Switching Baby Formula
I saw a patient recently, Katie * (not her real name) whose new baby girl had developed a rash after being switched from one brand of formula to another. The parents switched brands of formula on the recommendation of a friend even though their baby didn't have any problems with the first formula. Figuring that one brand of formula would be the same as every other, the parents decided to try the formula that their friend suggested. Unfortunately, their baby didn't tolerate the new formula. Now what should they do? Which formula should use next? My advice was to call their baby's health care provider for advice. After all, they can weigh and measure your baby and follow their growth and development as well as monitor for any symptoms that would indicate an intolerance. Every baby is different and while most babies do well on most commercially available formulas, switching should be based on advice from a health care provider.
What happens if your baby isn't tolerating their formula? Should you switch? And if so, which one should you try? What do you think of this brand or that brand? These are questions I hear all the time.
When a baby has diarrhea, is spitting up, has gas and tummy troubles or has a rash, the first thing many parents think of is whether their formula is right for their baby. As tempting as it is to ask a friend or even a clerk at the grocery store, they're really not the best sources of advice in this case. The best source is your baby's own health care provider, who knows your baby, can evaluate their overall health and make informed recommendations.
Katie called me after 5 days. Her baby's rash was improving every day after returning to the first formula brand they used before the rash developed. Katie told me that she learned a lot from the experience and that she will be calling her baby's pediatrician the next time she had a question on what to feed her baby girl.