Choosing The Right Formula When Your Baby Has Constipation


Constipation is a common problem that parents face with their infants. Babies that are fully breastfed, those that are fully formula-fed, and those that are fed a combination all suffer from periodic constipation in equal measure. The main reason infants suffer from constipation is due to their digestive systems being so new and underdeveloped. While seeing your baby in distress can be difficult, there are some easy ways to soothe their pain and resolve their digestive problems.

Constipation & Baby Formula

Most if not all cases of constipation can be traced back to the food your child eats. In the case of newborns and infants, that is typically formula and breast milk. Babies that are exclusively fed breast milk may suffer from constipation when the mother changes her diet, does not get enough hydration or is only feeding her infant hindmilk (the creamy milk).

Babies that are fed only infant formula or a combination of formula can often trace their tummy issues back to the formula itself. Most baby formulas that are not organic, as well as commercial synthetic formulas, have a tendency to cause intestinal distress. Switching over to an organic formula for constipation, especially a high-quality European brand such as Holle, Hipp, Kabrita, or Nanny Care can help resolve infant constipation with ease.

What to do When Your Baby is Constipated

Sometimes constipation is only an occasional thing. The first time your infant gets constipated is not a cause for alarm. If you have just changed formulas, your own diet, or have recently introduced a new food, wait to see if the episode of constipation passes naturally. Also, dehydration is a common cause of infant constipation, depending on the age of your child you may simply need to increase their water consumption.

Switch to a Hypoallergenic Formula

Some infants are more sensitive to certain proteins due to food allergies. While these may not make them sick, they can certainly be a source of your child’s constipation. Switching to a hypoallergenic formula may help ease their distress. HiPP Hypoallergenic formula is created with hydrolyzed proteins that help reduce the body's allergenic response to infant formula, which also works to soothe constipation.

Switch to Organic

Often, changing over from traditional formula to an organic blend like Holle or Lebenswert will be enough to soothe your little one's tummy and ease their constipation. European baby formulas are best for infants because they contain natural ingredients, gentle milk proteins, prebiotics, and probiotics. You can read more about the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics in our blog post (here). Probiotics and prebiotics are essential because they help infant digestive systems to process formula more efficiently which works to help keep their bowel movements soft and regular. If you are new to European baby formula, it is a good idea to start with Hipp Dutch for your little one.  

What Makes European Infant Formula Better For Constipation?

When it comes to constipation, what your infant eats or drinks is often the key to solving the problem. European baby formulas such as HiPP, Lebenswert, or Holle are much healthier overall. They are also better for babies suffering from constipation than local formulas.

Baby formula brands in the EU are subjected to much stricter regulation than the FDA has in place for local brands. EU infant formulas are restricted in the use of corn syrup, glucose syrup, and other refined sugars. They also refrain from including GMO ingredients, synthetic nutrients, synthetic preservatives, and hormones.

All of the items listed above can wreak havoc on an infant's underdeveloped digestive system which can lead to constipation, acid reflux, obesity, and more. By eliminating these harmful additives, European infant formulas become much easier to digest and are gentler on an infant's system. EU based formulas also seek to mimic breast milk as closely as possible. This means that not only do they have a similar consistency and quality, but they also have a very similar nutritional profile.

What Are The Best European Formulas For Constipation?

Lebenswert Infant Formula – These Bioland certified infant formulas are organic and made from gentle and soothing ingredients for infants of all ages. The healthy proportion of vitamins and minerals paired with the organic healthy fats ensures that your child will get the nutrition they need without harmful irritants that can cause constipation.

HiPP Dutch Combiotic Formula – This formula is one of the best on the market and is also nutritionally complete. It is one of the closest breast milk alternatives among those available in the European market. It has no gluten, starch, maltodextrin, synthetic ingredients, GMO ingredients, or synthetic preservatives. HiPP Dutch Combiotic formula includes both prebiotics (galacto-oligosaccharides) as well as a probiotic (Lactobacillus) that will help maintain and promote infant gut health. HiPP UK Combiotic also has an honorable mention. The only difference with its Dutch cousin is that it doesn’t contain probiotics thus making it more affordable.

HiPP Pre Formula- This one the second-best on the market and contains all of the same ingredients of Hipp Dutch. The only difference is that this particular blend of infant formula is that it is manufactured in Germany. It is also a great alternative to breast milk and gentle formula for infants who suffer from constipation.

Kabrita Infant Formula-  Goats milk is well known to be gentle on the stomach as well as provide a rich concentration of vital nutrients. Kabrita infant formulas are a blend of organic goat milk, minerals, prebiotics, the fatty acids DHA and ARA, and other healthy oils. This brand is suited for infants who suffer from reflux, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.

Final Thoughts From Mommy Formula

No matter which European baby formula you chose, it is important to follow the preparation instructions listed on the packaging. It may be tempting to make the formula thicker or thinner to help ease your child’s symptoms, but this may lead to dehydration or more constipation. No one likes to see their infant in distress, so when your child is constipated, stay positive. With the suggestions and formula suggestion listed above, you can rest with the peace of mind in knowing that their distress is only temporary.

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