Formula: Why instead of goat's milk?

My son is six weeks old. I fed him Enfamil in the hospital. When I got home I switched to Similac and then to Carnation. After a few days, his stools became too much for him to pass.

I took him to the hospital and was told to give him extra water and use low-iron formula. They also told me to give him suppositories if he goes too long without a bowel movement. I have followed all the instructions, and nothing has changed. I tried the soy formula and this only caused him to constantly throw up.

My sisters had the same problem with their children. They suggested goat's milk. I did this and kept giving him a little extra water. This cleared him up for approximately two weeks, however his bowels have reverted back to being hard to pass. Do you have any suggestions??


Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

To begin with, it is important that you take your son off of the goat's milk and return him to formula. The composition and balance of nutrients in goat's milk is very inappropriate for babies, particularly young babies. It has a higher concentration of protein, chloride and potassium, which causes a dangerous load on the kidneys that can potentially lead to dehydration. It is also very low in folate.

Infant formulas are designed to meet all the nutrient needs of babies in a form that their body can tolerate. I suggest you return to the milk-based, low-iron, formula, being sure that it is diluted properly, and allowing him to take as much as he wants, in a relaxed environment. Keep in mind that formula-fed babies do not have as many bowel movements as breastfed babies and can go for a few days without passing a stool. If your baby's stools are not only few and far between, but also painful, difficult to pass and dry, you may try a little warmed, diluted prune juice first thing in the morning to see if that will help. Be sure to keep in touch with your pediatrician and consult with her first, before making formula changes for your baby.

Thank you for writing and I hope you are able to find a workable formula for your son that will help him to thrive.

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