Hold the milk!: Going dairy free for baby

Sleep little baby, sleep

Sleep little baby, sleep

As I have written in previous posts, Amelia is not much of a sleeper. She wakes anywhere from 2 to 6 times a night. Normally, she is not overtly hungry, she is just cranky and uncomfortable. She has a lot of gas during the day and night, to put it lightly. She is exclusively breastfed, so there is nothing else she is getting in terms of nutrition. I’m sometimes a bit too analytical and feel that there has to be an answer for every. single. problem. in. my. life.  It is bugging the heck out of me that I can’t figure out why Amelia won’t become a better sleeper. We’ve tried chiropractic. We’ve tried probiotics for myself and her (which I think help some). We’ve tried the crib. We’ve tried the bassinett. We’ve tried swaddled, unswaddled, pacifier, no pacifier, co-sleeping, keeping up later at night, trying to keep up more during the day, more sunlight, attempted schedules, white noise, Mozart.  It all ends up about the same.

So J and I were at my work Christmas party last weekend and I was talking with some coworker friends/moms/healthcare professionals about the ‘situation’ and one suggested cutting out dairy to see if it would help with her constant waking at night. {Picture me almost literally slapping myself in the face} I had heard this from others but never really took it seriously. The next day I did a little research. Turns out that many babies are sensitive to a protein found in cow’s milk that is passed through mother’s milk. Different from lactose.  Symptoms of sensitivites or allergies in babies can include: wheezing/stuffy nose, vomiting, gas, green stools, fussiness, waking suddenly due to stomach pain, irritability, dry skin, cold-like symptoms that don’t go away……..yep, A had quite the laundry list of them. So I decided to try it. Can’t hurt, right? My baby wakes 6 or so times a night, it can’t possibly get any worse!!!  So I am 5 days in, dairy free.

Do you have any idea in how many items dairy is listed as an ingredient???? We do not eat a ton of processed foods, but I never realized how much dairy I eat. The day before I went dairy free I had made a Mexican Lasagna, a delicious dish brought to us by a friend after A was born. Full of protein….and dairy. 😦  I did get one meal of it the day before, however.  I’ve decided the best way to go about this is with whole foods as much as possible, with lots of fruits and veggies, which really is what is the best for us anyways!  None of my freezer meals I made a few weeks ago contained dairy products so that was good.  All the sources I have read say that it takes anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks to clear your body of the cow’s milk protein, and your baby can hold it another week or so in their gastrointestinal tract. The babies usually outgrow the sensitivity by 6-18 months, but not always. I don’t know if that is what is going on, but last night A did only wake 1 time……just sayin.  And maybe this very intentional and tedious task of eating dairy-free and whole foods will help with the post-baby weightloss! 😉

We went to Amelia’s 2 month well baby check this week and she is 10 lb 7 oz. BEAST! She started at a mere 6lb 2 oz only 9.5 weeks ago so she is showing great growth. 50 percentile for weight and head circumference and 80 percentile for length. Our doc was very pleased with her rate of gain. I questioned her about the *ahem* sleeping issue. She replied with a chuckle ‘Sarah, some babies are just not good sleepers.’ this seasoned, analytical, mom of 3 was not happy with that answer. I have 2 other kids and a life to attend to, I need some rest!!! She did agree that the dairy was a very possible problem.  Hmmmm…..

So of course I am knee deep in dairy-free recipes or modifying mine in order to keep myself and the fam fed. {Side note–nursing sure has done a number on my appetite this time around! I’m always hungry!} The hardest has been desserts; My fav dairy-free dessert recipe thus far (bye-bye anything with milk, yogurt, butter, margarine, chocolate chips as an ingredient) is these No-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, and these and these are next on the to-try list.

It’s been an adventure in only 5 days but hopefully it helps!!!

-The {growing} Costellos

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