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Need to get 12month old off the breast but allergic to cow's milk protein - help!

(5 Posts)
edwinak Mon 06-Jul-09 10:09:24

I'm at the end of my tether! DS is 12 months and has been exclusively BF. He initially had the odd bottle of EBM but from 5 months refused to have a bottle of any kind. I have tried to get him off onto formula at various stages but he would spit it out, come out in red blotches & his eczema would flare up. Eventually GP referred us to the dietican who said he was allergic to cows milk protein. She prescribed Pepti (he's also allergic to goats & soya milk) & said we needed to also remove dairy from his diet. (although he doesn't seem to have an immediate reaction to yoghurt, cheese, cooked milk etc).

He started nursery about a month ago & has had a string of bugs etc. He has started waking at midnight & at 4.30am demanding milk. This is so weird as he slept through the night from 8 weeks old - I can't understand why this is happening. He is also a very good eater & eats 3 really good meals, plus snacks a day. I am exhausted as a result of all this night waking and am also worried that it's because I am not producing enough milk or good enough quality milk to satisfy him (my breasts rarely feel full these days).

I would love to hear if anyone has had similar problems or can shed any light on why he's waking in the night for milk. Any advice on getting a toddler to take Pepti & also how to get a toddler who's only ever been breastfed to accept milk from a beaker would be gratefully received!

elkiedee Mon 06-Jul-09 11:18:48

When did he start nursery? His change in patterns and having the bugs may be causing the night waking. Perhaps he's looking for comfort or to get more milk when you're around to make up for the time when you're not. It may also be other things such as hot weather (making him thirsty) or his development - my ds1 became impossible to get to sleep when he first learned to walk at 14 months (last July actually!) and gradually settled better again.

It probably isn't about quality or quantity of milk, you don't need to feel uncomfortably full all the time or dripping with milk to have enough for your baby.

Given his allergies and the problems this is going to cause with finding formula or alternative milks, have you considered continuing to breastfeed? And as he's eating solids and when weather is quite hot, perhaps try to get him to drink some more water.

What time do he and you go to bed? Can you fit in any more sleep before his midnight feed? Do you feed lying down? My 5 month old ds2's feeding varies but at least if I lie down I have the feeling of getting a little more rest. Hopefully it will be another temporary thing, he might settle better again as he gets used to new routines like nursery.

elkiedee Mon 06-Jul-09 11:20:23

Also, if what's happened to him with formula has been unpleasant, he may associate the pain and discomfort with the bottle or beaker even if he'd be ok with the Pepti.

idunnop Mon 06-Jul-09 14:49:00

Hi - have you been referred to an allergy specialist at all, or just the dietician? Really your DS should be properly allergy tested (skin prick tests / blood tests).

Might be worth posting this question on the Allergies board as there is loads of great advice there.

My DD is allergic to cows milk protein but started having soya formula from a beaker when she started nursery aged 12 months no problem luckily. The dietician did say however that if we had trouble getting her to accept it we could add a little bit of milkshake powder to start with, to make it taste nicer, then gradually cut down.

edwinak Mon 06-Jul-09 20:52:30

Thanks elkidee & idunnop

DS started nursery at the end of May. I have enjoyed breastfeeding but now I'm back at work I'm feeling quite tired & I just feel I've had enough. We are also hoping to try for another in the next couple of months & as I haven't had my period since I had DS that kind of skuppers things on that front!

I am going to try & get to bed much earlier as you suggested elkidee. (DS is normally asleep between 7&8pm & I'm normally in bed by 11pm). I already feed him lying in bed which does help a bit.

Thanks for the milkshake tip idunnop - definitely worth a go.

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