Colic is one of the life’s most uncomfortable mysteries. Do you know around 35 percent of the babies have been colicky for at least once before turning 6 months old? Although it isn’t a disease but just a phase almost every child goes through.
Who is a colic baby?
All babies cry for that is how they communicate. But an otherwise happy, well fed, healthy baby crying and being uncomfortable for around 3 hours daily for at least 3 days a week without any tangible reason can be termed as colic baby. It starts peaking around the 3 week mark and ends by the time they are 6 months old.
Symptoms of colic
- Intense crying episodes especially in evening
- Red flushed face
- Clenched fists, arched backs
- Gassy, tight tummy
There is no one exact reason that can be pinpointed for colic. While some say it is more prone to affect babies with sensitive guts, some say it is do with a mother’s diet, some say it is due to the child being lactose intolerant.
Sometimes colic can also be due to food allergies or introducing formula in the babies diet. The protein in formula can be difficult for the baby to digest and hence switching to a gentler formula which has broken down protein and probiotics will ensure the baby digests it easily and doesn’t get fussy.
How to buy the correct formula for your baby?
Being a parent isn’t easy. It’s all about knowledge, trial & error and making the correct decision for your baby. Choosing the right formula out of the million choices available in the market isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Here are few factors that will guide you through the formula confusion and help you make an informed choice –
- Constituents – one of the main factors while buying a formula for your baby should be what is it made of. The knowledge of percentage of protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients in the formula is absolutely essential for the parent
- Availability – it is always better to go for a formula that is easily available around you. A good, healthy formula that isn’t as easily available near you is of no use.
- Price – every parent wants to give the best to their baby but money is important. Choose the formula that your baby loves and gives the best value for the money spent.
- Check Iron – breast milk is rich in iron. So if you have decided to go for formula food, you have to ensure it is iron fortified, since iron is an essential nutrient for baby’s development until they are at least an year old and cannot be ignored unless specified by the doctor
- Generic v/s name brand – all formulas in the market, whether generic or branded have to meet the FDA’s regulation. So the only major difference being the price and reliability that only a brand can provide. So read through the labels, compare the constituents and their proportions minutely and then choose the one you think will be better for the baby.
- Age – there is a reason formulas come with age specifications. It may be the same brand, the same constituents but there proportion will be varied to suit the needs of a growing baby.
- Consult an expert – if even after all the studying and trial and error, you are still confused and not able to zero in on the right formula for the baby, try talking to your paediatrician or a baby nutritionist since sometimes an expert advice is all we need.
There are majorly 3 kinds of formula available in the market depending on the form of protein they are carrying – Cow milk based formula, Soy based formula and hydrolyzed formula.
Hydrolyzed formula is basically formula food with broken down protein, which is apt for babies with sensitive guts and more prone to allergies. These formulas are costlier than other normal formula available in market.
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Gerber Gentle vs Sooth
Out of the plethora of options available two of the best hypoallergenic formulas available in the market are Gerber good start and Enfamil Gentlease
Here is the detailed comparison between the two which will help you decide the right one for your baby.
Gerber good start – Soothe
Gerber is a reputed brand known for its quality & value. Gerber gentle soothe is a specially designed gentle formula and is well known among parents of fussy, colicky babies. It is popular for its taste and is available in variations catering to needs of newborn to an year old baby.
- 22.2 ounce container equals about 40 ( 4oz) bottles
- Available for $26.34 at amazon.com
- Catering to needs of a new born to an year old baby
- Apt for sensitive digestion system
- Boosts immunity
- Significantly reduces colic symptoms
GMO free: Genetically Modified Food is clearly not good for human consumption. Since babies get their nutrition from either breast milk or formula food, Gerber gentle soothe being GMO free gets a huge thumbs up from parents looking for a healthy, non artificial food for their babies.
Healthy probiotic: Seeing your child cry uncontrollably can leave the parent feeling helpless and frustrated. Gerber soothe comes with probitoic L.reuteri which is known to reduce colic symptoms by around 45 percent. Probiotics are an essential for good gut health even among adults. By adding this good bacterium in their formula, they prove that are care for your babies health.
DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, is an essential building block for humans, babies being no different. It boosts the development of brain and helps in maintaining a good vision. Gerber gentle soothe comes with required DHA recommendation ensuring your baby gets exactly what they need.
Broken protein: Milk or soy Protein are usually complex and are main culprits for making the young gut work hard and hence making the babies uncomfortable. Gerber gentle soothe comes with broken down or comfort protein which is much easier for the baby to digest and hence reducing colic symptoms to a large extent.
Taste: Don’t think if it is formula food, taste doesn’t matter. Gerber soothe has a gentle, mild taste which is acceptable to even the most sensitive of taste buds. The taste is a huge plus and makes it easier for the parents to feed their little fussy eaters.
- Cost – since it is a special hypoallergenic formula designed for colic babies, it is not going to be cheap. This is one of the major drawbacks as it puts a lot of pressure on the pockets of parents. If you are on a budget, keep looking for special deals available online.
- Constipation – sometimes even the gentlest of formula like Gerber gentle can cause constipation to babies. The culprit is palm oil which causes stools to harden up. It can happen with any of the formula and is a sign that the formula isn’t right for your baby.
- Water temperature – since Gerber gentle comes with special probiotic bacteria it is essential to ensure that it isn’t prepared with extremely hot water, since it can kill the bacteria and make the formula less suitable for sensitive, colicky babies.
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Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Infant Formula
Another one of the popular choice in the formula market for colicky baby is Enfamil Gentlease. It is easily available and has a lot of variations to choose from. It is designed to be gentle on developing digestive systems and prevents the colic symptoms from rearing their ugly head.
- 21.5 ounce container
- Available for $26.98 at amazon.com
- Formula suitable for newborns to an year old
- Reduces gas and fussiness
- Contains DHA and Inositol
- Made of 100 percent whey broken down protein, Palm olein oil fat
- Contains 70 percent lactose, 30 percent corn maltodextrin
Has Inositol and DHA: The only formula in the market that contains Inositol, an essential building block found in breast milk. The thick yellowish milk that the mother produces right after giving birth is rich in Inositol. The combination of Inositol and DHA give a boost to brain development, although experts are still wondering how good the artificial Inositol is as good as compared natural one.
GMO free: Like Gerber Gentle soothe, this formula too is also free of GMO (Genetically Modified Food) which is a must for any baby food.
Triple health guard: Enfamil Gentlease comes with a unique combination of 30 essential ingredients including Vitamin A, Vitamin D and iron which help in covering every need of the growing baby. It also has more DHA than Gentle Gerber soothe which pacifies a few parents worried about their baby getting enough vitamins and minerals.
Closer to breast milk: There is no substitute for breast milk, but if there is a formula that comes closest to it, that is Enfamil Gentlease. It is ideal for parents who can’t or don’t want to breastfeed their babies yet feel guilty about formula feeding them.
Paediatrician’s choice: Many of the doctors recommend Enfamil Gentlease, since it is cheaper, easily available and gentle on the baby’s digestion.
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New formula may take some time: The newer version of the formula that has been introduced in the market may not agree with your baby as much if he/she is used to the older one. In order to make the formula more like breast milk, the newer version has a slightly different taste and is of thinner consistency. If the baby is new to Enfamil Gentlease then there are no concerns but if your baby is used to its taste, it may take a while for them to adapt to the newer version.
Not as effective: Some parents complain that the formula isn’t as effective in treating gas and other colic symptoms and also makes the poop smell really bad
There is no one correct or wrong answer, as every child is unique and responds differently to different formula. Both Gerber Gentle Soothe and Enfamil Gentlease are special formula designed especially for sensitive, colicky babies. Both these formula come with their own sets of features, pros and cons. Just remember it is a mere comparison and not an absolute result. Read through them, listen to your gut and then choose one that suits your and your baby, it is just as simple as that.