At sweet little Noah's 4 month check-up, he was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy. I had to completely cut out dairy from my diet since I was breast-feeding him and what I ate affected my milk that he was nourished from. So, cut out dairy I did. However, it did not help our sweet boy. He had constant spit-up episodes and awful eczema on his head. We made the choice to wean him from breastmilk and onto formula and it worked! We saw a dramatic difference in his ability to keep his "milk" (ie, formula) down and digested. Also, along with the help of a prescription eczema cream, the dry-skin on his head cleared up and we could stop using the cream.
He stayed on Gerber Goodstart Gentle formula and Soothe formula until he turned one-year old. At Noah's 9-month check-up, I had asked the doctor if Noah would be able to drink whole milk when he turned a year old. I was so ready to stop buying formula! She said that most babies outgrow the milk protein allergy by the time they are one-year old, and we could definitely try to give milk to Noah. She said to watch out for signs of spit-up, which would clue us in that he might need to switch back to formula.
We switched Noah to milk at one-year old, and he didn't have any episodes with spitting-up. However, he did start to get chronic ear infections (not common in our boys-- Michael didn't have an ear infection until after he turned two). Noah also developed a chronic cough. At Noah's one-year check-up, he was diagnosed with a bad ear infection, and I asked about his chronic cough. I was told that some babies just have coughs. I wasn't too thrilled with that answer, but we went on our way and treated his ear infection. Noah got two more ear infections within as many months.
Last week, Noah coughed so much upon waking up that my mother-in-law (who was there at my house when he woke since Aaron and I were at work), had to pat him on the back to help him catch his breath. That was the last straw for us. With a baby who was tugging at his ears again, running a fever, and still had this cough, we knew we had to take him in and get this all resolved.
This time, Noah was diagnosed with a milk allergy. They said it really was the chronic cough that clued them in this time-- especially when they realized that this cough started around the time that Noah started drinking milk instead of formula. Noah did have a slight ear infection and a slight upper respiratory infection, probably caused by the milk allergy. We were advised to switch Noah completely off of dairy products for two weeks. We went out that very night and bought rice milk and soy milk. Noah seems to prefer the soy milk-- probably because it has the thickness of whole milk. Rice milk is kind of the consistency of water-- very thin.
We are at the end of week one with no dairy products for Noah. And the results so far? No coughing! Noah wakes up these days without coughing fits. He is no longer having coughing fits in the middle of the night either! We think this is fantastic!
This doesn't subtract from anything we buy at the store because we still need to purchase milk for Michael to drink (soy milk and rice milk are very carb-heavy per serving). And we still need to buy cheese for Michael to eat since cheese is a carb-free food that is a good protein source. So, our grocery list just now will include soy milk or rice milk for Noah (we plan to try almond milk and coconut milk in the future), and lots more eggs. Since Noah cannot have cow's milk or other dairy products like cheese, we were told to find a substitute for the protein and fat that the milk provided. The protein is found in eggs! Scrambled eggs are a perfect meal addition to get some added protein in Noah's growing body.
We hope in the future that we will be able to introduce some cheese products back into Noah's diet, but we're staying clear for now.
Anything that we can do to get a grin on this precious little boy, we will gladly do! And he is grinning lots and lots these days!
Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba