I'm wondering if both of my children (almost 3, and 4 months) have an allergy or sensitivity that I'm missing, and if anyone has advice on where I might start!
DD1 had colic, mucousy stools, crying at the breast, spitting up, difficulty sleeping, so I cut out dairy. Around 1 year I had started giving her cow's milk, and wheat products. Shortly after she broke out in head to toe eczema. I cut out one, then the other, and she seemed to do better off both (and the eczema completely cleared up). So she's been mostly off since. We've done trials of back on wheat, but it's always seemed to make her skin flare up.
DD2 had some similar symptoms early on, so I just cut out dairy to be safe. Seems like it was the right decision, because whenever I cheat, I can see signs 3ish days later (does that sound right? I know dairy is weird, but I never know if I'm just looking for something).
Anyway.. currently, nothing is terribly wrong with either of them, but I still feel like I'm missing something. DD1's eczema has returned, but not as bad. She has flare-ups on her hands, cheeks, and under her mouth, and otherwise is rough from head to toe. She still often nightwakes, and often cries out in her sleep. She has a lot of difficulty falling asleep. These all may be temperment things, but maybe not? DD2 sleeps very similarly to DD1, with frequent nightwakes. She only naps for 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a day. She nurses back to sleep with every nightwake, but only nurses once between naps during the day. DO NOT try to nurse her to sleep, or comfort nurse her.. she will scream bloody murder, arching her back away. THIS could be due to a heavy let down and over supply.. but again, I feel like it could be something more. Sometimes when she nurses frequently, she starts to cry at the breast, but keeps coming back for more. And she spits up often.
Maybe somebody has seen this in their children and solved it through dietary changes? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Your infant sounds so much like my daughter! And they keep coming back.... but after a while I could only nurse her when she had fallen asleep. I would definitely try eliminating something else. Nuts seem the easiest to get rid of and I hear often help. Then wheat.... soy.... sounds like you know the drill! You'll find a lot of support for a Total Elimination Diet on this forum.
As for eczema, I think it can exist without allergic triggers, but that allergies can cause flare-ups. I wouldn't dismiss another allergen because food allergies seem to wax and wane at this stage, but I wouldn't necessarily invest a lot of energy into this theory unless you see other symptoms.
But you are the mama. I went through over a year of *knowing* my daughter's anger issues were out of the ordinary when everyone else was dismissing it as age appropriate. Disappeared completely after we eliminated a new allergen. Night and Day. So, go with your gut. Allergies are so freakin' weird that you can't entirely trust that someone else's experience will apply to you.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
Thanks for the responses! I didn't know that allergies could come and go at this age.. honestly the only reason I haven't cut out more allergens is because it just seems like so much work. And we have enough battles with sleep (and surviving with a four month old) to really think about it. I think I was looking for some comments to push me one way or the other!
DD1 had reflux, and I'm pretty sure DD2 does too, but I don't really know the difference between a lot of spitting up, and GERD? From what I remember, I thought I read that it's only worth treating if it affects their growth or if they're in a lot of pain, which doesn't really seem to be the current case. But yeah, definitely could explain the back arching!
Crying at the breast was definitely linked to allergies for my daughter. She would nurse, scream, nurse, scream etc. etc. The only time she nursed calmly was when she was sleepy. I didn't realize it at the time, and thought it was just one of those things.... and she had a lot of mucous in her stools and no reflux, at least no spitting up. Definitely allergies for us.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
Check out these articles linking cowsmilk allergy and GERD. I'm currently trying a strict dairy elimination diet (unfortunately I goofed and had butter a week ago so I'm back to the beginning of trying to cleanse my body of all traces of dairy protein). Haven't noticed much change in the GERD symptoms (minor pulling away while nursing, back arching/crying when first picked up, obvious and also silent reflux and gagging/stridor) but the research done used a 4 week dairy elim. diet....so I technically have 3 weeks to go. HOWEVER, I did notice an improvement in eczema within days of cutting out dairy. It's totally under control now with a good moisturizer and humidifier in bedroom.