Baby crying

Diarrhea when switching formula, what's wrong?

November 26, 2018

It can be a really hard decision, do I switch from breastmilk to formula? Am I happy with the formula my baby is drinking now, or should I change it? Oh, there’s a new baby formula that all the moms in playgroup have been talking about. Is it worth the drama of change and potential poop issues just to be able to discuss that formula with other moms? (peer pressure says yes, mothering instinct says no).

But, you, and your baby, go through cycles of life and there will come a time when you have to switch, to keep up with your baby’s growth. It’s a constant evolutionary battle to continue to meet their changing nutritional needs.

Oh, but there is the dreaded fear.. can changing formula cause diarrhea? Well yes, it can. Your baby’s tummy needs time to adjust to something new. But it’s the same if all of a sudden you go out and have a spicy curry when you’re breastfeeding. Sit back and watch the epic bottom explosions emitted from your baby’s cute little tushie after your breastfeed for the first time post-curry. It can be apocalyptic.

In the same way that switching formulas can cause diarrhea, you may also see that your baby has diarrhea after switching from breastmilk to formula. Do not fear, and consider this: your baby’s belly is so small, so sensitive, so accustomed to the same diet every day, that any change will likely affect them and their emissions.

So, when should you be worried about baby diarrhea? Well, blood is always a warning sign. Any sign of blood in your baby’s stool and you should consult with your doctor. If your baby’s bottom waste doesn’t normalize after several weeks then it would also be good to consult with a doctor. It is common to see a thicker, smellier stool when comparing breastfed to formula fed babies so don’t worry too much about that.

Also the amount, the size, the pure production of poop can increase greatly as often formula fed babies take in a larger quantity of milk.

In some cases, you may be giving your newborn baby formula. Of course, you want the best for your baby and here at the Organic Baby Food Shop we would love you to choose from our organic bio farmed formulas that are gentle and kind to a newborn’s cutest-ever-tiny-little-round-lovely tummy.

It is not abnormal to see a newborn with diarrhea after formula. Just like it’s not abnormal to see a newborn breastfed baby with diarrhea. In all cases, monitor how long the baby is affected. Are they in obvious discomfort? Are they rejecting the formula bottle? Ask your doctor, your nurse, your friends, your family for advice and help. And, above all else, listen to your marvelous parenting instinct.

Baby diarrhea can have many causes and a common one is lactose intolerance. If you have a history of lactose intolerance in your family, or suspect your baby is lactose intolerant, you might consider Holle Goat Stage 1 Organic (Bio) Infant Milk Formula which does not contain cow milk. It’s a great formula for diarrhea as it’s much easier on the digestive system. Made with Demeter goat milk, this easily digestible baby formula has no added sugar and corn syrup. It’s well known that most babies will digest goat's milk much easier than cow's milk.

Another option you may want to consider is adding an organic probiotics mix for babies into their bottle of formula. Probiotics can help diversify and strengthen the gut flora, which in turn can help reduce digestive issues - as well as help build the immune system.

It’s all part of the wonderful, sometimes smelly, sometimes really disgusting learning curve that you’ll have to tackle with your baby. Like everything, treat it with patience, love, and maybe a peg on your nose.

Take a look at our post 'How to become a baby poop expert' to learn more about the different types of baby poop and what they indicate about your baby's health. It includes a chart.



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