Powdered Vs. Liquid Formula

Updated on October 18, 2010
A.M. asks from Lake Wales, FL
12 answers

Hi Everyone,
I have a 3 month old baby who is having some feeding issues. From birth he has had acid reflux and he has been on medication for it for about a month. He has gone through periods of massive spitting up, almost like vomit. And he had also stopped eating for some time before he started the medicine. He was on the Similac (soy) powdered formula until it was recalled and we then switched to the liquid (ready to use) formula. Things were getting better, so it seemed. Well we switched back to the powdered formula two days ago (non recalled and it is cheaper) and he has been extremely fussy/agitated ever since. So my question is; do you think babies do better on certain types of formula? i.e. powdered vs. liquid? I am questioning whether to go back to the liquid formula and see if that makes a difference.

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answers from Tampa on

My baby was in same situation. Dr told us to switch to Similac Sensitive for SPIT UP Ready to feed liquid. After 1 week spit ups ended completely. No need for meds! Ready to feed causes less tummy troubles because it doesn't foam. The spit up formula is thicker and will stop the spit up issue. It works wonders!!

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answers from Chicago on

For most kids I think the powder works just fine, but if you have a child that has a sensitive tummy then I think that yes the liquid is better. Before you switch try a few things: 1) Make sure you are NOT shaking the bottles to mix the powder and water--it creates air bubbles and gives some babies more gas. Pour the water in, add the powder, and gently stir with a spoon. 2) Feed him so he is as upright as possible, not laying down in your arms and then keep him propped for about 20-30 minutes after every feeding to allow the formula to digest and not just come right back up. 3) Burp him every couple ounces, gently. I like to use a rub motion up the back with kids that spit up (I was a nanny for lots of kids the past 7 years) 4) Use room temperature or warm water when making the bottles. If you do all this religiously and he is still gassy/spitting up at every feeding it is time to switch formulas and call the doctor. Doc may be able to prescribe something for the acid reflux. Also just switching to the liquid may not help, you may need to switch formulas all together. You say he is on soy, alot of kids that can't tolerate cows milk, can't tolerate soy either. You may end up having to put him on nutramigen or something--they are expensive. . . Best of luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

my oldest HAD to have liquid Similac, and my little one HAD to have powdered Walmart brand. if I gave them anything else besided that they'd spit up alot and be fussy until they got "their" kind of formula.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Oh heavens, he isn't getting the proper nutrients and that swill that passes for formula is such sub- nutrition, and you want his body to grow on that- it won't do it- and he, his body is trying to tell you that he needs real nutrition
Of course he is fussy- he needs nutrients to grow and he isn't getting them.

Ok, my daughter did this-at the health food store you can get goats milk, also pearl barley- you take 1/2 cup pearl barley, and boil in 2 quarts of water, until it turns pink, strain out the pearl barley- which you can eat for your breakfast or lunch- and then add the pink barley water(remember Roman armies moved on barley) to the goats milk- and see if your baby loses the fussiness. My daughter used this for the twins- worked great.

Also you can look at "Eat right $ your blood type"- and see you baby's blood type because YES different babies do well on different foods.

Also you can check out WestonPrice.com for the food your baby needs.
Right now you are deciding how your baby's brain will develop- you are deciding based on what you feed him- you are chosing the rest of his life, right now- so please please take care of him.

If it is possible nurse him. There are people who can help you with that, might not be too late, and of course THAT is the very best.
best, k



answers from Jacksonville on

Yes switching from powder to liquid or vice versa cant make baby gassy/fussy. I learned that with my last one the hard way. We did powder at home and those convient 2 oz bottles when on the go. Pick one and give the baby a couple days to adjust. Powder is more convient when on the go but if liquid works the best use that instead. I liked Enfamil cause it smells the least when spit up. I have heard Good Start is easier to digest for sensitive tummies and should have used it with my first who was like your baby. I used to bring 2 extra shirts whenever i left the house. I did try soy but it was a pain to get mixed completely. I ended up using lactos for my 1st born as she was getting a rash where she would spit up. She finally grew out of the allergies at about 16months. We also added rice cereal to the bottles at about 4 months.

