What causes constipation?
Constipation in babies is a very common thing and is rarely a serious health issue. It ultimately boils down to what you are feeding your baby on. The good news is that most times, it is easy to eliminate constipation by investigating the cause and making the necessary adjustment.
Constipation in a breastfeeding baby is unusual, but when it happens, it’s probably because you fed on a substance the baby is allergic to. If constipation is frequently occurring, a pediatrician can assist in helping you to identify the culprit in your diet.
For formula-fed babies, constipation is much more common and usually results from making a poor choice of formula that is not suitable for the baby. For instance, you could be feeding your sensitive baby on a formula with cow milk which they find the milk proteins hard to digest. Or you could be feeding them on a formula with ingredients like soy, which they are allergic to.
Another factor you want to consider is, how well you are mixing the formula; if you don’t follow the instructional guide on the formula, or reduce the amount of fluid you use, most likely, it will lead to constipation.
Dehydration is also another cause; your baby just like you lose water through sweating, so if you don’t hydrate them well, constipation could occur.
At some point, a mother introduces the baby to solid food; sometimes, a bit too soon when the baby’s digestive system is not mature enough to handle solid food, this results in constipation. For a smooth transition, doctors recommend introducing soft fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables or juice for hydration.
In extremely rare cases, a baby could have nerve or structural defects in the large intestine that could be causing constipation and these problems can be dealt with by medical experts.
Things To Look For In The Best Infant Formula For Sensitive Stomach
Minimal or no lactose: Lactose is one of the ingredients commonly found in most formulas that are known to cause tummy sensitivity. Ensure that the formula you choose has got minimal lactose or even better, none at all if your baby is lactose intolerant.
Ease-of-digestion: A baby’s digestive system is not fully matured initially; as a result, digestion is much slower. You want to select a formula with ingredients that have been broken down or are easily digestible.
Availability of Essential nutrients and vitamins: to make sure your baby is well-nourished so they can grow healthy and strong, look for nutrients that are also found in breast milk. These nutrients include DHA, ARA, and vitamins, they
Ingredients To Look For In Infant Formula For Sensitive Babies
HMO (Human milk oligosaccharides): also naturally found in breast milk for promoting a healthy gut and building the immune system
Probiotics: For feeding healthy the good bacteria which act as a barrier against pathogens invading the digestive system.
Partially broken proteins (or hydrolyzed proteins): for easier digestion.
Omega-3 DHA and ARA: Support brain and eye development.
The formula should be free of genetically engineered ingredients.
Why Certain Formulas Can Make A Baby Gassy
There are many reasons why a formula would make the baby gassy. Most formulas are made of cow’s milk or soy. A baby that is allergic to these products could experience stomach gas as a result.
Also, there are a lot of babies who have lactose or milk protein intolerance if they are fed with a formula based on cow milk, gassiness will be inevitable.
Other times the baby is sensitive to the ingredients in the formula, usually the proteins. Because the digestive system of the baby is not mature yet, the baby sometimes finds it hard to digest these proteins, this results in gassiness.
Gas can also result when the baby sucks in too much air if the feeding bottle is not angled correctly, causing the baby to suck in the air along with the milk. Ensure the nipple is filled with milk always when feeding.
Symptoms Of Formula Intolerance
- The baby might have diarrhea or loose, watery stools
- The baby looks uncomfortable when feeding or refuses to feed altogether
- The baby becomes gassy, spits up, or vomits after feeding
- Excessive crying and crankiness for extended period without any apparent cause
9 Best Formula for Gas and Constipation
- #1. Gerber Good Start Infant Formula
- #2. Enfamil Nutramigen Baby Formula
- #3. Earth’s Best Infant Formula
- #4. Similac Pro Sensitive Non-GMO Infant Formula
- #5. Similac Pro Sensitive Infant Formula With Iron
- #6. Similac Pro Sensitive Infant Formula
- #7. Enfamil prosobee soy-based infant formula
- #8. Similac Sensitive Infant Formula
- #9. Enfamil Neuro Pro Gentlease Infant Formula
Reviews Of The 10 Best Baby Formula For Gas And Constipation
Gerber good start infant formula is from a famous infant formula-producing company that has been in the market for decades. It is a favorite choice among many mums and not without good reasons. The formula is designed to help babies who are colic, and experience gas along with crying and fussiness.
The formula is made from choice ingredients that are not genetically modified. The ingredients are then carefully blended to create a formula that is tummy soothing and nutritious for your baby. It includes HMO, a component normally found in breast milk that has been proven by research to support a healthy digestive system and building the immune system.
