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Weaning early for milk protein allergy

(28 Posts)
GiveMeVegemite Mon 10-Mar-14 13:45:15

Basically wondering if anyone has done this and if I could have some tips.

My son is 5 months old and has a terrible milk protein allergy, only drinking about 700ml milk a day (which I have to feed him in his sleep as he hates it so much). He actually sleeps better at night if he doesn't have milk near bedtime as it upsets his tummy so much ��

I have tried aptamil, neocate, aptamil pepti, goats milk, soy milk, cow and gate, numerous comfort milks and more but nothing has made him happy and it is a constant struggle to get him to drink.

So I was wondering if I can start giving him solids now and slowly get him eating more solids and water and the bare minimum amount of milk? What would be the minimum amount of milk I could give him ?

Any advice much appreciated.

Chickz Mon 10-Mar-14 14:12:22

Hi there. Can I ask how you found out about the allergy? I suspect my dd might have one too. My dd is also 5 months. So you know she doesn't take that much more than yours, around 800ml.
I'm afraid I can't advise about whether to wean early but good luck!

GiveMeVegemite Mon 10-Mar-14 14:28:07

Hi. I went and saw a paediatrician who basically just looked at all his symptoms and diagnosed it. I don't think there is a specific test. The paediatrician prescribed neocate formula, but he got terrible reflux off it so had to change back to a thicker one. He has another paediatrician appointment on Thursday....

GiveMeVegemite Mon 10-Mar-14 14:31:25

His symptoms are: red spots around his mouth which indicate a mild allergic reaction, aversion to milk (screaming when he sees the bottle) which is why I have to feed him in his sleep, constipation, really bad farts (his 20 month old brother holds his nose around him!), reflux and general discomfort after eating.

stepmooster Mon 10-Mar-14 14:40:27

Hi GiveMeVegemite my DD was also diagnosed by her paediatrician, he recommended we start weaning her at 4 months as she had poor weight gain. I was BF her and it was hard to try and cut all dairy out of my diet.

She didn't really eat much at first but by about 5-6 months she found her appetite and it really helped with her weight gain. I switched her on to Aptamil Pepti at 6 months and she had 2 bottles of 9oz a day. She went on to Infasoy at 11 months and she now drinks Alprosoy1+ (she is 20 months now). We have been introducing dairy to her for the last 3 months and she is tolerating it although she has a taste for soyamilk which her dietician says is fine to give her instead of cows milk.

Did you get referred to a dietician by your GP? Our GP and paediatrician referred both me (as I was BF initially) and DD to a dietician for tips on how to wean non-dairy. You have to avoid other common allergens too, as there is an increased risk. Trying to remember what now, I know egg is definitely on the banned list and I think also wheat/gluten until a certain age.

Smerlin Mon 10-Mar-14 20:10:31

There is a blood test they can do acc to my Dr. I was combination feeding EBM and formula- I went dairy free due to suspected CMPA but the baby refused to drink the hydrolysed formula so we had to stay on normal formula anyway.

My baby also drinks less formula than she should-always 100 or so ml below the recommendation for her weight and had poor weight gain. We were referred to the paediatrician who recommended early weaning as she hates milk so much.

HOWEVER they should still drink 500ml formula per day until the age of 1 acc to the guidelines, alongside the solids.

Before 6 months if is only recommended to feed fruit, veg and baby rice. No gluten, dairy, egg and some say no meat either. This obviously means you need to keep up with lots of milk unfortunately for the calories, proteins etc

Pocket1 Mon 10-Mar-14 20:59:48

You poor thing, I know what you’re going through, this was my life not so long ago…

DD was diagnosed with dairy intolerance at about 4 months and on the advice of a gastric paediatrician we weaned her straight away. We started with baby rice made with her regular milk ( and we mixed it with fruit/veg puree – slowly over time we increased the % of fruit/veg puree. For a week did one meal a day, then we did two meals a day – and by the time DD was 6 months old we had three meals a day established. Then we introduced protein (chicken, beef, lamb, lentils, cod, salmon). Additionally she takes approx. 600ml/day of formula, the amount recommended for babies under one who are eating solids ( My DD is on nutramigen ( and although it tastes/smells awful to me, she takes it and it made a massive difference to her from the moment she first took it. Previously I was exclusively breastfeeding.

Btw, i was told to avoid other regular formula and all soya products as they can cause the same effects as dairy... You'll need to continue to give your son his milk feeds and use it to make up the baby rice.

