Baby Milk Allergy

Baby Led Weaning

Baby milk allergy happens when a baby's immune system overreacts to a normally harmless milk protein that it has identified as harmful and foreign and in this case, cow's milk protein in a diary based formula. Cow's milk allergy is the most common allergy in children but luckily, milk protein allergy is not something that babies have to live with for the rest of their lives as most children do actually outgrow it by the time they are around three years of age.

The Good Old Cow Milk

Cow Milk is very nutritious but should never be given to babies younger 1 year of age as a drink, but can be used in cooking. It's a great source of calcium and Vitamin D which are both very important for the development and maintenance of strong healthy bones and teeth in young children. It's also a good source of Riboflavin, carbohydrates and Vitamin B12.

Baby Milk Allergy - Symptoms to look out for...

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Poor weight gain
  • Skin rash
  • Blood in the stools
  • Colic
  • Stomach-ache

Note: Other conditions may cause similar symptoms! Consult your child's doctor or medical professionals if you suspect that your baby might have cow's milk allergy

Some milk ingredients to look out for on food labels

With milk being present in a lot of food products, it can seem quite a project to try and avoid it. It's important to remember however that milk and milk products are a very important source of vitamins and minerals and should therefore never be eliminated from a child's diet before a proper diagnosis is carried out by an Allergist or a GP. Below is a list of some foods that contain milk protein. People with milk allergy should avoid eating these foods. Again, consult your doctor before eliminating any foods from your baby's diet.

Indicators of cow's milk on food labels include...
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Sour cream
  • Milk powder
  • Milk Solids
  • Buttermilk
  • Condensed milk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Lactose
  • Sherbet
  • Whey
  • Yogurt
  • Milk solids
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Feta cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Ricotta
  • Malted milk
  • Curds
  • Whey powder
  • Ghee

My baby is showing signs of baby milk allergy, what should I do?

If you suspect that your baby might have baby milk allergy, its best that you have him checked by an allergist or pediatrician for a diagnosis before eliminating the all important milk products from his diet. Usually babies who are allergic to cow's milk protein are also allergic to soy milk formula and other soy products such as tofu.

If your baby does get a confirmed cow's milk protein allergy do not despair just look on the positive side, with a careful diet most babies usually will outgrow it before the age of 3 years.

Is this a baby milk allergy or lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is very different from milk allergy and the two should never be confused especially if your baby has cow's milk allergy. With lactose intolerance a baby will normally have a deficiency in the enzyme lactase which is needed to break down the milk sugar lactose for easy absorption in the small intestines.

Some people with lactose intolerance can tolerate some amount of dairy while others can't even take the smallest amount without suffering some discomfort. Symptoms of milk intolerance may include gas, diarrhea, bloating and tummy ache.

It's important to remember not to mix the two conditions especially if your baby has a confirmed cow's milk allergy. When buying or ordering food remember that lactose-free does not mean milk free. Lactose free still contains cow's milk protein which will trigger a reaction in anyone allergic to cow milk protein. Lactose intolerance in babies is quite rare and is mostly common among adults.

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