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Weaning a colicky baby

(32 Posts)
CantSleepWontSleep Tue 30-May-06 10:19:10

I know that most babies grow out of colic around 12 weeks, so don't know if anyone will have any experience that can help or not, but here goes. Bit of background....

DD almost 16 weeks, and has suffered terribly with colic. Thought it was better, then discovered last week that she reacts extremely badly if I eat dairy, so I'm now off it. She still struggles to bring up wind though, even with the aid of infacol. There are a whole list of other foods that I seem to have to avoid too (mostly veg, eg peppers, baked beans, onions)

She's a big baby (will be weighed later this morning, but was 15lb 9oz at 14 weeks, which is over 91st centile), and is exclusively breast fed at present (refuses to take a bottle so no choice there!). She has never really been very settled at night, but is now in a pattern of waking 3 or more times each night for a feed (she gets around 8 hours sleep a night). During the day she feeds for about 45mins from both breasts, and only goes a maximum of a 3 hour feed cycle.

Health visitor has given her blessing for us to wean her from 4 months, and says that this might help with her colic, but can't know for sure.

So my questions are
1. If you weaned a colicky baby, did it help with their colic?
2. Did your weaned baby wake less in the night for food?
3. If your baby was sensitive to certain foods that you ate, did you avoid giving them them when you weaned them, or did they take them and not react badly?


CADS Tue 30-May-06 10:29:15


Sounds like your dd is milk intolerant.

Personally, I would try to aim for 6mnths before you start weaning as I find with both of mine that solids doesn't help the colic or help them sleep through the night.

I made the mistake of weaning ds too early (16wks) and have regretted the decision ever since. Now, with dd (27wks) I have just started to wean her on carrot (which most babies don't have a problem) and she has had 2 terrible days.

Have a look on the web for "the elimination diet" which will help you with eliminating/establishing what else you lo is reacting too. And yes, I would avoid these foods when you first start weaning.

You are giving her the best food there is for her colic.

Good luck

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 30-May-06 12:32:25

Funny you should say that CADS. Saw h/v and doc again this morning as DD has also had nappy rash since she was just a couple of weeks old, despite trying numerous treatments from GP - h/v thinks she could well be lactose intolerant, whereas doc thinks she isn't! He says he could send her for a test, but since she won't feed from a bottle anyway, what difference would it make, as I would still feed her the same way! He also said that I'm giving her the best food already, and he wouldn't expect weaning to particularly help.

expatinscotland Tue 30-May-06 12:39:35

I would seriously consider weaning a baby who appears to already have so many digestive issues this early.

I fed mine at 24 weeks and already feel a touch guilty about that .

LIZS Tue 30-May-06 12:42:51

Tend to agree with the dr . tbh doubt it will make much difference yet as the amount of solids initially will be so small, and they are not supposed to reduce their milk intake until 6 months. B'milk is more readily digestible than any solids(and bear in mind those you would probably start on are those you have already recognised as her being sensitive to) and "kinder" on an immature gut. Introducing more into her diet now may just complicate a diagnosis. Personally think I'd give the dairy free diet longer to take effect.

CADS Tue 30-May-06 12:47:20

Hi again

Lactose and cow's milk protein intolerance are two different things, people often get the two confused. With lactose intolerance your dd wouldn't be thriving.

Cow's milk protein intolerance (CMP) is alot more common than lactose intolerance in infants. Lactose intolerance usually occurs later in life. We only discovered this with dd, unfortunately, because I was misinformed it lead me to give up breastfeeding both my los.

It was only when dd was given Nutramigen (lactose free but cow's milk based hypoallergenic formula) that I realise that they are both CMP intolerant not lactose. Your GP can still have your dd tested for lactose intolerance by getting a "reducing substance test" done on her stools, as breastfeeding is mainly made of lactose. However, in order for them to test for CMP she would need to have cow's milk formula (high concentration than getting CMP through your breastmilk).

I have done loads of research on this, so let me know if you want me to give you more information.

CADS Tue 30-May-06 12:51:19

oh and if it does turn out that she is lactose intolerant you don't need to give up breastfeeding. You can buy Colief which breakdowns the lactose in breastmilk from Boots. I think you would be able to get it on prescription.

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 30-May-06 13:05:11

CADS - glad you are here! I've not heard of CMP before, but your comment about DD thriving is exactly my GP's reason for saying that she isn't lactose intolerant (we did try colief in the early weeks, but it seemed to be no more effective than infacol).

So if she is CMP intolerant, is there anything else I should/could be doing to help, except for giving up dairy? I'm still eating some butter, but am assuming that the quantity is small enough not to have an effect - can you get dairy free butter??

Expat/LIZS - I think you are probably right, and I shouldn't try and rush her into things. I've managed this long on very little sleep, so sure I can manage a couple more months if I have to! Don't think you should feel guilty for 24 weeks though expat - I doubt your DC took in very much in the first couple of weeks anyway.

CADS Tue 30-May-06 14:00:59

Yes, you need to completely cut out all dairy including butter. This will involve alot of label reading. yes, you can get dairy free butter alternatives. Have a look in the supermarkets, can't think of one at the moment. Also, 30-40% infants that are intolerant to CMP (cow's milk protein) are also intolerant/allergic to soya, so make sure you aren't having any in your diet. It can take up 4wks for CMP to leave your system so be patient. The good news is alot of infants out grow it by 12mnths.

Sometimes, you need to go back to a really basic diet then slowly reintroduce foods to see if your dd reacts to them. This is all really hard work but believe me it will be worth it.

DD won't have half the problems she has now if the paeds/HV/GPs had got the diagnises right with ds. DD now has rectal prolaspe from being constipated on formula at 3mnths and has to have a laxative daily with gives her gas, tummy ache and make her fuss all day. She even withholds farts, FGS. If the world cup was for fussing dd would win it for England.

I will post some good websites that I use about MSPI (milk and soya protein intolerance) that should help with your diet, later (got a 2.3year old climbing all over me).

Also, our hoover has saved my sanity when dd has been difficult and i have a 70min white noise cd called "little sleepy head" (recordings of hoover, tumble dryer, dishwasher and washing machine) which I play on repeat all night and helps her sleep.

CADS Tue 30-May-06 15:05:35

Sorry, don't know how to do links but here goes:

MSPI groups - Support and you can post questions (i just get a daily email with that day's posts)

General info on food alleries and intolerances:

For when your are ready to start weaning:

Info on elimination diet:

Hope these help, feel free to ask any questions.

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 30-May-06 18:24:08

Wow - loads of info to look at - thank you. Alarmed by your comment about soya though - bought a load of alpro soya stuff as dairy alternatives yesterday! Will keep an eye on whether she gets bad again with me eating them.

Will have to wait until she naps tomorrow to have a good read through it all, and will let you know if I have any more questions afterwards.

nothercules Tue 30-May-06 18:29:28

Sorry but how on earth can a hv have more knowledge and wisdom to go against WHO recommendations. I would leave weaning as long as I possonle could. DD was very colicky and I found different foods made no difference to it. I simply had to wait till it passed.

nothercules Tue 30-May-06 18:31:35

excellent website

CADS Tue 30-May-06 19:55:31

Don't be alarmed about the soya, both of mine can tolerant it. Just bear in mind that soya is a major allergen and some children have started off ok on it but have later developed an intolerance. Try to leave a couple of days (a week if you can, soya usually has go dates on it) between ending dairy and starting soya so that it is easier to establish if soya causes a problem.

CADS Tue 30-May-06 19:56:44

sorry, I mean "good dates"

foxinsocks Tue 30-May-06 20:04:31

I agree with your doctor. It's perfectly possible she has some sort of dairy problem (whether intolerance or allergy) but either way, I cannot see how early weaning would help.

dd was very colicky and she did turn out to be milk allergic (we found this out when she finally took a bottle and came out covered in hives). Once she was on a hypoallergenic formula, she was a different child. However, weaning was a nightmare and we had to introduce foods very carefully and very slowly and it took a long time.

I really cannot see how early weaning would help with her colic!

foxinsocks Tue 30-May-06 20:05:38

p.s. she also happened to be soya and egg allergic aswell

foxinsocks Tue 30-May-06 20:07:23

should also say that (from memory) colic normally starts to get a bit better from around 4-5 months so fingers crossed for you!

Jasnem Tue 30-May-06 20:09:34

CSWS - If you think the problem is caused by any kind of allergy, then early weaning is a bad idea.

I'm still convinced by the argument that the best food is milk, and weaning is not likely to have an immediate impact on any other problems except to possibly make them worse.

katiebl Tue 30-May-06 20:20:20

I had a very colicky ds. Tried weaning him about 6 months but his digestive system was still not up to it and he reacted to baby rice! Now he can handle it but I lfet weaning for about 8 weeks longer. I'd leave your dd a least another 8 weeks b4 weaning. Also when you do start weaning you need to introduce foods at a rate of about 1 per week - then you can notice any allergies as you go. I (re) started mine on carrots and bananas. The later you can leave weaning the better. It gives their digestive system time to develop and I think studies have shown that they are slightly less likely to develop intolerences the longer you leave them.

CADS Tue 30-May-06 20:41:56

Katiebl - Did your ds also react to carrot? I gave dd carrot for two days and she was terrible. Do you leave a few days between a food he reacts to before trying a new food?

katiebl Tue 30-May-06 22:13:15

I would cos you need to get the food they react to out of their system before you can tell the effect of the new food. Its difficult to tell what they will react to as they can (basically) react to anything. BUt as they're young unless it is an extreme reaction they might be able to cope with it in a few months time (if it is extreme obviously you completely avoid it). Ds didn't react to carrot and banana or most things except baby rice (the one thing they're not supposed to react to of course).

CantSleepWontSleep Wed 31-May-06 17:58:50

CADS - had last dairy on Thursday evening, and first soya on Monday afternoon (ice cream), then soya milk with breakfast the last 2 days. She had been noticeably better since Sunday, but had another big hissy fit and was obviously in pain part way through a feed today. I think I'll therefore have to give the soya a miss for a while too, so that I can try and establish if it was that that upset her, or the antibiotics she is taking for her nappy rash (which she had a few mins before the feed).

foxinsocks - can your DD now tolerate milk/soya/egg, or does it look like being a permanent problem?

foxinsocks Wed 31-May-06 19:06:55

she outgrew milk and soya allergy when she was 2 and is 5 now and I'm pretty sure she has outgrown the egg one (though we haven't been for a retest) - her egg was always the worst one.

I found it impossible to tell what the problem was when I was breastfeeding. It will probably rear its head when you start weaning.

I hope she starts calming down soon for both your sakes!

CADS Wed 31-May-06 19:17:08

It is most probably the antibiotics but I would stay off the soya for two weeks.

Try to keep a diary of what you eat that way if she has more bad days you might be able to find other offending foods.

Antibiotics are terrible for their tummies so expect some bad days. I would give it at least 1wk after she has finished the antibiotics before you start suspecting other foods. My mother always told be to take antibiotics after food, I have always done this with ds and found he has had less side effects than his friend, it ok be pure myth, but I stick to it.

Each child is different, but from what I have read, the less exposure babies have to foods that they can't tolerant, the less damage they cause, the quicker they recover and sooner they can go back to those foods. I would stay for dairy for two months then start with something like skimmed milk and see what happens.

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