Background I feel is important :
While 13 weeks pregnant with my son I became very ill while visiting family in Mexico, probably ecoli. I was put on an antibiotic, anti-amoeba and an anti-parisitic, I believe. I didn't take the full course because I worried about the effect on baby.
He was breech and born via c-section
He was diagnosed with reflux around 10 weeks of age and prescribed Zantac, I later switched to a probiotic with great results.
Introducing solids was terrible, back arching, screaming etc, around 6 months of age.
Because of the solid issue, he was almost exclusively breast-fed until 10 months of age ( May ). He is still breastfed and prefers that over food.
He had some issues with vaccinations, so we stopped all shots when he was about 4.5 month old, prior to that he was on a delayed schedule.
Christmas 2010 - first illness, no fever, lots of congestion - 5.5 month of age
3/11 second illness - congestion/running nose, no fever, borderline ear infection
5/11 - Third illness same as above, no ear problems
6/24/11 - Croup
8/18/11 - Roseola - Also diagnosed as anemia levels 6.4
9/15/11 - Fever/Runny Nose
10/8/11 - Hand Foot and Mouth Disease - iron level blood test pending
I do have a neighbor with constantly sick children who's not forthcoming regarding when they're ill, so we've decided no contact for at least a month. We know for sure his 9/15 illness came from her. The roseola came from another neighbor's child.
His bowel movements have never really been solid, sort of like peanut butter, varying in color. The iron supplement he's now on makes it worse. We cloth diaper him and I've never been able to simply shake his poop off in the toilet.
He eats very little processed food, but he does have grains and occasionally ( not often ) raw milk as I know the lactose in raw is much lower.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I tend to think this stems with a gut imbalance thus compromising his immune system. I'm taking him off all grains and dairy and he's now on a probiotic and I just started enzymes. I'm personally on fermented cod liver oil and butter oil ( and have been for three weeks ), and I'll also be giving him this. He'll also have daily broth made from the carcasses of chickens that we raise, free range. Unfortunately, I discovered some cavities in my own mouth, so as of 3 weeks ago, I'm drinking a lot of raw milk and I won't be able to cut that out of my diet, but I can convert the milk to yogurt or kefir to eliminate the lactose.
I'm completely desperate. My instinct tells me it's simply not normal for him to get so frequently. I feel like a bad mother. I thought if I breastfed him, he wouldn't get sick often. I also see a connection between regular introduction of solids in May and how frequently he started getting ill. I feel some light, as the hand foot and mouth disease seems to be clearing up quickly, much faster than his doctor indicated. I welcome any questions, suggestions, and encouragement.
On an off note, I was frequently ill as a child and also have some tummy issues.
What kind of probiotic is he on? I recommend this one http://www.amazon.com/Garden-Life-Probiotics-Kids-3-4-Ounce/dp/B004H9O4VG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1318398995&sr=8-3 Many probiotics can and do have extra ingredients that are harmful. This one is organic and NO EXTRAS.
I also recommend a completely organic diet. I personally dont see the problem with giving him raw milk(good for you for giving raw instead of the other junk!), although I would go with goat milk if you can. Its great that he's still BFing, and as long as its ok with you and not too hard on you I would just do breastmilk for him and take a good whole foods based vitamin supp yourself. I also dont see the prob with some organic whole grains, organic meat, etc. It is certainly all personal choice of course! Fresh organic fruits and veggies are very important IMO, and it is great that he is not getting vaccines! You are not a bad mother, it looks to me like you are doing so many things to try to help him and you are reaching out for help!
So funny, I was going to recommend the OTHER Garden of Life probiotic for kids, found here: http://amzn.to/nbrEt6
They're both good, but the one I linked to also has s. boulardii in it, which is particularly good for fighting antibiotic imbalances. The above probiotic was the only one I used for my son that normalized his bowel movements after antibiotics, and it particularly did so when I added even extra s. boulardii to the mix (you can get capsules of only s. boulardii and add them). And I had tried some really really good probiotics, like Pharmax and Klaire.
Also, with the Amazon Moms thingy and subscribe&save, it's ridiculously cheap, like 12.95 a bottle.
The other suggestion I have is to check for mold. My youngest son was sick constantly last year, and it turned out to be mold from a leak we didn't know had developed, from the gutter into the wall. The littles are particularly affected by that stuff because their immune systems are still developing.
It's sounds like you are doing everything right!! Take a deep breath and remember children are very resilient and they bounce back very quickly from imbalance.
I think you are doing an amazing job and now try to relax a bit and let all that good stuff take root.
Also- I don't think what you have listed sounds like a ridiculous amount of illness for a 15 month old especially if your neighbor is bringing sick kids over!
Breastfeeding is absolutely best but it isn't a magic pill that keeps away all illness. Hang in there Mom!!!
He's my first so I tend to get a little paranoid. My neighbor is an awesome lady who has three kids. one is a toddler, the other is in elementary school and her oldest just started middle school. Unfortunately she didn't have the support in place nor the education to understand the benefits of breastfeeding. She say if she has another, she definitely will. But, her three littles are constantly sick. The youngest has a constant runny nose and every time my boy plays at their home or they come here, he catches something!
Right now he's on Nature'sWay L. Reuteri.
I couldnt find that exact product, but I know other natures way products that I have seen have lots of extra ingredients and fillers in them, and I personally would not give them. Both of the Garden of Life probiotics for kids I would recommend.