Allergic or Intolerant to Cows Milk Protein

Does your baby suffer dairy intolerance or allergy, intolerant to cows milk protein? 29 mothers on our Facebook page have very kindly shared their experiences, and I hope others may benefit from the information shared.

Here are their comments:

Mine suffers from a dairy intolerance. He’s on formula (22mths) and cant have anything remotely milky. If he does… my goodness. You know the stories of kids having ‘explosions’? Mine has nuclear explosions Being a Formula Fed kid its a LOT easier to manage as I just get the lactose free stuff, no ice-cream, no other fun stuff. It’s not hard to manage once you get used to it!

My 9 month old was diagnosed with a dairy allergy about a month ago. He has always been a reflux boy, but when he started on formula as well, his reflux started coming out in a cottage cheese consistency, and yellow. The Pead confirmed that he is allergic. He has also had 6 visits to hospital with respiratory problems, which since he has been off the formula he has been really great!!

Oh and I meant to say, hubbies entire family is either lactose or dairy intolerant, my side isn’t. I’m not sure if he’ll grow out of it, if he does then that’s great! If not, I’m going to save a crap load of money on ice-cream.

Our 1st son got eczema at 5mths, He was only breast fed at the time, I continued until 16mths. But took him off yeast, wheat, and dairy. He now is 2.5yrs and has everything now but drinks goat milk (has since I weaned him). Still gets itchy if he has too much yogurt or other dairy. So that is why we kept up with the goat milk for him

Our little 9mnth old is dairy intolerant (eczema) – but is also intolerant to kiwifruit, citrus, plums, prunes and detergents – we knew we had a problem and consulted a Naturopath straight away – we have him on probiotics (as well as me), avoid all the forementioned foods, bathe him in water only, wash his clothes in liquid not powder. We found out about his intolerances by getting our naturopath to send his hair off for testing (cost of about $100 but well worth it to know what he is allergic to and what to avoid). I still breastfeed. His intolerance is controlled but we have some bad weeks too.

My 2 year old is dairy allergic. She had green mucousy (sometimes blood streaked) poos right up until she was about 7 months old when we finally figured it out what it was. We figured it out when I gave her a piece of cheese and she got an instant contact rash/hives on her mouth and on her hand where she was holding it. The a RAST (blood test confirmed she was allergic.   So she was reacting to the dairy protein in my milk. She also suffered from eczema on her arms and legs.
I continued to breastfeed her and completely cut out dairy from my diet. It took a lot of packet reading and determination but got easier as time went by. Her eczema went away within a couple of weeks and her poo went to normal.   She is still dairy allergic now. Have had a couple of times where she has accidentally eaten it and her mouth, lips and eyes start to swell. The reaction is controlled with an antihistamine and close monitoring.

Where do you want us to share? I’ll start here! Maddie has a dairy and egg allergy. Discovered the dairy when I fed her yoghurt at 6 or 7 months. Strangely she reacted the 1st time but not the second time – she comes up in hives (red blotches with white lumps in the middle) when she comes into contact with dairy. Had inkling she may allergic at that point but was feeding her the Watties tinned custards which she didn’t react to and was cooking with unsalted butter and again no problems so wasn’t sure. Then we tried feeding her a bit of cheese when we were at the Auckland food show – we popped it straight I her mouth and she was fine, but later we put some in her pureed veg and she wiped it round her mouth and hives again. Took a photo of her and then when to the docs who agreed it was probably an allergy and referred her for the skin prick tests to make sure. That confirmed dairy and also showed up egg. Hadn’t given her anything with egg at this point except the egg custards which again she had been fine with weirdly. Doc wasn’t very helpful at that point just said don’t feed her anything dairy for a couple of years!!! I pushed to see a dietician and ended up going to see Anna Richards in the city who helped with food options and also referred us to Prof. Rohan Ameratunga who is an allergy specialist. We see them both every 3 months and Maddie has blood tests (RASTS) to check her allergy levels. The good news is the milk level has halved and the egg after a glitch when it rose has now started to come down. I breastfed until Maddie was 11 months and since then she has been on Neocate formula. Rohan has said he is 100% sure she will outgrow both allergies it will just take time and the more “accidental exposures” she has to either dairy or egg will prolong the time she has the allergies, so life is a daily battle to make sure she doesn’t eat or come into contact (even milky dribble from other babies / toddlers) with anything.

Both of my boys had dairy intolerance as babies. We didn’t realize with the first and had a year of screaming… and failed at breastfeeding… by 2nd time aruond I had researched and researched… and it was pretty obvious once we failed at breastfeeding again and went onto formula and everything went downhill… Both boys suffered silently first, then spilling constantly, lots of screaming. Straining, and looking like he needed to poo, but couldn’t – but actually could (terrible tummy spasms etc)… miserable, but bowel movement wise they were both constipated most of the time as babies.. And still have that tendency (especially if they have lots of dairy?)… I pushed for help and finally got to the specialist pediatric dietitian when Tyde was about 3/4months (I had trialed pepti junior formula with a small amount of good result) He was put onto Neocate formula (I had documented formula trials and reactions).. so got the subsidy for it, and within a few weeks of fully on neocate, Tyde was a different baby, still spewy, but not upset by it… Both boys did seem to grow out of it around 1year old (but we limited dairy intake)… Was not fun!!!! This feedback is way diluted sorry… but I kept daily diary and fought and fought to be acknowledged that is was not ‘normal’ for my baby to scream all day/night….. but if they did not ‘fail to thrive’ I wasn’t taken seriously (our 2nd boy ended up with quite low weight gain etc, so they did take us a bit more seriously …. but it was such an uphill battle constantly… I think if I had known what I do now and could’ve gained the support of a dietitian I would’ve persevered with trying to breastfeed as it’s expensive to get the neocate and it tastes gross so is a battle to get them to drink it… but mine did outgrow it!! YAY!! 🙂

Oh and we also had constant ear infections which apparently are also linked to the reflux – dairy intolerance etc…

We are also on Neocate formula which is absolutely awesome; the Pead couldn’t believe the difference in my wee man after seeing him…

My daughter and I are both dairy/lactose intolerant (skin and “tummy” problems). She is now 22 months but was exclusively breastfeed until 19mths. I think because I’m also dairy and wheat free we haven’t had too many problems – it’s already the norm in our house. Although we don’t go without – soy ice-cream, goats cheese, 70% plus dark choc etc.  Millie’ always been smaller than others and I can certainly tell when something has slipped through in her diet – However we are just lucky it’s not a full allergy!

My boy (13months) gets bit of rash on his face whenever he has cheese but this doesn’t bother him at all – no pain. He is OK with milk and yogurt but just with cheese. I was bit worried but some one said it is a phase they go through… Is he allergic to dairy product?

Oooo I’m just going through this now. My son is 7 months old and fully breastfed apart from when I started to put 100mls of formula in his cereal 2 months ago. He started to develop really dry patches all over his body and then I introduced yoghurt and the dry patches turned into full blown eczema that was red raw and he would scream if you touched it. He has always been chucker but he was vomiting even more so I stopped the dairy for a few days and everything cleared up. I then had a big thick shake and then fed him and the eczema came back and he was vomiting again! I took him to the Dr to confirm it is a dairy allergy and he said it definitely is so I have stopped all dairy…which isn’t too bad since I never had much dairy anyway! The Dr recommended breastfeeding for as long as I possibly can as that is the easiest way around it. I’m quite happy he said that actually as I was already getting people like my mum asking when I was going to wean him so now I have a good comeback! “The Dr said I need to feed him for as long as I can!”

My almost 2 year old is allergic to dairy (and numerous other foods). At about 5 weeks he started screaming, and the eczema came up from head to toe. His bowels were runny and frothy, and he used to swell after I bf him. He has very severe eczema; he gets staph infections all the time as he scratches a lot. He has spent many weeks in hospital in his short life so far. He has prescription formula, and alternative foods. I had to stop bf him because he had multiple allergies. He has 3 antihistamines a day and numerous creams. We use oral antibiotics to keep the staph infections at bay. They say he will out grow it – I’m not so sure. We just manage day to day to keep him well and out of hospital.

Same with most moms here – my baby has eczema and is allergic to dairy and eggs. It was really hard work. Sometimes stressful.

