36 answers

My 1 Year Old Vomits After Milk

My almost 13 month old has an issue, I believe, with milk. It seems like she throws up everything after drinking only about 2 ounces of milk. If she doesn't have any milk, then she is better.

She is in day care and while there, she was on Similac Sensitive alternating with breast milk for 8 months. She had no troubles switching between the 2 at all. Now that I have thrown 2% milk into the mix, her tummy has been upset almost daily for about 1 week. The only day that her tummy was o.k. was when I didn't give her any milk. She does not have any fever at all. She loves yogurt, so she gets some calcium from that. She has had small bites of ice cream without any problem as well. She has seen her doctor (just today) and she is healthy and just has some seasonal allergies that he put her on Zyrtec for. She has been on that for the last week and a half and her eyes are no longer red and itchy, but she still sounds congested in her nose. The doctor told me that this allergy stuff would last for a few more weeks and that she would occasionally vomit the mucus. Well, this is just a little more that occasionally now. I should also mention that she is constipated now too. Who knows if this has anything to do with the vomiting. I also believe that she is cutting her second set of teeth, but I can't see or feel anything yet.

Sorry for the ramblings, but I am at a loss and I don't know what to do. I tried 2% milk, she just had 2 ounces of Lactose free milk and I know that she needs milk, but I am tired of cleaning up within minutes of her eating. I am trying to feed her less at more frequent intervals, but I am still afraid to give her food, only to have it come up just minutes later. Once she throws up, she is back to her normal happy self.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone. As it turns out, she can drink milk just fine. I think that it was a combination of too much milk too fast, a little smomach virus, allergies, eating too much food at one time and her first teeth coming in all mixed together for a bad week. I cut back on her food intake and started her on some juices. After that week, I re-introduced the milk a little at a time with no problems. She is now back to her happy little self, drinking 16 ounces of milk a day and doing great. She is walking almost all the time and has cut her third tooth all in about 5 days. Time sure flies when they are having fun. Thanks again for everything~!

Featured Answers

Have you tried goat milk? My daughters both have a hard time digesting cows milk, but seem to do fine with goat milk. Its easier to digest because its closer in its make up to breast milk.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried organic milk? My husband is lactose intolerant, but he seems to be able to handle organic milk. It's worth a try.

M., never fear this too will pass. It takes some children a little longer to adjust to whole milk, you should change over to whole milk instead of 2% though. Whole milk is all that WIC will allow children over 1 year old to drink unless there is a weight issue. I have 3 children who are grown now, but I also work in a child care center, when the children outgrow formula and transfer to whole milk most children do have an adjustment phase. I have found that smaller servings to start with are best. You may try a small snack and half cup of milk to start with. The child shouldn't need more than 16 ounces in a day anyway.

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A baby should not need to be on any medications (except genetic disease)! It sounds like chiropractic would address both the issue of throwing up and the issue of allergies.

Birth is the initial cause of neck problems that don't start bothering most people until they are adults. More than that, the brain stem goes down into the first vertebra of the neck. The brain stem is center of autonomic nerve control, including allergies. When baby is being born and the doctor reaches in and grabs baby's head and pulls and twists, what do you think that is doing to baby's neck? How about baby's brain stem?

Babies respond very quickly to chiropractic, so she probably wouldn't have to go very many times before you would see a marked difference in both allergies and vomiting.

Here is a fantastic story of how chiropractic saved a baby that the doctor had all but destroyed during a difficult delivery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo1nzDnbcUU&feature=re...

And here are a few more about the safety and efficacy of chiropractic for children.

2 moms found this helpful

Have you tried goat milk? My daughters both have a hard time digesting cows milk, but seem to do fine with goat milk. Its easier to digest because its closer in its make up to breast milk.

1 mom found this helpful

It is not natural for us to consume the milk of another mammal. Our digestive systems have not evolved to cope with this. If it makes her throw up, don't feed it to her anymore. She may be allergic to dairy products. This may also explain the apparent seasonal allergies.

She can get calcium from other food sources. Meat is good for this.

You could try visiting a naturopath for dietary advice for your little one.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

If the Similac works, continue her on it. My kids drank formula-from bottles-until they were old enough to carry on a reasoned conversation about why they shouldn't take bottles to mothers day out. They had similar issues with 2% milk at your daughter's age, and beyond. By the time they were three, though, they could--and still do--drink lots of milk. It seems that her tummy is talking to you, mom! Hope this helps. (Oh, whenever the doctor asked, "off the bottle?" or "drinking 2% milk from a cup?" I lied and said yes...after all, he wasn't the one cleaning up all the gross spitup milk!)

