36 answers

Best Formula for Acid Reflux Baby?

What is the best formula for babies with acid reflux?

I know every baby is different but I'd appreciate hearing what you've tried and worked or didn't work.

P.S. I'm exclusively pumping right now (for various reasons - latch, weight gain concerns, mastitis twice in the early weeks and again now) but need to switch to formula. I know breastmilk is best so I've already beaten myself up about making the switch, so please only kind replies. :)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My son not only had reflux, but was aspirating into his lungs, also. We added Simply Thick (a thickener) to his milk while I was pumping since the rice cereal wasn't making the breast milk thick enough. After I stopped pumping, we tried all of the formulas out there, and we have had the best luck with the Nestle Good Start formulas (because of the "comfort proteins").

Good Luck!
-Tejal

1 mom found this helpful

I used the Parents Choice soy formula from Walmart. It had the same stuff as the more expensive Brand Name Formulas, but I found that it disolved the best. Granted my son did not have acid reflux, but he did react quite a bit to the other formulas.

C., I can totally relate also. My son had reflux and colic at the same time. It was horrible. I pumped and then had to switch to formula and we went with Nestle Good Start. We tried several others before we tried this and it worked the best for him. Plus you can go to their website and they will send you coupons. http://www.verybestbaby.com/Public/Default.aspx

Good luck!

More Answers

My son not only had reflux, but was aspirating into his lungs, also. We added Simply Thick (a thickener) to his milk while I was pumping since the rice cereal wasn't making the breast milk thick enough. After I stopped pumping, we tried all of the formulas out there, and we have had the best luck with the Nestle Good Start formulas (because of the "comfort proteins").

Good Luck!
-Tejal

1 mom found this helpful

I can totally relate to what you are going through. My baby has reflux and we had a really hard time breastfeeding. I exclusively pumped for awhile too, but it was so hard to pump enough and take care of the baby. Please do not be hard on yourself, my baby is thriving and happy, she is never sick and smart as a whip! and I stopped pumping at 6 weeks. I wish I could have done it longer, but it really was not working for either of us!
I think all pedi's have different opinions, but my pedi told us not to switch the formula because no matter what she would be on, she would have reflux. So we kept her on Similac with iron. He said that soy and other formulas can cause all the same problems. That said, I have heard of a formula called Alimentum, I heard that it is expensive but can help with the reflux.
What helped us the most, was sitting her more upright when she fed, giving her smaller meals more times a day, keeping her upright for 20-30 min after a feeding (I would put her in her bouncy or swing a lot if she was ready to sleep), I elevated her crib on one side. She is also on prevacid which helped A LOT! Her reflux has improved a lot now (she is 10 months) and I am so happy!
I wish you lots of luck, I know how hard having a reflux baby can be.

We battled really bad acid reflux with both of our boys. Both are adopted, so breastfeeding wasn't an option. Both did well on Enfamil AR (pink can). It's a lot thicker, so it stays down better. I have also heard of good success with the ProSobee from Enfamil. Hope this helps!

Hello. best of luck to you and your little one. I know that Reflux is not the funnest thing. My daughter was diagnosed at 8 weeks. She is now 20 months and still using Zantac 25 efferdose tablets. After my milk supply ran out, we tried tons of the major brands who offered formulas that were targeted at being more gentle. We then tried Soy and it was the only thing that worked for the most part but not completely. It wasn't until we tried Bright Beginnings Lipids formula that everything became smoother and easier for her. There was no need to use Soy because it worked so well with her. Its also a lot cheaper (nice bonus!) You can order online as well and get more for your money. I saw somewhere recently that they now carry a Gentle formula, too. We use used rice cereal for thickening and then later on different cereals as the Dr agreed to add them to her diet. Best of luck in finding what works best for your little one!

My daughter had severe enough reflux as a baby that they stuck a tube down her throat for 24 hours and hooked her up to a machine to test the severity of the acid. Anyways, we started with Gentlease and then slowly switched to lacto-free (target and walmart both make generics now). She was also put on various Rx's. But another thing that seemed to calm the occasional reflux after the switch in formula was Gripe Water. For some reason it would almost instantanously stop the crying and relax her. It is all-natural so you can give it pretty liberally. I found it at Sprouts and Central Market, but I have heard that many Indian grocery stores carry it as well.

Most babies outgrow the problem before their first birthday. Hang in there.

Hi C.~

I am so sorry to hear about your baby have GERD. My daughter was diagnosed with GERD when she was a day old. We have been on some form of medication from the start. What is really working for us is Nestle Good Start. We tried enfamil gentlease and AR and neither of them worked. Soy seemed to make the reflux worse for our DD. We have had so much success with Nestle Good Start and Prevacid.

