Formula and food allergies are common, but it’s still scary when it happens to your baby. If you are struggling with fussiness, rashes, or any other unsettling symptoms with your baby, you could be dealing with a food allergy.
Cow’s milk is a common food allergy, and fifty percent of children who suffer from a cow’s milk allergy also have a sensitivity to soy. Soy is a popular alternative to milk-based formulas, worsening an already complex conundrum.
After you’ve determined your child is struggling from a food sensitivity, there are things you can do to make it easier on both of you.
Signs of an Allergy
There are several common signs of an allergy for which to look. Increased fussiness, gas, diaper rash, diarrhea, rashes, hives, eczema, and excessive spitting up are all things to watch. If they happen regularly, seek medical attention to determine whether your baby is dealing with an allergy.
What to Do
If you do think your baby has developed an allergy, the best thing to do is take him to the doctor. Your pediatrician can help you assess your baby’s symptoms, make a diagnosis, and suggest treatments.
They can also help rule out other allergies due to medication, environmental stimuli, or if it’s the type of kids and baby clothes they’re wearing. There are many courses of action you can take when your baby has a formula or food allergy, and it’s not hard to accommodate these treatments in the course of your daily life.
Reducing the Chances of Allergy Development
Many people think that delaying the introduction of certain foods will reduce or eliminate the chances of an allergy, but the opposite is true. Experts all agree that you should breastfeed or formula feed until six months of age, but after that, you can introduce any new foods that you want.
Be sure to introduce them one at a time. In the event of a reaction, you’ll have a better idea of what caused the reaction if you only introduce new foods every few days. Food allergies aren’t always hereditary, so if food allergies run in the family, that doesn’t mean your baby will have the same allergy. Just watch for signs of an allergy when you introduce that type of food.
Different Types of Formula
Allergies to one type of formula don’t necessarily indicate an allergy to all. There are plenty of alternatives and workarounds you can try. Many babies grow out of their allergies, so these changes will probably be temporary.
Formulas for sensitive stomachs are a good place to start. Most brands offer specially formulated alternatives for babies with digestive issues. A sensitivity isn’t always an allergy, but it can cause pain and discomfort, especially for their partially developed digestive tracts.
Soy formula is a good substitute for cow’s milk allergies, as long as your baby isn’t also allergic to soy. It’s worth a try for some temporary relief. You may need to continue it until their first birthday and then try cow’s milk again.
Elemental formulas are designed for babies with significant allergies. These types of formulas should be used as a last resort because they’re costly, but if they work, it’s worth the relief they provide.
Treating Formula and Food Allergies
Aside from changing your baby’s food, there are other things you can do to provide relief and treat an outbreak. If your child is old enough for solid food, stay away from food with the ingredient to which they are sensitive.
Keeping antihistamines and itch cream handy in case of an outbreak will give you peace of mind as well as arm you with the necessary tools to care for your child when needed. You can administer preemptive medicine before seeking the care of a professional.
A food or formula allergy in a child is not a reason to panic. Advances in modern medicine have made allergies easier to diagnose and treat. While there’s no cure, many babies grow out of food allergies in time.
If your child has a lifelong allergy to something, there are precautions you can take to avoid the food altogether and treat it in the case of contact or ingestion. Being aware that these allergies exist is half the battle. You’re well on your way to being prepared for anything now.