Frequently Asked Questions About Formula

Could Switching Formulas Help Colic?

5. My baby has colic. Should I switch to a different kind of formula?

Colic -- frequent inconsolable bouts of crying -- can sometimes be a sign of a milk allergy, especially if baby's crying spells and discomfort come right after feedings and he has other symptoms, including digestive difficulties and blood-tinged stool. Your pediatrician may suggest switching formulas as a way to rule out an allergy, since cow's-milk formula is the most common allergy trigger in infancy. He may recommend switching to a hypoallergenic formula, which is made with hydrolyzed, or predigested, protein. Soy formula is another alternative, but babies who are allergic to cow's milk are often allergic to soy too, so doctors may skip this option.

If you're pregnant and have a family history of serious allergies, discuss with a pediatrician whether you should put your baby on a hypoallergenic formula from the start, suggests Dr. Krebs. If your child's colic does turn out to be an allergy to cow's-milk formula, the good news is that most kids outgrow milk allergies and can tolerate regular cow's milk by the time their digestive system is mature enough for it, at age 1.

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