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gifted infants? myth or fact. Advice anyone - Page 5

post #81 of 98

Oh gosh, poor little guy and poor mum too! Hop over to allergy forum! You will get lots of sympathy from sleep-deprived mothers trying to keep their kids on the growth chart and skin intact. 

 

My son could not sleep until his allergies were under control and that was 2.5 very bad years with infected eczema and eight different doctors. Before his eczema showed up, it was very bad sleep, a lot of fussing and crying, arching of back (because of food allergies and bad tummy), very gassy stomach, and constant rubbing of skin. At night, he latched on desperately but did not always nurse properly. It was more like a fitful sleep, whine a little, nurse a little, go back to sleep and it starts all over again.  I didn't understand it at all and I really resented it and blamed it on a difficult temperament and it's really really hard to think straight and function after months of sleep deprivation. 

 

I will not go into the range of medications we used, and we had many bad doctors along the way who simply handed out steriod creams and told us to hope that he will outgrow it. He has a combination of food and environmental allergies leading to prolonged fungal and bacterial infections from age one that were very difficult to clear. But when we finally found the right doctor through friend of acquaintances (we were desperate) - i cannot tell you the relief of having one night of unbroken sleep. I realised then that my little guy was really as tired as I was. He slept 11 hours straight (first time since birth) and when he woke up, his appetite was good! He was two plus by then, so we were both really really tired! He is four now and recently had another flare-up and has been on antibiotic cream for three weeks - much longer than the typical patient and his doctor had to tweak his management plan because his skin is so raw. I am flushing his skin with saline many times a day and hotwashing all his beddings twice a week as well as going on a restricted diet and thank goodness his patches are starting to heal again and he is just waking up twice a night now to ask me to help him rub instead of screaming and crying from the itch and pain.  

 

I will say focus on the eczema instead. When he can sleep well, he will eat well. If one doctor doesn't help, try another. Our doctor goes against all the usual eczema management plan and does not advocate using moisturiser. But I think it's also because of the kind of cases he gets where there is usually prolonged infection from earlier mismangement. If your son is still at the early stages of eczema, the usual route will be to moisturise and to hunt down the triggers. If there are no gastrointestinal issues, you should look into environmental triggers. Common ones are pet dander, dustmite and pollen.

 

I know I am going totally off the gifted children topic, so I will stop here. You will find lots of info at the allergy section, good luck!!

 

 

post #82 of 98

Just have to say that I second the idea of allergies.  I wrote about my oldest dd earlier (because of the giftedness aspect), but on the allergy board I would have written about my other dds.  DD2 started out similar to DD1.  I immediately stopped dairy (because that was step 1 with dd1 even though it didn't pan out) and we got some relief within 3 days and complete relief withing 2 weeks.  If I ever slipped, everyone knew it because it affected her that much.  My third DD was harder to figure out because her discomfort didn't happen right away.  Turns out that she was sensitive to eggs.  Her discomfort followed Easter (when I ate a bunch of hard boiled eggs).  After that, it seemed intermittant, but with some journaling, we figured it out.  She wasn't as sensitive as my 2nd.  She only seemed to have issues when I actually ate an egg or something that had lots of egg in it.  I could eat a cookie (1 or 2) without being too worried.

 

Eczema is frequently associated with dairy allergies.  I (personally) would start there.  Many people find that their children have multiple triggers, but sometimes it is easy to just try to find one to start.  

 

Amy

post #83 of 98

Yes, eczema has a good chance of food sensitivity or allergy.  My son was allergic to disposable diapers (made that transition easy) and milk; so in addition to only nursing lying down, I eliminated all sources of milk for 11 months and was able to add cheese back to my diet after he turned 1.  His spitting up also became more gastric looking until I eliminated the milk.

post #84 of 98

Interesting. I didn't know eczema was connected to dairy allergies. my dd has had eczema ever since she was seven, and we couldn't figure out why. we tried everything- even cristol (i think it was called- it was some kind of baking spray). by the way, a doctor recommended wearing cristol overnight- she said it would help it go away. umm.... it didn't. well, my dd is now 10, and i think she would be devastated if we took away ice cream and other dairy products! then again, she does like soymilk.... 

post #85 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdmomma6885 View Post

Interesting. I didn't know eczema was connected to dairy allergies. my dd has had eczema ever since she was seven, and we couldn't figure out why. we tried everything- even cristol (i think it was called- it was some kind of baking spray). by the way, a doctor recommended wearing cristol overnight- she said it would help it go away. umm.... it didn't. well, my dd is now 10, and i think she would be devastated if we took away ice cream and other dairy products! then again, she does like soymilk.... 



I like soy milk too, but didn't care too much for the soy ice cream.  However, I love sorbet and real sorbet is dairy free.  Check the label though as some have been sneaking it in.  (I've only seen that in choc. sorbet though).  The good thing about eliminating dairy is that we had a pretty quick response to the elimination.  If you don't notice relief in a couple weeks I would try something else. 

