View Full Version : Formula Question

01-23-2005, 12:41 AM

I am about to be a first time parent by adoption. We are adopting from China and the children tend to be lactose intolerant. So I am in search of lactose free (preferably non-soy) powdered formula. Now this is the real hook, I hear it should be in individually packaged because once a package of formula is openned it spoils if it is not kept properly.

I have no idea what I am talking about (I know that is probably obvious) but if anyone knows if such a thing exists, please let me know. I will be checking health food grocery stores that tend to have foods for those who are dairy/lactose free.


(I am re-posting this from the Feeding board)

01-23-2005, 01:09 AM
You can find regular formula in packets at Target, grocery stores etc. Many of the orphanages for "formula" give a mixture of sweetened powdered milk and rice cereal. Formula (actually all milk products but formula in particular) tends to be prohibitively expensive in China due to a lack of cows. In fact, our agency specifically told us not to bother bringing lactose free formula. I would personally recommend bringing an emergency supply of regular formula from the US and then asking your child's caretakers what they use (they could write it down for your guide). I would then slowly move your child over.

Also, because most likely your child has had milk prducts, they won't be lactose intolerant. Although it is true that lactose intolerance occurs significantly more in asian populations, it also usually does not develop until later in life. Many of Dh's (including DH) have some degree of lactose intolerance, but only one family member has had it since birth. For this family member, it resulted in hospitalization within the first week of life.

Finally, we were pretty sure that DS was lactose intolerant after returning home, because of frequent diarrhea. It turned out just to be trouble adjusting to the extreme change in diet.


01-23-2005, 01:37 AM
Yes. That certainly helps. I am also going to write my agency for a packing list. They usually send it with the referral but I am going back to school and by the time my referral comes it will be in full swing and I won't have as much time to research and make informed decisions.

I have another question. Do the packets ever go on sale? Target has the lowest price I have seen so far (still need to check Costco) and they are 9.79. I am wondering if looking for a sale is a waste of time.

Thanks again!

Kimberly H
01-23-2005, 08:59 AM
Stephanie, I agree that formula can spoil quickly but I think the single-serving packets are going to be major overkill. As long as you store the can of formula in a cool, dry place, you should be fine.

You may find you are referred an older baby and not need formula for long anyway. Mia was almost 14 months when we arrived in China and she was only on formula for a couple of months, more for my peace of mind than her need, and the bottle lasted that long too.

In our travel group of 16 families, we have one baby that's proven to be lactose intolerant and one baby whose pediatrician is Chinese and immediately put that baby on soy when she got home (just as she did for their first adopted DD). Mia was just tested for lactose intolerance after a bad bout of diarrhea and removing milk products did nothing for her so we're back on 2% milk again, happily.

Good luck and happy referral vibes coming your way!

01-23-2005, 11:45 AM
I do think a sale is probably not going to happen. Some manufacturers will send you coupons. I have to admit that, like Kimberly, I didn't take the packets, although I considered it. DS was older, only took two bottles a day, and gave up one voluntarily by the time we left China. We also took a thing of rice cereal to mix in his formula - which is the only way he had it, and still the formula went quickly. Of course, I've never done this before, so I was kind of surprised at how quickly what seemed like a big can went. I imagine enough packets would be very costly.

01-23-2005, 01:23 PM
Hi and congrats!

Most likely your baby will NOT be lactose intolerant....they probably have been getting a milk based formula their whole life (and if they develop an intolerance it often happens later, not in infancy....of course any person could develop one regardless of being Asian or not)

Also, I don't think I would bother with the individual servings...I mean, it might be nice to have some in case you go on a day trip and dont want to premeasure, etc.....but the regular can should be more than fine......after all, thats what we use once we are home

We opted NOT to start DD on american formula until we got home. She was doing well on the Chinese formula and I didnt want to switch yet for 2 reasons: she already had enough change going on....and I didnt want any diaper blow-outs on the plane lol. I actually brought some Chinese formula home and transitioned her off here.

Let me know if I can help in any other way

01-23-2005, 03:53 PM
I am so glad you made me aware that the indiv packets are overkill. I spend so much time on the adoption/DTC boards and I am clueless so I believe what I hear. I am usually very good about knowing what is overkill but I am a bit anxious and my critical thinking skills are lacking. :)

I really like the idea of transitioning her after we get home but will forumla be accessible immediately? I know this probably depends some what on where our daughter is from, a city vs rural China. Someone recommended I only bring enough to last 2 days just incase.

But what is 2 days worth?

I will also mix it with Rice cereal. Luckily that is not as expensive. :)

I am almost done collecting everything we need to take with us in the bathing and feeding lists (it probably all fits in 2 shoe boxes). I will wait on the formula but I wanted to know what I was looking for in case it goes on sale (there have been some great baby sales lately) but I know not to expect a formula sale.

01-23-2005, 07:00 PM
Actually regular formula (the big containers) do go on sale at Target (depending on the brand) probably every 2 months. But really if you call the formula companies and tell them you are adopting you can ask if they will send you some samples. (If you really want to bring formula with you as compared to using the formula from China until you get home). A sample can is usually smaller and probably would be enough for your trip.

Kimberly H
01-23-2005, 08:00 PM
Stephanie, if you get an 18 month old, she may already be done with formula!

I brought an 8-pack of individual packets to China, just in case. Our agency told us the guide in China would give us some but I'm a chronic worrier and felt better having a wee bit on my own. I think most China-adoptive parents have read the horror stories of getting your baby the minute you walk into the hotel and being left with no formula, rare as it must happen. Our guide actually presented the whole group with a factory-sealed bag of formula and one of rice cereal and took us to the store the day after getting our babies so we could get more, as well as any other baby supplies we needed.

We brought too much formula back from China with us - I planned to transition at home and I'd do that again in a heartbeat. Other families chose to transition to US formula in China so they gave us their leftover formula and we bought several extra bags ourselves, just in case she had trouble with US formula. We ended up throwing a couple of bags away but it was only a couple of dollars US anyway! ;)

Never did use the individual packets but did give those to our daycare for others.