Nutramigen vs Alimentum—Best Formula for Cow’s Milk Allergy
If your baby has a milk allergy, it can be a really difficult time to get through.
Baby will become uncomfortable, get an allergic reaction, and may even have difficult breathing.
But don’t worry!
There are many specialized formulas that can help, that are packed with all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs, and minus the stuff that’s making their tummy upset (and wreaking havoc on your life).
Nutramigen vs Alimentum
#1. Nutramigen Formula
The best of the best if your baby has a milk allergy, Nutramigen (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a trusted brand for sensitive tummies that simply can’t handle the milk allergy.
The formula works fast—most moms claim to see a huge improvement in just 48 hours.
Overtime, Nutramigen helps your baby build up a tolerance to cow’s milk, so they can try to be weaned off of it around their first birthday (with your pediatrician’s recommendation).
The formula has a probiotic (LGG) in it, so it promotes healthy bacteria in your tot’s tummy while keeping them regular.
In addition to its probiotic, the formula boasts proteins that are easy to digest and are hypoallergenic.
It has lots of nutrients like choline and DHA (which comes widely recommended by experts and doctors), and comes in a powder form.
The powder can tend to clump up if you use a baby formula dispenser/bottle maker system, so it’s not suggested to be used in it (so just measure and mix it by hand).
Nutramigen also has an awful smell, but it doesn’t seem to affect your baby as they drink it (but just a fair warning!)
While paying a lot of formula stinks, it is totally necessary in order to support the health and well-being of your infant.
Clip coupons, sigh up for a subscription plan, and buy in bulk when possible to save as much as you can on this amazing formula.
#2. Similac Alimentum
The other big name in this market is Similac, another brand you can trust, which also has a great formula for babies with a milk allergy—Alimentum (click here to check the price on Amazon).
Like Nutramigen, this formula is also expensive, but is slightly more reasonable than some other specialized formulas on the market.
Again, you can use Amazon’s Subscribe and Save since your baby will be on this formula for a year.
In addition to helping babies with cow’s milk allergy, the formula is great for babies who are colicky (which usually goes hand in hand).
The powdered formula is lactose-free and its milk protein is fully broken down so babies are not put in danger of having an allergic reaction.
Moms have noticed less crying and fussiness after bottles and they love the additional iron that is added to all the vitamins and nutrients.
Because this is a specialized formula, it too has a slight odor (but not harmful) and should only be measured and mixed by hand.
Sometimes, certain formulas just don’t agree with babies (even if they are specialized), so Similac has a return program (just read into their specifics) in case you buy in bulk and need to return the unused canisters (most other brands will not do this).
What is Cow’s Milk Allergy?
If your baby has a cow’s milk allergy, it will be pretty easy to spot, because it will mean that they cannot tolerate a certain protein that exists in the milk.
This makes their immune system overreact, causing an allergic reaction if the protein is consumed.
This allergy is fairly rare in infants, but it develops within the first year of their life.
You may suspect an allergy if your baby starts to develop a rash or hives (especially right after a bottle). They may squirm a lot because they are itchy or they experience lots of swelling.
More severe symptoms can also appear, such as wheezing, difficulty with breathing, or even loss of consciousness, which could even lead to death.
A milk allergy is no joke and should always be taken seriously.
Many times, parents confuse milk intolerance with a milk allergy.
If your baby is lactone intolerant, they are missing an important enzyme that breaks down lactose. This makes babies bloated, gassy, crampy, and extremely fussy.
This can be pretty uncomfortable for your baby, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a full fledge allergy.
An allergy is much more serious and can be life threatening, so it’s necessary a baby is put on a specialized formula.
How Switching Formulas Can Help
You should notice a tremendous difference by switching formula.
There are formulas on the market that are hydrolyzed and are casein-based, which means this kind of formula already has broken down the protein fully.
It’s different than the milk protein and it rarely causes a reaction.
Milk-free formulas have all the necessary nutrients like the other standard formulas on the market, so your baby will be getting everything their bodies need with every sip.
If your baby is not allergic to soy, many doctors actually will put them on a soy-based formula first to see if it agrees with them.
Often pediatricians try this because it is more cost effective, as milk-free formulas can get pretty pricey.
When you switch your formula, don’t expect a miracle overnight.
But, you should notice improvement everyday with your baby’s symptoms (especially fussiness).
By the end of a week, you should not see any kind of rash or hives, and their breathing should be strong and of normal cadence.
Will My Insurance Cover a Specialized Formula?
Many moms don’t know this, but if you have insurance, the company may cover a specialized formula if your baby has a documented allergy.
As I said before, these canisters can really add up.
But, they are medically necessary for your child.
Certain insurance plans have coverage built in, while others do not.
Simply access your insurance card and dial the number on the back to explain your situation to an agent (and be sure to offer up the medical diagnosis and documents that proves your child’s allergy).
While the formula may not be covered at 100%, some companies will cover a portion per year (which is better than nothing).
All in all, it’s definitely worth the time and effort to make the phone call!
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It can be really heartbreaking and frustrating if your baby has a cow’s milk allergy.
The good news is that there are some amazing formulas on the market that are safe to feed your baby that do not sacrifice quality, and that will make it seem like you have a completely different baby on your hands!