our 17 month old is allergic to dairy, eggs and wheat - we 1st found out about her dairy allergy when she was 7 m.o. and had a lick of ice cream - anyway, it can be confusing - you have all the different "milk" suggestions - I just want to add a few things - I'm still nursing and plan to continue until she's 2 - this is what I did w/ her older sister - neither has ever had an ear infection and, in fact, are very healthy (other than the obvious allergy issues) - anyway, this isn't to say that I nursed all day - at about a year she began weaning herself - to mornings and nights then only at night and then not at all - keep in mind that she increased nursing if she was feeling "clingy" for some reason - I did this while I was pregnant w/ my 2nd - it's called tandem nursing - I began talking w/ her when I was about 4 months along w/ her sis and then got her off by the time I was 5 or 6 months pregnant - more b/c I was concerned about potential jealousy issues - she did great - just a note that you can tandem nurse 2 actual children - anyway, just wanted to address this in case you're thinking of getting pregnant
our pediatricians have strongly encouraged me to continue nursing our youngest b/c of her allergy - b/c she gets what she needs from me - she does nurse a but more frequently than our oldest did at this age but some days very little - my experience w/ the allergy is this - our daughter didn't care for any of the "milks" - soy, rice, oat, almond, multigrain (some of these obviously tried before we knew about her wheat allergy)- I also received responses to my mamasource request that too much soy may cause problems w/ the development of the reproductive system and that the acceptable amount is very minimal (sorry, I don't recall how much)- anyway, she wouldn't even drink any of it if I flavored it - so, they suggested calcium fortified orange juice - she's better now but still won't drink more than half a bottle of anything - even if I try giving her no other drinks for the day - a few more notes - watch any nut milks b/c of potential allergies - also, as other people mentioned these alternative milks may not have all the nutrients they need in them - be sure they're fortified - our little one loves green veggies and we can usually get some meat into her, special pastas and some treats for fat - we also have a calcium supplement now - just off the shelf at Whole Foods and chewy bear form - the GI doctor checked it out and compared to the multi we also bought - he said calcium over the multi and NOT both or it's too much - we have explored goat's milk but not tried it - b/c I have read that many children allergic to cow's milk are also allergic to goat's milk - and our daughter's allergy seems anaphlactic (sp?) I'm cautious - she gets an immediate skin reaction from just a bit of milk intake - thankfully we have never seen the more severe symptoms of it but I believe it's b/c she's never had more than a lick or sip of dairy - I agree w/ one writer that it's probably more than a skin reaction - anyway, sorry this seems to be all over the place - just trying to share what I've learned - two more things - there's dairy in more things than you may realize - even those little meat sticks! cake mixes! etcetera! - figure out the allergy more - be cautious - check labels - also, do you take in milk/dairy in your diet? - your dau has successfully nursed - I've been told that the fact that mine tolerates dairy in my diet is a very good sign that she'll eventually outgrow it - also, think about things like has she had eczema, that early food allergies can be linked to asthma (which we now see developing in our dau), that it can be a predictor of later life health problems (GI, ...) I certainly don't want to scare you so don't be - I just want to share so you can take the best care you can w/ your little one - and b/c I know how hard it is to get all the info you need and find the support/help that goes along w/ caring for childhood food allergies - good luck! please let me know if I can help and P.S. check out Whole Foods - they have lists - so "dairy free" products list for shopping! believe it or not they have a dairy, wheat and egg free oreo cookie!