Started Soy Formula Now Won't Sleep

Updated on October 11, 2010
B.C. asks from Suncook, NH
9 answers

My son is 8 months old and has been breast feed up until last month. We have tried several formulas but nothing seems to really agree with him. (spits up and/or cranky) We just started soy 4 days ago and he's in a great mood again all day long but he has stopped sleeping through the night. I'm not sure what to do. The doctor said he could be teething though nothing but food will put him back to sleep not even baby tylenol.

I'm not sure what to do. Stop soy? Could it be a tooth but only food helps?

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answers from Barnstable on

It really could be a tooth.

But the changes you have made in his diet might temproarily effect his sleeping pattern, its like with any adult - if you all of a sudden make a drastic change to their diet ... it can effect everything you do.

I would continue with the soyand also give him time to adjust. It might take more than 4 days for his body to get used to the difference.

When my daughter cuts a tooth, I give her Motrin (I think it works better than tylenol) and she also nurses more frequently and wakes several times a night and she's 18 mos!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I wouldn't stop the soy formula, especially if he's taking it. It could be a ton of reasons... maybe he's growing so he's hungrier and that is waking him up. He could be teething and you don't know it. My son used to teeth for 3 weeks or more before you would even see a sign of a tooth. Is he getting some sort of attention when he wakes up, so that could be motivating it too? Just some things to consider.



answers from Boston on

My son was very particular after I stopped breastfeeding him and I wound up trying goat's milk based on a recommendation from another mom. He loved it and easily switched to whole milk once he turned one. Also, I would sometimes mix a little jarred fruit into his bottle at night to help fill him up a little more and that seemed to do the trick. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

I am sorry you are having such difficulties. Infortunately formula is nowhere near as gentle and digestible as breastmilk. LOTS of babies have problems with it while they breastfeed w/o any. Formula has become very popular in our society but it was originally just meant for babies who COULDN'T breastfeed. It was never meant to replace it. However, for some women they just don't have a choice and it is necessary.

Have you heard of Alimentum (sorry, I don't know the correct spelling) but that is suppose to be one of the gentler formulas. But like the others said there certainly could be something else going on - like teething. I wish you the best of luck. I know this must be very stressful. (((hugs)))



answers from San Francisco on


We thought our son was lactose intolerant and took him off formula and put him on soy. He slept so badly the entire time he was on it. I read many reviews on soy and decided to once again try regular formula. Luckily he was not lactose intolerant after all and guess what, the second night he started sleeping 12 hours. Who knows what the heck was going on but all we know is, the poor little fella was waking up sometimes every half an hour. It was ridiculous. I feel so bad for putting him through this.
He never had stomach issues with the soy etc, but was not growing much/weighing well for his age (6 months) etc so we are so glad he is able to come off this stuff! Good luck if you are using soy! Never again in this house..




answers from Boston on

I would say get him off the Soy. They say it is not good for babies male or female because of the high estrogen in soy.
I also tried soy for my son after breast feeding(doc recommended, not a pedi but a family doc). Big mistake he puked every where all the time. I switched to Good Start DHA/ARA and it worked wonders. No tummy problems and slept better too.

Also for teething try Hyland's teething tablets (homeopathic) sold at CVS, Rite Aid, ect. Safer than Tylenol and works so much better too! Good luck.



answers from Boston on

Hi B.,
Well you mentioned you had previously been breast feeding, could it be that he's not eating enough now that you're giving him formula? Maybe you need to try feeding him more. I can't imagine that it has anything to do with the fact that he's on soy.
Good Luck!



answers from New London on

I'm not a doctor - so I hesitate to mention things like reflux or milk/soy protein intolerance (MSPI). My son has both. Many children who can not tolerate dairy can not tolerate soy as well.
My youngest was a preemie (28 weeks) and had to have formula to supplement breastmilk. He couldn't tolerate most formulas and we had to have a special prescription one ($45 a can!). At 3 he drinks hemp,oat or rice milk and eats rice cheese and rice yogurt. It's all very doable, as I belong to a food co-op with lots of healthy alternatives. You might want to try soy and dairy free formulas - but avoid ones with casein (milk protein).
Another mom I know has a daughter very severe MSPI. She has sa website at - not a medical site, but one for moms trying to deal with this.
Reflux (GERD) could be another problem - it shows up as spitting up, but also discomfort when laying down (especially with food in the stomach). As an adult, I must not eat two hours before going to bed; my son for one hour prior. Elevating the head of the bed helps keep food down. Medication and diet restrictions help the most. At 3, my son sleeps through most nights, but there are a few every week when the reflux wakes him (us) up. He does not eat anything that is acidic, spicy, or contains: tomato, garlic, onion, chocolate, mint, fresh ginger, especially not ketchup.

Another reason might be that your son is getting older and is doing so well that his sleep needs are changing - especially if his tummy is feeling better with the soy. If the issue is not MSPI nor reflux, then maybe adjusting one of his naps might help him sleep through the night.

Good luck!



answers from Boston on

It could be a tooth, in which case I'd recommend Hyland's all-natural teething tablets.

My other thought since you say only food helps is that he could be going through a growth spurt and waking up hungry because of that. See if he wants more food during the day.

Another thing is if he recently learned a new skill (standing, sitting, crawling) it's not uncommon for kids to wake up to practice this in the middle of the night even if they weren't waking up before - but from your description it doesn't sound like this is the problem.

Good luck, I hope he starts sleeping for you again soon.

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