19 answers

Baby Allergic to Cow's Milk and Soy Milk

We're in the process of switching my 1 year old daughter off of breast milk, but she appears to be allergic to cow's milk and now soy milk (mostly just contact reactions where the milk dribbles on her face). What is left? I've heard there are hypoallergenic formula's out there, but I'm worried she won't like the taste (we never could get her to drink infant formula and she didn't seem to even like the cow's milk). What about goat milk? Does anyone else have any experience with this issue?

What can I do next?

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try Almond milk by Almond Breeze or oat milk (whick has more protein and more calories) by Pacific. They are both sold at Wegmans and probably both at Whole Foods. They are usually found in the organic section. They ae not intented to replace infant formulas, jut replace milk.,

good luck - also, I wouldn't use the rice milk b/c it doens; have enough nutrients.

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try Almond milk by Almond Breeze or oat milk (whick has more protein and more calories) by Pacific. They are both sold at Wegmans and probably both at Whole Foods. They are usually found in the organic section. They ae not intented to replace infant formulas, jut replace milk.,

good luck - also, I wouldn't use the rice milk b/c it doens; have enough nutrients.

1 mom found this helpful


The likelyhood that she is only reacting externally is slim at best. If she has eczema, that is most likely the symptom of an internal reaction. You need to determine what she is allergic to in the cow's milk. If it is protein, then the hypoallergenic formula will not work as it contains whey protein. If you have no specific reason to wean, then continue to breastfeed. As someone else said below, milk beyond the breast is not necessary. If she is eating a good balance of fruits, veggies and meat then she does not need milk or formula beyond breastmilk. If she is like my son, who won't eat ANYTHING, you will need to make sure she is getting nutrients through formula of some kind. THere is a meat-based homemade formula recipe on www.westonaprice.org, just omit whey and/or lactose from recipe. If she is eating some foods, but not enough to sustain her, then try goat milk. It is most like human milk, but less folic acid. My son is also allergic to this as the proteins are similar to cow milk. If that is the case for you try rice milk, plain fortified. THe flavored varieties have too much sugar. To add fat, you can add coconut milk, which is a healthy and tasty fat. We currently use a combo of donated breastmilk and rice/coconut milk for my son. I am pregnant and no longer able to breastfeed him myself. We are considering switching from breastmilk to meat-based homemade formula. Good luck with your decisions. It is soooo hard to know what is right for our little ones. Trust your instincts.


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Try Goat's milk. If that doesn't work try almond or rice milk. You can buy all of the above at Whole foods.
Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Is it imperative to wean her right now? If I were in your position I would continue to breastfeed for as long as I could.

If it simply is not possible, then goat's milk is your best bet, and fresh unpasteurized is absolutely the best, but you have to know the farmer to do that. Goat's milk is the closest animal milk to human milk and people are rarely allergic to it. The powdered tastes awful, go with as close to fresh as you can get. Fortified rice milk is another alternative, but doesn't contain the fat she needs at this age, so you would have to find another source for that. Milk is not a necessary part of the human diet, but it seems to be important to us, as Americans. Try different cultural diets that don't use milk. Greens provide calcium; fish,nuts, seeds all provide protein and fat. Your body makes vit D on it's own with exposure sunlight, etc... All of my kids went through milk intolerance or allergic periods, so I understand your dilemma, but I nursed them all well past a year (two of them to 3yo).

Good luck.

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Hi K., My daughter, now 3 yrs old, had the same issue as your daughter. She had allergic reaction to the cow's milk, always was constipated and had bad allergies. I took her to my nutritionist and he recommended goats milk AND RICE MILK.

The goats milk is equal to the mothers breast milk, w/ the same hormones, etc.. I had her on it for 2 yrs, she was fine w/ her bowels and her allergies. He let me put her on the rice milk now, and she likes it. What I did at first was do half and half. so we finally weened her to each, she loves it. If you have any questions, u can email me at ____@____.com. I hope this helped a little, good luck. M.

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My suggestion would be keep her on breast milk for a bit longer unless there is some urgent reason you have to wean. I didn't wean my middle til he was 2 and my youngest until he was 18 months. Most other countries don't wean until the baby is atleast 2 because their immune system isn't fully developed until then. Plus if you wait she may tolerate it a bit better. I know my oldest when going from formula to milk had to have soy milk til about 18 months then he seemed fine with cows milk so maybe her tummy just isn't ready. Good luck!

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I'm a 34 yr old mom of 3 children, 5yrs old and under. All of my children had/ have some issues with milk and soy to some degree and for various reasons.

