This week we’re delighted to host a guest blog from writer and blogger Kate Tunstall of The Less-Refined Mind. Kate tell us about how she discovered that her baby had cow’s milk protein allergy and how she managed to get through a nightmare year!
Identifying Allergies in Babies and Children
As I write I’m sitting scoffing the last Christmas pies - and what a revelation that is! How so? Just one year ago my ‘treats’ were quite different. My baby girl was born in June 2017, and after two weeks of blissful ignorance to the hell we were about to have thrust upon us, we had the dawning realisation that something was very wrong. At just five weeks old Elfin was diagnosed with Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA), and from that moment until she was around eleven months old, I eliminated dairy and soy from my diet completely. It was worth it in order to help eradicate the hideous symptoms of her allergy, but it did mean that last Christmas I was enjoying faux pie.
With that in mind, I wanted to provide a quick run down of the things to look out for if you suspect your child may have an allergy.
Allergy Symptoms and Treatment
If your baby displays colic along with any combination of dermatological, gastrointestinal or respiratory problems then it’s possible they may have an allergy to cow’s milk protein (if breastfed, the list of potential allergens is extended as they can travel through your milk). For a thorough list, check out my post detailing the varying symptoms under each category.
Once you’ve identified an allergy you’ll then need to confirm it, and the only way to do so effectively is to first eliminate the allergen, and then reintroduce it to see whether or not your child reacts. It sounds barbaric, and it feels wicked - every time I’ve had to go through this process my anxiety levels have been off the chart.
Nonetheless it’s critical to have a definitive answer as to what’s causing the issue/s so that you can safely remove allergens from your child’s diet, without being unnecessarily restrictive. Because trust me, zero dairy is a really big deal - it’s in everything. And yes, actually a little bit will hurt; so you have to be vigilant every time you shop in the supermarket, every time you eat out, every time someone hands you something that ‘doesn’t contain milk’ but it actually does… Nobody will be as careful (paranoid?) as you.
I was recently sent Balmonds Dry Skin range to trial with Elfin, and I’ve been really impressed. Since sensitive skin can react to so many ingredients, it can be difficult to find products that don’t cause flare-ups or discomfort, and that actually work to soothe the area.
Allergies and Eczema
One of the most common indications of an allergy is skin problems, particularly eczema which affects one in five children under two. Thankfully, as with CMPA, most children ‘outgrow’ it, or at least see a dramatic improvement by the time they reach three years old. That said, it’s highly likely dry skin will persist, so it’s worth investing in a great moisturiser for sensitive skin, and getting into the habit of using it regularly.
I was recently sent Balmonds Dry Skin range to trial with Elfin, and I’ve been really impressed.
Since sensitive skin can react to so many ingredients, it can be difficult to find products that don’t cause flare-ups or discomfort, and that actually work to soothe the area.
I’ve found that using the Daily Moisturising Cream regularly after Elfin’s bath has calmed irritated skin and improved suppleness and hydration.
For as long as it appears to be working and Elfin doesn’t object, I’ll keep using it!
Both my girls have had eczema, and I still have the occasional flare-up myself. While I’m pleased to say my four year old, Pixie, no longer suffers, Elfin is yet to overcome her problem skin. But I remain hopeful; passing the milk ladder with her earlier this year was pretty momentous - and I’m taking full advantage by eating all the pie.
Article written by Kate Tunstall
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.