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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best formula for gassy babies is, I’d recommend the Similac Sensitive.
Gas is no fun, for mom, dad, or baby. An excessively gassy baby is not happy or comfortable.
After struggling with gassiness when formula feeding my son, I started to explore the reasons behind this.
I ended up finding some real gems within the best formulas for gassy babies on the market. From plant-based to organic to the closest formula to breast milk. But first, we’ll start with some reasons why, and what to look for when shopping.
Top points from this article include:
- Lactose intolerance
- Feeding positions
- Digestive difficulties
- Changing formulas
- The best formulas for gassy babies
Here are the formulas for gassy babies that I will be reviewing:
Reasons Your Baby Might Be Gassy
With such young digestive systems, it’s not uncommon for your baby to be a little gassy every now and then. Although this is normal, excessive gassiness can be problematic. While there are a few more obvious reasons, some are less conspicuous.
Let’s take a look.
Gassiness in babies can be caused by the position in which you feed them. When feeding your baby, it’s normal for them to swallow small amounts of air.
However, certain feeding positions can allow for more air gulping than normal. For example; being held at an upright 90-degree angle or being held in a completely horizontal position.
An optimal position to hold your baby during feeding time would be at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees, whether you are breastfeeding or by bottle. This relaxes their neck position to allow them to swallow. It also prevents too much air in the bottle which may cause excessive gulping.
By maintaining a good feeding position, your baby is swallowing less air and they’re able to swallow their milk easily. This way you can reduce their gassiness.
Not only can your feeding position allow for unnecessary air swallowing, but so can the bottle itself. This is dependent on the size of the bottle’s nipple that your baby drinks from.
With a larger opening, the seal between your baby’s mouth and the nipple of the bottle is not as secure. A weaker seal will allow your baby to gulp more air—a big no for reducing gassiness!
The solution is to buy a bottle with a smaller opening for your baby to drink from. There are also specialized bottles designed to prevent gas, which are a good investment if it’s a problem for your little one.
One of the most common reasons that your baby may be unusually gassy is due to a problem in their diet. It’s normal to be unsure of your baby’s intolerances or allergies.
Lactose intolerance is not uncommon. In fact, between 30 million and 50 million people in the US are lactose intolerant. If your baby is unusually gassy and seems to have a bloated stomach, the lactose in their formula may be the culprit.
After checking with your doctor, it may help your baby to switch to one of the best formulas for gassy babies that are lactose-free.
Gassiness is due to digestive difficulties. In some cases, with adults, this can be due to certain foods such as legumes. However, with small babies who are only just developing their microbiome and gut health, there may be other factors involved.
Prebiotics and probiotics are essential components of smoothly running gut health and digestive systems; they symbiotically work together to promote healthy bacterial growth within the gut. As babies are so young, they can benefit from some prebiotic and probiotic help within their formula to help with digestion.
A lack of gut health can lead to digestive difficulties in babies, causing excessive gassiness and fussiness. It’s best to choose one of the best formulas for gassy babies that includes probiotics and prebiotics.
What You Can Do to Help
There are so many effective ways to reduce gassiness in your child. Here are a few that I have personally found the most helpful.
Burping your baby helps to get rid of air that has built up in their stomach during feeding. By reducing this swallowed air, you can prevent excessive gassiness.
You can burp your baby in a few positions; by laying them on your lap on their stomach, sitting them up on your lap, or holding their stomach against your chest upright.
To burp your baby lying down, first lay them on their stomach over your lap. Support their head and neck with one hand. Use the other hand in a cupped position, to gently pat their back.
It’s recommended to burp your baby every 2 to 3 ounces of milk. If your baby is excessively gassy, it can be beneficial to burp them every 1 ounce of milk.
As babies can’t naturally walk around or move very much themselves yet, they are not able to promote digestion with regular exercise like adults can. There are ways in which you can help your baby move to promote digestion.
Start by laying your baby on their back on a comfortable surface such as the changing table or your lap. Move their legs as if they were riding a bicycle, in circular motions. Alternate this with pushing their knees up to their stomach and holding for 10 seconds. Doing so helps to gently massage the stomach and the muscles surrounding it to promote digestion.
You can also encourage tummy time or try the colic carry to add pressure to the stomach which can relieve gas.