Also, a cup of 20 mule borox in wash will get rid of the puke, spit up, pee, or damp smell. Gripe water is great for gassy and unhappy babies. Its homopathic too.

Finally, the bottle also can make baby more gassy. Try Playtex ventair or Dr. Browns. The Playtex was tilted and soo made a difference. My cousin and a few friends rave about Dr. Browns




answers from Boca Raton on

My son hd some reflux as well, we are on Enfamil Gentleease, it works great for him and I use the powder. Soy formula causes lots of gas and constipation in babies, I do not recommend it at all. Once you switch give it about 4 days or so to see a change, you might want to buy gas drops in the time being, put them in each bottle or when needed. Good Luck!



answers from Tampa on

I know this is aggravating for you. My son was allergic to many different formulas, we went through so many different kinds until eventually he ended up on a very expensive soy based formula in the liquid form. This was 18 years ago, and I do not remember what kind but I do remember the pricetag! My 2 yo daughter was diagnosed with gerd and took oral medications to help. She still had some spitting up that would not be considered "normal" but both my son and daughter eventually grew out of this after their 1st birthdays. Quite possibly they had the same problems, but with different times and different doctors, they were diagnosed differently. My advice, work with your doctor with the different medications and formulas until you find the combination that works for you. It may take some time and I know it's frustrating, but things will get so much better when you do. Best wishes.



answers from Orlando on

Yes some babies do well on powder and some babies do well on liquid, if the liquid formula worked and he was better, then continue to feed him that one.
My daughther jyst turn one and also has reflux, I started the whole milk and she started to spit up again, soooo back to the fotmula I go,
I was happy to be done but she is not ready! By the way she was on soy formula doing wonderful!



answers from Raleigh on

It takes a little while to transition between formulas. We also used Similac Sensitive with my six week old until it was recalled. We switched to the Target partially broken down whey brand (all the other Similac was bought out and we had to get something!). I figured if we were going to switch, let's do something more affordable. My daughter fussed for about a week, and has been doing great on the Target brand ever since.
My son was a different story- he had extreme colic and the ready to serve settled better so we stuck with that after trying other things. It seemed thicker and easier to hold down. The powder made his stools very thick and seemed like he wasn't digesting it well. I don't know if it's a difference in syrup base in liquid, but his stools and digestion were much better. The drawback is that the liquid has a shelf life in the fridge, and as he started solids, we ended up having to pour out what he didn't manage to drink.
I say give it a little time to adjust. If, after about a week or so, things haven't improved, go back to the liquid and stick with that.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I believed very early on that y son was less fussy, gassy, etc on the liquid formula so I used that exclusively. To me it was faster, handier and not that much more $$ per week so I kept it up!



answers from Miami on

First thing is get him off soy! Milk and soy are the hardest protein to digest. NO wonder he has reflux. Take him off meds and give him George's Aloe Vera to drink. It tastes like water. It will heal his little ulcer and calm his stomach. The meds have heavy metals in them causing future sensory or learning issues. Drs do not realize that the companies prescribing information, which you can look up, says not to ever keep a baby on these meds for more then 11 weeks I believe it is. It is NOT safe for a developing brain. Pick up a book called Colic Solved for more information. Put your baby on tummy as much and as long as you can. This builds up muscles for digestion and a strong core. Spitting up might happen, that's ok. Roll him on a yoga or beach ball on his stomach and back to work those muscles. Try cranial sacral therapy, try NAET treatment to eliminate the allergy. There are tons of things to do.



answers from Seattle on

My son couldn't handle powdered formula of any kind (gassy, pain, stomach upset, constipation), similac & good start both made him *violently* ill (their proteins area laready partially digested so they would go "sour" very quickly -inside 30 minutes, but if they had turned he wouldn't drink them, the violently ill happened only if the were fresh). The only formula that left my son happy with no digestive problems was enfamil lipil premixed liquid.

For other babies, their "no problemo" formula is something different.

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