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Newborn and Infant Care

Infant formula



My baby was diagnosed with acid reflux after 6 months of continual crying. She had been on 6 different formulas to determine the problem. She has now been on alimentum for the past 3 months and we have decided to try similac lactose free. How long does it take to ajust them to a new formula? Is it a good idea to switch? Alimentum isn`t easy to get around here. We have had soy for back up in case we run out. I just wanted her to ajust to a formula that I know that we can consistanly get for her. Thank you.


It sounds as though this has been a very frustrating experience for both you and your baby! It takes about a week for a baby's digestive tract to adjust to a new formula. So if she is still uncomfortable on alimentum, it's unlikely things will change. So if you change to a lactose-free formula, give her at least a week to adjust to it. It will be a big shift from an elemental formula to lactose-free.

It also will be very important to avoid all allergy provoking foods as you introduce solid foods to her diet. Avoid eggs, wheat cereal and wheat products, all dairy products, strawberries, citrus foods and juices, watermelon, fish and shellfish, and peanut butter. Be sure to introduce only one new, single ingredient food at a time and give it to her for three days to ensure that she is not allergic to it before moving on to another food.

Hopefully your baby's doctor has her on an effective anti-reflux medication. Be sure she takes it regularly and if you are not seeing improvement in a few days, contact the doctor again. There are several medications available for treatment and one will prove to be the most effective.

If you have not done so already, be sure your baby has a regular daily schedule of naps, play, and feeding. Keep the evening time as low key as possible and put her to bed early - by 8 PM at the latest. Infant massage often helps fussy babies relax and sleep better. There are several inexpensive infant massage videos available, some are also likely to be found at your public library. One good one can be ordered from www.jjpi.com for only $10. The deep touch helps most babies grow better, sleep longer, and cry less.

I know this has to have been a very rough six months for the whole family. I hope things are better soon and that some of these suggestions prove helpful to you and your baby.

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University