Need Help with Finding Right Formula

Updated on May 24, 2009
K.B. asks from Celina, TX
37 answers

I have a 4 month old daughter who has reflux really bad. I have been breastfeeding since she was born and supplementing some formula for about 2 months. The formula the doctor said use is Nutramigen but she spits it up really bad also it is expensive. So we decided to try Isomil Advance cause it said it helps reduce spit up but it hasn't helped either. If anyone has any advice it would be appreciated. I will try anything so not to change shirts 4 times a day.

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone for their advice. Sorry I forgot to add yes she is on medication for the reflux four times a day but it doesn't help. We tried the Similac Sensitive but it didn't work she seemed to spit up more. Adding rice cereal doesn't help us us either. Now we are trying the goats milk and she does ok. We are still trying different formulas. I am continuing to breastfeed for at least her first year if possible.
Thank you all again for the advice.

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V.B.

answers from Dallas on

Are you off all dairy as well? Can you breastfeed 100% of the time? This is best, but Neutramagen is the only one I know of for lactose intollerance. Her system is ot developed yet for formula and no solids until about 11 months.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

Nestle Goodstart! My son did great with it!

My sister-in-law had a little girl in March '09. She had a hard time keeping formula down, etc, but changed to Nestle Goodstart it was night and day. It helped her a lot!

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

I know my sister was using Nutramigen at one point and then changed to goats milk and that my have helped. My daughter was on a low dose of omphrazole type medication but I didn't notice much of a difference and took her off of it. We got her on Nestle Good Start and that seemed to help some and then we changed to Enfamil with rice (my pediatrician said that this was ok since it doesn't have any extra calories than the regular Enfamil). This did help but now we are just using the SAMS brand of Enfamil because she still occasionally spits up, even with baby food and no formula. My daughter didn't really ever seem fussy and had no problem gaining weight so the pediatrician said that some babies have this and that they will grow out of it and don't worry too much about it. Sometimes the spit up is horrendous and then some very little. So I am hoping she will just outgrow this. Good Luck with everything.

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A.F.

answers from Dallas on

We used Simply Thick. We added it to breast milk, then to formula after that. It is awesome!
A.

1 mom found this helpful
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N.C.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter had silent acid reflux VERY bad (silent is when it is 2x as bad...acid burns twice as it goes up and then back down). I totally understand and FEEL your pain. It is horrible to watch them suffer in pain, and it is extremely painful for them.

My pediatrician was great and we were pretty aggressive in treating it. Is your child already on prevacid or zantac? My daughter was on the dissolving solutab 15mg Prevacid (1/2 tablet/twice daily). This was a life changer.

The other thing we did to help "weigh the forumula down" was to add a thickner to the formula. We used Simply Thick the honey consistency. It was great and definitely helped keep everything down. This also made a huge, huge difference. We also put rice cereal in the bottle on top of this to also thicken it up...but she was a few weeks premature so the extra calories on top of everything else wasn't an issue.

This was my first child, so I didn't question the formula too much. She was a preemie and being my first I didn't try other formulas or push my pedi to recommend other. We used Enfamil Lipil. However, I just had my second child and kind of regret not trying other formulas with my first. I have put him on the Enfamil Sensitive (the one in the purple) for gas and fusiness. He isn't fussy, but would just try so hard to get the gas out and was uncomfortable. My first had gas SOOOO bad and I wish I would have tried this formula. It is GREAT!!! His stools are softer and he has such an easier time passing them. It has hardly any lactose, so it is easier on their little tummies, and also has broken down proteins (similar to the one you are using...but yours are totally broken down).

If I were you I would talk to your pedi about Rx first (if not already on something), then I would discuss adding rice and if that doesn't work...use the thickner. I would also try holding your baby in an upright position for at least 30 minutes after feeding before you lay them down.

Trust me...i've been there and I know the reflux isn't fun. If your pedi isn't helpful...I have a great Occupational Therapist that diagnosed my daughter (recommended by my pedi) so quickly and she was amazing in getting us on the right track to fix everything and make my daughter more comfortable. Another great resource is a website www.infantrefluxdisease.com. Lots of good info and helpful info on the message boards.

