Colic catch up

I’ve been planning for ages to talk you about cloth nappies, but somehow life seems to get in the way. Lots of cloth stuff coming soon, but for now I have to give you an update on little NW’s progress.

You may remember that my first post was about NW’s colic. I keep expecting to be able to tell you it’s better, but it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster, and I’m afraid we’re still on it.

Following the wonderful advice from you ladies, I cut dairy out of my diet, and he seemed to get better. Then after a couple of weeks he got worse again, so I took him to see a lovely cranial osteopath, and again he seemed to get better. I though he was sorted so reintroduced dairy into my diet and he got significantly worse.

He was demonstrating a lot of the symptoms of dairy intolerance; mucus in his poo, a bubbling stomach when feeding, colic, reflux and a runny nose, and poor weight gain, and  given that I was allergic to milk when I was younger I became convinced again that the problem is down to dairy. So last week the GP referred him toPaediatric care.

But over the weekend he took a turn for the worse when he started projectile vomiting, and after he only kept down 3 feeds all weekend we took him to see the GP on Monday who sent him straight up to the hospital, hence no Llun Dydd Llun.

The conclusion at the hospital was that the new vomiting was down to a bug (confirmed by the fact that DW started that evening), and that his general failure in thriving would very likely be down to a dairy intolerance.

The Registrar who saw us had a son with dairy intolerance and was full of useful information. It seems I may well have not been strict enough with the dairy. For example, if I were out for the day I may well have bought a (non-dairy) sandwich, which would of course have traces of dairy in the spread or bread, or I wouldn’t have thought of checking for dairy in things like crisps or snacks.

Now I’m on a super strict no dairy or eggs diet which involves checking labels on everything and not eating out just in case. Then, we’ll be back at the hospital in three weeks to see how it goes.

The strange thing is that while he was vomiting he was actually better in himself. The registrar pointed out that this would be because whatever was in my breastmilk that was aggravating his digestive system was being expelled.

I’ve been feeling for quite some time like my breastmilk was causing him pain, and this confirms it. Emotionally, its hard to deal with the fact that something that is so natural and absolutely the best for your baby causes them so much pain, and I have flagged a few times and thought about switching to formula.

But dairy free formula is supposed to have a nasty taste and smell, and having fully breastfed DW through loads of problems, I don’t think I could live with the guilt if I give up. I also know that breast milk still provides the best balance of nutrients for my child, which makes me more determined to eliminate whatever is n my diet that aggravates him.

I’m finding it hard though. No meals out, no cups of tea with friends, having to check absolutely every label, and worse of all, no pasta (my favourite staple) because of the eggs! So my question to those of you who are or have been dairy free, any hints or tips on coping? Do you have any scrummy dairy free recipes you could share, or can you recommend any nice dairy free products?

One good thing in all this; cutting out cheese and butter (both of which I eat far too much of) may well have a positive effect on my attempt to shift the baby weight!

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13 Responses

  1. Julia Gardner says:

    Oatly make oat milk (in normal AND chocolate variety) and also an oat cream which work really well when used in replacing dairy. Also you can get an ice cream called ‘Freedom’ I think in supermarkets which is both dairy and egg free. I’m pretty sure the gluten free pasta you can get in ‘free from’ aisles is egg free too because my son has it and he can’t eat eggs.

    I’ve just gone through all of this with my son, who is now 2 although he was on formula. If you ever want to talk about it please feel free to email me. Also, join the Allergies and Intolerances board on as they are super helpful!

  2. Catrin Jones says:

    Oh I’ve so been there… severe colic till 6mths and a visit to the hospital with the LO. Best advice I was given was to go back to basics. By then my baby was on formula though ’cause I ‘dried up’ but he had been exclusively breastfed till 4 mths and was severely colicky even then. Anyway we had tried everything – Colief, Gaviscon, Infacol, Gripe Water, Stay Down milk, Comfort milk and so on. He was always in pain and his nappies were sulpherous and dark green and mucousy and we were up every night with projectile vomiting, stomach cramps and wind. We questioned Cystic Fibrosis, Crohns and all sorts of conditions – I was going mad and so upset. In the end they told me in hospital to stop all treatments and special milks, to give basic formula and start weaning asap. I did and within a week he wasn’t the same baby I couldn’t believe it. I can wholeheartedly sympathise though – it’s an awful thing to go through and the lack of sleep makes it so much worse. I was told whilst breastfeeding that he may have lactose intollerence and to also stop all dairy in my diet, but it seems he doesn’t have lactose/dairy intollerence afterall and it was all the ‘medicines’ and afterwards the special milks that were causing him all the problems. Difficult though when you are in the middle of it. All the very best, Catrin.xx

  3. Cat says:

    Thanks Julia. Sorry to hear you’ve gone through this too.