Poor baby girl!!
Well I give to my kids Soy milk, it works just fine, if we go to my MIL or my moms and they only have 2% milk, my kids get sick within minutes after drinking it, so I just dont give them cow milk at all. As for the calcium, look for other foods that are high in calcium, the is no need for cow milk anyway, you can find plenty of other fruits and vegetables with the same amount of calcium, or more than cows milk. Try also some natural supplements for calcium.
Good luck

I am sorry your child seems to be sensitive to milk that is a hard allergy to deal with because it is such a common food and easy to eat with cereal and to drink. If you are concered about her calcium intake my doctor told two of my children since they wouldn't drink mild for a while to just add more yogurt and cheese to each meal and my children all love yogurt and any other dairy product.

I hope she gets better or grows out of it,
God Bless you and your Daughter

My son did the same thing with all of his food. In addition to having seasonal allergies, he also had acid reflux. The doctor put him on meds for it and within a couple of days he was better. He outgrew it after a while and he is now 4 1/2 and has no problems with eating. I might also mention that you should give her whole milk. The added fat content is good for her and she may have an issue with going from the heavier formula and breast milk to thinner 2%. We used to buy 2% for me and my husband, and whole milk specifically for my son. If she can eat other dairy products, it's probably not a lactose allergy.

The constipation could be a combination of not having enough fluids, cutting teeth, and adjusting to the Zyrtec. If I remember correctly, it is one of the side effects (my son was also on it). Try giving her some watered down apple juice once a day. Also, don't hold off from giving her foods. Fruits and vegitables will help with her bowel movements as well.

Have you tried organic milk? My husband is lactose intolerant, but he seems to be able to handle organic milk. It's worth a try.

M., Sounds like your baby has either lactose intolerance or a full blown milk allergy. In any event, you can confirm her inability to digest milk by eliminating all milk products for about a week, then slowly reintroduce. If she has the vomiting and diarrhea, then you have your answer.

Milk is not essential to one's diet. There are numerous other ways to get enough protein and calcium in one's diet. I am slightly lactose intolerant, but my husband and kids are severely lactose intolerant. We are a cow's milk free house. The kids drink soy and I use soymilk anywhere that calls for milk. My husband prefers almond milk for his cereal. I make sure that my kids eat lots of broccoli and other dark green leafy vegetables, they will eat some tofu and soy yogurt. It is a bit of a challenge, but very doable. Good luck.

Hi M.,
My suggestion would be to stop the milk altogether. If the Dr. says she is healthy, and she is not cranky and continues to sleep well then Milk is her culpret. I never had milk as a youngster- hated it- my mother gave me juices from squash an/or turnips etc- and lot of other juices. Give her the yogurt, cheeses, fruits and lots of juices- she will be just fine. there are other foods out there that can give her the calcium she needs.
There are so many additives they put into the milk that it is possible that this is causing her allergies to act up- something in the milk itself- so I would suggest removing it all together from her diet and see if that does not help. you can gradually re introduce the milk as she gets a little older.......see how that works
good luck and blessings

I have had milk issues with my son since he was born. We had to try every different formula and the only thing that didn't make him throw up was Nutramagin. I have tried as he gets older to give him reg milk but he doesnt throw up now but he gets a stomach ache and nasty poop. He is now two and I had him on soy milk then found out that a container of soy milk is equal to 3 birth control pills because SOY has alot of estrogen in it. So I would NOT reccommend giving soy to your child everyday. The BEST thing out there in my opinion is Almond Milk. It has less sugar than milk and rice milk and has good nutrients in it as well. You can find it at krogers or HEB , pretty much anywhere in the baking aisle. If not there, then in the health / organic section of stores always have it to. Hope this helps!

I also wanted to ad, that yes whole milk is best because of the fat in it which dr's say fat is really good for kids in moderation but usually kids are getting so much fat elsewhere bc there is so much junk food out there now that this isnt really an issue as far as getting it from milk only.

I would stop the milk. My son couldn't handle it til he was 2. Try again later when her system is a little more mature. I also use Almond and Rice Milk (Walmart, HEB and Kroger carry this) to this Day b/c dairy seems to be a little too much for my little guy. Good Luck.

