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How to manage colic in formula-fed infants

8 mins


  • 1 in 6 families seek help and advice about managing colic in babies1 and this mild digestive disorder is a frequent contributor to the need for healthcare professional consultations.

  • SMA® Comfort Formula has been designed to address some of the multifactorial causes of colic and constipation in formula-fed infants.

  • Alongside expert healthcare professionals, we have created a variety of resources to help you support parents

mother comforting her crying baby

Reassuring parents of infants with colic and constipation

Up to 78% of formula-fed infants have more than one feeding issue2

Colic is common in newborns and affects 20% of babies in the first few months of life, while constipation in babies can affect 15%3. The continuous inconsolable crying of an infant without obvious cause is the first identifying factor of baby colic . All this crying can be very difficult for parents to manage and creates a real concern.

In >90% of cases, treatment consists of helping the parent/caregiver get through this challenging period in the baby's development4.

Advice focuses on reassuring parents and recommending techniques that may help soothe the crying infant4. In formula-fed infants, if these interventions have not helped to reduce colic and parents are still struggling to cope then a comfort formula such as SMA® Comfort Formula could be a useful option to consider.

SMA Comfort 800 g Powder

SMA® Comfort Formula is a unique combination of ingredients proven to help manage symptoms of colic and constipation.5-10

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Click the link below to download an infographic for managing colic in formula fed infants.

  1. Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. Management of Infantile Colic [Online]. 2013. Available At: (Accessed October 2023).

  2. Bellaiche M, et al Acta Paediatr 2018;107:1276-1282.

  3. Vandenplas Y et al. JPGN 2015 (61); 5: 531–537

  4. Benninga M et al. Gastroenterology 2016;150: 1443–1455.

  5. Billeaud C et al. Gastric emptying in infants with or without gastro-oesophageal reflux according to the type of milk. Eur J Clin Nutr 1990; 44: 577–583.

  6. Chao et al. Therapeutic effect of Novalac-IT in infants with constipation. Nutrition 2007;23:469–473.

  7. Infante et al. Modification of stool’s water content in constipated infants: management with an adapted infant formula. Nutrition Journal 2011; 10:55-8.

  8. Benninga MA; MENA Infant Constipation Study Group, Vandenplas Y. The Magnesium-Rich Formula for Functional Constipation in Infants: a Randomized Comparator-Controlled Study. Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition 2019 May;22(3):270-281.

  9. Kanabar D et al. Improvement of symptoms in infant colic following reduction of lactose load with lactase. J Hum Nutr Dietet 2001; 14: 359-363.

  10. Moro G, et al. Dosage-related bifidogenic effects of galacto- and fructooligosaccharides in formula-fed term infants. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2002 Mar;34(3):291-5.


We believe that breastfeeding is the ideal nutritional start for babies as breast milk provides a balanced diet and protection against illness for a baby. We fully support the World Health Organization’s recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life fol-lowed by the introduction of adequate nutritious complementary foods along with sustained breastfeeding up to two years of age. We also recognise that breastfeeding may not be an option due to certain medical conditions. Parents should only feed Infant formula for spe-cial medical purposes under supervision of a healthcare professional after full considera-tion of all feeding options, including breastfeeding. Continued use must be assessed by the healthcare professional in relation to the baby's progress bearing in mind any social and financial implications for the family. Infant formula should always be prepared, used and stored as instructed on the label in order to avoid risks to a baby’s health. This product must be used under medical supervision. SMA® Comfort is a special formula intended for the dietary management of bottle-fed babies with colic and constipation. It is suitable as the sole source of nutrition up to 6 months of age, and in conjunction with solid food up to 12 months of age.