 

Amy

post #86 of 98
Coconut milk ice cream is super yummy (better than soy & WAY better than rice!!) All the coconut "dairy" products I've tried are pretty good IMO, though I haven't had cow-milk products in so many years that maybe I'm not able to make the best comparison...
post #87 of 98
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

Have been on an elimination diet and I am seeing some slight improvement in his sleep anyways. I am using coconut milk, it is really yummy (I never really liked cow's milk I don't drink it but I basicallysurvive on cheese, so that part is tough :( but I am doing it anyway am sure it is not worse than no sleep!. The only thing is I have not found anything that works in coffee though coconut milk does not seem to mix, almond milk has a weird taste in coffee and I cannot stand my coffee black! Anyone have any ideas?

post #88 of 98
Maybe rice milk or hemp milk? There are some "non-dairy creamers" you can buy but most of them will have dairy byproducts or soy... check the labels...
post #89 of 98
Maybe try oat milk? It's thicker than rice milk and mild in flavour. Different brands will taste different, especially for almond milk, and better to go for those that is vanilla flavor. While trying out alternative milk, keep track of baby's poo patterns, especiallyfor almond or soy. Some kids are sensitive to the gums or carrageen (seaweed) added, though the effect will be much less than if they are taking it themselves.

While you are trying this out, please make sure you have PLENTY of other ready food at hand. It is very hard to do elimination diet while nursing if you have to be constantly hungry. If cheese was your mainstay, please make sure you have plenty of other food like maybe ham, roast chicken etc that can keep you fueled. You can also consider things like avocado shake. Alternatively have a stew at hand in a crockpot.

While rereading your earlier post, I suddenly remember another mum I met two years ago who gave me great encouragement, Her first child was allergic to multiple food and she told me when she brought the baby home from hospital, each time she tried to feed the baby, the baby would just screamed and arched her back. She had no idea and just kept trying to feed the baby and the baby would not stop screaming. When the nurses came to do a wellness check a few days later, the nurses immediately said something was not right, and whipped them back into hospital and the doctors ran a series of tests and determined the child had multiple food allergies. The baby also developed very bad eczema and the mum had to use wet wraps to keep the skin intact. I did not do that because my son tend to develop fungal infections during his flareups, but it may be something you can look into or at least ask about.

My first was allergic to dairy until age three and he would scream for 45 min on some nights. Not often, because i do not take much dairy myself. However, a retired nurse living above me then approached me to tell me about eliminating dairy. He stopped screaming after he turned three months old and was a really easy clockwork baby. I only knew for certain that she was right when he tried a teaspoon of yogurt for the first time at nine months and developed a full body rash almost immediately. thereafter we tested it every six months, just a teaspoon of a dairy based drink was enough to tell if he was still reacting. Ds2 was much harder to determine and subsequently, suffered much longer.
post #90 of 98
Thread Starter 

Hi Deminc,

 

THank you for your encouragement, I am constantly hungry as all I ate was cheese and dairy products really but I am trying to be creative. I have noticed a lot of improvement when it comes to eating, he no longer screams when I offer but I still have to do all those things like distract him or use a quiet room and shush while he nurses am not sure if that is because he is used to nursing on the move now or what. As for the eczema not much improvement there, does that mean I should eliminate other things as well? It breaks my heart to think of how much discomfort he must have been in to refuse to eat to the extent that he would allow himself to become dehydrated!!! And it drives me crazy to see how poor guidance the doctors and consultants i saw gave me and not one said I should eliminate dairy and I asked and was told it is not related, can you imagine how much trouble I would have saved myself and how much worry not to mention how much suffering for my little one?

post #91 of 98

So glad to hear that removing dairy has resulted in some improvement!  Other things to consider eliminating are the other "Big 8" allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, eggs, shellfish and fish.

post #92 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novicemama View Post

Hi Deminc,

 

THank you for your encouragement, I am constantly hungry as all I ate was cheese and dairy products really but I am trying to be creative. I have noticed a lot of improvement when it comes to eating, he no longer screams when I offer but I still have to do all those things like distract him or use a quiet room and shush while he nurses am not sure if that is because he is used to nursing on the move now or what. As for the eczema not much improvement there, does that mean I should eliminate other things as well? It breaks my heart to think of how much discomfort he must have been in to refuse to eat to the extent that he would allow himself to become dehydrated!!! And it drives me crazy to see how poor guidance the doctors and consultants i saw gave me and not one said I should eliminate dairy and I asked and was told it is not related, can you imagine how much trouble I would have saved myself and how much worry not to mention how much suffering for my little one?



I am very glad to hear that your little one is nursing so much better! Seems like there are a lot of problems coming together for you, and you are only now finally getting to the bottom of it. I think your doctors have a lot to answer for.

I have horrible dairy cravings when I am nursing, particularly when i am nursing all night - I basically eat dairy all morning. When my oldest had bad reflux, I tried to eliminate dairy but was unable to; however merely cutting down seemed to help in our case. I second those posters who suggested meat, and would add a suggestion for a calcium supplement. I hear it helps people with allergies and excema as well.