If you have any other questions...my email is [email protected]____.com luck!

:) N.

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter didn't have reflux, but spit up all the time I switched her to similac the pink container, it is a soy based, but she never spit up after the switch.

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W.S.

answers from Dallas on

My son had horrible reflux until he was nearly a year old. We went 7 formulas until a pediatric gastrologist recommended Neocate. It's not cheap but that was the only thing that worked for my son. It turned out that all the other formulas out there were protein based and he was allergic to the protein. Neocate is amino acid based. Hope this helps and good luck!

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C.T.

answers from Abilene on

When I had my babies they would do the same thing. I was always told, even by my dr. to even add about 2oz of infant rice cereal. It worked for me and they didnt spit up as much. Also I noticed that they slept alot better. Just add a little bit to the baby's bottle and see what happens.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

Both my boys spit up constantly and a lot when they were infants. I don't know if they had reflux or not. I just thought all babies spit up a lot. Pretty much all formula brands are the same, so don't buy the expensive ones. Walmart and Target both make a formula for babies who have this problem and they are much cheaper. Also, don't bother with constantly changing her clothes, just put a large bib on her and change it when she spits up. It is easier for everyone. Congratulations on your new baby!

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter is 5 months old now, but had a lot of problems with spitting up around 3 months....but she did not have reflux. She was on Enfamil Gentlease. My pediatrician suggested Enfamil A.R. (specially made for babies who spit-up, has rice cereal in it). I tried Enfamil A.R., but it was too thick---hard for my daughter to even suck out of the bottle. Therefore, we mixed the two - Enfamil Gentlease and A.R. (the pediatrician said you can do this--no problem). I do a 2/3 Gentlease and 1/3 A.R. mix. It works beautifully. She still spits up from time to time, but very small amounts, and what you would expect from a baby.

Good Luck!

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S.H.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter had the same problem and we used Similac Sensitive. They are about $14/can. It took about a week, but it helped her a LOT.

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A.F.

answers from Dallas on

I had same issue with my daughter when I switch to formula, her pedi doctor recomended Goat milk and that was the perfect solution. It comes in a can, found in most grocery stores. It is close to breast milk and excllent for baby.

Best wishes!

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

How does she do with just breastfeeding? It's pretty common for formula to cause issues with reflux.

This is great information about weaning from formula supplements:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html

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A.T.

answers from Dallas on

You will probably need to switch to a type of soy based formula. My cousin had the same problem, he was some what lactose intolerant so they fed him soy formula, I don't think it really matters what brand you use.

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K.,

If she's not responding well to formula, why not just breastfeed exclusively? Your supply will increase according to her demand in a very short amount of time. Email me if you'd like to know about a product I market that will ensure your breast milk is as nutritious as possible.

Good luck!

M.

P.S. I am building a team of 5 financially free champions
over the next 2-5 years. Want to be one of them?
Email me through Mamasource if you are ready for change!

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hello Look into Meyenberg Goat milk. they have a web site that will tell you the formulia mixture to use. Goat milk is wonderful. I raised all 5 of mine on it after brestfeeding and have had 2 of my grandchildren on it. Would not use anything else. Good luck.

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M.K.

answers from Dallas on

Spitting up isn't necessarily related to reflux. The spit up could be over-eating or not enough burping throughout the meal. If you're sure it is reflux, Prevacid will really help - as well as taking as much of the irritating factors out of the foods you eat and supplementing with the right formula. We used Nestle Good Start (all the versions worked for her but we primarily used the green can as it had all the added stuff too). It worked well. We had already tried the sensitive version of all the other formulas, including the Similac Alimentum (sp?) which smelled awful - she didn't like it much either. I had also already tried taking everything out of my diet that I could possibly think of (dairy, onions, anything spicy, certain fruits, the list goes on and on) because we were primarily trying to bf but had to supplement. She was also on Prevacid. The Prevacid was key because as a premie she had issues with reflux until nearly her first birthday. When we tried to ween her from the medication, we would immediately see the gagging come back. So, try the combination and see if that works for you.