    Chocolate milk sounds ace, and ice cream – mmmmm!

    I hadn’t thought of trying the ‘free from’ isle for pasta, great idea. Will check it and the Oatly out next time I’m shopping. Pasta with garlic mushrooms/spinach and cream is one of my favourite quick fix dinners and I felt a bit lost without it!

    Just got back from my local baby group and someone there recommended the babycentre group too so will def check that out. Maybe see you on there! 🙂

  4. Cat says:

    Thanks Catrin. Sorry to here you’ve been there too, your words sound so familiar!!

    I do sometimes wonder if the things I’m trying to do to help just make matters worse, but I’m hoping that by doing nothing other than cutting dairy/eggs from my diet, and being really strict about it I should be able to identify whether or not dairy is the problem.

    I’m hoping that when weaning time comes we’ll see an improvement too, but I’m quite wary in case he reacts to something. Apparently when I was weaned the first thing I was given was egg and my face swelled up like a balloon! Fortunately, I vomited it out, but it sounds scary! Been referred to a dietician who will hopefully be able to advise what to give when and how to monitor it.

    Nice to hear you little one is fine now, gives me hope!x

  5. Jo says:

    Hi Cat
    Here are some responses from the Babi Pur facebook page – If you would like to respond on here I can pass it on if you like 🙂 xx

    “Switching doesn’t help much it makes things worse if it’s colic you are talking about. I combination fed using aptimal comfort which already has sugars broken down for you, as well as colief which is expensive but is a big help!! you can however express and put the colief in some breast milk then feed as normal…. Worth a try! But if you do switch go straight for comfort milk! Hope this helps 🙂 ” Nina Pye

    “If she cuts out dairy herself, then it will be better. I personally would not want toswitch to soya milk formula.” Jenny Carr

    “Aptimal Pepti (lactose free on prescription) or Aptimal Comfort also on precription and trip to doctors for Donperidone, Rinitadin and Gaviscon was all that worked for our little one – But the change was fantastic A happy and thriving baby – the best thing we did was to switch” Angela Flint

    “She could try cutting soya too – more than half of dairy intolerant babies are soya intolerant too. My two are dairy, soya and egg allergic. I cut them all out whilst breastfeeding and they did really well after that. Good luck and hugs. ” Laura Clempson

  6. Oh you poor thing… I’ve been there too – twice. Both of my kids have severe dairy, egg and soya allergies.

    The same symptoms – severe tummy pain, mucus in poo, projectile vomiting, colic, snotty. It then developed into bloody diarrhea multiple times a day. My daughter (then 4 months, now 3) was hospitalised from bloody stools. It was pretty scary. But with my son (then 8 weeks, now 14 months) as soon as the blood appeared, we knew exactly what it was and the dairy was gone. They both followed that pattern of improving then worsening a couple of weeks later. I realised it was as I replaced the dairy with soya, the symptoms worsened then improved once that was gone too. Same with egg.

    So I cut out dairy, soya, egg and nuts from my diet, for two years whilst breastfeeding them. Even a trace in my diet would set them off. It was a tough road, but it’s really worth it. And not too bad once you get used to it – you just have to be super strict.

    Eating out is tricky, I either didn’t do it or found out safe places to eat. Oatly milk is good – and it makes a pretty decent cup of tea. I used to take a small medela bottle full of oat milk out with me so that I could have tea with friends! The chocolate one is great too. My daughter loves it. I have a great allergy recipe book that has all kinds of replacement ingredient ideas in there. Like using banana puree in cakes instead of egg – works really well. The book is called… How To Cook for Food Allergies by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne.

    If you had those allergies when you were little I would bet that your son has them too. It’s very genetic. And over half of babies who have dairy intolerance also have soya intolerance too.