Gerber Good Start formula uses an exclusive probiotic called L.reuteri, which has been proven to be effective in reducing colic and spit-ups. Together with an additional prebiotic, the two promote optimal gut health and also helps stools to be soft and regular. As a result, crying time is substantially reduced.
Gerber good start is also enriched with small-sized comfort proteins that the baby’s sensitive tummy will easily digest.
It also includes all the major nutrients and vitamins your baby needs for robust growth: DHA supports brain and eye development.
Mums who have used Gerber Good start report noticing a gas reduction, together with crying and fussing.
- Non-GMO formula
- Serves babies from 0-12 months
- Cool packaging: specially designed lead that locks in to preserve freshness, a latch to use only when opening, and a hook on the inside of the lid to secure the scoop.
- HMO for immunity development
- DHA, ARA, vitamins
- A blend of probiotic and prebiotic
- It offers great value for money
- It is easy to digest
- The probiotic promotes soft poops and soothes the tummy hence reducing gas, fussiness, and crying.
- Only serves babies that are up to one year
If your baby is allergic and you have been trying switching formulas with no change, it is high time you considered trying the Nutramigen formula.
The formula is one of the best hypoallergenic formulas. It has been through clinical testing has been proven to improve and alleviate allergic reactions fast. When parents with allergic babies tried it, amazingly, 90% of the babies showed improvements signs within 48 hours.
Nutramigen is made from lactose-free milk powder and is very rich in nutrition: it has Omega 3 DHA, ARA, choline vital nutrients also normally present in breast milk. They support your growing baby’s brain and eye development. The proteins included are hydrolyzed so, they are easy for the baby to digest. Additionally, it is fortified with iron, an essential mineral for building red blood cells.
Nutramigen includes a unique probiotic called LGG, which has been proven to help with allergy management while supporting the baby’s digestive health. It helps develop the baby’s immunity so that in the future, they can be able to feed on traditional milk protein without having an allergic response. Babies fed with Nutramigen experience reduced chances of developing allergy challenges such as eczema, asthma, rhino-conjunctivitis, and urticaria in the future by 50%.
- Serves babies from 0-12 months
- Hypoallergenic formula
- Designed mainly for colic babies due to cow milk
- Suitable for lactose intolerant babies
- Easy to digest hydrolyzed proteins
- Proven to provide relief from allergies
- It is pricier in comparison
If you have been looking for a formula that will cater to your baby’s nutritional needs while remaining gentle on the tummy and is also genuinely organic, then Earth’s Best is your perfect option.
As the name suggests, it is perhaps the best organic formula. It is USDA organic certified; it contains no artificial flavorings, colors, pesticides, and fertilizers. It is also Kosher certified.
Earth’s best also includes special nutrients such as DHA, and ARA similar to those found in breast milk to support your baby’s brain and eye development. It is also enriched with lutein, an essential component that also supports eye development. Plus, Fructooligosaccharides, a prebiotic that builds the immune system.
Earth’s Best Organic uses reduced lactose milk powder, which provides essential carbohydrates as well as proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. The proteins and carbohydrates used are gentle on the sensitive tummy and are easy to digest.
- Organic infant formula
- Uses reduced lactose-milk
- For babies from 0-12 months
- Easy to digest
- Some moms do not find the smell pleasant
This Similac formula is non-GMO milk-based and does not contain artificial growth hormones. It is specially developed for babies with sensitive tummies. Although the formula uses cow milk, lactose is usually eliminated to reduce gas and tummy sensitivity. However, do not use it if your baby has galactosemia.
Similac Pro sensitive is one of the few formulas that include 2′-FLO HMO, an immune-building probiotic that is the closest to the one in breast milk. The formula also includes an exclusive blend of DHA, lutein, and Vit E for supporting the baby’s brain and eye development. Vit E supports cell development.
If your baby is lactose sensitive and suffers from gas and fussiness, then Similac Pro Sensitive formula will be a perfect choice. It is easy to digest and offer complete nutrition for your baby
- Non-GMO milk-based formula
- For babies from 0-12 months
- Contains 2’FL-HMO
- Very affordable
- It has a pleasant taste and smell
- No indigestion problems
- It appears to be foamy to some people when shaken
The Similac infant formula is a milk-based formula that doesn’t include artificial growth hormones. It is designed for babies that experience gas with crying due to lactose sensitivity.
It provides complete nutrition for the baby with Similac OptiGro, a blend of DHA, lutein, and Vit E, special nutrients also found in breast milk. They are vital for the baby’s brain and eye development. It is fortified with iron to boost the baby’s iron levels in the body.
Additionally, it also features a powerful immune-building probiotic, similar to the one in human breast milk, 2FL’-HMO.
