In my last blog post, we talked about the difference between food allergies and food sensitivities and why it is crucial to find out if your child is affected. In this 2nd of 3 posts, we’ll talk about how to recognize allergy symptoms in babies.
Dr. Doris Rapp, a guest on Oprah’s show, has been a pediatric allergist since 1960. She has done incredible research on food sensitivities and allergies affecting children and has written numerous books on the subject. Her observations of reactions to foods i.e. symptoms, starting in the womb, are quite fascinating.
Don’t we often wonder why our babies kick us or have the hiccups when in the womb? And why do our babies become agitated shortly after we feed them? Dr. Rapp says “I have known unborn babies who would hiccup or kick hard enough in the womb to bruise the mother. These mothers should think of what they ate half an hour before the baby started to act this way. If they do, they may be able to figure out what is bothering the baby down in the uterus. One woman found that every time she ate a cannoli her baby began to kick her. The baby was having a prenatal allergic reaction and was attempting to tell the mother not to eat cannolis. The same thing might happen after the baby is born. If a baby is totally breast-feeding and that baby becomes agitated after feeding, that mother should ask herself what she ate the previous meal. The food can come through the breast milk and make the baby sick.” Good Food, Good Mood quotes Dr. Rapp on page 13.
Babies cannot be allergic to breast milk but they can certainly be allergic to the food that that mother has eaten and passed through her breast milk. My daughter, Taylor, had projectile vomiting the first time I consumed dairy and then breast-fed her. What are other symptoms in babies that can be caused by allergies?
- Excessive drooling
- Diaper rashes or any skin rashes
- Chronic runny rose
- Multiple ear infections
- Poor sleeping
- Frequent coughing/colds
- Pale face
- Excessive thirst
What are the most common foods to which babies react adversely?
- Chemicals i.e. chlorine, food dye, additives, etc.
- Tree nuts
But a baby can react adversely to any food. Rice cereal is becoming a common allergen for many of today’s babies. We are also seeing babies react to sweet potatoes and carrots, presumably due to the high sugar content in these foods. No food is exempt from causing a reaction.
What is the most accurate way to determine the food(s) to which your child is reacting? Keeping a food and symptom journal over an extended period of time is the ONLY fool-proof method for determining your baby’s culprit food(s). This involves recording what your baby has consumed on their own or in your breast milk and any resulting symptoms within 24 hours of consumption. The journal will show the patterns e.g. every time he has pureed strawberries, he gets a rash on his cheeks.
Every time your baby is exposed to a food that they don’t agree with, they cannot properly absorb the vitamins and minerals from that food and symptoms result. Please do all that you can to determine and avoid your baby’s culprit food(s)! I am always here to help you if you need me!
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