The Best Formula For Colic—Types of Formula, How To Prevent Colic

Best Formula For Colic

There is very little more frustrating than trying to find the right baby formula out of the countless types of baby formulas that will be the best for your colicky baby. It can be confusing, from organic baby formula to a hypoallergenic formula, lactose-free formula, cow’s milk formula, etc.

This article will help you get the information to pinpoint the best formula for colic. While some may think that breast milk cannot possibly cause any issues with colic, many breastfeeding mothers will tell you otherwise.

Colic is rough. For baby, for parents, for your other children, for the whole family. There are ways to adjust what infant formula you feed to your baby. However, that can alleviate some colic symptoms.

What is Colic?

Colic is more than a fussy baby. The golden standard for determining if you have a colicky baby is following the rule of three. To be considered colic, a healthy infant has to cry for three or more hours a day, three days or more days a week, for three or more weeks.

If this sounds like your baby, and no amount of rocking your little one, driving with your little one, swaddling, or cuddling is helping to alleviate the situation, then there is a good chance you are dealing with colic.

The first thing you need to understand is that it is not the fault of anyone. Colic happens to babies. However, some baby formulas can worsen, but some can help alleviate the very unpleasant and very loud situation.

What Causes Colic?

There is no known exact reason why babies get colic. However, numerous studies have been conducted, and there seem to be certain things that can contribute to the issue. The following are some things that could be causing or contributing to colic in your baby.

Acid Reflux

Like the heartburn and acid reflux you may have experienced during pregnancy, this uncomfortable condition can occur in newborns or infants. When this occurs, you get a baby who uncontrollably cries and screams because they cannot get comfortable and may have trouble eating. A tell-tale sign of acid reflux is when the baby spits up.

All babies spit up from time to time, but if you notice that your baby is spitting up most of the baby formula you offer, then there is a good chance that reflux is the culprit.


The gas buildup is uncomfortable for everyone. But think about how tiny a baby’s intestinal tract is and how miserable it must feel to be bound up with gas buildup.

If your baby’s tummy feels hard or tight, especially right after feeding baby formula, this is likely due to gas. This can produce colicky babies because they are just so uncomfortable.

You can try rubbing your baby’s tummy, pedaling their legs, burping them, and rubbing their backs to get them to pass the gas either through flatulence or burping, but the best measure you can take is probably to take to switch infant formulas.

Resist the Use of Gas Drops and Gripe Water

There are many products available that are marketed as safe and promise to treat or alleviate the symptoms of colic or gas. Gas drops and gripe water are two of the best-known products.

It can be very tempting to purchase these things because you are desperate and need to sleep, and you are heartbroken watching your child scream while you try everything you can to help.

However, these remedies rarely, if ever, work. Most gripe water-type products and gas drops are full of sugar, can upset a little tummy even more, and will not help in the long run.

Finding a good colic formula is your best bet.

Food Allergies

A newborn or infant can have a food allergy, just like an older child or adult can. The most common allergy that your child can have that can cause your baby’s colic is an allergy to cow’s milk.

A cow’s milk allergy is similar to having lactose intolerance. It causes bowel issues, pain, spit-up, messy diapers, sleeplessness, and constant crying. Check formula brands you have been trying and see if there is milk protein listed as an ingredient.

Cow’s milk protein allergies can often make for a very unhappy baby. Colicky babies with a cow’s milk protein allergy cannot tell you that they are reacting poorly to the infant formula you are giving them.

If you start to really look at the ingredients list on the back of your can of infant formula and notice that the ones that you are using contain milk protein, then you are probably not feeding the best baby formula for your baby.

Best baby formulas and powdered formula

Types of Formula

The first step is understanding that there are a few different types of formulas, which are not all the same. Breastfed babies are less likely to have colic than formula-fed babies, so be prepared to do extra work and research if you are a formula-feeding parent.

You can get infant formula in liquid, ready-to-feed form, or powdered formula. The choice is yours as to which type to purchase for your infant.

There are also different kinds of formulas, and that is where things start to get a little more involved.

Regular Cow’s Milk Formula

Some parents think that this is the best baby formula to feed their infants because it is the most similar to breast milk in structure.

However, these parents do not realize that breast milk comes from a human, which is naturally what a child is supposed to consume, while cow’s milk-based formulas come from cows. Your baby’s stomach may not be able to tolerate this, and discomfort and excessive crying will ensue.

If your child has a sensitivity to it, the real issue with this is that most formula milk blends contain this ingredient and can aggravate the baby’s colic symptoms. You can switch to a reduced lactose formula or a formula with soy protein, which may be easier on a little one’s digestive system.

Organic Formula

This may be a good formula for colic if your baby is intolerant to dairy or other ingredients. Everything in the formula is natural, and it is often a much easier formula to digest.

There are also no artificial growth hormones. This formula is specifically designed to give your baby the most natural blend of formula possible.

