What to eat if baby has milk protein allergy

If you ponder your baby is reacting to a specific food, then eliminate that food from your diet for weeks to see if baby’s symptoms improve. If baby’s symptoms do improve, then this food may be a problem for your baby. Eliminating a food for less than weeks may not be effective—cow’s milk protein, for example, can persist in mom’s body for 1½ 2 weeks, and it may be another 1½ 2 weeks before the protein is out of babys system.

Baby’s symptoms will generally start to improve within days of eliminating a problem food. Your baby may not improve immediately, however, especially if the reaction is to a food that has been a regular part of moms diet.

Some babies seem to feel worse for about a week before symptoms start to improve. Sometimes it takes several weeks to see an improvement.

One way to confirm that a specific food is a problem for your baby is to eat that food again to see whether baby has the same reaction. The more severe your baby’s original symptoms, the longer you may wish to wait before reintroducing it into your dietfor a extremely severe reaction you may not reintroduce the food at every. If you reintroduce a food and your baby does not own the same reaction as before, then baby is probably not sensitive to that food.

If he does react in the same way, you will desire to limit or avoid this food for a time until baby is older or in some cases until baby has weaned.

If baby is only a little sensitive to a specific food, you may be capable to simply limit the quantity that you eat, rather than eliminate that food altogether. Most babies grow out of food sensitivities within several months to a year, but some food allergies persist long-term.

What foods are most likely to be a problem?

Some of the most likely suspects are cows milk products, soy, wheat, corn, eggs, and peanuts.

Other suspect foods:

  1. A food that mom doesnt love, but is eating while breastfeeding (and/or ate while pregnant) for the benefit of her baby
  2. A new food (if baby’s symptoms are new)
  3. A food that mom recently ate a large quantity of
  4. Any food that a family member is allergic to
  5. A food that mom craves, or feels she has to own after a bad day

Conscious likes and dislikes of foods are signals that your body may be reacting to them in an abnormal way.

Keeping a food journal with a record of foods eaten and babys behavior/symptoms, with time of day for each, may be helpful when trying to pinpoint a problem food.

Additional information

Information on Specific Food Allergies & Elimination Diets


  1. Avoiding Corn by Ephraim Vishniac.

    Information on determining whether you own a corn allergy and on corn-derived ingredients that should be avoided by those with corn allergy.

Various allergies

  1. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network FAANs mission is To lift public awareness, to provide advocacy and education, and to advance research on behalf of every those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis. Tons of information here.
  2. Veggies Unite your online vegetarian resource guide, has lots of vegan recipes extremely useful if you are avoiding dairy, eggs, etc.


Related web pages at this site


  1. Allergy Cooking With Ease : The No Wheat, Milk, Eggs, Corn, Soy, Yeast, Sugar, Grain, and Gluten Cookbook by Nicolette M.

    Dumke and William G. Criminal, published by Starburst Pub, ISBN X.

  2. Dairy-Free Cookbook by Jane Zukin, published by Prima Publishing & Communications, ISBN
  3. Is this your Child? : Discovering and Treating Unrecognized Allergies in Children and Adults by Doris Rapp, MD, published by William Morrow & Co., ISBN website
  4. Whole Foods For the Whole Family Cookbook edited by Roberta Bishop Johnson, published by La Leche League International, ISBN This book has a large number of dairy-, egg-, and (to a lesser extent) wheat-free recipes.

Updated on Filed Under: Baby’s Health

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Allergy is an adverse overreaction by the immune system to a harmless substance. A food allergy occurs when specific components of a food (typically proteins) are recognised by allergen-specific antibodies or cells, eliciting specific immunological reactions that result in characteristic symptoms[1].

What to eat if baby has milk protein allergy

Food allergy is an significant public health problem that affects both adults and children[1].

Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) is the abnormal response to proteins found in cow’s milk or products containing milk proteins. The reported prevalence of CMPA varies owing to possible misinterpretations of presumed reactions to milk and diagnostic criteria, and is often overestimated. A pan-European study using the gold standard food challenge test for diagnosis confirmed CMPA in around 1% of children aged up to two years[2].

Identification of CMPA can be hard because the typical symptoms are not specific to CMPA alone, and instead are common in children (e.g.

skin rashes, reflux, colic and diarrhoea). If left untreated, CMPA can lead to faltering growth, persistent unpleasant symptoms and in rare instances can be life-threatening. Furthermore, CMPA is often confused with lactose intolerance, making diagnosis even more difficult[3],[4]. Lactose is a component of milk and dairy products; an intolerance may happen when lactase, the enzyme required to break lactose into glucose and galactose, is lacking. This malabsorption leads to gastrointestinal side effects (e.g. bloating, diarrhoea and flatulence), but lactose intolerance is highly unlikely in a kid aged under three years unless they own a history of a gastrointestinal infection[5].