We are finally seeing an allergy specialist next Monday YAY I picked up his dairy reaction at around 10 weeks, but he’d been reacting for some weeks at that point. Have trialed goat & soy formulas & he reacted to both 🙁 still Breastfeeding both of us are on a strict elimination diet mostly. I hate how much baby food has dairy in it so I have to make pretty much everything.

my lil one is dairy intolerant I breastfeed till she self weaned at 11 months, being intolerant meant she can have little bits but just cant give her milk or the like, we use rice brain spread rice milk etc and don’t find it any more of a hassle

Bubs was ‘sensitive’ to dairy, soy and 2 common preservatives and resulted in lots of nasty eczema. Pretty much completely solved it with a) identifying the problem with a hair test and b) exclusion diet for 8 weeks and then slowly reintroducing the offenders. Worked a treat too. Now we only have a flair up if she overdoses on dairy! Marvelous.

Our littlest is lactose intolerant and has been since birth. I suspected early on because the misdiagnoses of reflux were unable to be treated, despite the pediatrician assuring me that babies couldn’t be lactose intolerant, and it was most likely a dairy allergy. It made for 6 months of screaming during and after breastfeeding (and in general). We switched him to neocate at the doc’s recommendation at 6 months, and he was a lot happier. He’s intolerant of a few other foods as well, but happy now drinking liddels UHT lactose free, and eating low lactose Easiyo. The hospital dietician thinks he will outgrow it. fingers crossed!

What is it with the whole “babies can’t be lactose intolerant”? As I understand it, it’s less common, but it does happen. I have a bit of a quandary myself, because Theo power chucks with some lactose (especially straight milk products) and gets eczema when I eat it, but he can’t directly breastfeed so I’ve been expressing for a very long time now. I’d like to stop expressing now that he’s a year old, but I need him to still be able to have some milky type thing to drink, and I that whole “failure to thrive” thing is not really reasonable, because he’s still getting my breast milk and I’m not going to cut him off just to prove to our pediatrician that he doesn’t do well on the basic formulas (we’ve tried pepti-junior=projectile vomit).

ps, did anyone else find that they became lactose intolerant/more lactose intolerant than they had been before during their pregnancy, and then resulting baby ended up also being lactose intolerant? Just wondering if it was just me…

My middle boy was exclusively breastfed for almost 6 months. He was always rashie eczema on the face from 3 months onwards and I noticed his bowel movements were frequent and loose. Most nights he would be crying and crying for up to 2 hours from tummy pains. I voiced my concern to the Health Nurse and she said that some babies are just like that and he’ll grow out of it. So I didn’t think anything of it, but the many sleepless nights from him crying were wearing me out. From 6 months onwards I tried him on solids as well as formula milk. It wasn’t until he broke out in hives and went flaccid to a few foods I tried, that I realized this was an allergic reaction. My first boy is normal so prior to this I didn’t have much experience with allergies and intolerances. It turned out that my middle boy was allergic to wheat, dairy, egg, nuts, kiwifruit, as well as other environmental allergens! Now that he’s almost 4 years old and he’s only allergic to egg and nuts, but his wheat and dairy allergy has become intolerances. I buy lactose-free milk and he seems to be ok with it.

Oh I forgot to mention I stopped breastfeeding my middle boy at 7 months. And before I went out to buy any more tins of formula he can’t have, I rang the company to give me samples of all their other formulas. I explained to them about my son’s allergy and they were very helpful. They sent me out sachets of the various infant formulas they make which included soy, goat’s milk, for reflux babies etc. It turned out that my son grew up with goat’s milk formula. Now that he’s older, it’s the lactose-free milk.

I found out my son had milk allergy when I gave up breastfeeding, I put him on formula of which he bought back up and ended up covered in eczema. We took him for allergy testing at 6 months old and found he is allergic to dairy and eggs. Since then we have seen pediatricians and dieticians and found that he is also allergic to Dust Mites! It is hard now as his little sister isn’t allergic to anything and is now having cows milk in a bottle. She still puts toys in her mouth and when my son touches them he comes up in hives! My husband had dairy allergy as a child and out grew it at the age of 8 so I am hoping my son is the same. It has been such a struggle and still is. I am terrified for the day he starts school as I worry he will share food with other children. I am trying to teach him what foods make him ‘sick’ he is slowly understanding. He is almost 3 now. So so tough, I truly feel for parents with children that are allergic to ALOT of food.

