Can My Baby be Allergic to Formula?
You thought you chose the right formula for your baby, but lately you’ve been wondering if your baby is allergic to his formula. How do you know if your baby is suffering from an allergy and how likely is it for it to be related to his formula?
It’s very rare for an infant to have an allergic reaction to a specific food. However, if you or a family member had an allergy as a child, your child is more likely to suffer from the same allergy. For example: if your husband was allergic to milk as an infant, your child is 50 percent more likely to have the same allergy than a child whose parent did not have an allergy to milk.
In most cases, what parents suspect may be an allergic reaction to an ingredient in baby formula is oftentimes a sensitivity to an ingredient. Both allergies and sensitives to a formula ingredient can cause a number of symptoms:
Colic or increased irritability
Have you seen an increase in your baby’s irritability, especially when she eats or right after she eats? Bouts of inconsolable crying or fussiness during or after a feeding can be a sign your baby’s tummy is having difficulty breaking down an ingredient in her formula.
Babies experiencing a formula sensitivity or allergy oftentimes suffer from constipation. Constipated babies often strain to poop and when they do, their stool is hard. Bowel movements that look like pebbles or small rocks are oftentimes a sign of constipation.
Skin rashes and redness
Skin disorders, such as hives or eczema, can be a sign your baby is suffering from an allergy or sensitivity. If the rash don’t seem to be cleared up by lotion or diaper rash cream, don’t wait to discuss this with your child’s pediatrician.
Excessive spit up
If you notice your baby is excessively spitting up (she’s barely keeping down any of her formula), it may be because of an allergy or sensitivity. Many children who do not have allergies or sensitivities spit up a lot too, but if you’re concerned it may be something more, it’s worth a visit to your baby’s doctor.
What to do if Your Child is Suffering from an Allergy or Sensitivity
What should you do if your child’s formula is the cause of an allergy or sensitivity? If your baby’s formula is related to the symptoms she is having, her doctor may recommend switching her formula to a specialty formula like HIPP Anti-Reflux or Special Comfort. HIPP Anti-Reflux and Special Comfort organic formulas are formulated for children suffering from colic, constipation or reflux. Your child’s doctor may also recommend switching to a goat milk based formula like Lebenswert. Goat’s milk contains smaller proteins than cow’s milk and is therefore, much easier to digest.
Babies who have a true milk allergy must be given a specialty formula prescribed by their doctor. If your child is allergic to milk, it’s likely she’ll outgrow it. According to experts, approximately 75% of children who are allergic to milk as an infant, will typically outgrow it by the time they reach 3.