Need help determining if 4 mo DD has a dairy allergy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-24-2011, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Is it possible for an allergy to develop around 3 months or would I have noticed it immediately?  I don't think I've changed my diet, but my 4 month old DD's behavior changed drastically around that time.  This is also the time I went back to work and she began staying with a nanny.  The behavior first started in the afternoons with the nanny and has been happening frequently with me in the evenings for the past two weeks.  I'll try to give you a rundown of the behavior.


The nanny has a hard time getting her to nap during the day.  I haven't had any problems with naps and just chalked it up to my having the ability to nurse her back to sleep after waking from her first 30 minute sleep cycle.  Now, I have experienced it first hand several evenings.  She cries, screams really, uncontrollably.  She won't take a bottle from the nanny or breastfeed from me.  I keep changing things up to distract her, and each change lasts a couple of minutes before she is screaming again.  I go outside, I come back inside, I sit, I stand, I bounce, I rock, I turn lights on and turn lights off...She finally passes out and then she sleeps great during the night.  I put her in the co-sleeper when she finally goes to sleep and she gets in bed with DH and me when she wakes around 12:30.  She wakes again around 3:30 and around 6:00 when my alarm goes off.  When she wakes, she nurses right back to sleep, no problem.   I put her back in the co-sleeper while I get ready for work, and she'll sleep until 9:00 or later.  Sometimes I have to wake her up.  She is always in a great mood when she wakes up and will lie in the co-sleeper cooing for 20 or 30 minutes if I let her.  The nanny wore her in the Moby for two solid hours one day last week, and she screamed the entire time.    


She also spits up A LOT.  It is projectile spit up a lot of times.  My first DD spit up just as much but never did any of this screaming, so it didn't seem abnormal to me during those first 3 months without the screaming.  Sometimes she spits up in the middle of a feeding.  Sometimes it looks like fresh milk and sometimes it is curdled.  I have seen neon green poop 3 times in the past couple of weeks and just learned that this is often associated with a food allergy.  Oh most importantly, my  husband has severe food allergies to tree nuts.  He has an immediately anaphylactic response if he even smells peanuts followed by stomach issues.  My older DD has been tested for all the things he is allergic to and has only shown a contact dermatitis response to cinnamon, curry powder and artificial coloring. 


So, I can certainly fathom that we have some sort of allergy.  I'm just confused because she slept all the time and didn't do any screaming during those first 3 months.  Maybe it came on later?  Or maybe I just really started noticing the symptoms later?  I started a dairy elimination diet yesterday and am just trying to get my head around the possibility of going dairy-free for the next 2+ years.  I'm eliminating dairy first since it seems to be the main culprit. 

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#2 of 4 Old 06-25-2011, 09:00 PM
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Yes indeed!  You have just described the classic symptoms of infant allergies via breastmilk.  And 4mo is not too young and it is perfectly normal not to see any signs of allergies for a few months.  My oldest daughter started showing these same signs at about 3 months.  Your DD is calmer feeding at night because her pain receptors are as sleepy as she is.

     Dairy then nuts and peanuts seem to be the most common order moms do elimination at the start.  Don't ignore uncommon allergens (like rice) if you still see signs after you've tested the major ones. Hopefully you can pinpoint the culprit in your diet and ease her symptoms.

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#3 of 4 Old 06-27-2011, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your help!  I also realized that I started eating granola bars with pecans in them only once I returned to work - sometimes two of them a day.  Obviously I will stop eating those as well. 

Mommy to my Lamb, born 9/22/2008 and my Penguin, born 2/21/2011
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#4 of 4 Old 07-01-2011, 03:22 PM
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It's so great that you're discovering this now! I completely understand.

My DS is 16 mo and often spit up when he was younger. He had a "sleep regression" at 4 mo where he would wake every 2 hrs and I was told it was developmental. Then he developed mild eczema which was related to mild constipation ~ 6mo and I thought it was all the banana I was giving him and possibly a reaction to DTAP that I was talked into (haven't vaccinated since.) I delayed giving him dairy directly until 12 mo, but I believe he had been reacting to it all along through my breast milk. I have been in denial because I LOVE cheese and thought no way could my son be intolerant. He's never had green poop, but he always has dark circles under his eyes (telltale food intolerance symptom, I've heard. Anyway, I've finally eliminated dairy from both of our diets. His skin cleared within days and his sleep is so much better! I've brought it back a few times on purpose and accident (he's even sensitive to butter) and his skin reacted immediately and had a few restless nights. Though I'm relieved we now have a handle on it, I'm sad that dairy is no longer in our lives greensad.gif. But I'd rather deal with that than my boy enduring poor sleep and itchy skin because of my diet (indulgence!). We will be breastfeeding for awhile, so change was necessary. I feel so bad that it took this long to confirm.

So anyway, yes, I think your baby sounds similar and she may be reacting to something in your milk. The green poop is a pretty clear sign. I look forward to hearing how she responds to your elimination diet! And I know it's a pain, but you can do it! Good luck!

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