The most likely reason that your baby formula is so foamy is your mixing method.
Mixing formula powder with water will often require shaking for it to mix up properly, and it’s the shaking that creates bubbles.
Powder formulas are more prone to becoming foamy than the liquid and ready to feed alternatives.
However, these alternatives are quite expensive and may not be sustainable for many families. For the powder formulas, some will foam up more than others.
Generally, the ones less likely to foam are the high-quality and certified organic types formulated for babies with gas and reflux issues.
Does Foamy Formula Cause Gas?
The foam in formula is made of air bubbles. When a baby swallows foamy formula, the tiny air bubbles go into their stomach, causing gas.
Gassiness is not harmful or dangerous, and some gassy babies don’t feel or show any discomfort.
However, other babies will experience what looks like the worst pain ever.
The bloating will make them squirm, and they’ll cry and stay restless until they have passed the gas.
Your baby might also spit up milk while burping. Getting rid of the foam in baby formula can save your baby from this suffering.
How to Get Rid of Foam in Formula
Mixing your baby’s formula properly is more important than worrying about the bubbles that will result.
When you notice formula stuck to the side of the bottle, you may be tempted to mix it more vigorously.
However, this will result in foam that will likely hurt your baby’s tummy.
As much as it’s challenging to avoid foamy formula entirely, you can do something about it.
Premix a Large Batch
One of the best ways to prevent foam in formula is by pre-mixing a large batch (a day’s worth) the night before.
Most babies take about 6 bottles. This pre-mixed formula is good for a maximum of 24 hours.
Keep the already mixed formula in the refrigerator overnight. This will give the bubbles time to dissipate.
Warm it Up
Warming the milk is another way to get rid of the bubbles.
You can do this even though the formula doesn’t require warming.
The ideal way to warm it is to place the formula bottle in a container with warm water before feeding.
Alternatively, you can also use a bottle warmer.
Scoop it Out
You can remove the foam is by simply scooping it out of the bottle with a sterilized BPA-free spoon.
The process may be tedious if the foam is a lot, and you have to get rid of all the bubbles, but it’s worth it if you want a happy baby.
Let it Sit
If you’re unable to make a large batch the day before, you can prepare just enough for your baby’s next feed at least 15 minutes before feeding time.
Even with careful mixing, you may have a few bubbles.
Getting it ready a little earlier before the baby’s feeding time will provide ample time for it to sit.
This will get rid of any floating bubbles. When preparing your baby’s formula in a rush, stirring it quickly will cause bubbles.
They contain simethicone, which breaks down air bubbles and other gases.
Simply squeeze 1-2 drops into the baby’s foamy formula and watch the bubbles disappear almost immediately. It’s safe for babies.
However, I recommend getting your baby’s pediatrician approval.
Some babies might react to these products.
Internal Vent Bottles
It turns out there are special bottles on the market that are designed to get rid of air bubbles.
The most popular ones are from Dr Brown. These bottles come in glass or plastic, featuring a tube or vent that eliminates air bubbles.
They also make pitchers for mixing the formula that reduces the air.
These are a worthy investment, especially if you have a colicky baby. They’ll save you sleepless nights.
How To Mix Formula Without Foam
Each type of formula comes with a recommended method of mixing it. However, things don’t always turn out as you’d hoped.
For example, you might get lumps of formula, after which you’ll decide to shake the bottle so hard and consequently end up with foamy formula.
Let’s look at a few tips to help you mix formula without foam.
Warm Water First
Using warm water makes it easier to mix the formula with water.
Start by pouring in some bit of the water needed to mix the formula in the bottle to warm it up.
Add the formula powder and swirl gently to combine the two. It will take a few minutes.
After they’ve adequately mixed, pour in the remaining cold or room temperature water into the formula.
After using the warm water method, instead of shaking, stir with a sterilized teaspoon or fork to minimize air bubbles.
Shaking the formula will cause pressure build up which results in air bubbles. You can also stir with a chopstick.
Some parents have noted that a mini whisk works wonders too. Stir gently until the liquid is smooth.
Use Two Bottles
Let’s say you finished mixing; maybe you even forgot and shook the formula a bit. Well, no need to panic. Set the bottle down for about a minute or so.
Get another bottle and pour the formula in there. You’ll realize that most of the foam will remain in the first bottle, and you’ll have a flat liquid in the second bottle.
It seems like a lot of work because who wants to wash more dishes? A happy tummy is worth it.
If you mixed the formula in a cup or pitcher, you’ll need to pour it into the baby’s feeding bottle. The way you pour it matters.
Make sure that while pouring, the cup is as close to the bottle opening as possible. Pour it in slowly so that the liquid doesn’t trap air on its way in.
If you pour the formula from high above the bottle, the impact when it hits the bottom of the bottle will cause air bubbles.
Swirl the formula
Swirling the bottle from side to side will greatly reduce the gas in your baby’s formula. However, you need to be careful with this method. Always check for formula clumps before feeding your baby.
If you are formula feeding your little one, its normal to get some frothiness when mixing the formula.
However, some baby formulas are foamier than others and may bring about digestion complications. Yes, foamy formula is bad for your baby and you should always try to make formula less foamy.