As we’ve seen, one of the culprits of excessive gassiness in babies can be their formula. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as a sensitivity to certain ingredients within the formula. Or they may have a problem with digesting the formula.
After checking in with your doctor or pediatrician to rule out any medical issues, it’s a good idea to explore different formula options. Your doctor may have suggested removing or reducing lactose from your baby’s diet, for example. You may have also decided to look around for a plant-based formula for your child.
Some of the best formulas for gassy babies include or exclude certain ingredients. This aims to promote healthy digestion and reduce gas and fussiness, for a happier baby and happier parents.
Choosing the Best Formula for Your Baby
Choosing the best formula for gas can be a challenge. There are a huge amount of options on the market. When it comes to selecting, there are some important points to bear in mind.
They are easy to overlook, so here’s a reminder.
Your Baby’s Age
Of course, babies at different ages have different needs to be thought of when choosing a formula. For example, younger babies need correct amounts of compounds usually found in breast milk, such as lactoferrin. This is important to protect against infections; however, it’s usually only found in breast milk and few formulas contain it.
To choose the best formula for the age of your baby, make sure to always carefully read the packaging. When looking for a formula, make sure to check the age suitability and if you are unsure, check with your doctor.
Gassiness can be caused by allergies. While formulas have a number of ingredients we can barely pronounce, the key ones to look out for are a little more simple.
Firstly, lactose. This is a naturally occurring sugar found in breast milk and most formulas. However, many babies produce symptoms of a lactose allergy or intolerance. This can be similar to the description of colic.
Luckily, many of the best formulas for gassy babies are lower in lactose or lactose-free. These can reduce symptoms and fussiness for your baby, making for a much more peaceful night’s sleep for you both.
Natural vs. Synthetic
Many people repeatedly may tell you the phrase “breast is best”. However this is not the case for many parents and babies all over the world. Choosing to formula feed over breastfeeding can be due to a plethora of reasons, from personal preference to medical issues.
As breast milk is natural, you can say that formula is a little less natural as it has been manufactured—even if that’s using natural ingredients. In this case, it’s important to look out for the ingredients you would prefer to keep your baby away from.
Some formulas will be sucrose-free, which may sound healthier for your baby. But if you choose to avoid all kinds of sugars for your baby, then watch out for sucrose being replaced with corn syrup.
As I previously mentioned, some babies can be gassy due to digestive issues, or problems with gut bacteria as they are so young. As breast milk naturally contains a number of these, bottle-fed babies can sometimes struggle to get the same nutritional value.
These issues can be rectified with healthy amounts of prebiotics and probiotics in their formula. Take a look at the best formulas for gassy babies that include these.
Furthermore, different formulas contain different concentrations of beneficial ingredients. These can include those for brain and eye development such as DHA and lutein. While most formulas include them, some are manufactured with higher levels than others.
Taking all of this into account, it’s key to carefully read the descriptions of each formula you’re interested in to find the best for your baby.
Our Reviews Of The Best Formulas For Gassy Babies
We have scoured the market to find the most effective formulas for gassy babies, and included our reviews below.
Similac Sensitive is specially designed for babies showing a sensitivity to lactose, resulting in gas.
Changing formula often can upset a baby’s sensitive stomach. Introducing one formula from birth, and sticking to it, is ideal. With this in mind, the milk-based formula is suitable from birth up until 12 months of age.
As a milk-based formula, your baby is provided with all the essential natural goodness of milk, without any artificial additives. The powder is formulated without artificial growth hormones. Without these artificial hormones, you can rest assured that your baby is only being fed health-driven ingredients.
Similac’s exclusive OptiGRO blend for your baby’s optimum health is included in this version of their formula. The nutrients included are a blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E. This mighty trio is essential for eye and brain development as well as overall growth.
Scientists believe that DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid, is important for babies during their rapid development in the first year. Lutein is also crucial during the early stages of eye development. This antioxidant is found in breast milk, so if you choose to feed your baby with formula then you will have this covered.
This formula also contains an important prebiotic that has previously only been found in breast milk. The revolutionary non-GMO synthesized prebiotic is now included in Similac’s formula to strengthen your baby’s immune system with a formula that is more like breast milk than ever.
Some parents may choose to avoid dairy-based milk formulas through personal preference or for medical reasons. Enfamil’s ProSobee product is formulated from a soy plant protein.
