It has been a little quiet here on the blog the past few weeks. I’ve been a little lazy with the heat of the summer, but I’ve also been thinking about some issues and I wasn’t sure how to share them. Well, I’m finally ready to talk about it since I feel I have a good plan.
One of the major reasons why I started this blog was to focus more on how I feed my children. I wanted to make sure they grew up eating healthy, flavorful food that would give them a good foundation of eating habits throughout their lives. All summer we have been working on eating a real food diet, with natural ingredients and fresh, unprocessed foods. So far I’ve enjoyed this transition and I do not see going back to processed food at all. My taste buds have evolved and I prefer homemade foods. I found that convenience is not enough of a benefit to sacrifice taste and health.
No one in my family has any history of problems with food, and I never thought my children would have any issues… until this spring, just after Ella turned one.
During the week of Ella’s birthday, I started transitioning her from formula to cow’s milk. I mixed it in gradually in each bottle, each day using more milk and less formula. She did fine with the transition and really enjoyed her new milk. She had already been eating table food for a few months, which included other dairy like cheese and yogurt. About three weeks after her birthday, I started noticing some annoying issues. She was spitting up again after her bottles, something she hadn’t done in months. She developed a diaper rash that wouldn’t go away. This was worrisome, since she never had diaper rashes, only having a few as an infant. And I also noticed more rashes on her body. Rough patches on the back of her arms, red itchy dots on her neck.
Something wasn’t right, but I didn’t really know what. Separately, all of these issues are common in babies. But all at once? The diaper rash was the most concerning, since it was itchy, red, angry and blistering. Looking at all of the changes that had happened along with the timing, I had a hunch it was the milk. And it clicked for me a little more when I remembered her reflux diagnosis as an infant that wasn’t helped by medication. It wasn’t until I put her on a low lactose formula that she seemed better, which also worked well for her older brother.
Doctors Visits and Nutrition
So I made an appointment with our pediatrician’s office. After presenting all of the information and my thoughts, the doctor prescribed a steroid cream for her diaper rash, said her skin rash was manageable and to keep an eye on it and then tried to send me on my way. The doctor didn’t think milk was an issue, but agreed to order an allergy test at my insistence. While I waited for the results, I turned to the internet and my local library to try to find more information on what was going on. I found many resources on symptoms of food intolerances or sensitivities versus food allergies. By the time I received results of the allergy test 10 days later, I wasn’t surprised that it was negative. Thankfully, she had no allergies, but it is still possible to have a sensitivity. Meanwhile, Ella’s diaper rash went away the steroid cream. As soon as we stopped using it, the rash returned. We used all of the cream that was prescribed and the rash still returned. We were advised to return to get another steroid prescription. I was frustrated that the doctor only seemed to want to treat the symptom, and not look for the cause.
From my own research, I learned that sometimes goat milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk and could help. I was excited since it was similar in nutrition to cow’s milk. I immediately started serving Ella the goat milk in her bottles and removed all sources of dairy from her diet otherwise. And guess what? Her rashes and spit up went away! I was thrilled, but a few weeks later… her symptoms returned.
Was she finally reacting to the goat’s milk, or could it be something else?
Stay tuned for the rest of this story…where I turned for help and how a little detective work and an experiment can hopefully give us an answer.