On a totally different note- Good for you for making it breastfeeding for this long. I had mastitis twice too and it was horrible! I had to stop breastfeeding due to medical issues but at the end of it I was pumping exclusively too...what hard work! Hope I have been of some help!

Happy Tuesday!
J.

Hi C.,

Also talk to your pediatrician about adding a thickener to her formula or breastmilk (for when you feed her from the bottle). My daughter was a near 8 week preemie and developed reflux as well. She had to do a barium swallow test and it was determined that my breastmilk was simply too thin and she was aspirating milk into her lungs - not good! So we had to do thickener and she never had any issues. With her reflux, it mainly affected her breathing too, not so much the spitting up - that was rare. But if rice doesn't help as Erica suggested, ask about the thickener. Good luck!! :_)

-Char

we use Enfamil Gentleease nothing else seemed to do it for him

Don't you dare beat yourself up!!!!! I did the same thing for 9 1/2 months (pumping) and felt terribly bad for switching to formula, only to see that my DD did MUCH better on formula. She has acid reflux and had dropped from the 50th percentile to the 9th! When we switched to formula (Enfamil Lipil), she gained a beautiful amount of weight (back to 50th again) and we are BOTH much happier! She giggles and everything now! If only I had known, I would have done it from the beginning.

God Bless! Feel free to email me if you have any further questions, or just wanna chat!

Have you given your son a probiotic? It is important that babies have healthy gut bacteria to have healthy digestion. The one I like the best is from Innate Choice (www.innatechoice.com). You can just open up the capsule and dump it in the bottle. I would not recommend using soy, especially w/ a little boy. Soy can adversely affect his hormonal development and immune system (read more research on this at www.mercola.com, search "soy"). I would also suggest a pediatric chiropractic evaluation. We have seen great success in many babies after being adjusted at alleviating this condition. To find a pediatric chiropractor in your area go to www.icpa4kids.org. Feel free to contact me offlist w/ further questions: ____@____.com wishes!

C.,
I don't know about the acid reflux, but I did want to say that I understand how you feel about the breast milk and don't beat yourself up. I had to pump also (my boy was a preemie) Pumping is hard work and life is hard enough with a new baby. Hang in there and I'm NO expert, but you have to be strong and healthy for your baby pumping takes a lot out of you and it is far from convienent. You made it pumping longer than a lot of women. Be proud of what you have done for your baby so far. Good luck and God bless.

Jenn

Hi C.....I know this is a difficult and stressful time for you. My son is 7 1/2months old and he has had Reflux since he was 1month old. We give our son Enfamil AR (it has add rice startch) it's thicker so that he can keep the formula down and not throw it up so much. He is also on Reglan and pervacid...we were using Zantac but the specialist just changed it. Hope this helps you out.
~A.~

My daughter had reflux, she is now 13 months and finally grew out of it. We used Enfamil Gentle Ease and added 1 Tsp of rice per ounce of fluid. Our pediatrician says that the rice really helps keep the formula down, and it did!! We would put the rice in a blender to make it a little more fine and easier to get through the nipple (we used Y-Cut nipples to help as well). Isabelle's reflux was pretty bad so we also had to give her Prevacid, but between the formula and medication she did great!

Let me know if you need more help, reflux Moms need to stick together.

C.,

If your child has acid reflux then the best thing you can do is put them on Formula. Breastmilk contains everything you eat and can cause the acid reflux to be worse. We tried all of the new formulas but out daughter did great on Lacto-Free.

R.

My son had that really bad so the doctor put him on A.R. Lipple. He had it so bad that we put rice cereal in the bottle with the formula that seem to help him. He was a eater when he cam out, so keeping formula down was very important for him and us. Good luck =)

Our pediatrician suggested Enfamil Gentlease for our youngest daughter, who is now nearly 6 months old. Her acid reflux was fairly severe, so she's also on medication, and we've been seeing a specialist periodically. All of these things combined have really seemed to help her.

Hi C. - Our son had reflux from about 9 wks until approximately 6 months. I have family and friends whose children had the same issues so I wanted to head this off before it got worse. After talking with the pediatrician we changed his formula three times, w started with Similac, Enfamil Gentleease and then she suggested we try Nutramigen and prescribed Prevacid SoluTab and it worked wonders. He was a completely different baby. At about 6 months, his poops started getting a little runny so I went ahead and gradually started him on Nestle’s Good Start DHA/ARA and weaned him off the meds. Worked wonders for him too. He’s now an 11 month old bundle of joy! We upgraded him to the Nestle’s Good Start 2 and haven’t had any problems.

I’m sure the other mothers would agree, sometimes talking to someone that has gone through the same issue makes it easier for you to go through. If you ever want to talk, please email, I’d be happy to help. Remember, this too shall pass – it will get better! ~M.

