When did you know?

I’m at that age where most of my friends are starting to think about having babies. Most are on their first, some are on their second, one is on her third, but they all have the same question. “When did you know Squid had food allergies?”

Looking back,  I feel like I should have known all along. He was never full,  always cranky, spit up hours after eating, and always had eczema on his face. The pediatrician diagnosed him with reflux at just a month old (symptoms started around 2 weeks old but the medication never really helped).  At 4 months, she advised us to start oatmeal to help with his symptoms. Looking back we see that he never truly had reflux, it was the dairy allergy all along.  One day I mixed the oatmeal with formula so I could save my frozen breast milk for bottles. He acted like it didn’t taste good and his face was red around his mouth. Later followed by an unpleasant diaper. When we brought it up at his next appointment,  the pediatrician suspected a milk sensitivity so we began avoiding dairy in his solid foods. I wish someone would have told me that I should be avoiding it as well while breastfeeding a suspected milk sensitive baby…live and learn.

At his 6 month appointment,  Squid only weighed 13 lbs. At a previous sick appointment at 5 months, he weighed 13 lbs 3 oz. My baby lost weight! What did I do wrong?  Nothing,  I did nothing wrong. We started supplementing Puramino formula every other feeding to help him gain his weight back. Within a couple of days my once crabby, vomiting, twiggy looking baby began to be the happiest baby I’d ever met after formula feedings but reverted back to his vomiting crab state after breastfeeding. Naturally,  I had had enough with the vomit so I decided to quit breastfeeding and stick with the formula. Squid gained 3 lbs that month!

A few months of expensive formula can really wear on your pocket book!  Since the pediatrician suspected just a sensitivity,  she thought he’d grow out of it quickly and advised us to try milk-based formula again at 8 months. I felt weird about it but I’m not a doctor so I followed the advice. Always trust your mom gut!  I was nervous so I prepared 1 oz of milk-based formula and diluted it in his usual 5oz of Puramino. I began feeding him and right away he didn’t seem right. We gave him benadryl as a precaution and it’s a good thing we did!

SIDE NOTE: if you suspect a food allergy, don’t try new foods outside of office hours!

It was a Friday evening and we were completely uneducated on dairy allergies. Until this night, I didn’t even know it was a thing. Dairy sensitivity, yes but an allergy? How can my baby possibly have a dairy allergy?  He took a nap on me after his bottle and benadryl so I could monitor him.  An hour later he woke up with hives starting around his mouth and on the back of his neck.  He played with his toys and crawled around as if nothing was bothering him. We called the pediatrician and a local urgent care clinic and waited impatiently to hear back from both. They finally called back with the same verdict. Emergency room.

He DID NOT have any issues with breathing, otherwise we would have taken him straight to the emergency room!


When we arrived at the emergency room,  the benadryl had finally started doing its job and his rash was mostly gone. The doctor basically gave us a pat on the back, said “good job giving him benadryl” and sent us home.

There’s no mistaking a reaction after that night. He’s since been prescribed EpiPens and we have an emergency care plan to follow.

The egg allergy on the other hand, we didn’t discover until getting him allergy tested. I don’t really like eggs and after discovering his dairy allergy, we avoided the other top 8 allergens that we had not introduced yet.

Read more about food allergies at http://www.foodallergy.org


Posted on September 8, 2014, in Education, Food Allergies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. We are on a similar journey with our dairy and egg allergic son. He started with rashes like that when we started giving him cheese and soon got allergy tested. We never really knew how severe it was until he accidentally got some milk at 17 months old and had an anaphylactic reaction (needing EpiPen and an ambulance ride). Like you mentioned, most of us really aren’t aware of the difference between a sensitivity and the danger of an allergy (my pre-food-allergy-momma self included!), so it’s a tough road keeping him safe sometimes! Thanks for sharing!


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