Can Baby Formula Cause Congestion?

Posted by Rachel Horon on

Can Baby Formula Cause Congestion?

Can feeding your baby formula cause them to get more ear infections and congestion? Find out what is fact and what is fiction.

Many women choose to breastfeed their baby so that their little one can get all of the immunity boosting antibodies that comes from breast milk. Some choose to breastfeed because they heard that babies who drink formula are more likely to be congested than breastfed babies. The best thing to do is to figure out the medical fact and the old wives' tales.

Question: Does Baby Formula Cause Ear Infection?

Answer: No. Some people may confuse ear infections with the use of baby formula because of how they are drinking, not what they are drinking. When a child is breastfed, they are more likely to have the attention of the mother who is making sure they are latching on and swallowing whatever is in their mouth. Babies who have their bottle propped up are more likely to have the formula dribble down their cheek and into their ear canal while they are lying down. It can harbor bacteria and turn into an ear infection. This is one of the reasons why pediatricians strongly discourage bottle propping for any reason. Babies should be propped up in your arm or baby seat during feeding.

Question: Does Baby Formula Cause Congestion?

Answer: No. There is no medical evidence that connects baby formula to congestion. There is truth that breastfed babies are less likely to have upper respiratory infections, but chest congestion in infants can be the result of regurgitated milk or excess saliva.

Question: Do Babies Who are Breastfed Get Congested?

Answer: Yes. Parents on social media have often posted concerns about their child's congestion. They can be children who are breastfed exclusively, supplemented with formula, or formula-fed exclusively.

What Can You Do If Your Baby is Congested?

Your pediatrician can give you tips to make your baby comfortable. Saline drops, aspirator, and vaporizers are a few safe tools for your baby. Elevating the crib mattress can help them breathe easier while they sleep without the risk of bringing pillows or blankets into the crib. Check for other symptoms including fever, wheezing, vomiting, or exhaustion from breathing.

Your doctor can rule out allergy, bronchiolitis, and even the common cold. They can also determine if your baby's formula, or even breast milk, is the cause of congestion. Congestion can be a symptom of cow's milk allergy or reflux. If you are breastfeeding, you can eliminate dairy from your diet to see if it clears up. If your baby is formula-fed, your pediatrician can run a test to determine if it is a milk or milk protein allergy. If it is, they can recommend a formula that will not upset your baby's stomach and may relieve congestion symptoms.

 

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