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Allergies and intolerances

I need to wean DS v soon but paralysed with qns re allergies....

6 replies

ItchyScratchyMummy · 12/06/2010 00:10

Hi there, I know there are similar threads around but I've trawled them and still need some more basic advice for my situation (sorry - sleep deprivation not helping!!).

I have 5.5 mo EBF DS who has had IgE testing and has come out allergic to nuts and eggs, plus gastro has told us to assume also allergic to cow's milk despite IgE coming back ok.

Need to start weaning v soon. I'm actually thinking of starting with the baby rice this week as he has started waking up a LOT in the past week or so (having previously slept ok, though has never slept through!). I know that food intake/waking at night not necessarily linked but I really feel like he needs more food at the moment. In any case he'll be 6 mo in 2 weeks so at most I have 2 weeks to get my head around this... I have cut egg/dairy/nuts from my own diet and obviously will avoid when weaning. Gastro also said to avoid gluten foods when weaning for now. I've been referred to a dietician but as of right now don't have an appointment until September, which is not much use to me! I would love to do BLW but honestly don't think am brave enough given allergies in short term. After a month or so perhaps will move to BLW if first tastes etc go ok.

His allergies at the moment show up with eczema which has been constant since 6 weeks, varies massively day-to-day but he has only been 100% clear on a couple of days since then. There's no chance I can wait for him to be 100% clear before introducing food... I will of course keep a food diary for him when weaning (and prob me too as will still be BF).

So.... What the hell do I do about weaning? I am so utterly confused. I think I can start with baby rice and that should be ok - do I do this for a few days before introducing anything else? Can I start this now or should I really really wait til the day he hits 6 mo? And then when I start first tastes, I was planning to introduce new foods every 3/4 days. Is this ok? Can anyone suggest an order to introduce things? My understanding is that baby porridge has milk so can't use this. Someone else advice using ReadyBrek - but that has gluten....

Are there any books I should read pronto? Also (and please don't flame me for this) are there any packets/jars of food that I can use in the next month or two given this situation? I'm planning on mostly making my own but we're on holiday mid-July for a week and I could really do without having to spend my week's holiday pureeing food. Any advice?

Sorry for loooong post. I suspect I'll have some more lengthy questions before I get ready to proceed.......

Thank you thank you thank you oh wise MNers!!!

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alibobins · 12/06/2010 09:35

I know how you feel Ds2 was 6 months yesterday and is allergic to dairy but not sure if anything else yet. Ds1 suffers with anaphylactic reactions to nuts, eggs and fish he has a very severe reaction at 9 months.

Ds2 is under a consultant at hospital as he has excema and chest probs plus reflux.
He advised us to start on root veg like carrot butternutsquash sweet pot and parsnips.
You are right with introducing one food every 3 days he also suggested introducing foods early on in the day so if there are any probs places are open.

Organix do a couple of jars that are root veg and some fruit pots too.
For breakfast Ds2 has babyrice mixed with his special milk and some fruit or organix do a wholegrain fruity rice with apple.

Avoid things like strawberry and kiwi.

Have fun

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OkieCokie · 12/06/2010 14:14

I went through the same as you, I found out about LOs allergies and intolerances just before I started weaining at 5.5 mths. At 6 months I decided to stop breastfeeding as we had so many intolerances to deal with it was easier to control his diet than mine and his eczema did improve then too. If you can;t wait til 6 mths I don;t think 2 weeks is going to make a huge difference, just take it very slowly.

Once he got fed up of Baby Rice (after a few weeks) I used this range for quite some time which you can buy in Waitrose, especially the porridge which went down well with pureed fruit in. The one food at a time is a good way to go and you should be pretty safe with carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and pear and apple at first. I used the Annabel Karmel book for ideas (did not follow the routies though - I found the (whispers) Gina Ford guide to weaning good for routine and how and when to introduce new tastes). Like you I wanted to BLW but found with the intolerances being so many it wasn;t to be. The weaning method hasn't made any difference now though! My LO is intolerant to diary, wheat, nuts, egg, sesame and oats (so lots of breakfast cereals are out!) and was to soya until recently. As we found out all of this before weaning we still are unsure what level of reaction he may have to certain foods. Like you it was all presenting in eczema.

I also used Ella's Kitchen pouches and plum baby for convenience when on holiday (my view I was on holiday too and needed some break from the cooking!). He was 6-7 months when we first went away and these were great.

