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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Gassy baby fed by formula
My son is seven months old. He has been introduced to solids (cereal and stage one foods in the last month). In the last two weeks, he has become extremely gassy, his abdomen becomes hard at times, he burps alot and he is very crancky.
I have stopped the cereal and baby food for a day, during which time I only gave him milk, but he remains gassy. I have also given him camomile tea and gas drops, but they do not seem to help.
Can it be that he has developed an allergic reaction to his formula after seven months? He has been taking Similac advance. I have tried him on soy formula in the past, but he is allergic to it. I would appreciate any advice you can provide. I feel helpless. Thank you.
How hard to have a cranky, uncomfortable infant. I feel for you.
Allergies can show up at anytime. This is why foods are introduced individually and slowly. When you want to test for allergies to cereal and other foods you will need to remove that food for several days to clear the system and have resolution of symptoms. Once the symptoms have resolved, start again to add one food at a time for 4 to 7 days. If no symptoms develop then add another new food. Let's look at the foods one by one.
There are two possibilities with milk. Either your baby is allergic or he has a milk intolerance. Milk intolerance means that he does not produce the enzyme needed to digest milk. This condition can cause a lot of gas and troubles with his stools. The best way to initially check for this is to remove all dairy from your baby's diet for a few days and then slowly reintroduce it. This will be hard because milk is such a major component of your baby's diet right now and you do not have an alternative milk supplement.
Cereal - What type are you using? Rice cereal is best to start with as infant are less likely to be allergic to this cereal. Wheat based products should be among those last introduced and not until about 1 year as infants develop more allergies to wheat than to other grains.
Fruits and other foods - To check for allergies, these foods need to be introduced 1 at a time for 4-7 days. If there is a reaction to the food it should show up within that time.
If the symptoms continue I recommend you visit your child's health care practitioner. Sorting out allergies can be difficult. I wish you the best as you work through this problem.
Barbara Morrison, PhD, CNM, FNP
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Case Western Reserve University