As gas and colic can often be caused by sensitivity to milk-based formulas, a plant-based alternative can help to alleviate these symptoms. With the lactose-free ingredients, this formula is also brilliant for your baby if your doctor has advised you to avoid lactose.
DHA, one of the key components of this formula, is essential for healthy brain and nervous system development, especially during the first six months of a newborn’s life. As the body only produces a small amount of DHA, it’s important for a newborn to receive it through their food. Since this plant-based formula is full of DHA, your baby’s development is supported.
Another important compound within the Enfamil formula is choline. This compound is a vitamin-like essential nutrient and a key building block for more complex molecules. It’s crucial for your baby’s spinal cord and brain development.
However, it’s important to note that this formula is not suitable for premature babies, unless it has been directed by your doctor. It can lead to decreased bone mineralization.
This lactose and sucrose-free formula has been specially developed for babies within the first 12 months of life. It includes a number of key nutrients such as iron—which is important for your baby’s development. This is due to its involvement in the production of hemoglobin.
Furthermore, it contains key nutrients that are typically only found in breast milk. These include omega-3 DHA, ARA, and choline. By providing your baby with these nutrients, they are given the same quality of care as breastmilk.
Nutramigen Hypoallergenic formula is created especially for babies with a sensitivity, or allergy to cow’s milk. These kinds of allergies can be due to the lactose within cow’s milk; this formula is lactose-free to ease any sensitivities causing gassiness.
Managing allergies with specifically designed formulas will also allow for a better night’s sleep—for both you and baby by easing their uncomfortable stomach.
To support the digestive health of your baby, as well as manage allergies, this formula contains LGG. This is an extensively studied probiotic, suggested to allow the transition back to traditional milk-based formulas without an allergic response. It may also reduce the likelihood of allergy responses in later years.
Enfamil Enspire’s number one benefit is its similarity to breast milk. It is formulated with lactoferrin and MFGM. Lactoferrin is vital in fighting infections and is usually only found within the mother’s milk or colostrum until the Enspire formula was created. Milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) contains important bioactive components for your baby’s brain development.
With these two elements, the gap between breast milk-fed babies and formula-fed babies is erased. You can rest easy knowing your baby is provided with the same nutrition as breast milk would provide.
Probiotics are essential for the digestive health of babies. Enfamil’s Enspire formula contains a special blend of probiotics clinically proven to support digestive health in babies. If your little one is particularly gassy, it’s important to find a formula to support their digestive health and, in turn, ease the symptoms.
Similac itself is one of the world’s leading baby formula brands, producing high-quality formulas for over 90 years. It’s not surprising how popular it is with parents.
Similac’s non-GMO formula is specially designed for babies with a lactose sensitivity that is causing fussiness and gas. The milk-based formula is lactose-free to ease gassy stomachs that are causing discomfort.
As with all Similac formulas, this particular blend includes their exclusive trio of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E. This powerful group are included to support your baby’s development during their early months. Lutein in particular is important to protect against eye problems in children. Vitamin E, the antioxidant, plays a vital role in the development of cells.
This sensitive formula is perfect for parents conscious to avoid artificial substances and hormones in their baby formula. By removing any artificial growth hormones, often found in milk from hormone-treated cows, your baby is protected from any unnatural substances.
By avoiding any unnatural substances in your baby formula, you can reduce gassiness. As baby’s digestive systems are so sensitive as such a young age, choosing a more natural formula can help prevent any disruptions.
This clinically proven formula is proven to reduce gassiness, fussiness, and crying within 24 hours after the first use. This is a dream-worthy promise to many parents.
It’s closer to breast milk than most other formulas, and provides almost the same level of nourishment for your baby. Many parents can be concerned with the superiority of breast milk to formula; however, this is not the case with Enfamil’s Premium Gentlease. In fact, it’s one of the top brands recommended by pediatricians.
Although it has not been proven to be superior to Similac Sensitive, this Enfamil formula holds twice the amount of DHA. This is the omega-3 fatty acids that play a huge role in brain development for babies. It also contains inositol, also called vitamin B8. It’s key in the absorption of amino acids (protein building blocks).
By ensuring your formula contains these important compounds, you are giving your baby the best development care during their early months.
In terms of reducing gas, this formula contains partially broken down proteins. This means your baby’s digestive system won’t have to use as much effort to digest them. Difficulty in digesting proteins can be a cause of gassiness in babies due to their immature digestive systems.
