Best formula for colic babies in South Africa: crying baby

Would you believe that around 40% of infants aged from two weeks to three months are affected by colic? Even though infants who suffer from colic experience symptoms for only a few months, it still causes high levels of anxiety and stress for parents and the family.

Since the condition is not life-threatening, it can be a wrongly undervalued cause for paediatric consultation. This could be because no one really knows what causes colic and it’s an ill‑defined condition. Various treatment options are available for colic, yet there is no standard care.

We’ll cover the best formula for colic babies in South Africa, what milk is best for colic babies and at-home remedies you can do to put your baba at ease.

“There is some evidence that supports a change of formula would be your first line of treatment as a dietary approach towards treating colic.”

What is colic?

The most popular definition is an infant that is otherwise healthy and well-fed but presents with irritability, fussing and crying. This crying and discomfort lasts longer than three hours a day for more than three days a week. 

Additional symptoms may include drawing up the knees and excessive gas (cramping). Treatment options for colic include pharmacological products (such as lactase enzymes and colic drops) and nutritional and behavioural interventions.

Despite its frequent occurrence, pharmacological and behavioural interventions for colic have been reported as ineffective or inappropriate for the treatment of colic. There is some evidence that supports some of the nutritional interventions for infantile colic. A change of formula would be your first line of treatment as a dietary approach.

fussy baby crying

Best formula for gassy babies in South Africa: Colic & constipation

So, what is the best formula for babies in South Africa? Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all solution. Switching formulas can be quite the process with a little one – it’s best to review these products and assess how effective they are with relieving colicky symptoms.

Partially hydrolysed formulas

The effectiveness of partially hydrolysed whey-based formulas (PHF) for the management of colic is debatable, as most studies included other dietary changes as well. These formulas may be of some help to colicky babies when allergies are not suspected. 

Similac Total Comfort 1 reviews in South Africa rave about how easily digestible the formula is, and how well it works for cramps. Novalac formula reviews in South Africa state how well it works for gassy babies. It’s also one of the best formula milk for babies 0-6 months in South Africa.

Reduced lactose formulas

Another option is to try a specifically designed infant formula with reduced lactose concentration. Some babies are lactose sensitive and have a reduced lactose absorption capacity, resulting in less lactose being absorbed in the small intestine and more lactose ending up in the colon, where it ferments and produces gas. 

This ultimately leads to some of the symptoms associated with colic, such as cramping, flatulence, excessive crying, etc. Using a formula with a reduced lactose concentration could assist sensitive babies and prevent gas development. 

Novalac reviews South Africa are superb, highlighting how well the product works for constipation. As well as Nan Formula for colic babies.

Extensively hydrolysed formulas

If the two formula types above do not assist in the management of colic, you could consider using an extensively hydrolysed, casein protein-based formula for infants struggling with severe colic or additional atopic symptoms. 

Top brands include Novalac Allernova Smooth from Clicks and Similac Alimentum from Clicks. They’re regarded as some of the best formulas to prevent constipation in South Africa.

Soy formula for colic

These are often used for colicky babies, but it’s important to mention that there is no evidence to show that soy formulas assist with the prevention and management of colic.

Best formula milk in South Africa for breastfed babies

For breastfed infants with colic, it is suggested that the mother switch to a low-allergen diet, avoiding cow’s milk and dairy food with the appropriate intake of vitamins and minerals. You will need to wait at least two weeks though to check the effectiveness of the diet. 

Any dietary changes should be made under the supervision or with the advice of a healthcare professional such as a clinic sister, pharmacist, dietician, GP or paediatrician. While you’re there you can also speak with your GP, and get their advice and recommendations for the best baby formula for colic and gas. 

baby crying due to constipation mom giving him bottle with formula or milk

Natural remedies for babies with colic

It is fantastic to see how many mommies and caregivers whose babies have suffered or are currently suffering from colic, are willing to share their thoughts and advice. This is ultimately the goal of BabyYumYum!  

We thought it would be ideal to discuss and clarify how some of the options mentioned, mostly homoeopathic remedies, could assist in managing colic:

Gripe water

These products often help to relieve stomach upsets temporarily by changing healthy pH levels (acidity) in the stomach, but they do not treat the underlying problem. This is seen as a “band-aid” approach to manage colic and other digestive problems such as reflux and constipation, and often provides little or no relief. 

Read the label and avoid products containing alcohol, sugar, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), simethicone, herbal oils or extracts, or artificial flavours. While gripe water is a familiar remedy for infantile colic that has been used since 1851, there are no studies that explore this as a possible treatment.

Colic/gas drops

Drops often contain the pharmacological product Simethicone, which requires constant dosing in order to have an effect. Overuse could create a dependency and as mentioned above, this pharmacological intervention has been reported not to be effective or appropriate for the treatment of colic.

The best colic drops for infants in South Africa are found at Dischem and Clicks, but you can also purchase some really great homoeopathic drops from Faithful to Nature.

Probiotics

Limited evidence is available as to the efficacy of adding probiotics to ease colic and the evidence that does exist is on breastfed and not formula-fed infants.

In summation: What is the best formula for babies in South Africa?

An issue that comes up in this kind of discussion is how to treat constipation, possibly because a constipated baby can present with similar symptoms as a colicky baby. If you pinpoint which symptom is most severe, you may be able to use a more specific solution to manage the condition at hand, often addressing the other symptoms then too. 

The “best” formula for a colic baby is often not universally accepted by all infants. However, the ones we’ve included in this post boast positive results and reviews and can easily be bought at your nearest pharmacy. 

Disclaimer: This post has not been sponsored. BabyYumYum reserves the right to its opinions and fully supports the notion of promotion that breast is best in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) infant feeding guidelinesBreast milk is the best food for infants. Good maternal nutrition is essential to prepare and maintain breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is not applied, an infant formula may be used according to health professionals’ advice. Preparation and storage of any infant formula should be performed as directed on the tin in order not to pose any health hazards.

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