Posted on 03. January 2018 by
Weaning can be tricky at the best of times, but weaning a baby with allergies is a whole new challenge.
When Max and Eliza were smaller, I had to avoid dairy products when weaning. Sounds fairly simple, right? Just avoid milk, yogurt and cheese?
Actually, weaning a baby with a dairy allergy is a minefield. Almost everything contains dairy, or is produced in a factory which handles dairy. Everything from bread and cereal to chips and fish fingers.
Which can make choosing weaning foods really hard. Even making your own purees can be tough, as so many sauces and stocks contain dairy traces, and it’s so hard to provide a wide variety of foods and tastes when you are so limited by an allergy.
If you know or suspect an allergy it is important to seek medical advice before weaning. Once you get going, it is advisable to start with ‘safe’ foods which rarely cause a reaction, such as fruits and root vegetables. HiPP Organic’s new range of Pure Vegetable jars are perfect for the first stage of weaning as they only contain one single vegetable! Make sure your baby is ready for solids too – they should be 6 months old, able to sit and support their own head and capable of moving food to the back of their mouths using the tongue. If your little one is already on a special allergy formula milk, use this or breastmilk to prepare foods with.
Always introduce one new food at a time, so that you can keep note of any reactions that may occur. It’s also a good idea to introduce new foods in the morning, so that if a certain food type does cause a reaction, hopefully this will pass before bedtime and therefore not disrupt sleep too much. Leave a gap of at least three days between trying new foods to thoroughly rule out reactions.
Some of the most common allergy symptoms include hives, swelling, itching, wheezing and congestion, as well as longer term reactions such as eczema, reflux and gastrointestinal symptoms. Make sure you know what to do in the case of an extreme allergic reaction, as even the most careful parent can slip up with an allergy baby! Look into a paediatric first aid course for peace of mind.
Some babies with allergies can struggle with weight gain, especially if you have no choice but to restrict the foods which are high in fat and protein. Make sure you are in regular contact with your GP or health visitor, and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Weaning is a major milestone, and you want to get it right. Most of all, don’t panic. It can be done, even with multiple allergies, and most children can still enjoy a fulfilling and varied diet.
You can read more from My Family Fever in her blog: https://myfamilyfever.co.uk