Once your baby is ready for follow-on milk, you’ll have lots of questions about which one to buy. For instance, why does your baby get constipated when he switches to a follow-on formula? Are pricier formulas better?
We ask Dr Wendy Sinnathamby, paediatrician at Kids Clinic @ Mount Alvernia for her expert advice.
Are pricier formulas more nutritious?
All infant formulas must meet basic nutrient standards to promote optimal growth and development.
Less expensive ones are just as good as pricer brands, as they meet the nutritional requirements for infants.
Although manufacturers vary their formula recipes, all approved formulas contain the minimum and no more than the maximum recommended amount of nutrients babies require.
Should I change brands if my baby gets constipated?
It’s not uncommon for infants to get constipated when they switch to a follow-on milk.
This is because whey, usually the main form of protein in newborn formula, is replaced by casein in follow-on formula. Casein moves through the gut slower than whey.
This allows more water to be re-absorbed within the gut and makes the stools harder. Furthermore, follow-on formulas have a higher iron content, which can also contribute to constipation.
Here’s what you can do to relieve your infant’s constipation:
– Massage his abdomen using circular movements.
– Hold onto his legs and move them quickly in a cycling motion.
– Give him a warm, relaxing bath.
– Give cool, boiled water at regular intervals.
If these methods fail, it might help if you change to a different formula brand gradually. Check with your baby’s doctor.
Should I dilute the milk when Grandma says the formula is too “heaty”?
Always mix your baby’s follow-on milk according to the instructions on the packaging.
If it’s too dilute, the amount of calories and nutrients your baby receives can be significantly reduced, and this may affect his growth and development.
Diluting follow-on milk can also result in lower concentration of sodium in your child’s blood. This can lead to fits.