I used the Parents Choice soy formula from Walmart. It had the same stuff as the more expensive Brand Name Formulas, but I found that it disolved the best. Granted my son did not have acid reflux, but he did react quite a bit to the other formulas.

My son had reflux as a baby too and I exclusively breastfed him for the first year of his life. He was on Zantac and the pediatrician encouraged me to try Enfamil AR (added rice) formula. Well he refused formula all together so at 3 months of age we started feeding him rice cereal and I would also add rice to pumped breastmilk.

Now with this new baby who is only 13 days old, I fear she may be developing reflux too. My pedi gave me Similac Advance Soy which is supposed to be good for babies who are colicky and have reflux.

Hope that helps!!!

my 6 month old baby has acid reflux and we have her on nestle good start.(that's the our doctor said to try) the one in the purple container. that is the third formula that we tried and it seems to work really good with her but baby's are all different so i can't guarantee it will be good for your baby, too. she also has a perscription for zantac and it has also helped a lot. good luck with finding the right formula for your baby. i hope i was some help. G.

I have a friend that has a 4 month old boy. He would spit up a lot. Even hours after he finished a bottle. I was reading in an enfamil book about a formula that they have that is suppose to cut down on spit up 40% or more. I suggested it to my friend because she found out that her son also had acid reflux. She said that he still spits up a little but nothing like he was. It was called Enfamil AR. It has alot of red on the can. Good luck I hope this works for your baby also. P.S. Enfamil is also the closest to breast milk. I beat myself up also when I switched over but so far my baby has not been sick at all. Don't beat yourself up.

Our son was a refluxer and an aspirator too and Nestle Good Start with the DHA and ARA (the orange container) worked best for us. He absolutely HATED Similac!

My youngest was also a acid reflux baby from 7 wks until about 14 months or so.
Nothing worked we tried enfamil gentle ease which helped w/his colic but that's about it, Enfamil AR did not work at all but when I tried Enfamil Prosobee I saw the light at the end of the tunnel within 2-3 days he was a completely differnt baby. I was changing his clothes, blankets, bibs every time I turned around and I had to sit him up for at least 1-2 hr in his bouncy after each meal.
Regland helped at 1st but then they switched him at about 6 months to Zantac which helped with the burning because his body was getting Immuned to Reglan and it wasn't helping anymore.

Good luck. If you every just want to talk or need any advice please don't hesistate to email me. I know exactly how you feel plus trying to do this alone as a single mom.

____@____.com

M.

Hi C.. I, unfortunately, have been down your path! Reflux is so awful for little ones. Anyone who has ever had heartburn can sympathize with how scary it must be for a newborn who has no idea what is happeneing and why they are having such pain.

I breastfed too, but once I learned that I could actually make it better for my daughter by giving her a bottle, I quit. I know you feel guilty for stopping, but you should remind yourself that you are making this decision for the well-being of your baby. I think it the most loving unselfish of acts to give up something so fulfilling for yourself to help your little guy. It's hard when you feel judged because we are our own worst critics, and hearing someone else criticize you just validates in your mind that you are a horrible mother. Just own your decision once you make it, and know that just having the feelings you do makes you a great mom.

Once my little girl started on formula and rice cereal for thickening, she was so much more comfortable. She was also on Prilosec every day. However, until they outgrow it (which for us was around 11 months), I don't think it ever gets easy. Another option is to continue pumping and giving breast milk via bottle, but I found that to be too time-consuming. I couldn't put her down long enough to do it. :) I am also a nurse and have 2 children who have taken formula since they were 3 months and 5 months, respectively. I will tell you that the best, healthiest part of breasfeeding you've already given your son in the first 2 months of life. My kids are bright, healthy and precious, so I feel it was the best decision for all of us.

Don't forget propping him up during sleep and play and especially after eating. Lying flat gives the acid more of a chance to churn up into their esophagus. They make some great wedges for this (can be found online).

Good luck!

My daughter has AR. Enfamil AR is good. It greatly cut down on her spitting up, but made her constipated. Right now we use Enfamil Gentlease with Rice Cereal added to it (at suggestion from her pediatrician). She still spits up, but not near as much. Good Luck!!

C.,

My sweet baby girl has had tummy issues and gas since she was born, and now we're thinking she could have a milk protein allergy... maybe reflux, too. Our pediatrician told us to use Similac Alimentum or Enfamil Nutrigamen. So far, we have seen a huge difference. Its a bit expensive (about $25 for a 16-oz. can of powder formula), but its worth it. And we have been finding lots of ways to save on it. My mother-in-law found a case on e-bay for pretty cheap, our insurance might cover some of it since she needs it, and if you contact the manufacturer they will send you coupons for free or discounted formula. Also, go onto the website and you can join a "club" which will get you discounts and such.

www.similac.com
www.enfamil.com

Good luck!
-S. (Emma Kate's mommy)

Enfamil ProSoBee is what our gastroenterologist recommended for my son, who has reflux. We supplemented with that and my son liked it.
Good luck!
M.

