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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dairy sensitivity and colic

Sugar Plum is a pretty laid back little girl. She doesn't get upset easily and is quick to flash a grin. She has also perfected the over the back spit up routine and occasionally seemed to suffer from gas pains. As she approached the three month mark, her evening fussiness seemed to be ramping up. Could this be colic? Wasn't colic supposed to be subsiding at three months, not starting?

On an especially horrible night for all involved, poor Sugar Plum was beyond consoling, arching her back and wailing for hours on end. I was searching the internet while patting her back and swaying back and forth, willing my google search to render a solution. It seemed that I'd tried all the suggestions that kept coming up, so I turned to my twitter friends for a solution.

How is it that in all my searches for colic, colicky baby, calming the colicky baby, breastfed colic and so on, none had turned up a discussion of dairy sensitivity? Thankfully @kblogger and @SomewhatCrunchy came to my rescue and suggested removing dairy from my diet. Once I knew to search for dairy sensitivity in breastfed babies I found all kinds of resources.

Apparently it can take weeks to see an improvement, but Sugar Plum was so much better in a matter of days. I also learned that Soy milk might also cause a problem (it does seem to bother her - anyone interested in 2/3 of a carton of plain light organic soy milk?) but that goat's milk products might be tolerable. I've tried some goat's milk cheese and at least in small doses it doesn't seem to bother her.

The next challenge is finding food to eat...and getting enough calcium. Sugar Plum's GaSue is a dietitian and she happened to be visiting for Thanksgiving. She was nice enough to let me pick her brain for ideas over lunch one day - in addition to small quantities of goat's milk products, I'll be enjoying calcium fortified orange juice, dark greens and a few calcium supplements spaced throughout the day. I'm eating a lot more fruits and vegetables, and I am going to check out rice milk ice cream the next time I'm at the store...

For more information on going dairy free and dairy sensitivity in babies, here are some helpful links:

Kellymom has a section on food sensitivity and also on getting enough calcium

Fussy Baby has several good articles on the dairy sensitive baby and going dairy free

Go Dairy Free is a good resource for dairy free foods and recipes

Do any of you have suggestions for eating dairy free? Any snack ideas or recipes you don't mind sharing? I'd love to hear them!

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Shelly said...

I also had to cut out dairy for six months when my second daughter was born. It was hard at first but it got easier over time; and she eventually outgrew it.

Michelle said...

Welcome to my world... except we figured it out a year ago when she was 3 1/2. But yep, all those symptoms. And a previous ped (who we left in Jan after his condescension) refused to admit it might have anything to do with a number of health issues. Rice milk works well... we've also found a great dairy free calcium/magnesium blueberry flavored supplement that Little Miss takes daily that she loves. Trader Joe's rice milk is $2.99 for 64 oz, which may be cheaper than the goat's milk you're using. Let me know if you want any suggestions. :)

SO glad you figured it out early and that it's working so well for you!

Jenna said...

Hey thanks for the comment!! You might ask my cousin over at www.familyoffreeze.blogspot.com. Her little girl was very colicky as a baby and is now on a dairy free diet...she might have some helpful tips! I'm lactose intolerant and I buy the lactaid milk that is lactose free, it's not bad at all!