Gerber Good Start Soothe infant formula was created with the basis of nourishing and gentle breast milk in mind. It’s designed for babies with fussiness or gas due to colic and other digestive issues causing excessive crying and unhappiness.
In accordance with breast milk, Gerber Soothe contains Human Milk Oligosaccharide. This is a prebiotic found at high levels in breast milk and is known to support digestive health in babies. This reduces the difference between the nutritional profile of breast milk and formula.
The blended formula has a dense nutritional profile to support your baby and ease gassiness. Prebiotics, probiotics, Comfort Proteins, and a carbohydrate mix are blended with only 30 percent lactose. This is ideal for babies with a slight lactose sensitivity, allowing you to avoid the higher lactose amounts within other formulas.
In their youngest months, babies are developing their microbiome (good bacteria within the body). Prebiotics and probiotics are essential for this developmental stage. Thankfully Gerber has this covered in the Soothe formula.
Comfort Proteins within Gerber formulas are initially from whey protein, which is then broken down. In breaking down the proteins, they’re easier to digest for your baby’s small stomach. This prevents a buildup of non-digested food, which can cause excessive gassiness.
To support your baby’s brain development, this formula contains DHA. This careful formula has been recommended to ease stomach sensitivity more than other leading brands.
Just like the Gerber Soothe formula, the Gentle version is designed to be as similar to breast milk as possible for your baby. As breast milk contains important prebiotics for your baby, this formula includes these important compounds for a healthy digestive system and digestive tract.
Difficulty digesting their formula can often be a cause of gassiness for babies. Therefore, components within formula to support their digestive system, such as prebiotics, are essential.
To allow for easier digestion, Gerber has also formulated this ready-to-feed formula with Comfort Proteins. These are created from broken down whey protein, to reduce the effort your baby’s stomach must take to digest their food. In doing so, less stress is put on the digestive system.
To support healthy development, DHA compounds are also included for the brain and eyes. This component is critical to support your baby in their earliest months.
For parents, this formula has been easily created in ready-to-feed bottles, meaning less effort and time is required for moms and dads at feeding times. It is also ideal for parents who are often on the go.
This hypoallergenic formula is “nutritionally complete,” meaning it contains all the important nutrients recommended for babies.
To relieve gassiness due to digestive problems with proteins, this formula contains pre-digested milk protein that is broken down into extremely small pieces for easier digestion. This can very much help with babies showing allergic symptoms to milk proteins—which include excessive gassiness.
Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic formula has been proven to reduce crying and fussiness due to milk protein sensitivity within 24 hours, based on a study carried out by Similac. These results promote the suitability of this formula for babies with sensitive stomachs.
This particular blend of formula contains DHA and ARA, both of which are important for healthy development for your baby. They’re designed to work in unison, mimicking the composition of breast milk. Like other formulas, they bridge the gap between breastfed and formula-fed babies.
Earth’s Best easy-to-digest formula has reduced lactose and is their closest formula to breast milk. It’s the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration certified organic formula for moms with fussy babies.
The organic formula includes DHA omega-3 as well as AHA omega-6. These two fatty acids are crucial for early brain and eye development. By including them in your baby’s formula, you are providing your baby with the same critical components of breast milk for development.
Fortified iron is also included. This mineral is essential to aid the production of hemoglobin, the protein within the body that transports oxygenated blood to cells.
Some of the best formulas for gas contain prebiotics like Earth’s Best. The formula contains prebiotic fructooligosaccharides to help with digestive health. Many gas problems and an unhappy stomach are caused by digestive issues in babies. This can be solved with prebiotic-containing formulas.
Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity is suitable for a large range of dietary requirements. It’s Kosher and is made without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. It also is free from artificial colors and flavor. Keeping your baby’s diet natural and simple is ideal for many parents.
Bringing Home The Best Formula For A Gassy Baby
With so many formulas on the market, hopefully, you feel a little more at ease finding the best formula for gas. My best formula for gassy babies has to be Similac Sensitive.
With its nutritional values, GMO-free profile, suitability to lactose sensitivity, as well as its unique OptiGRO blend for development, it really ticks all the boxes. As it’s suitable from birth, it prevents upsetting your baby’s digestion every few months.
The powerhouse of ingredients makes for a happy, comfortable, and less gassy baby. Plus, a great night’s sleep for mom and dad!