Understanding Baby Formula

The only way to cure a baby whose colic is caused by an allergy to milk is to take the baby off of milk and put him or her on a hypoallergenic formula. The problem is that the market is glutted with all kinds of different formulas. How do you know which one is best for your colicky baby?

Most mothers feed their baby a standard based formula. Standard infant formula is made of cow's mill protein. This can cause some confusion for parents who are told to never give cow's milk to a baby before her first birthday. This is because milk protein is very irritating to the young human intestinal tract.

As the vegetarians say, ' I am not a baby cow!'

When companies make this formula they break down the cow casein and why protein and modify it in a way so that it is nutritionally appropriate. Still your child's body may react to the proteins in standard formula. In fact this type of formula is one of the biggest villains when it comes to causing colic in babies all over the world and why donations of formula to third world countries are also frowned upon by some experts in children's poverty.

This is because formula is not a universal solution to hunger. If it is the wrong type it can make a child sick – as in give it severe colic.

In order to create formulas for the protein allergic infant manufacturers go a step or two further with milk protein, They heat and treat it (called hydrolyzing) the protein to break it down into smaller chunks. After protein is hydrolyzed the body has difficulty recognizing the cow protein and the baby does not have the allergic reaction. These formulas are the hypoallergenic formlaes.

The drawback of these formulas is that they really smell. This is because when proteins are broken down they cause an odor. The odor is often compared to old, cold hamburger that has been stored at the back of the fridge for a few weeks.

If your baby doesn't like the taste of this type of formula then you can try adding a drop of vanilla extract or a half packet of NutraSweet Sugar substitute to make it taste better. Don't add sugar to it as it can cause diarrhea.

Yet another drawback is that this formula is really expensive. The cost of standard hypoallergenic formula runs from about $350 a month for a typical infant.

Some babies cannot tolerate the hypoallergenic formula, which means you have to go to a super hypoallergenic formula. In these formulas the proteins are broken even further down. Sometimes these formulas are also called completely hydrolyzed formal. It contains not a trace of intact protein.

These super hypoallergenic formulas are even more expensive then the hypoallergenic ones. They are also even smellier. However for the infant that has an inflamed intestine this formula may be just what the doctor ordered.

Soy does happen to be a fine nutritional alternative to breast milk and standard formula if your baby can tolerate it. However soymilk can also cause acid reflux symptoms if your child just happens to be allergic to soy!