Allergies in the early stages of life are not always presented in a way we are used to seeing them expressed. Oftentimes, the symptoms can easily be confused for seemingly common baby symptoms. Already it is hard enough choosing baby formula, so hopefully this article at least helps you identify if you need special formula. Below we discuss what allergens are and signs your baby might need hypoallergenic formula.
What are Allergens?
An allergen is a usually harmless substance capable of triggering a response that starts in the immune system and results in an allergic reaction.
Even on a breastmilk diet some allergens can still present themselves.
What is a milk protein allergy?
Milk protein allergy is a recognized problem in the first year of life; cow’s milk protein allergy is the most common such allergy. Diagnosis is suspected on history and describing symptoms; doctors evaluated labs may also be used. The confirmation often requires elimination and reintroduction of the suspected allergen. Management includes diet modification, such as removing dairy from the mother’s diet for nursing mothers and hypoallergenic formulas for formula fed babies.
What are signs to look for as a possible allergic reaction
1.) Extreme irritability or colic.
All newborns cry and get fussy sometimes. During the first 3 months of life, they cry more than at any other time. But when a baby who is healthy cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, a health care provider may say the baby has colic.
2. ) Wheezing.
When your baby is wheezing, they might take tiny breaths accompanied by a whistling sound. Because of a baby’s small airways, many things can cause them to make a wheezing sound when they breathe.
Vomiting occurs when the abdominal muscles and diaphragm contract while the stomach is relaxed. This is different, more frequent and vigorous than spitting up.
Eczema in babies presents in two main ways. First, a baby may seem fussy or irritable for no reason or constantly rubbing his or her cheeks or body on surfaces to get rid of the itch. Second, a baby may have dry, flaky skin that can be either skin tone or appear pink or red.
Having looser, more frequent bowel movements probably means diarrhea.
What is Hypoallergenic Formula?
Hypoallergenic formula milk compounds are broken down into smaller ones. This process makes the formula easier to digest and is less likely to cause allergic reactions.
Transitioning to Hypoallergenic Formula:
The American Association of Pediatrics recommends that babies, especially those intolerant to cow milk proteins, be only supplemented with formula. Any time new foods are introduced into baby’s diet we can expect changes in stool, here are some stool changes to expect when using hypoallergenic formula: bowel movements are more likely to be more solid and less frequent, as well as some changes in color. Call the child’s doctor right away if you see any white, watery, red, or black stools.
There are many factors that can contribute to our children’s adverse reaction. From genetics, to dietary factors like milk allergies, as discussed in this article. There are other factors we sometimes overlook, such as air quality, as mentioned in our article about poor indoor air quality. All of these factors can sometimes cause our little ones to react in unexpected ways. Keeping a log with repetitive symptoms as well as consulting with your pediatrician helps determine if your baby needs any changes to their diet or environment.