6 Week Old Infant. Reflux with Possible Milk Protein Intollerance, on Alimentum

Updated on October 17, 2009
J.G. asks from Orem, UT
8 answers

At 3 weeks old my daughter started showing signs of reflux. She would arch her back at feeding, cry, want more and more formula to sooth the pain and would spit up and then cry. Our oldest had reflux as an infant with the same symtoms so we took our daughter the the ped where he prescribed Zantac. The Zantac didnt seem to work so we were then switched to Prevacid and put on Enfamil A.R.(which was what our son was on and worked wonders). She seemed to do a little better but was up a lot during the night and didnt sleep well during the day. Just recently she started to refuse the bottle after only eating 1 - 11/2 ounces and would scream and cry in pain. We took her again to the ped who seemed to think it is an intollerance to the formula. She was then put on Gentlease which seemed to make her more content between feedings but did nothing to help her eat better. She was then put on Similac Alimentum which she has been on for 2 1/2 days with hardly any improvement other than the occasional feeding where she will eat 2 - 2 1/2 ounces. We are stressing out as parents and are hoping that someone out there has been in the same type of situation. We dont know if the Alimentum just needs more time or if there is some other underlying issue. Please help!!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all of your help! We sat down and looked at all the factors again which made us think that maybe the thinner formula was making the reflux work (she didnt refuse the bottle till we switched to gentlease). It has been a day and (fingers crossed) she is doing much much better.

More Answers



answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi J. - just wanted to add a couple of things here. What others have said is true - if your baby has food sensitivities, it can take several weeks after eliminating them for her body to finally "calm" down. I, too, nursed, and had to cut soy, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, citrus, and spices out of my diet. It sucked but it was the only thing that helped our son - none of the formulas worked for him. He was also put on Prevacid but I also wanted to say that it took about three weeks of being on Prevacid before we noticed it helped. But thank goodness it did! We finally got our baby back! Definitely keeping her upright for 30 minutes after feeds and angling her bed at a 30 degree angle help, too... but I will say there is no "magic bullet". Thankfully, when they can sit up on their own, it seems like it gets more manageable and now that my son is a year, it seems totally manageable. He is still on Prevacid, but can eat any solid food (although he's not much of an eater - who knows if that's due to the reflux!) and hopefully, we can wean him off of the Prevacid soon. Anyhow, I feel for you - reflux is no joke! It can be really tiring so just keep your chin up and know that this too should hopefully pass!!



answers from Great Falls on

J., I am so sorry that you are going through this. My son had the same issue. He is now almost 2 and still has issues with milk so he gets milk that is free of lactose. Our ped put him on a medicine called Reglan (spelling). Wal-mart carried a generic of it at the pharmacy for like $4.00 for a 30 day supply. It is liquid and our son got it 4 times a day 30 minutes before eating. That is what really helped us. We also used the Similac and that helped. There is another formula that takes the protein process one step further and that one is called Neo-cate. It is a bit more expensive and where I live we would have to order it from a pharmacy or online. We did not have to get any of that as the Similac helped. That one is really, really easy to digest and may help also. I know how you feel and I wish that I would have had access to this website while I was at home dealing with this. It is such a great help to find answers. I hope that helps and good luck! It will get better!

JL :)



answers from Colorado Springs on

I dealt with the same thing but it took a lot longer for them to figure out what was going on. I used neslte good start with immune support. and the specialist told me to add rice cereal to the bottle but he was already 4 months old. I would see a pediatric gestroentranologist.



answers from Knoxville on

My son did the exact same thing...he went through several tests and the drs found he has esophogitis(spelling?) It was caused by his severe GERD. Drs put him on erithromyocin and previcid and it helped tremendously. It sounds like your daughter needs to see a GI dr and have some tests done. They found my sons problem through a biopsy. I know these procedures sound horrible but really I promise they arent that bad. And it will help your child in the long run. Also you need to angel her bed so she is never flat but at a 30 degree angel. Hold her upright for at least 30 mins after eating and give her small bottles more often. 1-2 ounces every hour or so. I know its hard, believe me I went through it. I had to sleep with my son on my chest in my recliner for three months, but I promise it will get better. My son did a 24 hour study on his stomach, several biopsys, endoscopy, and a bairum swallow to get to the bottom of his issues. Hope this helps



answers from Pueblo on

It is so sad that a little one has to suffer like that! Poor baby! When my dd had a milk allergy, I learned that it took up to 2 weeks for milk to leave your system (unlike most other foods that take 24 hours).