    If you decide to go down the formula path, you can get prescription formula called Neocate, it’s disgusting but the babies seem to like it! That’s what my son has now I’ve stopped breastfeeding. My daughter just drinks oat milk.

    I hope it all settles down for you soon, and if you want to chat please do email me. We’ve been trying to get our heads around allergies for 3 years now. I could email you some recipes etc. if it helps? Good luck xx

  7. Julia Gardner says:

    You can only get Oatly cream in Waitrose as far as I know, and the chocolate version of Oatly. They’re generally in the longlife milk section rather than the Free From section.

    We’ve also found out WHY my son has allergies now. And hoping to cure him of them. Am starting a blog about it very soon!!

  8. Julia – you can get Oatly in Tesco & Sainsbury’s too now. Yeay! Sainsbury’s don’t stock the chocolate one – at least our one doesn’t.

  9. Cat says:

    Wow, thanks for your responses everyone, I’m blown away! I’m sorry to hear that so many of you have been through this, but also relieved that so many of you have found solutions.

    @Nina Pye – I tried Colief early on during our problems (sooooo expensive isn’t it!) but it didn’t seem to help. That’s why I’m suspecting that he has a cows milk protein intolerance rather than a lactose one. Must confess that combination feeding is tempting, even if it’s just so that someone else can help with the overnights. Don’t think I’ve had more than 2 hours sleep in one go for 19 weeks now and it’s starting to take its toll!

    @Jenny Carr I really hope so! 🙂

    @Angela Flint Great to hear that switching had such a positive effect for you! I don’t know what milk we’d be given if we were to decide that’s the best option for us further down the line, although I think the registrar mentioned Neocate. It’s good to know the names of some other milks to so that I am armed with information when we’re next at the hospital.

    @Laura Clempson. Your story sounds terrifying! I’m so glad we haven’t had bloody stools!

    Interesting to hear that your little ones react to soya too. I had heard that before, but somehow hadn’t thought about eliminating it from my diet as well as dairy, probably because its only dairy I used to react to myself.

    Soya sounds like a really difficult thing to eradicate though. Not only because so many milk replacement products are soya (and I quite like soya yoghurt!) but I’ve noticed since I began label checking how commonly its used in everyday foodstuffs.

    I really admire your strength in cutting all of those products out for two whole years! I guess the secret is in good home cooking. I’ll def check the book out. I must confess that cake has been one of my main concerns (self confessed cookie monster here!) and banana sounds like a yummy egg replacement! All I’d come up with so far were scones and flapjacks made with ‘Pure’ rather than butter!

    @Julia Gardner I was in our local Waitrose a couple of days ago and didn’t spot the Oatley, only Alpro products. Maybe because I was looking in the chilled aisle rather than long life. Ours is only a tiny shop though, so maybe I’ll have to try the massive Tesco down the road instead.

    I’d be really interested to hear what you have found about your sons allergy. Please post a link to your blog so I can follow it. 🙂

    Again, thank you for all your words of support ladies. It really means a lot to me. And hopefully with all your advice we’ll get this sorted.

  10. Josie says:

    Hi – I wonder – do your babies all react to Goats milk products the same as they do to Cows? Or are the milk proteins different?

  11. Cat says:

    That’s a good question Josie, I’ve read differing reports on it and would be interested to hear from anyone who has experience of trying Goats milk.x

  12. Moobug says:

    Bless ye. I had a similar situation when my youngest was born – I was desperate to BF because my eldest hadn’t been able to latch, however I was already prepared with the theory: do whatever results in happy baby and happy mum.

    Having never been dairy-intolerant it was an eye-opener for me too. I ended up relying on goat’s milk and cheese for a lot of things (gormet goat’s cheese pizza, anyone?) but I found the biggest help was not just changing my diet but looking for non-dairy snacks and foods that I’d never tried before. Rather than thinking “I’ll cut out these foods”, try to replace everything with something new. I stopped snacking on cheese and biscuits and started having a slice of toast with butternut squash pate (some brands make them dairy-free to start with 🙂 )

  13. Cat says:

    That’s a really good tip Moobug, thank you! It’s hard sometimes to stay positive when you dwell on what you can’t have. Butternut squash pate sounds yummy! Unfortunately, so far I’vebeen replacing nearly everything with bourbon biscuits! Need to start thinking a bit healthier!:)

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