Gas and spit-up is a common problem with young babies, occurring in about 70% of all infants.  Their underdeveloped digestive systems are easily irritated, especially when fed baby formula.
If your baby if formula-fed and suffers from frequent gas, you need to know what’s the best formula for gassy babies. Let’s take a look at the possible causes and how to choose the best formula for your child to reduce gas issues.
What causes Gas in Babies?
Before you can figure out what’s the best formula for gassy babies, you need to first know what the common causes of infant gas are.
The first problem could be related to your baby’s bottle or the method you use to mix your baby’s formula.
Certain bottles are known to trap excess air, which in turn is swallowed by a baby causing gas bubbles in their belly. This usually can be remedied by using anti-gas bottles.
Shaking formula in order to mix it can also create an undue amount of foam, which is, of course, air and gas.
The second issue could be with your baby; they may simply have reflux. This is also a common problem due to babies’ immature digestive tracts. Food simply backs up into the esophagus and comes back up as spit-up.
Some cases may be so severe that your baby may not gain weight properly. However, most cases are manageable and clear up on their own.
Finally, your baby may have excess gas in their digestive tract due to allergies and food sensitivities.  Most of these reactions stem from either milk proteins/lactose or soy components.
A simple change in formula by using hypoallergenic formula or changing their diet to breast milk can help solve this issue.
What’s the best formula for gassy babies?
Gerber Good Start Soothe
- Soothing Nutrition: Modeled after the complete nutrition and gentleness of breastmilk, this formula offers nutrition for babies up to 12 months experiencing colic, excessive crying, fussiness and gas
- Probiotic Formula: Good Start Soothe formula features prebiotics, Comfort Proteins and probiotics that improve the good bacteria in tummies and promote soft stools; It's our closest formula to breastmilk
- Give Your Baby a Good Start: Your baby’s nutritional needs evolve over time. That's why we created the Gerber Good Start line. Made to comfort your baby's tummy and available in a range of products
You really can’t go wrong with any Gerber products. They’ve been trusted for years by parents nationwide.
It’s no surprise that they have a formula that is specially formulated to soothe upset tummies.The Gerber Good Start Soothe formula comes in a 22.2-oz container and is formulated for babies 0-12 months old (stage 1).
It is made with a special carb blend that is only 30% lactose to help ease discomforts due to milk sensitivities.Some of the benefits of this formula include L reuteri, which is proven to reduce colic (fussiness and gas) by 50%, DHA for brain development, and 2’-FL HMO (Human Milk Oligosaccharide), a prebiotic to boost immunity.
This formula is also GMO-free and is not made with any artificial growth hormones.Gerber Soothe is one of the few baby formulas that doesn’t contain corn syrup solids. However, it does contain corn maltodextrin.
The difference is that maltodextrin is formulated to have 20% less sugar content.The biggest downfall to this formula is that it seems to be a bit tricky to mix.
Not only are the instruction proportions slightly off, the formula remains a bit foamy and clumpy after shaking.
Perhaps due to the consistency, many parents have said their babies have also experienced constipation with the use of this formula.
- Reduces colic by 50%
- Only 30% lactose
- 20% less sugar content
- Made with DHA, L reuteri, and 2’-FL HMO
- Tricky to mix
- Some babies don’t like the taste
- Complaints of constipation
- Similac is the first leading infant formula brand with no artificial growth hormone* (*no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows)
- Similac Sensitive Infant Formula is a milk-based formula for your baby's first year that is specially designed for fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivity
- NUTRIENTS: Features OptiGRO, our exclusive blend of DHA, Lutein and Vitamin E, special nutrients found in breast milk that are important for helping support baby's brain and eye development
Similac is the #1 formula chosen by moms and used by hospitals, and their Sensitive formula is great for babies with sensitive tummies.It is still milk-based (with some soy products as well) while being specially formulated to reduce fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivity.
You can also rest assured that this formula is free from any artificial growth hormones like rBST as well as GMO-free.Similac Sensitive contains a special blend called OptiGRO, which consists of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E to support brain and eye development.
The prebiotic 2’-FL HMO helps to support immune health. Just as with many baby formulas, there is always the chance of your baby becoming constipated.
Other than that, there aren’t many negative things to say about this other than the fact that it does contain corn syrup as most baby formulas do.
- Most popular formula for babies with sensitive tummies used by parents and in hospitals
- OptiGRO for brain and eye development
- Best cost per bottle
- Reduces fussiness and gas due to lactose
- May cause constipation
- Contains corn syrup
Enfamil Prosobee Soy
- DAIRY-FREE FORMULA: Enfamil ProSobee baby formula powder is a completely lactose and dairy free, soy formula alternative to milk-based baby formula
- POWDER FORMULA FOR MILK SENSITIVITY: Dairy free formula helps ease Fussiness, Gas Colic caused by sensitivity to milk based formulas
- COMPLETE NUTRITION: Gentle formula tailored for your baby through their first 12 months
Enfamil is the #1 formula brand recommended by pediatricians, and their Prosobee Soy blend is perfect for babies who simply cannot tolerate any lactose. It is completely lactose and dairy free, making it gentle on babies’ digestive systems.
As a result, it reduces gas and fussiness due to lactose irritation.
It also contains DHA and choline to promote healthy brain development, and its vitamin blend supports the immune system. Being soy-based, the Enfamil Prosobee is a bit more expensive than standard baby formulas.
This also slightly changes the flavor, which may not be a big hit with your baby if they are particular about taste.
- Lactose and dairy free, suitable for babies suffering from lactose intolerance
- Gentle on the digestive system
- DHA and choline in formula promote healthy brain and immune system development
- Some babies may not like the taste
- Contains corn syrup
Enfamil Nutramigen with Enflora LGG
- HELPS TO EASE COLIC: Delivers Clinically-Proven Relief when managing colic due to cow’s milk allergy for a happier, better-rested baby & mom
- FAST RELIEF NOW: As early as the first feeding, with 90% of infants improving within 48 hours
- INCLUDES LGG: The most extensively studied probiotic for allergy management and supporting the digestive health of your baby
Another great formula by Enfamil specially formulated for sensitive tummies is their Nutramigen with Enflora LGG blend.
Not only does it reduce gas and fussiness but there are also numerous other benefits associated with this formula. Enflora LGG is a probiotic that helps to promote digestive health and allergy management.
With its inclusion in this formula, it was found that 90% of infant colic was reduced within 48 hours with the use of this formula.
It has also been shown to prevent common allergies such as asthma and eczema by 50%.There are mixed opinions on the consistency of this formula.
Some say that it mixes really well while others complain that it’s too clumpy and foamy.
You may be taking a chance with this formula. The biggest downside to this formula is the fact that it is very expensive.
The container is pretty small compared to others (19.8 ounces) and only makes about 31 4-oz bottles making it the least cost efficient formula on this list.
However, depending on your baby, the benefits of this formula may outweigh the cost.
- Probiotic LGG for digestive health and allergy management
- Hypoallergenic formulation suitable to reduce gas and fussiness
- Reduces future allergies by 50% such as asthma and eczema
- Reduces 90% of infant colic
- Strong odor
- Mixed opinions on consistency
Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity
- Easy-to-digest organic formula for baby's first twelve months for babies with sensitive stomachs
- Reduced lactose milk-based powder formulation for easy digestion
- Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 ARA fatty acids naturally found in breast milk to that may support brain and eye development, Iron for healthy development
Sometimes you just want something organic for your baby to be safe in regards to ingredients.
Earth’s Best is the #1 rated organic formula in the U.S. and they have a sensitive formula for gassy babies.Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity formula is easy to digest containing 50% less lactose than the average baby formula.
It still contains milk and soy as well as partially hydrolyzed whey.
Being organic, you can be sure that there are no artificial colors or flavors and that it is not made with any pesticides or fertilizers.There are various additional vitamins and minerals that aid in your baby’s development: Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 ARA for brain and eye development; iron fortified; lutein for eyes; fructooligosaccharides prebiotic for immunity.The consistency of this formula is its biggest downfall (besides the fact that it still contains corn syrup).
It tends to remain very foamy after mixing, which may cause more problems with excess gas.
- Organic, so you don’t have to worry about artificial additives
- 50% less lactose than other formulas for easier digestion
- Iron fortified
- Packed with vitamins and minerals like Omega-3 DHA & Omega-6 ARA for brain and eye development
- Contains corn syrup
- Foamy consistency
- May cause constipation
How to Choose the Right Formula for Your Gassy Baby
Out of all the money spent on baby products – those that are purchased on a regular basis – formula makes up the biggest expense per year. That being said, you want to make sure your formula is cost effective, giving you the lowest cost per bottle.
Keep in mind that certain specialty formulas such as organic, soy-based, and others with special ingredients will generally be much more expensive than standard formulas.
Babies eat a lot so you will probably need to buy your formula in bulk to ensure that you don’t run out of formula when you need it most.
Every formula is different as well, some requiring more or less water or powder to make a single bottle. Pay close attention to how much you are getting with your purchase and how many bottles each canister will make.
Anything that enters your baby’s body should be monitored closely. Their digestive, immune, and nervous systems are severely underdeveloped, and certain ingredients in baby formula can either hurt or help their developing bodies.
Read all the ingredients before deciding on a certain formula.
Formula should mix easily either by shaking or stirring. However, there are some that remain foamy or clumpy even after mixing. This can cause excess gas or frustration with clogged bottle nipples.
Read reviews or talk to parents you know that use a certain formula to find the one that mixes best.
No formula is perfect particularly since they are man-made, however I would say that Similac Sensitive comes pretty close to being the best formula for gassy babies.
Not only is it the #1 formula brand chosen by moms and hospitals but it also offers various benefits for babies’ development.
It is formulated to reduce gas and fussiness due to lactose sensitivity.
It is also the most cost efficient formula on this list being available in the biggest size and lowest cost per bottle.
What do you think? Do you have a formula you recommend for a gassy baby? Let us know!
Last update on 2021-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API