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How to cope with breastfed, bottle-refusing baby with milk allergy?

My almost-8 month old son has a severe milk and soy allergy. If I eat dairy, soy, any other legumes, or poultry, he gets very sick. We're seeing a GI doc and allergist... they've both encouraged that he start formula and wean from breastfeeding. I'm starving on this restrictive diet (literally - my bones are sticking out). But my son won't accept a bottle as a meal. He'll play with it when we offer it. Sometimes even drinks an ounce or two. I've read all the suggestions on the internet, but I'm just hoping that someone has something new. I'm so desperate and so hungry!

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Asked by cathianne at 12:18 PM on Feb. 27, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (5)
  • While soy and dairy are in a lot of things, I have no idea why you would be starving? I know many many people who are unable to touch either and they eat like crazy! Maybe go to a natural foods store and look into your options. (is he allergic to legumes and poultry too?)

    You can try rice products, hemp products, and things like almond milk. Peanut butter is full of protein.

    you would have to find a special formula, and of course he wont take it lol, it's so different from breast milk and it will be a slow transition.

    If you really want to wean then you should start slowly, swapping one feeding with formula every couple days. He should eventually catch on. Good luck momma.

    Answer by celticreverie at 12:25 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • In addition to the great info above don't forget that breastfeeding is best with a child with allergies. The formula is full of other things that will upset his tummy as well so you may very well end up with a more uncomfortable child then when you were breastfeeding.

    Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Sunflower Market all carry lots of great alternatives. Also look up online milk allergy recipes there are loads of really nice recipes out there. Seek and ye shall find! Good Luck!


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:33 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • Have you heard of Le Leche League??? I know a mom who was in the same boat as you. Doctor's kept telling her to stop breastfeeding and to switch to formula. YOU DON'T HAVE TO! She called LLL and they helped her by providing a bunch of alternatives and support so that she could still continue breastfeeding. It's incredible! They've helped me with my daughter (4 months) who refused the bottle... I would give a LLL leader a call.

    P.s. an alternative that my DD was too young for was the option of milk through a sippy cup. (She even takes it from a spoon and loves it!)

    Answer by tbear2008 at 12:40 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • Are you in the breastfeeding group?? I would put a post there too!! (A LLL leader actually responded to one of my posts)

    Answer by tbear2008 at 12:44 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • Thank you all for your responses. Yes, my son is also allergic to legumes and poultry (and peanut butter is a legume, so that's out, too!). I should have been more specific: I'm allergic to tree nuts and seeds (sunflower, etc). So between his allergies and mine, there really isn't too much to eat. I have been making all of our foods with the exception of a breakfast cereal I can eat with rice milk that he hasn't had a reaction to. Most store bought things have at least soy lecithin in them (even many tea bags and vitamins have that...). So my question was really because, although I wanted to nurse my son until he was 12 months, I am not sure I can make it that long - so I was looking for ways to encourage him to use the bottle. He won't even do just one feeding with it - at most, he'll drink 2 ounces (of incredibly expensive hypoallergenic formula that we then pour down the drain...). Maybe we'll try the cup again...

    Answer by cathianne at 10:12 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

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