In your case, it sounds like for the milk it's the pasteurization that she's having issues with. it could be the casein, or the lactose, but most people who are allergic to pasteurized milk do fine on fresh raw milk. In the Philly area there is <http://www.hendricksfarmsanddairy.com/&gt; and then in Chester County there's always <http://www.kimbertonwholefoods.com/&gt;.

The intestines of an exclusively grass fed cow is free of E. Coli. Some great reading can be found here <http://www.consciouschoice.com/2001/cc1411/grassfed1411.h...;
and here <http://realmilk.org/&gt;

You can certainly try fortified rice milk or almond milk, but steer clear of flavored products. Too much added sugar.

Goat's milk is also a great option, but again, fresh raw milk is best.

Best of luck! Send me a message if you'd like to talk more about the milk.

Wife, Mother, Friend

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Goat milk is an option. It's supposed to be easier to digest than cow's milk and less likely to cause an allergic reaction. You can purchase goat milk from most health food stores. If you are in a rural area, you can sometimes get fresh goat milk but you have to be careful because it might not be pasterized. Some people don't feel comfortable giving their children milk that hasn't been through the process.


There is Almond Breeze and Rice Dream.
They are milk like, it's hard to find but it has all the calcium & vitiams of of milk. My son has that issue, so we have had him on it for a year now. He loves it. It comes plain, vanilla flavored and chocolate flavored.

Good Luck

Try a little Lactaid. My daughter all of a sudden starting have a terrible reaction to milk - she was about 2 when it started. I switched her to Lactaid and she was better within a day and back to normal within about a week.
Good luck!

I had the same problem and my holistic doctor recomended rice milk and that worked out good.
I hope that helps. Good luck!

My daughter had the same problem!! When I had to start supplementing her at 4 months she became a monster, always crying and cranky and I never thought it was the formula and my ped was no help(we go to a different one now)We ended up at an allergist and now she has mostly out grown her issues with cows milk( we just have to stick to organic stuff) but the soy seems to have stuck with her. A milk allergy or evern senstivity can be scary. I would talk to your ped about it and maybe even go to an allergist and get tested for it just to be on the safe side, because a milk allergy can be dangerous. Most likely it is a sensitivity and I would go with Rice milk(seemed to taste best) or if your ped syas she needs whats inthe formula still then go with a hypoallergenic formula. It is expensive but they feel so much better its worth it. We used Nutramin by similac I think but there is a enfimial one to that I don't think are that much different. I was worried about taste too but my daughter never skipped a beat with it. the rice milk def smells and tastes better. Just get help with this one because you never know, she is having a reaction to the milk on the outside can you imagine what it does to her insides? Thats how I had to think about it. Get tested and hopefully it is just something she will out grow and her body just isn't ready to handle yet but will soon. allergies can be so tricky! Just remember that when she does go onto the reg milk that if she still might be sensitive to all the hormones and stuff they pump into the cows so you might want to go with organic. My daughter gets constipated and,cranky and tummy aches when she has reg milk now. Good Luck!!!!

i don't have that problem with my kids, but i know someone who has this issue. they were told to try goats milk and apparently they can get it in powder form as well as regular milk (powder is cheaper), the second option they were given was rice milk, but they didn't need to try that one as their baby likes the goats milk.
Good luck!

Rice milk is less allergenic and it doesn't tast too bad. They make vanila too. Good Luck!


My sister in law's baby is allergic to cow's milk. I don't know about soy. She gives her baby rice milk mixed with a little formula. The formula she uses is Alimentum (sp?). Her baby tolerates it well. Her daughter is 18 months. Talk to your ped too...I don't know if rice milk contains any soy though either.

My daughter and I are both allergic to cows milk and I am also allergic to soy. We drink Rice Dream rice milk. It is enriched with all the same vitamins/minerals that cow and soy milk are enriched with. You can buy it at Giant now too, in their healthy food section. They have it in the refrigerated part and the aseptic boxes where the other alternative milks are sold. My daughter loves it, but it does taste a different than soy or cow.
Goat milk is a good choice too and they do have some of that at Giant. They also have goat yogurt that is pretty tasty...the company that makes it is called Liberte.
Good luck!

I recommend trying Carnation Milk. It comes in a powdered form and has all of the necessary vitamins in it. My daughter cannot tolerate soy, whole, or rice milks. I was on this milk when I was a baby until two years old. My pediatrician suggested it and my daughter has not had any problems with it. It is very inexpensive and does not constipate. You should ask your ped about this milk.


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!

I had the same problem with my son. We took him to an allergist. Ends up he is allergic to the protien in the milk. They said to never give an infant goat's milk.
Have you tried rice milk?

We still haven't resolved our issue. Our pediatrician said as long as he's getting calcium from another source he should be okay.

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