One thing that has applied to both my girls, is that from tiny babies, both were dairy intolerant. I’ve never really shared our story, or our journey to where we are today:
Lou’s Dairy and Egg free story.
From Lou’s birth in March 2012, I noticed that she was a fairly ‘sicky baby.’ She found it difficult to keep her milk down and suffered terribly with Colic, so we used the various products on the market to help soothe this for her. Lou would only really be comforted if she was lying on her front and on someone’s chest like my own or her daddy’s. I took Lou to be weighed regularly as I did have concerns about her weight after the amount of milk that she couldn’t keep down. Luckily, her weight was always average for her age.
When it was time to wean Lou, she was happy with foods such as sweet potato and banana, I thought that the addition of solids may reduce the amount of sickness, but it sadly didn’t, I then introduced yogurts and other dairy products to her diet from around 8-months-old. This is when I first noticed that there was a problem, as Lou would have up to 11 soiled nappies per day and would go through the nappy, vest and straight through her clothes, I had to throw away so many clothes due to this and I had carried about 5 outfit changes in her bag. With introducing egg products, such as scrambled egg, Lou would projectile vomit almost straight after it hit her stomach and came straight back out! Alarm bells were then ringing as I thought that “this isn’t right,” it is so difficult to know what to do and to not feel like your causing a fuss when it’s your first child. However, I then expressed my concerns with Lou’s health visitor, who suggested I try a Lactose-Free formula as she may be intolerant to lactose. I bought some tins from a high street retailer and couldn’t believe the price for the size of the tin! But this did reduce her nappies to 6 a day and I avoided egg altogether. For a baby of 9-months-old to still have 6 soiled nappies per day I still thought that it can’t be right. I then sought the advice of our GP who recognised that in fact, it was most likely an allergy to all dairy. The GP prescribed a formula called ‘Nutramigen,’ and advised to cut out all dairy products from Lou’s diet. An appointment to see a Dietician at our local hospital was also arranged.
I soon noticed a huge improvement in Lou’s situation, the formula tasted fairly sour and I’d heard that some babies can reject it, but luckily Lou enjoyed it. I had a huge problem getting hold of the formula, it was like ‘Gold Dust’ and very difficult to order in as each small tin was fairly costly. I once waited from 3pm until 5pm for a delivery to come in as I was down to the last few scoops of the tin and Lou’s daddy had to come and take over with the waiting for the prescription whilst I got her home!
When we saw the Dietician she was most helpful and we were given recipe ideas for dairy free meals and products that we could use as substitutes for dairy and egg. I soon became a ‘serial packet checker,’ it would take me twice as long to go around the supermarket, from checking the ingredients to ensure that no diary or milk products were included. Once Lou reached 12 months-old we were advised to try her with ‘Alpro Soya +1,’ milk that provided children with the right number of vitamins and minerals, however she was also intolerant to Soya and went back to around 6 soiled nappies per day, and we therefore cut this out. On a return visit to the dietician we were given information about the ‘Milk Ladder, where milk is slowly introduced back in the diet to check if the child can tolerate it at various stages or not. This started with baked products with milk in such as biscuits and cakes, then then in meals such as Shepherd’s Pie, Lasagne and then chocolate, yoghurt, cheese and lastly cow’s milk itself. We soon realised that Lou was more able to tolerate milk in baked products and she still suffered a reaction after eating yoghurts and chocolate, with the first sign of blotches appearing around her mouth. By the age of 3 Lou could tolerate yoghurts and cow’s milk in moderation but still suffered if eating any products containing egg, for example, quiche. We had to keep close observation on what Lou was eating at events such as parties. During Christmas 2015, Lou had lots of chocolate at the various events that went on over this time of year, we soon found that she was unable to tolerate dairy products once again. We had to start right back at the bottom of the ‘Milk Ladder’ and it took until August 2016 for her to tolerate dairy once again, we are very careful though, presently that she doesn’t over-load once again and struggle to tolerate dairy once again.
For a copy of the ‘Milk Ladder’ document, please see here:
Moo’s dairy and egg free story. (Just realised how ironic this header is!)
The day Moo was born I could tell that she was most likely intolerant to dairy, she couldn’t keep any milk down and I had only taken in around 10 bodysuits into hospital for her and had to make a frantic call to my sister to fetch some more. I noticed the symptoms straight away as I’d already been through it all before with Lou, but she was never this sick from so early on. I was getting worried about Moo’s weight gain as she continually brought milk back up, often just after the milk was hitting her stomach. I voiced my concerns with health professionals who suggested that I tried thicker formula to try and ensure that Moo kept it down, this did work at first but she became extremely constipated and I couldn’t stand to see the agony she was in. I kept it always in the back of my mind that I’d experienced this before, but we were in a different area with a different health visitor and different GP so it took until Moo was 3 months old for the recognition that Moo was also dairy intolerant. I repeatedly had to say “I’ve seen this before!” Moo was put onto Nutramigen as Lou had been a few years before, and we saw a massive improvement. We noticed that Moo was more prone to Eczema around her mouth and behind her arms and legs.
After weaning at 6 months old, we knew exactly the products to avoid and the best ones to use for dairy substitutes, such as Vitalite margarine. Moo was still suffering quite badly with Reflux, and she was then given sachets to include in her formula and meals, we then saw an improvement in her weight gain and she stopped using these sachets by her 1st birthday. We haven’t tried the milk ladder with Moo yet, the problem is that now we have 1 child who can tolerate dairy and one who can’t Lou sometimes forgets and will offer dairy products to Moo, and often Moo will eye up a chocolate biscuit and snatch it quickly! We have to ensure that Moo is offered a substitute when Lou is having a treat, such as dairy free milk buttons.
We hope to introduce Moo to the Milk Ladder by the age of 2, and hopefully that she too, in time can gradually tolerate dairy products.
Our favourite Dairy Free Products:
Thanks for reading 🙂