Many formula-fed babies experience constipation. Between the ingredients in the formula and the consistency of powder-based mixtures, slower digestion and constipation may occur. A quick way to resolve this issue is to consider the current formula your baby is consuming. Oftentimes, switching to a new formula can resolve their discomfort. That’s why we went on the hunt for the best baby formula for constipation!
These top 10 formulas for constipation were chosen because of their ingredients, consistency, and bases. All of which can provide relief and help reduce future occurrences.
Why do babies experience constipation?
Constipation isn’t the inability to have a bowel movement, rather how difficult it is for your baby to pass stool. This means it’s important to pay attention to the consistency and texture of your baby’s stool as well as how often they are having bowel movements. Signs of constipation include difficulty passing stool, seeming uncomfortable or difficult to console, stools are hard, and bowel movements aren’t happening every 5 to 10 days.
Babies sometimes have a slow digestive system because breastmilk and formula are both so nutrient-dense. Your baby’s system absorbs almost everything in the nutrient-dense milk, which leaves little to digest. Babies that are strictly breastfed may have a bowel movement just once a week because of this. Always be sure to keep track and follow your doctor’s guidelines for what is normal, though.
How can baby formula reduce constipation?
First off, keep track of your baby’s bowel movements so you know when there is a change in their normal pattern. There are some great apps that can help you easily track this, check them out here!
If your baby seems to be exhibiting signs of constipation it may be useful to change their formula. There are so many formulas on the market, each of which offers unique ingredients and formulations to provide nutrients. Many also have additives for growth, colic, and other infant conditions. The current formula you are using may be difficult on your baby’s system, so an adjustment can reduce their symptoms.
Common Issues Leading to Constipation in Formula Fed Babies
- Thick Formulas: Babies that are formula-fed often have more constipation than breastfed babies because the formula is thicker than breastmilk. This means it takes more time to be processed in their GI tract.
- Milk Allergies: It could also be that your baby has a milk allergy. Luckily, there are formulas that use different bases if this is the case.
- Rice Based Formula: Another situation where changing the formula can help is if the baby is receiving a rice-based formula. This is often common in acid reflux formulas, as they are thicker to help the baby keep them down. This thicker formula can lead to constipation.
Top 10 Best Baby Formulas for Constipation
So, what are the best baby formulas for constipation? We recommend considering the 3 must-haves on our check list below and then choosing from one of the ten options on this list.
The formula options listed below are widely available through local and online retailers. All 10 of these formulas are considered the best for constipation due to their formulation with specific ingredients that may help reduce constipation symptoms and may help keep your child on a more regular bowel movement schedule. You will also find alternatives for milk-based formula here, as this commonly clears up constipation issues.
Baby Formula for Constipation Must-Haves:
- A base that your baby can tolerate: some babies don’t do well with milk bases while others may find rice bases too thick
- GI support: the digestive system may need some added support since it hasn’t been functioning at an optimal level
- Age-appropriate: make sure the new formula you choose is providing the correct support for your child’s current age
1: Enfamil Reguline Constipation– Our #1 Choice of Baby Formula for Constipation!
This formula by Enfamil was designed specifically to help relieve and reduce constipation. The ingredients include easy to digest proteins that can be broken down more quickly than other formulas. The formula also contains baby probiotics for intestinal support. This blend should help your baby to produce an easy to pass stool and keep them regular.
2: Enfamil ProSobee Soy Sensitive
The ProSobee formula is one of the best soy-based blends to prevent baby constipation. It is definitely worth a try if you think your baby’s discomfort has to do with being dairy and lactose intolerant. The plant-based powder is more gentle on sensitive tummies and can reduce fussiness, gas, colic, and constipation.
3: Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease
This is a sensitive baby formula with a special blend of fats that are commonly found in breastmilk. This means it not only supports brain growth but can also help reduce intestinal discomfort. This formula offers complete nutritional support for babies through 12 months.
4: Gerber Good Start Soothe
Good Start Soothe offers complete nutrition that is very similar to breastmilk, supporting babies up to 12 months. The specific formula of this blend provides prebiotics, comfort proteins, and probiotics. This makes it easy to digest, provides healthy bacteria, and helps to produce more comfortable bowel movements.
5: Gerber Good Start Soy
Gerber also offers a soy-based formula that also offers many of the benefits of the Good Start line. With soy as a base, this formula is lactose-free which can reduce gas, fussiness, and provide constipation in your baby.
6: Gerber Extensive HA
There aren’t too many hypoallergenic baby formulas on the current market. However, this one by Gerber offers babies with dairy allergies some relief. It is a clean product that caters to their needs. This formula uses whey protein which is easier to digest and babies with dairy or milk sensitivities can usually tolerate it. There’s also a probiotic and MCT oil included in this blend to help with digestive health and fat absorption.
7: Similac Pro-Sensitive
The pro-sensitive blend is specific for sensitive tummies and offers relief from common digestion difficulties. The formulation and blend were designed to support lactose sensitivity and they work to reduce gas and fussiness. Other ingredients in this formula offer brain and eye development support.
8: Similac Soy Isomil
Similac Soy Isomil is also dairy-free. The blend offers complete nutrition with plant-based soy and can be more gentle on sensitive tummies. This specific formula is both gentle and easy to digest. Plus, it relieves digestive upset symptoms such as gas and constipation.
9: Earth’s Best Organic Dairy
If you are looking for a more natural and organic powdered formula, the Earth’s Best line is a great option. This particular blend uses a milk base with added natural fats commonly found in breastmilk that aid in eye and brain development. Another draw to this formula is that it’s non-GMO and Kosher!
10: Earth’s Best Soy Plant-Based
Lastly, this soy plant-based alternative offers all the benefits of the Earth’s Best line with the base you’re looking for. There are no artificial colors or additives, it is non-GMO, and Kosher along with high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to support the baby’s first 12 months.
Having a baby with tummy issues is no fun, I know because I have been there! Trial and error will eventually lead to a solution if your baby is having constipation issues due to their formula. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor if you feel like you cannot find a solution, though!
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