This article provides an overview of how pharmacists, pharmacy teams and other healthcare professionals can assist to identify a kid with possible CMPA, ensuring a timely diagnosis and initiation of the most appropriate management plan.

Further information can be found in the Milk Allergy in Primary Care (MAP) guideline[6].

Normal Baby Fussiness

Most baby fussiness is normal for a young baby, and is not related to foods in moms diet.

What to eat if baby has milk protein allergy

If your baby is sensitive to something you are eating, you will most likely notice other symptoms in addition to fussiness, such as excessive spitting up or vomiting, colic, rash or persistent congestion. Fussiness that is not accompanied by other symptoms and calms with more frequent nursing is probably not food-related.

Read more here about normal baby fussiness.

Dairy sensitivity in babies

Is my baby lactose intolerant?

Image credit: flickr Jules Morgan CC BY

If your baby is sensitive to dairy products it is highly unlikely that the problem is lactose intolerance, although numerous people may tell you so.

See Is my baby lactose intolerant?

for more information.

Although cows milk protein sensitivity and lactose intolerance are not the same thing, they can sometimes happen at the same time, since food allergy can cause secondary lactose intolerance.

Sensitivity to cows milk proteins

Breastfed babies who are sensitive to dairy in moms diet are sensitive to specific cows milk antibodies, in the form of proteins (not lactose), which pass into the mothers milk.

Cows milk (either in the mothers diet or engineered into formula) is a common source of food sensitivity in babies. Cows milk sensitivity or allergy can cause colic-like symptoms, eczema, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea (including bloody diarrhea), constipation, hives, and/or a stuffy, itchy nose.

If your baby is sensitive to dairy in your diet, it will not assist to switch to lactose-free dairy products. The problem is the cow’s milk proteins, not the lactose.

What to eat if baby has milk protein allergy

Cooking dairy products may reduce but will not eliminate the allergens.

A significant percentage of babies with cows milk protein allergy will also react to soy. Most dairy-allergic babies will also react to goats milk or sheep’s milk. Some will also react to beef.

If you ponder that your baby may be sensitive to dairy products in your diet, remember that it can take 10 days to 3 weeks to eliminate cows milk protein from your system—allow a full weeks of dairy elimination before evaluating the results.

If your baby is only a little sensitive to dairy proteins, you may be capable to relieve baby’s symptoms by eliminating only the obvious sources of dairy (milk, cream, yogurt, butter, cheese, sour cream, ice cream, cottage cheese, etc.); you may even be capable to eat little amounts of dairy without it affecting baby.

If your baby is highly allergic, it will be necessary to eliminate all sources of dairy proteins, which requires a careful reading of food labels.

What to eat if baby has milk protein allergy

See the Hidden Dairy Cheat Sheet ().

If youve cut out dairy because your breastfed baby is sensitive to cow’s milk proteins, you may be capable to phase it back in after a few months. Numerous dairy-sensitive babies outgrow their sensitivity by months, and most outgrow it by 3 years.

If you reintroduce dairy into your diet and baby reacts, cut out dairy products again for at least another month. If baby’s allergy to cows milk protein via breastmilk is severe, its best to wait at least 6 months before trying to reintroduce dairy.

For allergic babies, avoiding the allergen makes it less likely that baby will develop a lifelong or life threatening allergy.

en españolAlergia a la leche en bebés

How Is a Milk Allergy Diagnosed?

If you ponder your baby is allergic to milk, call your baby’s doctor. He or she will enquire you questions and talk to you about what’s going on. After the doctor examines your baby, some stool tests and blood tests might be ordered. The doctor may refer you to an allergist (a doctor who specializes in treating allergies).

The allergist might do skin testing.

In skin testing, the doctor or nurse will put a tiny bit of milk protein on the skin, then make a little scratch on the skin. If your kid reacts to the allergen, the skin will swell a little in that area love an insect bite.

If the allergist finds that your baby is at risk for a serious allergic reaction, epinephrine auto-injectors will be prescribed.

If Your Kid Has an Allergic Reaction

If your kid has symptoms of an allergic reaction, follow the food allergy action plan your doctor gave you.

If your kid has symptoms of a serious reaction (like swelling of the mouth or throat or difficulty breathing, or symptoms involving two diverse parts of the body, love hives with vomiting):

  1. Give the epinephrine auto-injector correct away.

    Every second counts in an allergic reaction.

