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No Whey



If I have learned nothing else from my experience as a first time parent, it’s that it all comes back to poop. And it’s amazing how much I have found myself talking about it during the past six months. That being said, it turns out my son had diarrhea for the first two months of his life. Oops. How was I supposed to know what the exact consistency of his poop was supposed to be? Is there a website like UrbanDictionary that defines in picture form what baby poop is supposed to look like? Truth be told, there probably is.

When people ask about my strict non-dairy diet and I tell them my son has a dairy sensitivity they say one of three things: “oh, he’s lactose intolerant”, “wow, how did you figure that out?”, or “why can’t you eat dairy then”?

I will respond to these comments/questions in order:

  1. Though some babies can actually be lactose intolerant, it’s actually the whey (or milk protein) that is most often the culprit. So unfortunately all those lactose-free products at the grocery store are of no use to me. Whey is a common ingredient in many packaged foods so keep a look out if your baby is dairy sensitive. This website was a good resource for me when looking at the backs of products at the store.
  2. We finally determined that our son was dairy sensitive by actually taking a poopy diaper into his pediatrician (yes, gross). Luckily we only live a couple of blocks from her office so I was able to take a “fresh” one in. But if you are trying to figure this out on your own, you should be looking for mucus like from a bad cold in the stool. This may also be combined with additional fussiness, and of course, talk to your pediatrician.
  3. I never know how exactly to respond to someone who asks why I can’t eat dairy. I typically just say, “well whey is transmitted through breast milk” and leave it at that. If they still look confused just give them a minute, they catch up. So part of diagnosing my son with dairy sensitivity required confirming that he improved when I cut dairy from my diet. If you are trying this, you should know that dairy takes up to two weeks to clear from your system and another week to clear from your baby’s so you may not see results for three weeks. It took my son the full three weeks.

The follow-up question tends to be when can I eat dairy again. Well that will just depend on the little mister. On the recommendation of his pediatrician, I tried to eat a yogurt (she recommended starting with yogurt over any other dairy products) a day for a week when he was four months old. I made it three days before it was obvious that he was still dairy sensitive. Now he is six months old and has started on some solid foods, I think I’ll try again. Here’s hoping I don’t have a miserable baby for the next three weeks!

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