Learn about different baby formula options for baby feeding issues with Dr. Morchower, a pediatrician and author. He discusses when and why to change feeding techniques and explains what type of formula may help for each issue. Depending on your baby's issue, Gentlease®, Nutramigen®, ProSobee®, and A.R.® are there to help.

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Dr. Gary Morchower

Dr. Gary Morchower

Dr. Morchower is the co-founder of Richardson Pediatrics in Dallas, Texas, and is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He is Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Past President of The Pediatric Society of Greater Dallas. Dr. Morchower has received numerous awards, served on many boards, and was named one of the Best Pediatricians in Dallas seven consecutive times. He is the author of The 1001 Healthy Baby Answers: Pediatricians' Answers to All the Questions You Didn't Know to Ask. He and his wife Bette have been married for 35 years and have a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Karen, who are both successful doctors.

Video Transcript

(Wording may vary slightly from the video.)

HOST: I'm Natalie, your host for The Inside Track, a series of videos that will help you learn about easing the feeding issues that may be affecting your baby. Everyone wants peaceful feeding times and happy babies, but that's not always the case. When my daughter had some issues, her pediatrician was a real help. So let's talk to Dr. Gary Morchower, a pediatrician and author who's seen it all.

HOST: During your 42 years as a doctor, it's probably safe to say that you've solved what...thousands of feeding issues?

DR. MORCHOWER: And answered thousands of questions which is why I wrote my book, What I Wish Every Mom Would Ask Me: Questions to Ask Your Child's Doctor at Every Visit.

HOST: Give me that! I always leave the doctor's office wishing I'd asked just one more question.

DR. MORCHOWER: And that's why I wrote the book! But back to your question, feeding issues are one of the top reasons moms come to see me.

HOST: So based on your experience, what are the most common signs?

DR. MORCHOWER: While feeding issues can seem devastating to moms, there's usually an approach that works fairly fast. And most often moms are concerned about fussiness and gas. I also hear quite a bit about babies who spit up frequently or have colic — meaning excessive crying around feeding times or even afterwards.

HOST: It's so hard to see your little baby feeling bad. I understand!

DR. MORCHOWER: First, I reassure the mom that feeding issues are common. And that addressing them usually doesn't require putting the baby through a lot of tests. If the baby is being formula fed, we may change formulas.

HOST: And what if the mom is breastfeeding?

DR. MORCHOWER: Then we can experiment with making some changes in her diet or in the way she's feeding her baby. Those are my first steps. The good news is that there are a lot of simple things we can do to get baby back on track.

HOST: Why do some formula fed babies have issues with regular formulas?

DR. MORCHOWER: Certain babies experience a lot of fussiness and gas when their digestive system is still developing. Although these issues usually improve over time, I frequently recommend that these moms first try a partially hydrolyzed formula like Enfamil® Gentlease®.

HOST: I've heard of Gentlease. Does that just mean it's gentle on the stomach?

DR. MORCHOWER: Well, yes, it is gentle. And that's because its partially broken down protein is easy to digest. The technical word for this is partially hydrolyzed protein. Gentlease is my go-to formula because it's so easy on a baby's digestive system that it's even preferred by some moms whose babies don't have a feeding issue. Maybe it worked well for one of their older children so they decided to use it for their next baby — and that's perfectly fine since it does offer complete nutrition like a regular formula.

HOST: What if the symptoms are worse — like in babies with colic?

DR. MORCHOWER: When symptoms include longer periods of crying or skin problems like a rash or eczema, we frequently find out the baby has an allergy or a sensitivity to milk protein and go to Nutramigen, a special hypoallergenic formula with extensively broken down proteins. I've seen Nutramigen manage colic fast — often within 48 hours.

HOST: What if the mom is breastfeeding?

DR. MORCHOWER: She could eliminate dairy products from her diet — with her doctor's help in replacing those nutrients. In some severe cases, that may not be enough and an extensively hydrolyzed formula like Nutramigen may be in order.

HOST: I used to hear a lot about soy formulas. Are they still used?

DR. MORCHOWER: For some babies with fussiness and gas, a soy formula like Enfamil ProSobee is an option. It's milk and suitable for someone with lactose intolerance and certain babies with a sensitivity to lactose just do better on it. For others it's a dietary choice because it's a vegetarian source of protein.

HOST: I've heard friends mention adding rice cereal to formula when babies spit up. What do you think of that?

DR. MORCHOWER: While that sometimes helps with spit-up, the addition of rice cereal turns a formula into something that's very high in carbohydrates and calories, leading to more weight gain than we like to see.

HOST: You're right. I hadn't really thought about that. So what other options are there?

DR. MORCHOWER: We often try a formula like Enfamil A.R.® that's clinically proven to reduce spit-up while still providing the balanced nutrition babies need to grow and develop. So luckily we now have better alternatives.

HOST: So when you suggest a switch, how long does it take to tell if it's working?

DR. MORCHOWER: Sometimes changes occur in a day, but give it at least a few days. And by a change, I mean that whatever symptoms the baby was experiencing — excessive crying, spit-up, skin rashes — they subside and things start to look more positive.

HOST: So do most babies stay on the formula that's helped their feeding issue?

DR. MORCHOWER: I'd say most of them do because once we find the right fit, moms are so happy that it's working that they stick with the formula. When recommending a change to something like Gentlease or another Enfamil Solutions formula, I make sure they know that these formulas are patterned after breast milk and the only necessary changes are made to help the feeding issue. They have nutrients like DHA, ARA, choline and vitamin D. So moms feel secure in the knowledge that their baby is receiving complete nutrition for growth and milestone development.

HOST: And once they're on the right formula, the problem usually doesn't come back?

DR. MORCHOWER: When a feeding issue has been managed and the right formula found, the good news is that it seldom returns.

HOST: Dr. Morchower, thank you so much for your expertise. Now that you have a better idea of how to address your baby's feeding issues, check out our next video Getting Back on Track. During this episode, I'll be talking with Dr. Scott Cohen, a renowned pediatrician and best-selling author. Thanks for joining us at The Inside Track.