  2. Then,call or take your kid to the emergency room. Your kid needs to be under medical supervision because, even if the worst seems to own passed, a second wave of serious symptoms can happen.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of a Milk Allergy?

In children who show symptoms shortly after they own milk, an allergic reaction can cause:

  1. itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  2. vomiting
  3. hives
  4. hoarseness
  5. trouble breathing
  6. diarrhea
  7. throat tightness
  8. wheezing
  9. coughing
  10. stomach upset
  11. swelling
  12. a drop in blood pressure causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

The severity of allergic reactions to milk can vary.

The same kid can react differently with each exposure. This means that even though one reaction was mild, the next could be more severe and even life-threatening.

Children also can have:

  1. an intolerance to milk in which symptoms — such as loose stools, blood in the stool, refusal to eat, or irritability or colic — appear hours to days later
  2. lactose intolerance, which is when the body has trouble digesting milk

If you’re not certain if your kid has an intolerance versus an allergy, talk to your doctor.

What Is a Milk Allergy?

When a baby is allergic to milk, it means that his or herimmune system, which normally fights infections, overreacts to proteins in cow’s milk.

Every time the kid has milk, the body thinks these proteins are harmful invaders and works hard to fight them.

What to eat if baby has milk protein allergy

This causes an allergic reaction in which the body releases chemicals love .

Cow’s milk is in most baby formulas. Babies with a milk allergy often show their first symptoms days to weeks after they first get cow milk-based formula. Breastfed infants own a lower risk of having a milk allergy than formula-fed babies.

People of any age can own a milk allergy, but it’s more common in young children. Numerous kids outgrow it, but some don’t.

If your baby has a milk allergy, hold two epinephrine auto-injectors on hand in case of a severe reaction (called anaphylaxis). An epinephrine auto-injector is an easy-to-use prescription medicine that comes in a container about the size of a large pen.

What to eat if baby has milk protein allergy

Your doctor will show you how to use it.

Avoiding a Milk Allergy Reaction

If You’re Breastfeeding

If your breastfed baby has a milk allergy, talk to the allergist before changing your diet.

If You’re Formula Feeding

If you’re formula feeding, your doctor may advise you to switch to an extensively hydrolyzed formulaor an amino acid-based formula in which the proteins are broken below into particles so that the formula is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.

You also might see "partially hydrolyzed" formulas, but these aren’t truly hypoallergenic and can lead to a significant allergic reaction.

If you’re concerned about a milk allergy, it’s always best to talk with your child’s doctor and work together to select a formula that’s safe for your baby.

Do not attempt to make your own formula.

Commercial formulas are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug istration (FDA) and created through a extremely specialized process that cannot be duplicated at home. Other types of milk that might be safe for an older kid with a milk allergyare not safe for infants.

If you own any questions or concerns, talk with your child’s doctor.

How closely do I need to watch what I eat?

Most babies own no problems with anything that mom eats. Its generally recommended that you eat whatever you love, whenever you love, in the amounts that you love and continue to do this unless you notice an obvious reaction in your baby.

There is no list of foods that every nursing mom should avoid because most nursing mothers can eat anything they desire, and because the babies who are sensitive to certain foods are each unique what bothers one may not annoy another.

Possible signs of food allergy

A little percentage of breastfeeding mothers notice an obvious difference in their babys behavior and/or health when they eat certain foods.

Cow’s milk products are the most common problem foods and the only foods conclusively linked by research to fussiness/gassiness in babies, but some babies do react to other foods. Food sensitivities in breastfed babies are not almost as common as numerous breastfeeding mothers own been led to ponder, however.

If a breastfed baby is sensitive to a specific food, then he may be fussy after feedings, weep inconsolably for endless periods, or sleep little and wake suddenly with obvious discomfort.

There may be a family history of allergies.

What to eat if baby has milk protein allergy

Other signs of a food allergy may include: rash, hives, eczema, sore bottom, dry skin; wheezing or asthma; congestion or cold-like symptoms; red, itchy eyes; ear infections; irritability, fussiness, colic; intestinal upsets, vomiting, constipation and/or diarrhea, or green stools with mucus or blood.

The severity of a food reaction is generally related to the degree of baby’s sensitivity and to the quantity of the problem food that mom ate—the more food eaten and the greater baby’s sensitivity, the more severe the reaction.

Food reactions may happen within minutes, but symptoms in breastfed babies more commonly show up hours after exposure. If baby has an acute reaction to a new food, or to a food that mom ate a large quantity of, then he will probably be back to normal within a couple of hours. If baby is sensitive to a food that mom eats frequently, symptoms may be ongoing.