Baby Formula Thickener (4 Best Thickeners)

Baby formula thickener is a term used for thickening agents mixed with breast milk and standard infant formula.

Thickeners are used to facilitate the easy passage of breast milk or standard infant formula down your baby’s esophagus.

Research has shown that some commercially prepared thickening agents help manage regurgitation, but you should use them under close medical supervision.

Parents are advised not to use these thickening agents as the sole source of nutrition.

We will be looking at some of the best baby formula thickeners you can use to manage the regurgitation of your baby.

Baby Formula Thickener: All You Need To Know

As their names imply, baby formula thickeners are thickening agents that help thicken or solidify breast milk and formula.

They add consistency to the breast milk or formula; they may be in the form of powdered or sometimes gel-like form.

The thickening action on breast milk and formula makes the breast milk and formula have the physical texture of honey or nectar.

If you’re wondering why the need to thicken breast milk and formula? It is simply to aid babies to avoid gastroesophageal reflux or regurgitation in babies.

Some babies need thickened food as thickening helps them swallow their food, milk, and formula comfortably in this scenario.

Best Baby Formula Thickeners

1. GelMix

This is a thickener for breast milk and formula, and it thickens breast milk and formula for infants with reflux or swallowing difficulties.

It is advised that you consult your baby’s pediatrician before using this product to ensure that it is appropriate for your baby’s individual needs.

Things to keep in mind while using this product 

  • Gelmix has the unique characteristic of not breaking down amylase in breast milk, and it also maintains the nutritional balance of your baby’s natural diet.
  • It is also suitable for babies with pediatric gastroesophageal reflux and oropharyngeal dysphagia.
  • This product shouldn’t be used for preterm infants unless they have reached at least 6 pounds in weight and a corrected age of 2 weeks.
  • This product is made from Organic Tapioca, Maltodextrin, Organic Craob, Bean Gum, and Calcium Carbonate.
  • This thickener is free from all common allergens, including gluten, soy, dairy, and corn.
  • It is GMO-free and Vegan, and it doesn’t contain starch and Xanthan Gum.
  • There are side effects that may emanate from the usage of this product, like gassiness and loose stool at the start but do not be afraid; these side effects usually subside on their own within 1-2weeks after initial opening.
  • Affordable. You can buy it here on Amazon

Direction of Use

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before preparing food.
  • Fill the bottle with the desired lukewarm liquid (about 100°F). Breast milk expressed at body temperature is sufficient.
  • Sprinkle in Gelmix powder following usage recommendations. Cap and shake well for about 30 seconds until powder is completely dissolved. Work quickly to avoid clumps.
  • Wait 5-10 minutes until desired consistency is reached. Mix again before feeding. Always test temperature before feeding.

2. Aptamil Feed Thickener

This thickener is regarded as a premium specialty thickening agent. According to the manufacturers, you can use it to mix breast milk, standard formula, or specialty infant formulas. And the reason for use is to help your baby manage regurgitation.

Feeding Guide

For breastfed infants:

Aptamil Feed Thickener can be used in a variety of ways, and these ways include:

  • Mix the product with a small amount of cooled boiled water and feed it to your baby as a gel before, during, or directly after the breastfeeding session.
  • Mix the product with a small amount of expressed breast milk and feed it to your baby as a gel before, during, or directly after the breastfeeding session.
  • Mix it with expressed breast milk to thicken the feed.

For formula-fed infants:

Aptamil Feed Thickener can thicken standard infant formula products or specialty formulas. If an infant is on a standard formula and needs a thickened feed, a formula that already contains thickener, such as Aptamil Gold+ Reflux Infant formula, is recommended.

Things to keep in mind while using this product

  • Please do not use it to substitute breast milk or infant formula. Use it as an accompaniment to your breast milk or infant formula.
  • It is advisable and pertinent that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as failure to do so may cause harm to your baby.
  • This product was primarily designed to be used under medical supervision. You should seek and obtain the consent of your pediatrician before using this product.
  • This product, according to its manufacturer, is not suitable for babies born prematurely.
  • The tin format is 380g.

Direction of Use

  • Use expressed breast milk, or prepare formula as directed.
  • Add one scoop (8 g) per 200 ml of breast milk or formula to the bottle. Shake vigorously.

It is recommended to use a fast-flow or variable-flow teat unless otherwise instructed. The thickened feed will continue thickening after preparation.