Hi C.,
My son is now a few days shy of 7 months, and has severe acid reflux, and is also lactose intolerant. So the Ped put him on Prosobee w/ Lipil from birth. At 1 month she also told me to start to put some cereal in his bottle as well as give him that Zantac stuff, which like some of the other mom, i was very hesitant about. But it did work pretty good once they convince me to give it to him along with all the other instructions. WELL, after a few months the meds stopped working ( probably got immuned to it ), so istopped giving it to him. The Ped told me that once he started to eat solids ( baby food ) then it would ease up, and hopefully he will grow out of it by 1. I started the solids at like 3 1/2 months, and he took to it very well, he still has a couple of incidents., but no where near what was going on at first. We even did the test at the hospital when he was 3 months ( where the give him some thick white liquid to drink and monitor it thru an x-ray machine).. Honestly the solid food helps, and I found that sometimes if I dont give him the cereal in the bottle, he will hold the milk down. I hope this helps. Good Luck. And if you find out anything different that works for you, I would love to know. Thanks

I.

My pediatrician explained to me that sometimes the little flap that separates the esophagus from the stomach is not completely developed in babies. That is when you might have that reflux - the milk or formula can easily pop backup... and yes it burns! I am so glad to see that doctors are acknowledging reflux. When my eight year old was a baby, the pediatricians looked at me like I was crazy when I told them my daughter cries about 20 minutes after each nursing - she cried and cried and cried - and I really felt that she was in pain (moms do know their baby's best!). Finally, I compiled a flow chart (I know that sounds nuts - but I was determined that a doctor would listen to me) to show when she would start screaming, when she nursed, etc. My fourth pediatrician looked at my chart, looked at the baby - and explained to me the information I stated above (about the little flap). He suggested first trying Mylanta. That worked for about six hours - it was pure bliss! We moved on to the Zantac. Stayed on that for a few months, and then she no longer required any assistance.

I know I didn't share anything about formula - but you might want to just inquire about some of the other things I mentioned. If your doctor suggests trying any of the mentioned medications, you might also find your baby will experience some much needed relief. Please note I am NOT suggesting any medications - just offering you information to share with your doctor, if you think it might be helpful.

Good Luck!
S.

Hi C.,

First, don't beat yourself up. I nursed my son and everything was perfect and he was easy and life was good. My daughter was an entirely different story. She had severe reflux and excema and diaper rashes and never slept more than two hours at a time for the first year of her life. The bottom line--and most important thing--is that it does get better. :) Anyway, I tried soy milk and ultimately had the most luck on nutramigen. Unfortunately it is VERY expensive though. But I found a loophole--pediatricians get tons of samples and not that many kids need such a special formula so my doctor actually gave me cases at a time for free! Definitely look into it and good luck!

K.

We used Enfamil Gentlease. It didn't total cure his reflux but helped alot.

I too had a reflux baby and due to the reflux, my son and I had a very hard time breastfeeding. I started suplementing formaula early, but it was SOOOO hard to find the right formula. We tried soy and founf out he was intolerent to that. The pedi recommended Good Start, no good. So then, we found Latcto-Free Infamil and that worked! I was worried about switching him to milk at a yr, but he was fine. These little guys just need time for their digestive tracks to get going! I hope this helps

Both my kids had reflux. We tried every formula and breastmilk and ended up w/ Similac lactose free. It worked miracles!!!!

Good Luck!

C., I can totally relate also. My son had reflux and colic at the same time. It was horrible. I pumped and then had to switch to formula and we went with Nestle Good Start. We tried several others before we tried this and it worked the best for him. Plus you can go to their website and they will send you coupons. http://www.verybestbaby.com/Public/Default.aspx

Good luck!

Enfamil Lipil AR has worked really well for my 5 1/2 month old baby and it worked well with my 2 year old when she was younger. It is a formula thickened with rice, so that although she still spits up at least a couple of times a feeding, each spit up is not as much volume-wise as it was before, and before she was spitting up on average 7 to 8 times a feeding. Also, the doctor prescribed us Zantac, which I was a little hesitant about at first because I'm usually not very eager to put little ones on medicine if it's not necessary, but it has really seemed to help. It did take almost a week before we saw a difference, but now it really helps, and a few times when we have missed a couple of doses in a row she started spitting up again really frequently again.

I know exactly what your going through! For my son the Good Start Supreme works best(not the one with the DHA and ARA).He seemed to reflux more often with that one,dont ask me why,I have no idea...but just the original has been great.We have him on Zantac also and that has been a huge help as well.Good luck to you.

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