Can Formula Contribute to Colic?

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Colic is one of those things that researchers have just not been able to fully put their finger on. There was a time when it was assumed that colic was caused by gastrointestinal discomfort of some sort. Today, there are still many experts who believe this, but there are also other theories as to what can cause colic, including overstimulation and an immature nervous system. It may well be that there are multiple possible causes of colic. This seems likely, as it has been the experience of some parents that even baby formula can cause colic.

Formula can cause colic in a couple of ways. First, formula is generally based on milk products, and contains milk proteins. It may be that a baby is especially sensitive to the protein or even the sugar in cow’s milk. This can occur when the baby’s system doesn’t yet have enough of the necessary enzyme to break down the milk protein, which thereby causes gas and intestinal spasms.

If you believe that formula is causing colic for your baby, there are some things you can do to try to alleviate the situation. Sometimes, just changing brands of formula will help. There are even specific brands of formula that are designed to be easier on a baby’s stomach, and may be easier to digest. Of course, if your baby has an allergy or your baby’s stomach is truly sensitive to milk protein, other brands of formula probably won’t make much of a difference.

You can also try switching to soy formula to see if it helps to reduce or eliminate your baby’s colic. This doesn’t always work, as many babies that are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to soy. Still, it may be worth a try if you believe formula is causing your baby’s colic. There are also a variety of hypo allergenic formulas that can sometimes help. Know that these formulas are going to be much more expensive than regular formula.

As always, before making drastic changes to your baby’s diet, you should speak with your health care provider. Your health care provider will help to rule out other causes of the colic, and may be able to point you in the right direction if formula is indeed causing colic in your baby.

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This entry was posted in Colic.


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