blocks or the amino acids. This means that this formula milk further processed and made suitable for babies who cannot even tolerate extensively hydrolyzed formula also. This type of formula is very expensive too.

baby formula and bottle

Symptoms Indicate That Your Baby Needs Special Formula

Here are some indications or signs that may help you in determining that you may need a hypoallergenic formula for your little one:

  • If you notice any kind of bleeding or blood traces in your baby’s stools, it could be a sign of milk allergy
  • Milk allergies can sometimes irritate your baby’s intestines, which can lead to spasms and cramping. You may notice your baby in discomfort or pain while passing stools.
  • If you notice excessive mucus in your baby’s diaper, it could be a sign of allergies in the intestines.
  • If your baby is experiencing acid reflux and throwing up more than usual after feeds.
  • If your baby has constant wheezing, stuffy nose, or cough most of the time, it could be a sign of milk allergy.
  • If your baby is pooing like there is no tomorrow or in other words if your baby has diarrhoea and there is a poop trace in almost in all his diapers.

How to Choose the Right Hypoallergenic Infant Formula

After establishing your baby’s symptoms, your doctor will recommend what kind of hypoallergenic formula milk your baby may require. Your paediatrician will either suggest extensively hydrolysed formula milk or amnio-acid based hydrolysed formula milk.

Even after deciding what kind of formula milk should be given, you may have to try different brands before narrowing down to the one that your baby tolerates best. You can also ask your paediatrician to give you a few samples to try. And based on what suits your baby best, you can buy a bigger pack from the store. If that may not be an option, do not hesitate to try a couple of brands before finalising one for your baby.

These kinds of formula milk are fairly expensive and, thus, you may not want to make any wrong decisions and at the same time buy what your baby likes and tolerates best. If you wish to buy an organic hypoallergenic formula, well, there are many options available in too!

Substitutes for Hypoallergenic Formula

If you are looking for alternatives other than hypoallergenic formula, here are some options that you can consider:

  • Without a doubt one of the best alternatives for the hypoallergenic formula is breastmilk. However, if the baby is even allergic to the protein in the breastmilk then removing dairy, egg, fish and other such allergy-inducing foods from the mother’s diet may sometimes prove to be helpful in reducing or lowering the milk allergies in babies.
  • Opting for goat milk formula is another option, and this milk is highly tolerated in babies because it contains smaller fat molecules in it.
  • You can also think of introducing rice protein-based formula milk for babies, as these are very well accepted and tolerated by babies with severe milk protein allergies.
  • Formulas that are soy-based are also a good alternative to hypoallergenic formula milk and this kind of formula has good success rate with babies suffering from cow’s milk allergies, which triggers vomiting, eczema, stuffy nose, etc. However, some experts recommend against it because soy-based formula milk contains high amounts of estrogen-like plant-based compounds, which may lead to some long-term side effects of babies.

If you are planning on giving any of the above-mentioned formula milk to your baby, it is best to consult your paediatrician before doing so. Your doctor will be able to guide you as to what is best for your baby.

mother feeding baby

How Will Hypoallergenic Formula Help Your Infant?

Here are some benefits of hypoallergenic milk for toddlers and babies:

  • Feeding hypoallergenic formula can help in better digestion of nutrients, which, in turn, will aid in the healthy growth of your baby. This also means no more painful and uncomfortable bathroom visits with your little one.
  • It may help in dealing with respiratory issues in babies that usually arise due to milk allergies. Giving this kind of formula to your baby can bid goodbyes to all those annoying breathing issues such as the stuffy nose, wheezing, coughing, etc.
  • It may aid in curing eczema in babies. Eczema is usually a result of allergic reaction and if it is because of formula milk, then switching to hypoallergenic milk can provide for the much-needed solution. Along with the change in formula, keeping a tab on your baby’s trigger can prove to be helpful too.
  • You can keep other allergic signs at bay that can include stomach aches, bloating, gas, crankiness, etc. in babies when you introduce hypoallergenic formulas for dairy and soy intolerance to your baby.

Where to Find Hypoallergenic Formula

If your doctor suggests you to go ahead with hypoallergenic formula milk for your baby, one of the first questions that can pop into your head is where can you buy it from. If your paediatrician can hand you over a few samples to try, it will really come in handy in deciding which brand of formula milk you should buy for your little one. However, if that may not be the case, there is no need to worry as most drug stores, supermarkets, and big boxes stores sell these formula options for babies. If you have medical insurance that covers your baby’s formula milk too, it will be a good idea to buy it through a medical supply source.

As you introduce hypoallergenic formula to your baby, you can expect a few changes. These changes include different smell in the formula because it lacks protein in it. However, most babies may not even notice this change because their sense of smell is not developed at this young age. You may also notice changes in your baby’s stools, which means that your baby’s stools may appear clearer because there is no heavy milk proteins present there. Also, the consistency, colour, and frequency of your baby’s poop may change too. All these are some common changes that you can note after you start feeding hypoallergenic formula to your baby. However, if you notice black, red, white, or watery stools, you should immediately get in touch with your doctor.

There is no doubt that finding the perfect hypoallergenic formula for your little one can be a daunting task. However, once you do so, you and your baby both can utter a sigh of relief as milk allergies can not only be extremely uncomfortable and painful for the baby but also for the mother! You should get in touch with your health care provider to help you with choosing the right hypoallergic formula option for your baby!

Also Read:

Formula Allergy in Infants
Tips to Choose Baby Formula
Formula Feeding Guidelines for Infants

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