Ideally, a baby should be fully breastfed during its first 6 months of life. However, there could be various reasons why breastfeeding isn’t a way out. Finding a substitute for natural nutrition is often difficult due to the baby’s allergic reactions. In this case, it is necessary to buy a special hypoallergenic formula for infants. Some bottle-fed babies may have allergic reactions to cow’s milk protein, which is the basis for most infant formula. Allergies can have such signs:
- rashes on the skin of a child
- frequent burping
- other problems related to the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract
The choice of modern hypoallergenic milk formulas is simply huge. Some are based on split milk protein (hydrolyzate), while other dairy-free infant formulas are based on soy protein.
The hypoallergenic formula allows the newborn’s organism to be provided with all the necessary nutritional elements, mineral salts, groups of vitamins, and other useful substances. The exchange of proteins in the organism of a child of 4-5 months of age, who is fed exclusively with hypoallergenic food is practically the same as that of a baby during breastfeeding.
When is hypoallergenic infant formula used?
Such formulas are prescribed either to prevent the development of allergies or to treat children with allergies. They can be used not only for allergy sufferers but for children with intestinal problems. If a child is bottle-fed, there is a high probability that the allergy is manifested precisely in the formula. Then you need a hypoallergenic infant formula. You should also remember that allergies are often hereditary. If mom or dad has allergies, it’s better to play it safe. Even the excess amount of food can cause allergies because kids can’t regulate the amount of food they eat.
The form of hypoallergenic formulas
The powder form is stored for a long time and is usually sold in cans or cartons. Requires dilution with water at the dosages indicated in the instructions.
The liquid form is diluted with water in a ratio of 1 to 1. It is mixed much more conveniently than powder, but it cannot be stored for a long time.
The ready-made form only requires heating which is very convenient while traveling. There is no need for dilution with water, no lumps are formed.
How to pick up the right one
- Select a formula according to the age. You will find the corresponding markings on the packaging. For premature babies and underweight babies, look for “0” or “Pre” e.g. HiPP HA Pre, for newborns and babies up to six months. You can check organicsbestshop.com for more information about this.
- Hypoallergenic formulas are labeled with HA on the pack
- The composition should include prebiotics and probiotics, dietary fiber, iodine, and folic acid in sufficient quantities
- The date of manufacture is one of the most important selection parameters. If the expiration date indicated on the packaging is coming to an end, the purchase should be discarded. It may take 2-3 weeks from the moment the pack is opened until it is completely consumed, and the product will have to be thrown away, as it will become expired. Taking these products for future use is also not worth it. Buy small packages.
- If you decide on a formula, give a newborn a small dose and check the reaction. If negative consequences appear, look for another one. It is also must be changed if a child is not gaining weight well and sleeps restlessly, often cries during, before, or after feeding
- Once you’ve found the right one, don’t change it again because frequent change leads to a deterioration in the well-being of a child.
Types of the hydrolysis of milk protein
The choice of the formula depends on the severity of the child’s allergic reaction. Each subsequent step means higher protein hydrolysis. Maximum hydrolysis is the breakdown of a protein molecule into amino acids. If there are no manifestations of allergy or they are minimal then prophylactic formulas are prescribed. In such formulas, milk protein is partially hydrolyzed. It is easier to digest and is suitable for babies at risk of allergies.
A fully hydrolyzed protein or amino acid blend is included in the composition of therapeutic formulas when a child has severe manifestations of allergies. The results of feeding with hypoallergenic formula will not be noticeable immediately, but only after 2-3 weeks. During this period, the baby’s skin will be noticeably cleansed if it previously had an allergy.
Soy, whey, and goat milk formulas
Soy formula is suitable for children who are allergic to cow protein and cow’s milk. Such food is not suitable for newborns, it is recommended for consumption after 5-6 months. At the same time, in addition to the soy, the child’s menu must include fermented milk products (cheese, cottage cheese, butter).
Whey or lactose-free formulas are highly digestible and suitable for children with bowel and digestive problems. Such food is prescribed to newborns with lactose and sugar intolerance, with an acute intestinal infection, but it is not suitable for lactase deficiency.
Goat milk formulas are suitable for newborns with cow and soy protein intolerance. Such food has a high nutritional value, contains the right amount of animal proteins for the full development of a baby. It is well absorbed and normalizes digestion.
Other ingredients in the composition
In addition to the main active ingredient (soy, goat’s milk, hydrolyzed protein, casein), any hypoallergenic formula for babies contains other useful components. Their main task is to improve digestion and alleviate the symptoms of the disease.
- Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids support the brain and help develop a vision
- Antioxidants (most often these are tocopherol and ascorbic acid) strengthen the immune system
- Calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D contribute to the normal development of the skeleton
- Peptides form the organism’s susceptibility to cow’s milk protein
- L-carnitine has a beneficial effect on the digestion and nervous system
- Taurine strengthens the heart muscle
- Inositol is necessary for the normal functioning of the respiratory system
- Lecithin helps the circulatory system function
Looking at the composition on the package, remember that the best hypoallergenic formula is the one that contains a minimum of additives. As a rule, children prone to allergies can react with rashes to different foods, not just soy or cow’s milk protein.
It is impossible to say unequivocally which one is better. Each baby has individual development and perception. When choosing, take into account the reviews of other parents, but, first of all, visit your pediatrician.