Weaning DD has been the best thing I could have done for her. She absolutely loves her food and is so much happier and more settled. I listened for too long to the GPs, breastfeeding counsellors and health visitors who told me to carry on breastfeeding and not to wean her early. Please don’t listen to anyone who tells you not to wean before 6 months – if you think it will make your DS happier, then try it.

If you have any questions, I’m really happy to help.

Good luck

GiveMeVegemite Tue 11-Mar-14 11:01:51

Thanks so much for your posts. He had some pears for breakfast! ��

lola88 Tue 11-Mar-14 15:09:30

DS was lactose intolerant but the LF milk didnt agree with him either so I weaned early which helped a lot I took him off formula all together and on cows milk as the lactose intolerance often goes away by a year at 11 months and he was like a different child no tummy aches or constipation from then on.

TBH i'm not convinced the LF formula worked but it was the best option as anything else made him worse. Food was a savior for him we would have suffered much worse without it. We done fruit and veg til 6mo then added everything else he loved it.

Pocket1 Tue 11-Mar-14 16:08:08

Hey OP that's great. Try sweet potato too. Most little ones seem to love it smile

GiveMeVegemite Wed 12-Mar-14 09:51:11

Quick update. After giving little bits of fruit yesterday and a tiny bit of baby rice I had the best night for ages. Asleep at 8pm, up at 2 for a feed then up at 6.30 for some more milk then I had to get up at 7 to get my 20 month old up and he woke up when I got up, but swear he would have kept sleeping if I had of stayed with him.

Ithinkwerealonenow Wed 12-Mar-14 09:59:05

If he has a terrible milk protein allergy you should not under any circumstances be giving him:

aptamil - this is cows milk
goats milk - any mammalian milk contains almost exactly the same proteins as cows milk, so almost certain to be allergic to goats and sheep milk too
soy milk - not suitable for under 2 year olds, and a large proportion of CMPA sufferers are also allergic to soya milk
cow and gate, numerous comfort milks - all cows milks

You should only be giving him specially formulated hypo-allergenic milk, such as neocate, nutramigen etc. If he is being fed allergenic milk which causes discomfort, then he will be reluctant to drink it.

GiveMeVegemite Wed 12-Mar-14 10:17:08

Thanks for your input, but you don't know my situation. Obviously I would be giving him neocate, Althera, nutrimigen or aptamil pepti (I have tried them all). He is on anti reflux medication, (ranitidine, domeperidine and omeperazole) but all the hypo allergic milks make him so sick he loses more weight than he does drinking normal milk. So I mix neocate with a bit of comfort milk so he can keep it down.

Ithinkwerealonenow Wed 12-Mar-14 10:45:16

You are right, I don't know your situation, as you didn't specify it in your OP. I do, however, know allergies and have children with allergies, including CMPA, and it is entirely reasonable, from the information given, to suggest that giving a child who has CMPA cows milk formula might make them less than inclined to drink the milk.

vvviola Wed 12-Mar-14 10:54:41

I'm with Ithinkwerealonenow on this - did your paediatrician not say to exclude all dairy completely? We were certainly told that. Also, even at that age there are blood tests and skin prick tests that can be done to confirm the allergy. That is how DD2 was diagnosed with both her dairy and egg allergies at 7 months.

The allergen-free milks are, admittedly, vile. We were told by the dietician that one way of getting DD to drink them was to mix with maple syrup/nesquik! or, in our case breastmilk and slowly decrease the amount added to the formula and she would slowly get used to it. In the end, I just breast fed until I could switch her to oat milk.

GiveMeVegemite Wed 12-Mar-14 11:06:20

My post wasn't about what milk I should feed him it is about if I should start solids so thanks, but you can keep your opinions and your narky attitude to yourself.

I'm just trying to do what is best for my son and know-it-allslike you really piss me off. I tried every hypo allergic milk there is and none worked for him. If he is struggling more on hypo allergic milk than normal milk it indicates his reflux is worse than his allergy so I mix them, trying to get some of the benefits of each, without having him starve.

GotMyGoat Wed 12-Mar-14 11:10:26

GiveMe - you asked for advice and people are trying to help you by explaining what is best for your son - which is also what your doctor has said. No need for you to be rude to people who have taken the time to respond to you.