 

post #93 of 98
Novice mum,
Now could be the easiest time to track triggers because of limited food exposure. It's much harder to track once they are toddlers and eating all sorts of food. It then becomes really hard to find the balance between physical health and emotional well being. I had delayed ds2's going to school partly because of this. He also meets and knows of other children on dietary restrictions for allergies and I am constantly looking for new food that he can have or home made treats.

I suggest focusing on two things:
First, make a list of all that you are eating, and see what is in the top 8 allergens. You have already pinpointed dairy which is great. Stick to the dairy restrictions strictly for one month and see if there are further improvements. If not, consider anything else that you are eating often, or shows up as a pattern with your son's skin or reactions. Take that out as well for at least one to two weeks.

Second, make a list of everything else that you CAN eat. This list is just as important. You don't want to be crying because you are hungry and there's nothing to eat. Been there done that. Now search through the internet for recipes that you feel are doable. Print a stack - this is your go- to recipes. Now go to the supermarket and stock up. Make sure you have enough carbs and protein on that list because fruits will not be enough, and some kids react badly to acidic fruits. If you are cutting out butter, consider using olive oil, flax seed oil, and nuttelex - a soy, dairy, nut free spread. Your grocery list should have a fair amount of ready food. For us, it was rice cake, preservative free ham, bananas, almond milk, selection of biscuits that fit our dietary needs. Look into other ethnic cuisines as well. They tend not to use dairy.

Dry skin - the skin will take a while to follow any improvements, but the scratching itself can stop within a week if you find the right trigger.

You may also want to ask your mum and in laws to find out if anyone else in the extended family has allergies. This can help narrow down the triggers.
post #94 of 98
Novice mum,

You may find these two links useful

This is a template for elimination diet. I did not follow this, but it may be a useful reference point for you.
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-infants-toddlers/food-allergies/elimination-diet

This is very useful to start determining the kind of allergens you may be dealing with.
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/skin-care/allergies/5-steps-track-and-prevent-your-childs-allergies

Take care!
post #95 of 98
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much deminc. I had eliminated all dairy and cow products including meat and wheat, i don't do shellfish so that's ok, don't really do nuts either. so i stopped eggs as well but then noticed with the almond milk he got another flare up so i have switched to rice milk which i don't like either but his skin is better. I have been very strictly adhering to this but still don't know enough and still am famished. Thanks for the advice on the grocery and all that, i am going to see if i can see a nutritionist and am meeting with our doctor on the 9th and wait till you see what i have for him. what i wonder though is does this mean that he will in fact be allergic to all thsee things later? i have checked with the family and it seems dust mites is an allergen for sister in law but no other members of the family seem to have any allergies. will check out those links thank you. 

post #96 of 98

To help with feeling full, you need to replace with the type of food that you had before.  Looks like you haven't cut out chicken or turkey; you could cook a whole chicken and a whole turkey, and then chill them and chop or shred them up into pieces to have in the fridge.  Since cheese is protein AND fat, you also need to add more fat to your diet; coconut oil sounds like a good option since you like the coconut milk...  Some people eat it right off the spoon.  Or you could stirfry raw chicken chunks in coconut oil until cooked and have those on-hand to eat cold or heat in microwave.  Coconut oil is very mild but coconutty.  Some people can eat it plain or like butter, I do better cooking with it.  It is also very nutritious.

 

I didn't ever have to cut out nuts completely; that was a good replacement.  Here's one idea--one little boy I know who has multiple allergies, like all nightshades, strawberries, dairy, wheat, eggs, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts (I'm sure there's more on that list) CAN eat sunflower seeds.  So his mom uses sunflower seed oil and sunflower seed butter in his diet.  She had to take him down to turkey, rice, and like 3 kinds of vegetables to figure out what he was allergic to.

 

Hang in there!  It can be really hard to figure out what makes our littles' bodies happy.

post #97 of 98

Maybe taking a protein supplement will help a little with nutrition? I used those supplements a long while ago, and recently had to start again. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that hemp protein, rice protein, green pea protein supplements are available - and they are organic too. (I also like organic goat milk protein, I don't have a reaction to it like I would to cow's milk, but I see you exclude dairy.)

 

 

post #98 of 98

I haven't scrolled through all the responses to this thread so forgive me if this is at all redundant, but your comment that he is crying and screaming when you try to nurse during the day sounded familiar. my son was a pretty good nurser, but i had a very fast let-down that, instead of getting overwhelmed by it, he would just refuse to nurse. he would start to latch, and then just pop off, screaming bloody murder but did not seem overwhelmed at all, just angry.  could this be part of the problem? i solved it by pumping a little bit before nursing to slow down the flow. although his frequency was pretty good, my son didn't consume as much quantity as i wanted him to, but things improved once i started the pre-nursing pumping.

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