The prevailing message is that breast is best, but what if you can't breastfeed for one reason or another? Thankfully, parents can turn to formula because fed is actually best. Neither methods of feeding a baby are cut and dry though. Just as a baby can be allergic to something in their mother's breast milk, a baby can also be allergic to an ingredient in formula. It may be distressing to learn your baby has an allergy, but in most cases it can be treated. So what are the signs your baby is allergic to formula? There are several, but most of them are pretty obvious and easily detectable.
Given how many kids suffer from allergies these days, it's no wonder there are several different formulas on the market. All formulas are made with different ingredients; some are dairy based, some are soy based, and others can be rice based. Regardless of what formula is used, your baby can develop an allergy to one or more of the ingredients, and it can quickly wreck havoc on your baby's body.
The official condition that results from an allergy to formula (or breast milk) is called allergic proctocolitis. "This condition inflames the lower part of the intestine," Samantha Kamen, with Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America tells Romper. "It affects infants in their first year of life and usually ends by age one year." She says there are multiple signs and symptoms to look for, both subtle ones and overt. As frustrating as it may be for parents to figure out what their baby is allergic to, it's important to remember that the problem can be solved fairly quickly with proper medical diligence. "The good news about allergic proctocolitis is that when properly diagnosed, symptoms resolve once the offending food(s) are removed from the diet," Kamen says.
Here are five red flags to look for that may indicate your baby is suffering from a formula allergy.