Lactose-Free Formula

If your baby has lactose sensitivity or lactose intolerance, these formulas may be the best baby formulas for you. There is no dairy in these formulas, as the dairy has been replaced by corn syrup.

While corn syrup may not be entirely ideal as an ingredient, it is much easier on the digestive system and can help ease colic symptoms.

Soy Formula

Soy protein is plant-based and often easier for babies to digest if they have a lactose issue. Most babies sensitive to lactose do better with this type of baby formula than with milk-based formula or cow milk.

Hypoallergenic Formulas

Hypoallergenic formula is an alternative for babies who seem sensitive to allergies. Your baby’s immune system often needs assistance in processing things like sensitivities and allergies because it is still developing.

Make sure that if you are interested in this type of formula, you carefully check so that you can select a non-GMO formula. The best baby formula contains no artificial additives, caters to your child’s specific allergies, and is protein sensitive for sensitive babies.

The best formula for colic babies

Now that we have discussed the different formula categories, it is time to get down to figuring out what the baby formula for colic may be. Formulas for colic exist in large numbers, and all of them boast that they will help make your child less fussy and less miserable and provide general colic relief.

But are they all created equally? And is it time to switch formulas? If the baby’s cries worsen or there is painful gas after the baby drinks, you need to try other formulas.

The following are some options if trying a different formula is something you would like to consider to reduce colic.

Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease

With a unique blend that mimics breast milk, this is one of the better formula options when considering formulas for colic. It contains fatty acids that promote brain development and digestive and immune system health.

A more expensive option than most formulas, it also contains vitamin e, as well as other vitamins and nutrients that are important to a baby’s development.

Do not give up hope if you feel that this is the best of the baby formulas for colic for your little one, but your budget is a concern. While it is expensive, you can often get coupons, samples, or even free formula from your baby’s pediatrician.

Enfamil Nutramigen

A hypoallergic option, this is an excellent formula for babies with protein sensitivity and lactose issues. The lactose proteins are broken down to the point that they do not cause reactions or sensitivities.

One of the best formula options for babies with allergies and colic, it also promotes brain development and relief from colic.

It is quite expensive, but toddlers can also use it, mimicking breastmilk.

Gerber Good Start Sooth

One of the major perks of this formula is that it contains soothing probiotics that can help relieve colic in babies and are found in breastmilk.

Another advantage to this formula is that it is on the lower end of the price scale. Affordable and with a fantastic reputation for soothing colic fast, you almost can’t go wrong with this formula.

Enfamil AR

A thickened formula, this blend contains rice to give it weight. This is so that it will settle in the baby’s belly and not come right back up.

This formula is one you should consult your child’s doctor about, as some pediatricians believe that there is no actual benefit to adding rice or starch to a formula and that it will not help with any colic symptoms. Many parents, however, swear by it.

Best formulas for colic

Holle Organic Goat Formula

If you’ve never heard of this type of baby formula for colic, it may be because it is one of several types of European formulas that, up until very recently, could only be purchased in Europe.

Now, however, it is available for purchase online.

Goat milk has been proven to be much easier to digest than cow’s milk. It also absorbs other ingredients and nutrients well, making it easy to blend and smooth formula for a baby to consume. It is one of the top choices for formula options for colic.

Similac Sensitive with Iron

With many of the same benefits you would find in breastmilk, this formula contains things like Vitamin E, Lutein, and DHA. All of these promote important things like brain development in babies.

Similac is one of the most trusted brands for infant formula, and the added iron will help babies who suffer from anemia or were preemies or underweight at birth.

However, some babies experience constipation issues while using this infant formula due to the added iron.

Other Ways to Prevent Colic

After you have found the right infant formula for your baby, you may want to bolster your efforts to eliminate colic with other parenting methods. This is always a great idea, as your baby may take a while to acclimate to a new formula or start fine on the new formula blend and then backslide.

Employing these other tips can help you regain some control over the situation and maybe even some much-needed sleep.

Burp Baby Often

Try burping your baby more frequently to alleviate some gas buildup. This can ease the discomfort your little one experiences during and after a feeding. It can also reduce how much your child pukes. Getting the gas out is a great start to a good night’s sleep and a peaceful day with a baby who has a sensitive tummy.

Smaller Feeds, More Often

For example, if your baby is supposed to consume six ounces of formula per feeding, consider breaking up the feeding so that you are offering three ounces at first. Then take a break for a little while, and offer the last three ounces later, when the baby has had time to process some of the formulae.

While this is somewhat tedious, it may make a big difference in how fussy, and colicky your little one is. Going slow and feeding more often may be just what you need for a happier baby.

Use Anti-Colic Bottles

Bottles designed to combat colic will help reduce the amount of air your baby gets with each feeding.

When air is trapped in the baby bottle, your little one gulps that air along with the food, creating a gas bubble. Special bottles that push the air out or do not allow the air in can help to reduce the amount of gas and discomfort your child may have after a feeding.

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