Our littlest one Sebastian (who is now 4 months old) was born a happy baby. Other than a little spitting up, we felt very blessed with such an “easy” baby. Until he was about 1 month old.
At one month old, he started to spit up more. A lot more. He also became more fussy and developed a raw eczema rash on his face and parts of his body. It was when he began having crying fits, where he would refuse to nurse and could not be comforted, that I knew something was wrong.
I asked many knowledgeable friends and did hours of research online. The consensus was that it was likely a food allergy or intolerance. And so began the process of cutting out foods and keeping a food diary.
The symptoms of food allergy/intolerance in babies:
- Excessive spit up
- mucousy stools
- refusing to nurse and/or take a bottle
- eczema or rash
After a couple of weeks of eliminating the major possible culprits and keeping a food diary, I took him into the doctor. She agreed that it was probably a food intolerance and gave me confidence that if I felt it was a certain food, it probably was.
The most common food allergies and intolerance in babies:
It was not easy trying to figure it out. I wanted to give up, except for the fact that if I didn't figure it out my son would suffer with horrible bleeding eczema, itching, reflux, and irritable bowels. Whatever it was in my diet would literally make him draw up his legs in pain as he passed gas or had painful bowel movements.
After a few weeks, I started to notice a pattern with dairy. As I kept dairy out of my diet and introduced other foods back in, it became fairly clear that dairy was indeed the culprit.
|"I feel much better mom!" - After eliminating dairy|
I love dairy, and I don't keep it out of my diet perfectly. Sometimes I beat myself up over sneaking in some dairy (or just plain forgetting), because he always pay for it, while it doesn't affect me at all. Regardless of my imperfect following of a dairy free diet, the improvement is huge.
We still have to use hydrocortisone cream on occasion and other creams to calm his skin. We often check his body over for hidden eczema spots that need treated. But, he is a very different baby now. I was such a big dairy eater before. It's definitely a struggle for me.
Typically, babies with milk protein intolerance also have soy protein intolerance (called MSPI, or milk soy protein intolerance). However, I have not seen a significant difference when cutting out soy (though I try to keep it to a minimum anyway).
If this sounds like your baby, trust your instincts. And if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.