If you child is allergic to milk, do not give them milk. It's really simple. I'm not sure your taking the allergy seriously? Or maybe you don't understand what that can mean?

GiveMeVegemite Wed 12-Mar-14 11:38:26

I have been dealing with his milk 'allergy' for 5 months. I honestly don't know if it is an allergy as he has never been tested, I am seeing another paediatrician tomorrow.

This is why I'm not convinced I should be giving him allergy milk, as he drinks less of it than his normal milk and throws half of it back up and he loses weight. I tried it for a month, he got diagnosed with failure to thrive and my GP suggested I mix the allergy milk with a comfort milk.

So I don't need people giving me their opinions I milk. I know what I'm doing, as best as I can. If the paediatrician tells me different tomorrow I will go with their advice.

GotMyGoat Wed 12-Mar-14 11:44:59

Ok - Maybe it's a communication issue, it sounded as if you said the doctor had prescribed the allergy milk, but you were going against this advice. That's what everyone else has picked up on.

As to weaning - I wouldn't start early, wait till 6 months, it is better for his immune system - particularly if he does have any allergies. (also baby rice is horrific stuff)

GiveMeVegemite Wed 12-Mar-14 11:51:41

It was a private paediatrician that prescribed the neocate, but I have been waiting 9 weeks in the nhs to see another paediatrician, which is finally tomorrow.
Sorry if I sounded rude, it's just so tiring having 2 under 2 and my littlest who gates drinking and sleeping! Everyone has an opinion and I'm now doing what seems to work best for him, under gp supervision.

stepmooster Wed 12-Mar-14 16:13:10

OP I have seen a dietician and 2 paediatricians they all recommended weaning at 4 months for my 2 and they all said when I asked if it was too soon, that the 6 month guidance from the WHO is really to allow for those parts of the world where hygiene is not the best and the baby is relying on mothers immunity. That the recommendation is 4-6 months, and your baby needs to be able to sit upright, and they will spit out food if not ready.

I saw the dietician in Dec and she suggested I started weaning my then 4 month old as he had terrible wind problems and suspected reflux.

The HV nearly had a fit when I told them I was weaning before 6 months, when I told them his dietician advised it they shut up.

Smerlin Wed 12-Mar-14 17:28:18

GiveMeVegemite ignore those being patronising about the milk- we had the same thing with baby refusing to drink LF milk and like you say, if it's a choice between them having the cows' milk formula and being in discomfort or using the LF formula and won't drink it at all then you have to choose between two less than ideal situations and the baby has to drink something! I did hear the advice about nesquik and vanilla extract possibly persuading babies to drink the stinky formula though!

Also re: weaning, the paediatrician will look at your individual circs and may well decide early weaning so your baby is happier and gets some food is appropriate - even though 6 months is the advice for the majority. Try higher calorie vegetables like avocado though rather than the more watery fruit and veg

vvviola Wed 12-Mar-14 20:24:51

GiveMe - I honestly didn't mean to be patronising or to offend you, and I'm sorry if I came across that way. It was just a bit frightening to hear about a child having hives etc but not excluding milk, as when DD2 got hives around her mouth after a small amount of egg, we were instantly referred to a paediatrician with discussions of having Epipens, emergency pens, and when to call an ambulance. But you are right, I don't know your circumstances and I'm sorry for assuming.

On the subject of weaning, definitely ask the paediatrician at your new appointment - and I'd push for allergy testing too, just for your own peace of mind.

When we weaned we were amazed at the amount of dairy hidden in stuff, so if you are trying to keep the dairy levels as low as you can, make sure to check (almost every baby rice/porridge I found had milk in it, and most rusks etc)

Best of luck, I hope you get some answers.

Pocket1 Thu 13-Mar-14 20:30:32

Giveme how was your appointment today? Hope it was helpful. How's your LO doing?

What makes me cross is how the universe seems hell bent on telling us not to wean before 6 months. And you're made to feel like a bad mum for doing it earlier. On some cases it's wholly appropriate to wean early. I am SO pleased I weaned DD early, it's been the making of her. She's still skinny as she had a poor start being intolerant to my milk but she loves her food now and it's a pleasure to see her eat. I will never forgive the health visitors, GPs and breastfeeding ladies who encouraged me to bf for so long.

Pocket1 Thu 13-Mar-14 21:03:45

Ps. How did they decide he wasn't thriving? I'm curious as I don't think dd was either, but nobody ever said anything...

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