Managing baby feeding issues

This section contains information and advice on common feeding issues in babies, and tips for diagnosis and management.

In the UK and Republic of Ireland, the Government recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months (26 weeks) of life.1,2 Some mothers may choose combination feeding with breast milk and infant formula, while others may exclusively bottle-feed.

For infants under 6 months, the only recommended alternative to breast milk is infant formula.

Constipation in babies

What advice can you give to mums with babies who have constipation?

Colic in babies

Do you see babies who cry excessively but are otherwise healthy, whose inconsolable crying can often cause their parents considerable stress and worry? These may be signs that a baby has colic. Find out how you can identify colic and the advice you can offer to support families who are affected by colic.

Reflux in babies

Posseting is normal in infants, but how can you tell when it is a sign of a more serious condition, such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disorder (GORD)? Find out what parents can do to manage infant reflux and how specially designed formulas can help in bottle-fed babies with significant reflux.

Lactose intolerance in babies

How can you tell when infant diarrhoea is due to lactose intolerance? Learn more about this condition, what causes it and the formulas designed for the dietary management of primary and secondary lactose intolerance in bottle-fed infants.

  1. Department of Health. Infant feeding recommendation. May 2003 Available here.
  2. Best Practice for Infant Feeding in Ireland. Food Safety Authority of Ireland, 2012.
  3. Iacono G et al. Dig Liver Dis 2005; 37: 432–438.
  4. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Clinical Knowledge Summary (CKS): Constipation in children. September 2010. Available here.
  5. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Clinical Guideline. Constipation in children and young people: Diagnosis and management of idiopathic childhood constipation in primary and secondary care (CG99). May 2010.
  6. Tabbers MM et al. JPGN 2014; 58: 258–274.
  7. NHS Choices. Colic. 2014. Available here.
  8. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Clinical Knowledge Summary (CKS): Colic - infantile. November 2014. Available here.
  9. Vandenplas Y et al. Nutrition 2013; 29: 184–194.
  10. Billeaud C et al. Eur J Clin Nutr 1990; 44: 577–583.
  11. Infante D et al. World J Gastroenterol 2011; 17: 2104–2108.
  12. Carnielli VP et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1996; 23: 553–560.
  13. Yao M et al. JPGN 2014; 59: 440–448.
  14. Limanovitz I et al. The effects of infant formula beta-palmitate structural position on bone speed of sound, anthropometrics and infantile colic: a double blind, randomized control trial. ESPGHAN 2011.
  15. Hyman PE et al. Gastroenterology 2006; 130: 1519–1526.
  16. Ramirez-Mayans J. J Int Pediatr 2003; 18: 78–83.
  17. Vandenplas Y et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2009; 49: 498–547.
  18. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Clinical Knowledge Summary: GORD in children. March 2015. Available here.
  19. Moukarzel A et al. J Clin Gastroenterol 2007; 41: 823–829.
  20. Xinias I et al. Curr Ther Res Clin Exp 2003; 64: 270–278.
  21. Heyman MB, Committee on Nutrition. Pediatrics 2006; 118: 1279–1286.
  22. Saneian H et al. Iran J Pediatr 2012; 22: 82–86.
  23. Huang Y, Xu JH. Chin J Contemp Pediatr 2009; 11: 532–536.
  24. Moya M et al. Acta Paediatr 1999; 88: 1211–1215.

*Ingredients of all formulas were confirmed by telephoning company carelines dedicated to answering queries about their products (March 2015)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breast milk is best for babies and breastfeeding should continue for as long as possible. Good maternal nutrition is important for the preparation and maintenance of breastfeeding. Introducing partial bottle-feeding may have a negative effect on breastfeeding and reversing a decision not to breastfeed is difficult. Caregivers should always seek the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian or pharmacist on the need for and proper method of use of infant milks and on all matters of infant feeding. Social and financial implications should be considered when selecting a method of infant feeding. Infant milk should always be prepared and used as directed. Inappropriate foods or feeding methods, or improper use of infant formula, may present a health hazard.