How do I know if my baby has colic?
Excessive crying, especially in the evenings, could mean colic. Colic can be brought on by a food intolerance. If you’re nursing, try eliminating spicy or gassy foods such as onions, cabbage and other foods that seem to be upsetting your baby. If you’re formula-feeding, you may need to switch to a formula created for babies with food intolerance.
Is it easy to tell when a baby has cow’s milk allergy?
Not always. That’s why it’s important to see your pediatrician. Reactions can vary greatly depending on your infant’s sensitivity to cow’s milk protein. Babies with cow’s milk allergy may experience colic, reflux and skin rashes. Then again, babies who are not allergic to cow’s milk protein also can have these problems. Complicating matters is the fact that problems brought on by cow’s milk allergy often don’t appear until days after consumption of a milk product. The connection between dairy in your baby’s diet and her reactions might not be obvious.
What does cow’s milk allergy in an infant look like?
The type of reactions—and their severity—vary from baby to baby depending on the degree of individual sensitivity to cow’s milk protein. Most babies with cow’s milk allergy experience mild to moderate reactions—colic, reflux, diarrhea, constipation, gas, skin rashes, chronic cough, runny nose and wheezing—days after ingesting cow’s milk protein. Severe problems tend to be more apparent and can set in minutes to hours after exposure to a food allergen. They may include breathing difficulties, rectal bleeding, hives or rashes, and anaphylaxis (severe abdominal pain, high-pitched breathing, irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure). Babies with cow’s milk allergy also may appear irritated or distressed at feeding time, sleep poorly, or have trouble gaining weight.
Will my baby always be allergic to cow’s milk protein?
Probably not. More than 75 percent of children outgrow cow’s milk allergy by age five.1 Even better: It may be possible to shorten this time frame with Nutramigen® with Enflora™ LGG®*, an extensively hydrolyzed, hypoallergenic formula. A study demonstrated that 81 percent of infants with cow’s milk allergy can tolerate cow’s milk protein after a 12-month diet of Nutramigen with Enflora LGG.2 As your baby grows, your doctor may recommend switching to Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Toddler, an extensively hydrolyzed formula with extra calcium and vitamins for older babies. You should introduce your baby to foods made with cow’s milk only while under a doctor’s supervision.
*LGG is a registered trademark of Valio LTD.
- A parent’s guide: Could my baby have CMA? (p. 3, under “How common is CMA?”) and Does your baby have cow’s milk allergy (orange box near points 14 and 15); Italian Journal of Pediatrics.
- Berni Canani R et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012; 129: 580-582; A Parent’s Guide to CMA: Does your baby have cow’s milk allergy (orange box near points 14 and 15)
Should my baby see a medical specialist?
Your pediatrician may refer you to a pediatric allergist or a pediatric gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in children’s digestive problems). Because some processed foods like breads, cereals and crackers contain hidden dairy ingredients, you also may want to see a dietitian as you start to feed your baby solid foods. A dietitian can help ensure that your baby gets the nutrients needed for healthy growth and development while consuming a dairy-free diet.