Follow instructions as recommended. Do not change the proportions of powder except if your healthcare provider recommends it.

3. Aptamil Anti-Reflux Thickener

This thickener is suitable for use from birth, especially for babies that throw up a large amount of food after a meal.

It contains locust bean gum and is also suitable for expressed breast milk. The good thing about this thickener is that it can be fed before a meal or even added to the bottle feed.

This baby thickener can be mixed with boiled water, baby formula, or expressed breast milk.

Keep in mind that this product should be used under medical supervision and shouldn’t be used for premature babies.

Things to keep in mind while using this product

  • It reduces regurgitation episodes. This formula is the only formula thickened with carob bean gum, a noncaloric thickener, which resists digestion in the mouth & maintains thickness in the stomach.
  • Do not use Aptamil Anti-reflux thickener with Aptamil Anti-Reflux complete food or Aptamil Comfort.
  • Clean and sterilize bottles and teats before use.
  • Every serving must be fresh.
  • Do not give your infant leftover as germs may develop while the thickener seats.
  • It is nutritionally complete. It can be used from birth to 6 months or as part of a mixed diet from 6-12 months.
  • This thickener’s constituent is made from carbohydrates and shouldn’t come in contact with your baby’s teeth as it could cause tooth decay if it sits for an extended period.
  • This thickener is not suitable for general use and should be used under medical supervision, and is not recommended for infants with a diagnosed cows’ milk protein allergy.

Direction of Use

  1. Wash hands before preparing the feed. Sterilize all utensils by boiling for 5 minutes or using a manufacturer-approved sterilizer.
  2. Boil drinking water and allow to cool to feeding temperature. Fill a sterilized feeding bottle with the required amount of water.
  3. Avoid compacting the powder. Use only the enclosed scoop. Fill the scoop lightly and use the leveler to level it off.
  4. Shake the bottle for 20 seconds with the cap on. Allow it to sit for up to 7 minutes to thicken. Always add 1 level scoop of powder for each 50mL of water.
  5. Test temperature on wrist before feeding. Feed immediately (do not store). Discard unfinished feeds.

Prepare each bottle separately. It is safer to use Aptamil Gold+ Reflux immediately after it is prepared.

It is recommended to use a fast-flow or variable-flow teat for this formula. After preparation, the formula will thicken and remain thick in the stomach.

For Storage:

Store in a cool, dry place. You must use the container by the date printed on the bottom.

Containers should be kept airtight and used within four weeks after opening. Some settling of the powder may occur.

4. Cow and Gate Instant Carobel

This is a baby formula thickener suitable for breastfed and bottle-fed infants. Its reason for manufacture is to serve as dietary management of chronic and recurrent vomiting and rumination.

Feeding Guide

In a bottlefeed:

  • Prepare the infant milk according to the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Add Instant Cow and Carobel as indicated
  • Shake vigorously for 30-60 seconds
  • Leave it to thicken (3-5 minutes)
  • Then shake and serve
  • Do not heat in a microwave. This may cause hot spots and cause scalding

As Paste or Spoonfeed:

  • This method is best for breastfed infants and maybe the best method for bottle-fed infants
  • It is best suited for first weaning foods that have too liquid a consistency and for older children and adults
  • Stir and leave it to sit for 3-5 minutes to thicken
  • Stir it again and feed immediately by spoon, before and during the meal

Things to keep in mind while using this product 

  • This product is suitable for full-term infants, children, and adults.
  • It is not recommended for use with preterm or low birthweight babies since no clinical data is available to support its use with these infants.
  • It contains Maltodextrin, Carob bean gum, Calcium carbonate, Iron sulfate, zinc, and copper.
  • It must be used strictly used under medical supervision.
  • Not suitable as a sole source of nutrition

Storage

Store in a cool, dry place but do not refrigerate. Fold bag and close box top. Use within four weeks of opening. Please see the packaging for further information.

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Wind Up

I hope that your question on baby formula thickener has been answered. Remember that these thickeners should be administered to your infants under medical supervision.

All the baby formula thickeners mentioned in this article can serve perfectly; you have to stick to the manufacturer’s instructions if you do not want any harm to come to your baby.

Do not use thickeners as a substitute for breast milk or infant formula. It should be used as an accompaniment to your breast milk or infant formula.