Good luck. I know it's hard to watch your baby suffer - especially when you're trying not to be frustrated by the amount on laundry you have to do!

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

There is an additive you can add to formula called Simply Thick that thickens the formula but does not add or change the nutritional value of the formula. Some specialists (doctors) recommended it to my friend in Plano when her baby was having the same problem. Good luck.

R.D.

answers from Amarillo on

My daughter had reflux and we put her on Enfamil Gentlease. She had no problems with it. It is made from partially broken down protiens to make digestion easier. The Target brand is half the price of the Enfamil and the formula is the exact same. That's what we used until we got on WIC, then they made us get the name brand stuff. She didn't even notice the change! So I highly reccommend the Target brand. It's in the purple can. I hope this helps!

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R.L.

answers from Dallas on

I highly suggest going to see a pediatric chiropractor. The adjustments help the reflux. It sounds crazy but it works! We have been taking our son to Dr. Melissa Shelton in Frisco. She is wonderful!

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R.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi K., I went through the same thing with my daughter,very scary. Try Nestle Goodstart, and if that doesn't work, try the Similac Alimentum. It's the only thing that my daughter could keep down. It smells bad, but my daughter drank it down and gained weight quickly. Blessings to you and your family!

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H.H.

answers from Dallas on

Dear K.,

My first child was diagnosed with severe acid reflux and lactose intolerance at 4 weeks. We tried several formulas and found that the Similac Sensitive worked best for her. But we had to weigh it down with cereal and she had to be on a full dosage of Prevacid twice a day. These things combined together were the only thing to give her relief (it took a while to find the right dosage of medicine) but it was almost instantaneous and she outgrew it by 9 months.

My son was born a year later with reflux but not the lactose intolerance, so I was able to continue nursing him and his dosage of Prevacid was much less than his sisters.

Good luck!

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P.R.

answers from Dallas on

My son had very bad reflux when he was a baby. We used Gentle Ease, but also had to add 1 table spoon of rice cereal per ounce of formula. The GI doctor told us to do this, it was the only thing that worked. Good luck!

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

ALl 3 of my kids (now aged 6,4 & 2) had Severe reflux and we used Infamil AR (afater we stopped Breast feeding) it really helped. and we used Prevacid 75 1/2 pill in the morning and 1/2 in the evening worked the best its a solutab and its VERY important to follow directions and can take 2 weeks to get full effect.

but I will tell you that switching formulas that often can make stomache upset and spit up worse.

you can also add some rice cereal to your formula if you prefer a certain formula. but the infamil AR is designed to mix with the stomach contents then thicken so it reduces the chances of it coming up. we think it worked well.

Good luck
A. J
www.texascleftconnections.org

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R.G.

answers from Dallas on

My 4 year old had bad reflex also. I brest and formula fed upto about 4 months then switch just to formula ( but thats a whole different story). Anyways tried all kinds of formula finally ended up using carnation good start. She was also started on prevacid so between the 2 she finally stopped spitting up and started gaining weight. On the other hand my 10 month old started her on good start she spit up on it so on her pedi put her on similac sensitve rs with axid and has help. So I guess all babies are different. I know all 4 of mine were.

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J.L.

answers from Dallas on

Please ask your Dr. to prescribe previcid. It worked wonders for our twins and 4 yr old when he was born. We tried other medications, but they did not work as well as the previcid. Also, you might ask about a reflux wedge. Good luck.

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A.F.

answers from Dallas on

Gentlease is a really good one but more for babies who have colic or pains from gas. It helped with my babies colic but because it's a thinner formula, it made thd spitting up even worse. Gentlease really worked wonders for my babies colic but when he got to be around 4 mnths and was no longer colicky I switched him to A.R. Lipil. It's a thicker formula and more directed towards babies who spit up a lot. It worked GREAT for spitting up and if he did spit up, it was very little compared to before. You can give it a try and if it works then ask your pedi when is the best time to switch your baby back to Enfamil Lipil because you should only have to use the A.R. until your baby can drink juice or water w/out spitting up. Good luck and hope you find something that works well for your baby!

