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The Thursday Review, Twins/Toddler Tuesday

I Can’t Believe It Was The Iron Fortified Formula!

poop4When buying formula there are so many brands and types to choose one it is easy to be overwhelmed. I thought buying the one with the most “stuff” (added iron, omegas, calcium, etc.) meant it was better for my babies. Turns out I was wrong.

When my son was a baby he had trouble pooping. He could turn red, shake, cry and even scream. He ate prunes every day, drank lots of liquids but he still had trouble. I remember feeling so bad holding him in my arms, feeling helpless while he cried his eyes out.

I did some reading and research about the problem, but it seemed like there was nothing more I could do.

Thank goodness he eventually grew out of it.

So when the twins started poop3having the same problems I was not surprised. My father in law made a joke that our kids are defective because they can’t poop!

It was horrible, they would cry and scream and I don’t blame them because when I went to change their diapers their poop was hard as a rock.  Once again, I wanted to help them, but I didn’t know what to do.

Then one day, after all this time, I found that it wasn’t my kids, it was the iron-fortified formula I had been feeding them.

I don’t know why I didn’t consider it before.  When I had to be on iron supplements when I was pregnant I hated it because it made me bloated and I had some GI issues. In fact, with Sawyer I stopped taking them because I hated the side effects so much. With the twins, I sucked it up because it was a multiple pregnancy.

I suppose I didn’t consider the formula because, to be fair, my kids did have some trouble pooping when they were on breast milk as well, so it wasn’t an easy connection.

After realizing it was the formula I vaguely remembered the last time I was researching caused of baby constipation.  I actually remember reading iron-fortified formula can cause problems, but I poop2guess in my tired, hazy state back then I couldn’t think straight and I misunderstood. When I read “iron-fortified formula”, I thought that just meant formula in general (since I only bought iron fortified, that meant formula to me). I didn’t stop to consider that it meant iron-fortified formula as opposed to non fortified.

Plus, formula in general as the cause made sense. Of course formula would be harder on them than the breast milk they were raised on. But since I needed to work and had no time to pump I figured we just had to continue with the formula and power through.

It wasn’t until recently that an article about it poop5popped up in my Feedly that I read and all the sudden I made the connection. The light bulb went on and I realized that there was something I could do.

I researched it and iron is important for babies.  But regular formula does have iron in it (iron-fortified has about three times as much).  Under normal circumstances I would still buy the iron fortified formula, but if it means my children can’t go to the washroom properly and are in agonizing distress every time they have to poop, it’s just not worth it.

So we switched off the iron fortified formula post-haste and to my elation the symptoms got better.  It was amazing. We switched at night and both had pooped normally by noon the next day. That quick. They don’t get bloated and cry anymore, and as for drinking it, they didn’t even notice the difference.

So learn from my mistakes. If your baby is having trouble going to the washroom, check that can of formula. If it is iron fortified, you may have found your culprit.

Happy Feeding!

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.


7 thoughts on “I Can’t Believe It Was The Iron Fortified Formula!

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I think.its important for this imformation to come across in a basic way

    Posted by journey2dfuture | December 3, 2013, 2:35 pm
  2. Wow, this is really good information. Little Dude is a poop champion, but who knows, perhaps a next baby won’t be 😉

    Posted by mommytrainingwheels | December 3, 2013, 9:10 pm
  3. I had this issue with my oldest. Thankfully numbers 2 and 3 are fine in that area! I’m glad you solved the issue and made life easier on everyone. A constipated baby is no fun for anyone.

    Posted by MommaNeedsCoffee | December 3, 2013, 9:13 pm
    • No it isn’t! I wish I could have figured it out for my son, but at least things are better for the girls. I wonder if the fact that I have low iron affected them in some way during pregnancy? Huh. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Posted by Shannon | December 3, 2013, 9:23 pm


  1. Pingback: Baby Milestones: The Girls At 12 Months Old | A Game of Diapers - January 19, 2014

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