My first child had very bad eczema and colic as baby and wasn’t till he ate egg before we realize he is severe allergic to egg. Because my husband and 1st child’s allergies, I was more aware when next three children came along, able spot early signs at 2-6 weeks old, reflux, excessive spilly when I ate milk or whatever food I suspect, eczema etc. I breastfed all of them and did diary-free diet for 2nd, and 3rd child, did egg-free diet for 2nd, did nut-free diet with 1st & 2nd. I continue to breastfeeding them till they are 12months plus before I stopped because I had enough of lack of milk in my diet (not easy especially I was losing weight fast) and used hypoallergenic formula milk from GP from 6months old for cooking only then they drank milk from 12-14months onward once breastfeeding stopped. 2nd child turn out to severe allergic to nuts, egg, peanuts and banana, mild allergic to soy and had milk intolerance till 12 months old. 3rd child turn out to be very severe allergic to milk and mild allergic to soy and apricot. Now got 4th child to deal with, on dairy and coconut free diet. He just started to weaning 2 weeks ago and had only fruit and vege so far, so don’t know what his allergy will be yet. 1st and 3rd got asthma. 2rd and 3rd got eczema and all of them got environmental allergies. 1st child got allergy rhinitis……so far! Phew. Just look out for signs, excessive spilly, reflux, explosive nappy, very watery poo, like soup (yuk!), eczema, unusual rash appear on body without explanation once in while, behavior changes like very moody, grumpy, poor sleeping…might be relate to allergy/intolerance.

My third baby (and first “healthy” one!) cried for 3 months, Plunket and Drs said “babies cry” and NO help; she was better feeding from a bottle than breastfeeding, and better still on formula (gutting really) til I read an article on Lactose Overload – babies continue to thrive but have the same other symptoms as lactose intolerance. (Note: I had tried cutting out dairy and other irritants out of my diet first, but obviously not enough as there was no change). Put her on lactose free formula straight away and she never cried again. She couldn’t handle any dairy until around 15 months but now at 3, is perfectly fine (as the article said would happen). But my 4th baby cried like this too, he’s now 9 months and I still haven’t solved his problem!

My daughter is nearly one with multiple food allergies including dairy. She was diagnosed at 6 months so I have had a very restricted diet so I can continue to breastfeed. I’m just weaning her now onto a specialized formula. I’m looking forward to an ice-cream. It gets pretty easy and second nature. It’s only hard when eating out but who can afford to do that anyway with a baby.

my son was 6 months when the doctor told me I had to stop breastfeeding and put him on formula as I was loosing to much weight, and he was a very big boy, it took till he was 10 months to give up but as soon as I put him on the formula he would break out in a rash so I could never understand why the doctor wanted me to change from breastfeeding to this formula that was making him sick, I had allergies when I was young so was lucky my mum pointed it out to me we changed his formula to goats and rice milk and he was ok but when he started food it became hard as we found out he couldn’t have any dairy, gluten sugar or things with colors etc., if they touched his skin he would break out again and be so grumpy, he is now six and can have gluten and a little bit of dairy and organic sugar but will still get a rash it can be hard and now at school there has been food swapping, birthday party’s and the why am I different to the other kids they are allowed all this food and I’m not, its not fear, but if when they get sore and rashie don’t try and sooth it straight away they need to feel what happens and they don’t like it, now he will ask people what is in food and tell them what he cant have, he still tries to sneak sometimes but then gets sick and tells me I’m not doing that again. We get organic lollipops, yoghurt ice-cream and carob he is fine with these and at a party no one can tell the difference, I just hope now with our second on the way that he won’t have the same allergies as all I want to eat this pregnancy is dairy and sugar.

My 8 month old MAY have a diary allergy. She gets mild eczema anyway and was exclusive breastfed until we started solids. Discovered the problem when started mixing her baby cereal with formula and where it touched her skin came up red, so I stopped. Then tried baby yoghurt and got an instant reaction everywhere it touched her skin. Luckily my milk has been fine so we’re leaving diary until she’s 1 then trying again.

All my babies/kids are allergic to the protein in cow’s milk. It goes through breast milk in small amounts but enough to make them react. I just stay off it myself, and we don’t eat it as a family, so it’s no big deal. Luckily, humans don’t need dairy to survive! (and thank goodness for Bittersweet Peanut Slabs hehe)