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

I had the same problem. and I use the Isomil Advance and he's on Baby tagament.. I don't know the clinical name.. but it has worked MIRACLES!!

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L.B.

answers from Dallas on

My son had the exact same problem. A friend of mine told me that her daughter spit up until she switched to Similac Sensitive (orange can. Let me tell you, we went from spitting up volumes, to noting almost overnight. It was amazing. To save money I used the walmart brand Parents Choice sensitive and it worked great too. Good luck!

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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

My son had severe reflux as well, and he did not stop spitting up until he was 11 months old and walking. Our pedi had said this may be the case, especially with a baby who has a very bad case of reflux. We used Nutramigen also after the others did not work. He still spit up all day, though. Some babies will not stop until their bodies are a little more mature. We also had him on prevacid for his first year, which helped with the pain.

I understand the frustration you have. It will get better, though!

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N.R.

answers from Dallas on

If a soy formula doesn't work then i believe it is enfamil that has a gentlease formula that i had to give to my three yr old when she was nursing, & it turned out to be great. She couldn't take milk products. Hope that helps...

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

I had the same problem with my daughter, and we had to use Nutramigen. Don't expect it to keep her from spitting up completely. My daughter still spit up too, but it was a little improved. I remember I had to always keep a bath towel with me whenever I fed her, and just waited for what I knew was going to come back up.

I know it is really worrisome. People who haven't dealt with it on this level don't understand. And yes, that formula is expensive, but you have to do it anyway.

There is no magic formula that will fix this problem. She will out-grow the reflux, and as long as she is remaining healthy (gaining weight and Pediatrician is satisfied with weight) it is something you just have to deal with.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

My son had reflux really bad, too. I would go to the pedi almost weekly almost in tears and she kept trying to tell me that he was gaining weight so there really wasn't much she could do. He was already on prevacid...which helped him so much with the pain from the reflux but nothing will help the amount of spit up. She tried to tell me that every time and I just didn't get it. I had to change my clothes about 6 times a day, his clothes about 10 times a day and we went through probably 20 bibs every day. The laundry was ridiculous. I was so frustrated by this. I so feel your pain. He outgrew the reflux around 10 mos. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. It so sucks.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

Sorry I can't help with a formula recommendation but if you find the expensive one you mentioned in your post actually works, try to source it on eBay. One of my neighbors had to use a special formula that was very expensive but started purchasing on eBay and found it significantly cheaper. Blessings to you and your family!

C.R.

answers from Dallas on

Sorry to hear about your little one's reflux woes. I feel your pain. "(
We ended up using Walmart's brand of their Gentle formula. Sam's also carries it in large can's for a great price. When I adopted my youngest son they had him on Nutramigen and he was doing awful not to mention that I wanted to vomit whenever he had a bowel movement on that stuff! Is she on any meds for the reflux? That too took us a few different kinds until Zantac was the one that helped SO much! The formula alone sometimes isn't enough to help.
Best Regards,
C.

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J.

answers from Dallas on

Try thickening the formula. It was the only thing that helped my son. We had the same issues and tried every formula out there. We eventually ended up on Similac Alimentum and using Simply Thick. You can find it online or some pharmacies have it.(they have a list on their website) It is a tasteless gel you add to the formula and it was a lifesaver for us. You can buy it in individual serving packets-look like ketchup packets- or in a big pump. We did the packets even though they were a bit more expensive because it was easier to keep in the diaper bag and we didnt have to pre-mix the bottles if we were going to be out. There is a powdered variety more readily available called Thick It but it didnt work as well for us.
Some people thicken with cereal but I didnt want to go that route at his age (2 mos when we started) and have to make the nipple holes larger and stuff. The thickener just came out the regular nipples.

By 9 mos we were only using half as mcuh thickener and he was off of it by 12 mos.

Hope that helps!!

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