After reading this section, you will have a better understanding of:
  • The feeding problems that babies can encounter, including colic, reflux, allergies and intolerances, constipation and diarrhoea
  • The nutritional needs of babies who experience these problems
  • Why some babies fail to thrive
  • The needs of pre-term/low birthweight babies
  • The specialist formula milks available to parents with babies suffering from these problems.


1. Coping with colic

Colic affects up to one in five babies, making it one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints in babies.

2. Reflux

Reflux, or gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR), affects 30 per cent of infants. Also called regurgitation, it occurs when the stomach contents are brought back up into the oesophagus or mouth.

3. Constipation

It can be difficult to know what’s ‘normal’ when it comes to an infant’s bowel movements. The frequency and consistency of stools can vary, but symptoms of constipation are easy to spot.

4. Diarrhoea

It is quite normal to see some variation in the consistency of a baby’s stools, but if there is a sudden change in consistency to loose or watery stools, it is classed as diarrhoea.

5. Lactose intolerance

Food allergies and food intolerances are not the same and it is essential to understand how to distinguish between the two conditions.

6. Cows' milk allergy

Cows’ milk allergy, also known as cows’ milk protein allergy, is the most common food allergy in infants and is more frequently seen in formula-fed than breastfed babies.

7. Infant eczema

When discussing infant formula milks, you may not automatically think of atopic eczema. Yet intact cows’ milk protein can increase the risk of eczema in babies with a family history of allergy

8. Faltering growth

Most babies lose weight after birth and then start regaining it at around two weeks of age. However, faltering growth (or failure to thrive) is when a baby does not gain weight at the expected rate.

9. Pre-term/ low birthweight babies

The phrase ‘pre-term’ applies to babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Pre-term babies have minimal body reserves of nutrients and immature body systems.

10. Ask the experts

If a baby requires a specialist milk, parents may have more questions than usual. Here’s what our experts advise for these common queries.

11. Training & CPD

The following practice points and questions can be used to enhance your knowledge of this section.

12. Product information Specialist milks

When babies are suffering from feeding problems, they may benefit from a nutritional solution rather than having to resort to medicines, which a healthcare professional can recommend.

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