One of the biggest challenges that new mothers and parents deal with are milk or baby formula allergies. Baby formula is such an essential component to the diet, care and feeding of growing infants, that when they become allergic to its ingredients, it can be difficult to create a suitable replacement that provides adequate nutrition. Obvious signs of an allergy or sensitivity to baby formula can include regular fussiness, rashes, eczema, hives, flaky patches of skin, gas, diarrhea and vomiting. Here are four alternatives if your baby has formula allergies:
1. Hydrolysate Formulas
Cow's milk became a staple source of nutrition for babies long ago. With the advent of rice and soy milk alternatives, the fact remains that cow's milk is still a valid resource for baby formula since it has so many of the essential nutrients a baby needs during the first year of his life. Cow's milk protein is a base in many formulas because it includes essential fats, calcium, vitamins A, B12 and other nutrients which are vital to a child's overall development. The hydrolysate formula is cow's milk protein based, however, the development process is designed to minimize allergy risk. Because of this, it works for many babies who have had mild sensitivities to standard cow's milk based formulas. When cow's milk allergies occur in babies, it is estimated that around half of infants sensitive to cow's milk are also sensitive to soy milk based formulas.
Some mothers decide to try nursing when their babies do not respond well to formulas. Barring any health concern that a mother has for herself, breast milk is still considered the best source of all of the essential nutrients, fats and vitamins for babies. For this reason, many mothers extend their nursing times through the first and second years of their baby's life, particularly when an infant has displayed allergies to cow's milk.
3. Soy Formulas
Soy formula is developed to offer the nutritional needs of babies so that it can be a reliable substitute for cow's milk. The most obvious nutrient that it includes is calcium. When a doctor prescribes a soy-based baby formula, keep in mind that there is a vast difference between soy milk products and formula. Therefore, using soy milk will not adequately provide all of the nutrients that a baby needs, which is why the soy formula product is superior for that purpose. However, unlike cow's milk, soy milk usually does not provide the essential fats that are so necessary to nutrition. Therefore, when choosing a soy baby formula, be certain that it is a full fat soy milk that also includes the other nutritional supplements. It is also possible to supplement what is missing to make up for it with a specially designed vitamin.
4. Rice Milk
Some babies develop allergies to soy products in addition to cow's milk, so rice milk formulas can be made to substitute. Some mothers have resorted to using the Kokkoh (Macrobiotic Rice Milk) and the Hernandez Formula as replacements. Since the healthy fat quotient is low, just like soy milk, it is advisable to supplement the missing fat and other nutrients. Be sure to check the other nutritional information on rice milk formulas so that your baby gets all that she needs to develop properly.