Have you tried a pediatric chiropractor? My dd had problems (not as severe), but the chiro helped her A LOT. My only regret was that I was intimidated with what they might do to my baby and I waited.

It is actually very gentle with an infant. To the parent, it just looks like she is being held during the adjustment. I live in Pueblo and our chiro ROCKS, so I'd be happy to recommend her if you are close.

I also have a cousin whose first baby had severe food allergies and they ended up going to a chemist to make her formula. They ended up with no other choice.

Good luck. I feel for you!



answers from Provo on

My daughter went through a similar experience. I was fortunately nursing so all I had to do was go off of all milk products (not so easy) and I also noticed that if I had soy milk then it bothered her also. You didn't mention whether or not you are nursing and supplementing with formula or just using formula. If you are nursing at all I would strongly suggest you go off all dairy and anything with dairy products in it. no milk, whey, cassein, nothing.
When we eliminated milk from my diet thus eliminating it from hers, her symptoms went away but it took a few weeks. But it was so wonderful to see the change. Happy Baby! Things gradually just kept improving. We had to do prevacid until she was four months old. Luckily by then she was able to go without it. But that also takes two weeks to be in full effect in her system.
At six months we had to start using formula. I did a lot of research. We went with the Alimentum. I don't think she does as well on it as she did with just breast milk, but I think her system is mature enough to handle it now.
One thing to note is that although Alimentum is hydrolyzed it is still milk-based. It just means that the milk proteins are broken down into more manageable strands. Infants that are extremely sensitive to dairy may not be able to tolerate it. The only formula that I know of that is not milk based at all is Neocate. It is very expensive but it might be worth it. You have to get it online and you may have to have a prescription to get it. i was going to get it but we tried alimentum first and since my daughter seems to handle it reasonably well we have not gone for the neocate.(she has unfortunately had more trouble sleeping at night since we have had to use more formula). But the proteins come as just amino acids.
There is also Nutramigen you could try. But I would give her body a few more days to flush all the icky stuff out of her system before you can really assess whether or not the alimentum helps.
One thing to note is that alimentum makes their bowel movements thicker and a little more like tar. She may be having problems there. But like I said I think her system needs a little more time to clear out off all the milk-based (non-hydrolyzed) formulas.
Good luck, it's so hard to see your little one struggle so much!
In the meantime try raising the mattress in her crib at a slight angle so her acid reflux can't bother her as much. Try to feed her in a slightly more upright position. Burp often throughout feedings.
also, have her ears been checked? acid reflux can make it easier for her to get ear infections, thus compounding her misery. My daughter struggled a lot with them for a while.
Hang in there. If she doesn't improve in a few weeks i would get a second opinion.



answers from Denver on

Dear J.
A milk protein "intolerance" is an allergy. It isn't like a lactose intolerance. Therefore the reason she turns her head at the bottle is because she associates bottle= pain and rightly so. I suggest avoiding ALL milk & soy ingredients in her diet. I would really avoid all allergens in her diet for at least a month. Then Slowly bring them back one-by-one noting any changes in mood, skin, stool, etc. If any of them show a "reaction", eczema, loose stools, crying, etc. I would immediatly stop that food in her diet. Milk is in so many things and labled many different ways:casien, whey, caramel coloring, natural flavoring, lactic acid, etc. If this does'nt help I would really suggest seeing someone else. I hope you all feel better soon! G



answers from Provo on

I'm so sorry your baby is experiencing this. Our baby had a similar problem. She is now 3 and we know she is allergic to all gluten products and to dairy (including milk proteins). I learned from my doctor that the more severe the allergy, the longer it takes for the child's body to heal even after they are free from the allergy. My daughter didn't start feeling better until at least a week after we were able to clear her diet of all allergens. Our daughter was about 9 months old when we learned all of this. I hope you can get to the bottom of it well before that for her sake. Once we resolved the problem, she was a new baby.

Also, an acquaintance of mine has had a baby with some similar issues. Their doctor gave them some medicine that can help relax colon spasms in their infant. It's been reducing the baby's pain and helping her sleep. Their baby is 3 months old. I hadn't ever heard of anything like that, but perhaps you can ask your doctor.

Finally, if giving it a little more time really doesn't help, you might see if there is a pediatric gastroenterologist in your area who can help you get to the bottom of this. We live in Utah near Primary Children's Hospital, and there are some excellent specialists there.


For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions