As parents, you put a lot of effort and care into ensuring your baby is happy and healthy. Choosing the perfect source of nutrition for your precious little one is a crucial step in establishing a good basis for their healthy upbringing.
Of course, seeing your baby react poorly to their formula is concerning. This can signify that the formula does not sit right with them and that another one should be tried instead. However, it can also indicate sensitivities, intolerances, or allergies that can lead to potential complications in the future if they are not addressed early enough.
But not to worry, we will help you distinguish between intolerances and allergies and choose the right nutritional option for your baby. Luckily, HiPP understands how essential it is to provide safe and nutritious formula for all babies and has crafted HiPP Comfort and HiPP Hypoallergenic (German and Dutch) to address these needs.
Here we will cover the best hypoallergenic formula from Europe and different types of digestive sensitivities that your baby might be experiencing, specifically milk protein allergy. Let's dive in!
EU's Best Hypoallergenic Formula for Your Baby ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
We recognize that dealing with your baby's health concerns can be stressful, especially if they experience allergic reactions or digestive issues from their main source of nutrition. So, we would like to help reduce your stress by guiding you in choosing the best hypoallergenic formula (HA formula) for your baby, as it is crucial for their well-being.
However, please consult with your pediatrician to ensure you have the best hypoallergenic baby formula for your baby's specific needs and allergies. Finding the right formula for your baby may even require some time and a process of trial and error, so be patient and monitor their reactions closely.
Rest assured that you can provide your baby with the nourishment and care they need while mitigating the risk of discomfort and allergies. HiPP also recognizes the need for all babies to be healthy and well-nourished and has crafted a range of hypoallergenic baby formulas that will be the perfect fit for your little one's dietary needs.
HiPP Hypoallergenic Formula
HiPP's HA formula is specially crafted using extensively hydrolyzed milk proteins that reduce allergenicity. They offer these formulas in both a Dutch and a German version which will cover in depth in the next section, but for now, here is an overview of HiPP HA formula.
Hydrolyzed milk proteins are broken down through hydrolysis into their simplest and smallest form, which will help your baby get the nutrition they need while preventing allergic reactions.
To mirror the natural composition of breast milk, HiPP HA contains lactose as a primary carbohydrate source. It also has natural probiotic lactic acid cultures originally extracted from real breast milk and prebiotics to help fortify your baby's intestinal wall and protect them against allergens and unwanted bacteria.
This formula is enriched with essential fatty acids, DHA and ARA, and various vitamins and minerals for your baby's growth and development. HiPP's formula is also free from artificial sweeteners, GMOs, gluten, soy, peanut, and eggs.
Accompanying your baby through every stage of their early development, HiPP has different stages of hypoallergenic formula to meet their nutritional needs. Stages PRE and 1 are both suitable for babies 0 to 6 months, after which HiPP's Stage 2 follow-on formula is intended for babies aged 6 to 12 months as a complement to or replacement for breast milk while little ones are introduced to solid foods.
HiPP Hypoallergenic Formula: Dutch vs. German
HiPP is committed to bringing your baby the best quality of nutrition. As such, they have crafted both the Dutch and the German hypoallergenic formula to meet the highest standards of the EU's nutritional legislation.
The Dutch and the German hypoallergenic formula variations have the same recipe and composition, so you do not have to worry about your baby missing out on any nutritional goodness.
The main difference between the two hypoallergenic formula types is the packaging. While the German HiPP Hypoallergenic formula comes in boxes of 600g, the Dutch variation comes in cans of 800g.
Moreover, the German version offers two infant formula stages (PRE and 1) and one Stage 2 follow-on formula. In contrast, the Dutch version offers one Stage 1 infant formula and one Stage 2 follow-on formula.
Suppose your baby is not diagnosed with CMPA and is instead struggling with common digestive intolerances - such as flatulence, lactose-related 3-month colic, or constipation. In that case, HiPP Comfort formula is a great option!
Boasting a reduced lactose content, hydrolyzed milk proteins, and an easily digestible fat structure similar to breast milk's natural fatty acids, the composition of this formula regulates bowel movements for your baby's ensured comfort.
HiPP Comfort is low in allergens and includes natural lactic acid cultures (probiotics) derived from breast milk that work to balance the gut microbiome.
Additionally, this carefully made formula combines a nourishing mix of skimmed cow's milk, specially selected vegetable oils, and omega fatty acids, DHA, and ARA to support your baby's growth and development.
There are a few things to keep in mind before opting for an HA formula to ensure the formula optimally satisfies your baby's dietary needs as well as your lifestyle needs. Let's look at these critical points now:
Allergy or Sensitivity?
If you suspect your child may have an allergy or intolerance, consult your pediatrician for proper diagnoses and treatment. A qualified healthcare professional can determine if your baby has an allergy to milk protein or lactose intolerance or if they have a sensitive digestive system that makes them more susceptible to digestive discomfort.
Your Baby's Age
Given that over 50% of babies with CMPA tend to outgrow this allergy by the time they are one, it's recommended to monitor your baby closely to determine if their health condition and relative nutritional needs are changing as they near the 1-year mark.
It might be that your baby can later be transitioned to a different type of formula as they outgrow the need for a hypoallergenic formula. Your doctor can help you determine whether hypoallergenic baby formulas are needed.
Your Lifestyle Needs
It's important to consider your budget and what type of formula fits your family's unique needs best. HiPP's Dutch and German HA formula offers excellent value in different-sized containers, giving you more options.
Additionally, lifestyle factors like employment, travel, and having other children can influence your formula choice. For example, if you are on the go a lot, opting for HiPP's Ready to Feed formula bottles of their German HA formula might make more sense.
Does Your Baby Have a Milk Protein Allergy?
It is vital to figure out if your baby has a sensitive tummy and is thus experiencing an intolerance to their current formula, if they are lactose intolerant, or if they have a milk protein allergy. Here is a brief description of each condition, and we will later delve more specifically into milk protein allergies.
Formula Intolerance 🍼
Baby formulas provide balanced nutrition for infants who are not exclusively breastfed. Different brands have different ways of crafting their infant formula, meaningsome may not agree with your baby.
While most infants tolerate and benefit from a regular formula, some may experience issues related to specific ingredients present in these formulas. This includes, for example, sensitivity to starch. If your baby is experiencing sensitivity to their formula, it may be because they have a more delicate digestive system and could benefit from a gentler formulation.
Lactose Intolerance 🥛🧀
It's important to note that lactose intolerance differs from a milk protein allergy. Lactose intolerance is the inability to properly digest lactose, the sugar naturally found in milk, which leads to digestive symptoms. Lactose is the primary carbohydrate naturally found in breast milk, but also in most types of European regular formula.
Lactose intolerance occurs when the body lacks the enzyme lactase responsible for breaking down lactose. If your baby struggles with lactose intolerance, they can exhibit symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, and general discomfort in their tummies. If these symptoms persist, consult your pediatrician to get down to the root of the problem.
If it turns out that your baby is indeed lactose intolerant, there are nutritious, lactose-free formulas like Bebe M available for you to choose from.
Cow's Milk Protein Allergy 🐄
Cow's milk infant formulas may contain proteins that are more difficult for babies' delicate digestive systems to digest and can therefore trigger allergic reactions in some infants. Cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) is an immune system response to the proteins found in cow's milk formulas that manifests as an allergic reaction.
This allergy can cause your baby to develop digestive, skin, and respiratory symptoms. In such cases, specialized formulas such as an extensively hydrolyzed formula or an amino acid-based formula may be recommended to soothe and nourish your baby.
This article focuses on helping you better understand milk protein allergies, specifically CMPA because it poses a more serious risk to your baby's health than sensitivities or intolerances.
Causes of Cow's Milk Protein Allergy
Cow's milk protein allergies, otherwise known as cow's milk allergy, occur most commonly in infants and young children. Studies estimated that CMPA affects approximately 2% to 7.5% of infants in the general population. The good news is that over 50% of infants with CMPAoutgrow this allergy by the time they reach one year old!
Why Does it Occur?
CMPA occurs when your baby's immune system mistakenly identifies the proteins in cow's milk as harmful and consequently launches an allergic response. The two main proteins responsible for cow's milk allergy are casein and whey, and as such, there are different types of CMPA based on the specific immune mechanisms your baby's body will trigger.
The Two Main Types of CMPA Are:
1. Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-Mediated CMPA:
This is the most common type of CMPA. It occurs when your baby's immune system produces IgE antibodies in response to cow's milk proteins, specifically to casein and whey. IgE-mediated CMPA typically results in your baby exhibiting an immediate allergic reaction, manifesting as hives, swelling, wheezing, oranaphylaxis. This happens shortly after consuming cow's milk or products containing cow's milk proteins.
To diagnose IgE-mediated CMPA, your healthcare practitioner will likely need to administer skin prick tests or blood tests to determine if your baby is suffering from this type of allergic reaction.
2. Non-IgE-Mediated CMPA:
In this type of CMPA, your baby's immune system response does not involve IgE antibodies. Instead, it activates other parts of the immune system, such as T cells or immune complexes.
Non-IgE-mediated CMPA can cause delayed allergic reactions, with symptoms appearing hours to days after consuming cow's milk or related products, making it harder to diagnose than IgE-mediated CMPA.
You may want to look out for symptoms affecting your baby's digestive tract, often including vomiting, diarrhea, or even blood in their poop. Pediatricians usually diagnose non-IgE-mediated CMPA using a process of elimination, where different diets or oral food challenges are carried out under medical supervision to determine the root cause of the allergy.
It is important to note that some babies can experience a combination of IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated CMPA, where symptoms from both allergies may overlap or occur independently. Furthermore, CMPA is more likely to affect your little one if you have a family history of allergies or immediate family members with allergies.
When Does it Occur?
CMPA can occur if infants are fed cow's milk-based formula but also if a mom consumes dairy products that are later passed to her little one through breast milk. Symptoms of an allergic reaction commonly occur within minutes to hours after consuming cow's milk or products containing cow's milk proteins.
Symptoms of CMPA
The main tells to look out for to determine if your little one is suffering from CMPA are symptoms that can affect their tummy or digestive system, skin, and/or breathing. The most common symptoms are listed below. However, in some severe cases, additional symptoms can include irritability, difficulty gaining weight, reflux (spitting up), or blood in your baby's poop.
Please be aware that the symptoms listed above can have various causes, so it is always important to have a healthcare professional examine your baby and diagnose the issue. If you suspect that your baby is experiencing an allergic reaction or has issues with their infant formula, it is crucial to consult with a pediatrician or allergist for proper evaluation and guidance.
Understanding Hypoallergenic Formulas
Allergic reactions can be scary, but fortunately, science has found hypoallergenic (HA) formula solutions that help minimize the risk of allergic responses. Hypoallergenic formulas are special infant formulas designed for little ones at a higher risk of developing allergies or who have been diagnosed with specific allergies or intolerances. These formulas are gently formulated to be easily digested, minimizing the risk of triggering allergic reactions.
Hypoallergenic formula is generally composed of alternative protein or carbohydrate sources less likely to trigger allergic reactions or digestive issues if your baby struggles with these health concerns. Some hypoallergenic formulas may also be used for infants with other types of allergies or intolerances, such as soy protein allergy or lactose intolerance.
Please be aware that not all hypoallergenic formulas are free of organic lactose. So, if your baby requires a nourishing solution for lactose intolerance, then the best formula for them would be lactose-free.
What Are Different Types of Hypoallergenic Baby Formula?
Hypoallergenic formulas are frequently recommended for babies diagnosed with CMPA and are typically made from hydrolyzed proteins or amino acids. Before we dive deeper into the different types of formulas, we want to remind you that it's imperative to consult a doctor before choosing a special formula – especially if your little one is diagnosed with CMPA.
Partially Hydrolyzed Formulas
Hydrolyzed formulas have proteins broken down (partially or extensively) into smaller fragments, reducing their allergenic potential. Although partially hydrolyzed infant formula is broken down to a lesser degree than an extensively hydrolyzed formula, it is designed to be easier for your baby to digest when they cannot tolerate regular cow's milk-based formulas.
While partially hydrolyzed formulas may offer great benefits for some infants with tummy troubles, they may not be suitable for little ones struggling with allergies or specific medical conditions, so seek the guidance of a health professional before changing your baby's diet.
Extensively Hydrolyzed Formulas
The proteins in extensively hydrolyzed formulas (EHFs) are broken down into even smaller components than partially hydrolyzed formulas and are designed for infants with CMPA. If your baby is diagnosed with CMPA, your doctor may recommend extensively hydrolyzed proteins, as their composition is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Amino acid-based formulas
Amino acid-based formulas (AAF), also known as elemental formulas, are another type of hypoallergenic baby formula that provides your precious little one with nutrition in the form of individual amino acids rather than intact milk proteins.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are processed by infants' digestive systems as much smaller particles - unlike the intact proteins that can cause allergic reactions. This type of HA formula is usually reserved for babies with severe cases of CMPA who cannot tolerate hydrolyzed formulas.
Dairy-free or plant-based formula is a hypoallergenic baby formula that contains no dairy ingredients or lactose for infants allergic to cow's milk proteins, are lactose intolerant or are medically required to follow avegan or plant-based diet.
To nourish little ones with severe dairy allergies, dairy-free formulas use alternative plant-based protein sources like soy, rice, hydrolyzed rice, hydrolyzed pea, or hydrolyzed potato proteins. These proteins provide the necessary amino acids and carbs for your baby's growth and development, compensating for the lack of milk protein.
While dairy-free formulas are suitable for infants with a cow milk allergy, it's important to note that some infants with CMPA may also have soy allergies or other allergies to specific plant-based proteins. In such cases, other types of hypoallergenic formulas, such as amino acid-based formulas, may be recommended by your baby's doctor instead.
Soy-based baby formula uses soy protein isolate from soybeans as an alternative to cow's milk protein, making them a possible feeding alternative for babies struggling with lactose intolerance or CMPA. However, 30% to 50% of babies with CMPA also have a soy allergy, so it is essential to ensure your baby is not one of them before feeding them soy-based formulas.
Another hypoallergenic baby formula that is designed to compensate for the lack of milk protein is hydrolyzed rice protein formula. This baby formula is made from rice protein that is broken down into smaller molecules through hydrolysis processing so that they are easier for tiny tummies to digest.
Rice-based formulas are designed to meet all the nutritional needs of little ones as they continue to grow, all while avoiding exposing them to the allergenic proteins found in cow's milk.
These are hypoallergenic baby formulas designed for infants with lactose intolerance or difficulty digesting lactose. Lactose-free formulas are crafted by removing lactose and replacing it with other carbohydrate sources, such as corn syrup solids, glucose, or maltodextrin, making them easier to digest.
Alternatively, reduced-lactose baby formulas contain a lower amount of lactose than regular cow's milk-based formulas. These formulas would work well for your baby if they were to have a mild sensitivity to lactose but can still tolerate small amounts of it.
The following are answers to some common questions parents have about HA formula and when to use it!
How do I know if my baby needs hypoallergenic formula?
If your baby displays any of the allergy symptoms discussed in this article, please consult your healthcare provider to determine if your baby has a milk protein allergy. Based on their diagnosis, your doctor can guide you as to whether a hypoallergenic infant formula is necessary.
Is HiPP an organic hypoallergenic formula?
HiPP special formulas (HA and Comfort) are not organic formula options due to the way the milk proteins have been treated. However, they are free of GMOs and produced in alignment with HiPP's high quality, safety, and nutritional standards.
I'm thinking of switching to a hypoallergenic baby formula. How do I do it?
Usually, it is best to transition your baby gradually when switching formulas. However, if you suspect that your baby's current regular milk formula is causing them an allergic reaction, then it is best to discontinue use immediately and switch them over to an HA formula. This should, of course, be done after getting your pediatrician's approval.
How quickly does hypoallergenic formula work?
Typically if your baby has CMPA and is switched to a hypoallergenic formula, they will start to feel better within 48 hours. They will be less fussy and colicky within this duration, but other symptoms, such as blood in their poop or skin issues, may take up to four weeks to clear up.
Can my baby react to a hypoallergenic formula?
The gentle nature of the hypoallergenic formula's composition makes it better tolerated by babies. However, if the HA formula doesn't suit your little one, speak to your healthcare provider to find an alternative solution.
Choosing the right formula for your baby is crucial for their health and well-being. If you suspect that your baby is experiencing allergic reactions or digestive issues from their current formula, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action.
HiPP offers a range of hypoallergenic formulas specially crafted to address different dietary needs and sensitivities. HiPP hypoallergenic formulas are available in Dutch and German variations and are made with extensively hydrolyzed milk proteins to minimize the risk of allergic reactions.
HiPP Comfort formula provides a reduced lactose content and easily digestible fat structure for babies with common digestive intolerances to ensure their comfort and well-being. Explore the HiPP special formulas on our online shop and consult your pediatrician to find the best hypoallergenic formula for your baby. Your little one deserves the best nutrition to thrive!
Please be aware that this information is based on general trends in babies, and it is not medical advice. Your doctor should be your first source of information and advice when considering any changes to your child’s formula and when choosing your child’s formula. Always consult your pediatrician before making any decisions about your child’s diet or if you notice any changes in your child.
Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for your baby because breast milk provides your child with all the essential nutrients they need for growth and development. Please consult your pediatrician if your child requires supplemental feeding.