- For lactose sensitive babies
- Includes 2FL’-HMO
- Hassle-free packaging
- Relieves gas and digestive issues
- Very good pricing
- Some mums find it foamy
The formula is made from Non-GMO milk ingredients and is designed for babies with fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivity. It offers complete nutrition for babies from birth through to one year.
It does not contain lactose. Instead, it contains Similac’s blend of DHA, lutein, and Vitamin E for supporting the baby’s developing brain and eyes. It also has 2 FL’-HMO, a particular prebiotic that is also naturally found in breast milk, circulating throughout bodybuilding immunity.
- For babies from 0-12 months
- Non-GMO ingredients
- For lactose sensitive tummies
- Offers great value for money
- Does not cause any issues with a sensitive tummy
It is a soy-based formula specially developed for lactose allergic or intolerant babies. It is an ideal milk alternative for families that follow vegetarian or kosher diets.
Although it does not use dairy products, Prosobee is tailored to meet all your infant’s nutritional needs throughout their first year. It is made with hydrolyzed soy proteins that are gentle and easy to digest, hence reducing the gas and fussiness in a baby who is lactose or milk product sensitive. Carbohydrates are obtained from corn syrup.
This formula also provides DHA and Choline, essential nutrients that support the baby’s cognitive development. Additionally, a blend of essential vitamins and minerals is also included to make sure the nutritional needs of your little one are all met.
- Soy-based formula
- Suitable for babies up to 12 months
- For babies who are sensitive to milk products
- Easy to digest
- Pricier in comparison
#8. Similac Sensitive Infant Formula
Similac Sensitive is a wholesome nutritious formula that caters to your baby’s sensitive tummy throughout its first year. It uses cow milk from which lactose is eliminated; hence it is an excellent formula for babies that experience gas or are fussy due to lactose.
Similac sensitivity incorporates all the vital nutrients that are typically found in breast milk such as Omega 3 DHA, lutein, and vitamin E as well as other vitamins and minerals. These promote brain and eye development as well as overall growth.
This formula does a great job of eliminating fussiness, gas, and spit-up in sensitive babies. Unfortunately, if your baby has galactosemia, you should not feed them with it.
- For lactose intolerant babies
- Contains DHA, lutein, and Vit E
- Fortified with iron
- Gentle on the stomach
- The can is smaller in comparison
This Enfamil formula is made with 30 different nutrients from carefully selected ingredients to offer your baby the best growth nutrients possible. It is probably the only infant formula that has incorporated Inositol and DHA, components also found in breast milk for brain development.
This formula has been clinically proven to reduce gas, fussiness, and colic because it uses partially broken proteins that are easy to digest.
It includes MFGM, an ingredient also present in breast milk that has been shown by research to support cognitive development. Additionally, its wide range of ingredients provides probiotics for promoting immunity, as well as vitamins and minerals.
- Available in powder form and as liquid ready to feed bottles
- Contains omega3 DHA, inistol, MFGM and a wide range of vitamins and minerals
- Easy to digest proteins
- Ready to feed bottles that are convenient
- It is affordable
- Some parents do not like the taste
How To Know Your Baby Is Experiencing Constipation:
Not pooping for long periods
If a baby stays beyond five days without a bowel movement, they are most likely constipated.
Passing a hard stool with discomfort
Hard stools usually are accompanied by discomfort; the baby might be crying or sometimes also appear to be red on the face from straining. Other times you could notice the poop having bloodstains when constipation is severe.
A hard belly
If you gently press on the baby’s tummy and it feels harder than usual, and they haven’t pooped in a while, the baby may be constipated.
Ways To Help Your Baby With Gas
If you have been feeding your baby with a gentle formula, but they are still becoming gassy from time to time, here are some tips you can employ:
Burp more often: a lot of moms wait until the baby stops feeding to do burps. It would be helpful if in between feeding, the baby had more burps.
Do leg pumps: lay the baby on their back and do a bicycle pump; the baby will be able to release any trapped gas.
Use gas drops: there are many gases relieving drops in the market that can help your baby with no harm.
Angled bottles: these bottles have vent holes and can help when feeding. They keep the milk flowing while preventing bubbles that could make your baby gassy from forming.
Use disposable liners: disposable liners can help to release out all the air from the bottle, before feeding.
Home Remedies: How To Get Rid Of Constipation
Here is another video on rememedies for constipation for newborns
I am Ashley Davis, a mom of three kids and the editor here at 10BabyGear. I have been a parent since 2011 and have been doing full-time consulting as a baby sleep expert since 2019. When I am not researching or testing the next baby gear hitting the market, you’ll find me teaching my toddlers a trick or two – especially over the last few months with the lockdown. I hope you’ll find my guides and reviews helpful as you make your next purchase decision. If you have any questions, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.