5 Signs Your Newborn May Have A Dairy Allergy

5 Signs Your Newborn May Have A Dairy Allergy

Guys, having a newborn is HARD. The sleep deprivation, the feeding schedules, the other children to tend to–it’s a LOT. I thought I had it all figured out with this being my third child in 4 years, but oh how wrong I was.

5 Signs Your Newborn May Have A Dairy Allergy

Everything was hunky dory the first 3 weeks. My daughter was sleeping fine, was snuggle as can be, and basically acted like every other newborn. 

Around 4 weeks, it all changed. If my daughter was awake, she was screaming. I knew she was in serious discomfort, but I had no idea why. I adjusted breastfeeding positions, I tried feeding her with a bottle, I tried new swaddles, I held her to sleep. Nothing seemed to work. Our pediatrician made a recommendation to see a lactation specialist/pediatric OT to have her evaluated for a potential tongue tie since it seemed like she was having feeding issues.

Once we saw the specialist, we walked through the signs and symptoms to what ultimately led to our diagnosis.

  1. Serious gas: Our daughter was having some of the smelliest gas I have ever encountered. We would put her on her tummy to try and get more gas out. We’d burp her until the cows came home. We even did bicycle legs in hopes to squeeze some extra gas out. Nothing seemed to work. 
  2. Rash on her face: the rash on her face was not severe, nor did she scratch at it. Both the specialist and I agreed it could be baby acne OR it might be an allergic reaction, but it was hard to tell. The first photo was before we realized the allergy. The second photo was just 2 weeks later.
    Newborn with allergy rash smiling baby  
  3. Very, very fussy: I’m not talking newborn fussy. Babies will cry, but if your little one looks like she is in pain (clenching fists, red face, arching back), it might be more than just colic. 
  4. Trouble eating: It would take my daughter so long to nurse or take a bottle. She would click or slip off breaking her seal. We think this was due to her serious discomfort. 
  5. Mucus-y bowel movements: Sorry, this is a gross one. But instead of having yellow, seedy poops, my daughter’s poops were ALWAYS liquid and “sticky,” or like they had a ton of mucus. 

What we did to fix it: elimination diet.

Don’t get me wrong, it was not easy in the beginning. I eliminated gluten, dairy, and soy from my diet. After about 7 days, it was like I had a new kid. She was happy, her bowel movements were normal, her sleeping was better, her eating was better, and I felt sane again. If you are a breastfeeding mom with a baby with potential food allergies, Free to Feed is an excellent resource. If you’re in doubt, ask your pediatrician. You and your baby don’t have to suffer. Oh, and you’re not crazy. Don’t worry.

Jessica Hauerwas
Jessica is a nonprofit leader who loves bopping around Lafayette for the best burgers or bands in town. She is the Executive Director of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited where she runs the day-to-day nonprofit. She and her husband Chris have three littles at home (Jane, Clark, and Louise) where there is lots of giggling and always a cup of coffee brewing. Jessica is passionate about community-building and empowering working mothers. Jessica also volunteers for various organizations, is a member of the Lafayette Re-Entry Coalition, a graduate of Leadership Lafayette, and a survivor of being a mother of three under 4.


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