The AK receipe for Lovely lentils was a great hit from 7 mths. I still cook all his food myself and freeze in batches (he is 18 mths now). He still drinks Neocate as the main milk drink but we are slowly introducing soya formula as he passed soya challenge in hospital recently.

You really have to get used to reading the back of packets of things and get creative in the kitchen. I have had disasters - I still can not make a diary, egg and gluten free breadstick! . You should try and see a dietitian at the hospital which may be able to give some guidence but to be honest I found out most stuff myself and from internet like MN. If you need more advice I would be happy to help more. I hope you see an improvement in the skin once you start weaning!

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greenbananas · 13/06/2010 10:15

Have you got some antihistamine in case your DS has a reaction?

Allergies aren't necessarily a barrier to baby-led weaning. It saves the need for lots of purees and can be the easiest way to ensure that you introduce 'pure' foods, one at a time and that your DC doesn't eat lots of a food that they are seriously uncomfortable with. Having said that, I started giving purees to my DS when he was 5.5 months as he seemed desperate for food. (Looking back, I think I misinterpreted the signs and really wish I'd waited a bit longer until he could actually pick up bits of food for himself. In your position, I would rely mostly on breastmilk while you are on holiday as your baby will only be about 6.5 months old)

I echo the advice about offering very safe foods first (parsnips and squashes are good). Don't offer too many things at once and beware of foods of 'risky' foods (e.g. people with nut allergy sometimes react to apricots, plums etc. so don't give those too early).

The food diary is a great idea and, if you're breastfeeding, keep a note of everything you eat as well. It's time-consuming but well worth it and might help you get on top of the eczema (my DS's eczema is totally food-related and only flares up if he eats something he shouldn't).

Keep breastfeeding as long as you can because breastmilk contains all sorts of goodies that Neocate doesn't. However, you might have to stop eating everything that your DS is allergic to and although this approach has worked really well for my family I do realise it isn't for everyone.

I never did find any pots of 'savoury' baby food that my DS could eat, although some of the apple puddings are alright. All the savoury jars have multiple ingredients, even the Stage 1 root veg. ones, and every jar contains something he can't have. My advice is: don't bother, it's not worth the time and effort reading labels, especially if, like me, you find out your DS is reactng to onions, tomatoes, peppers and a load of other stuff too. If your DS has a reaction after eating a jar of baby food, it can be very hard to figure out which ingredient caused it.

It sounds daunting, I know, but there will be loads of foods that your DS can eat with no problems. Hope everything goes well and it isn't too stressful for you.

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greenbananas · 13/06/2010 10:18

Should add: another advantage of BLW is that the baby holds the food himself so can put it down if it makes his mouth tingle. A little baby refusing the spoon can't tell you he soesn't like the food because it's making his throat feel funny, so BLW is perhaps much safer.

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ItchyScratchyMummy · 13/06/2010 22:59

Thanks so much ladies - really appreciated. Am amazed how scared I am about this. Not in my nature at all really. Wish me luck!!

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Lima1 · 14/06/2010 09:41

ISM - i have a 2 yr old and no allergies and weaning went fine with her no intolerances. Then my DS got eczema and we discovered he also has food allergies. He is allergic to milk, egg and peanuts and wheat which we discovered when weaning.
He is also intolerant to rice, pear and carrot.
The best advice i can give is introduce foods slowly, start off with one teaspoon and increase each day. Intro a new food every 4 days so see if there is a reaction. AFAIK its most common to react on the second exposure so the reaction may not come until day 2 unless he has been exposed through your breastmilk then it may happen the first time.
A food diary is all important, write down the food, what his form and skin is like before you give the food and then any reaction.
My DS had very severe eczema so i found it best not to intro a new cream/regeime the same day as a new food as then i wouldnt know if any reaction was caused by the food or the new cream etc.
If there is no reaction to the new food then put it on your safe list and move on to the next food. I found weaning very slow going as some days his skin would be so bad i felt i couldnt intro a new food IYKWIM so often a week would go by with no new foods being given.
Re the porridge i was told to intro gluten at 7 months, before then i couldnt find a milk,egg,nut and gluten free baby porridge so at 7 months i gave Holle Spelt porridge containing gluten, within 5 mins he had huge hives all over his head. However this range also do a Millet baby porridge - milk egg nut and gluten free and he can eat it no problems.
Most people start with rice pear and carrot but DS reacted badly to all these, very windy, bloated waking every hour at night crying. The pear was the worst giving him reflux symptoms for over a week - the result of this is im too scared to give him fruit since.
Let us know how you get on there are many of us in the same boat. Good luck.

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