Intolerance/allergic reaction to cow's milk is not uncommon in small children. My mother had the same problem with me when I was one; I kept vomiting cow's milk. The pediatrician recommended that she provide me with other means of calcium; kefir, yogurt, and cheese (not cottage cheese). By the time I was two, my digestive system was mature enough to handle plain milk.
Talk about it with your pediatrician and give her naturally calcium enriched foods (fyi there is orange juice concentrate that has calcium, if you want to give her a liquid) as listed above. Other calcium foods are tofu (coagulated with calcium, check the label), soy milk, broccoli, kale or turnip greens, salmon or sardines. According to "What to Expect the Toddler Years", she needs four servings (toddler size) of any of the above.
Try the above, try not to worry (ha!) and she will get through this. Hope this helps you.

I agree that she is sensitive to cow dairy. My #1 is as well. My daughter can eat cheeses and yogurts made from cow milk. I've discovered that the reason is that the process(es) that make cheese/yogurt "eat up" the part that she's sensitive/allergic to. Hope that makes sense.
Until they were each about 2y, I gave them goat, rice and almond milks. I avoided soy milk as a result of some controversy over how soy may/may not affect hormones in young ones.
Her congestion could also be from cow's milk sensitivity. Some bf-ing women have noticed that their babies constant congestion clears when they go off cow dairy.
What do her dipes look like? Keeping an eye on them, as well as any/all rashes that happen can be helpful for your pediatrician.

Bottom line: your daughter's body is telling you that it is not ready for cow's milk. Switch to alternative sources of calcium and fats for your daughter's nutritional needs.

Here is a link to a list of non-dairy sources of calcium:

K., mama to
Catherine, 5y
Samuel, 2y
EDD 9/09

I believe she has an intolerance/allergy to milk. I am lactose intolerant, as well as both my children. My husband is allergic to milk (quite the bunch, huh?). My oldest son will not drink milk at all. I drove myself crazy about it until I talk to his Ped. He told me that its the Dairy Farmers Association that make you believe that your child needs milk! He told me to give him Orange juice(calcium enriched), cheese, yogurt, etc. So many things have calcium in it. I hope she starts feeling better!

I gave my daughter very vanilla soy milk. Its in a purple carton. She didn't react well to cow's milk, even though she had no problems to her regular formula. The very vanilla soymilk has all the nutrients she needs and my pedi also gave it to her children. hope this helps.

My youngest (2 1/2 now) would throw up any milk...she would even projective vomit when I would have milk products while nursing her. I do not push milk on her....it is not a "requirement" to live to give them cow's milk. They can get calcium via other foods (like the yogurt or calcium fortified OJ). I would not continue giving her milk (as I have not my own child) b/c she is not getting the nutrition from the food she cannot keep down. If you are worried about her vitamin intake, give her supplements. I hope this helped some.

I understand your situation. My son started milk at the age of 1 and for a whole year and a half, he threw up everyday almost. We asked the doctor if he was allergic and the doctor said that he would have more symtoms if he was, so we continued him on milk. He was fine with cheese, yogurt, ect.. We switched him to lactose free milk and he stopped throwing up. At 2 1/2 i switched him to soy milk and he's done fabulous.
He is now a very happy 3 1/2 year old. My 1 yr old has not had this problem with milk yet.

I did switch doctors and my new doctor told me that vomiting can be a sign of being allergic. It can be heavy on there stomachs and there bodies can't process very well.

Hope this helps.

My son had a milk allergy which he then outgrew. I am lactose intolerant and drink goat's milk which is in the refrigerated section of soymilk at Walmart and HEB. I gave my son soymilk(lightly sweetened) until he could tolerate cow's milk. Good luck.

She does not NEED milk! There are juices with added calcium and vitamin D, and give her a multivitamin. My kids DO NOT drink cow's milk except occassionally if they want a bowl of cereal. I keep a half gallon of organic fat free milk for that. They definitely do not need the fat from the whole milk. Do a little research and many pediatricians are against non-organic cow's milk for children. My kids are fine. Milk is not the only option for getting what it provides. She obviously cannot tolerate it, so stop giving it. My oldest stayed on soy milk for three years. Once my father got milk out of his house, ALL of his allergies cleared up!!! Just feed her healthy veggies & fruit and well-balanced meals. Give her those vitamins for kiddos, and, she will be fine. They have vitamin drops for little ones if she cannot chew one yet, and, they have gummy ones now too!


Most milk has no digestive enzymes left, due to the high heat from pastuerization, which is why there are so many people that are "allergic" to drinking milk (and who get sick more often with milk in their diet). Either find a place to buy raw milk (I have a source if you're interested) or try giving her half-and half or heavy cream instead. Even pastuerized richer milks are much easier on our bodies than regular (and especially low-fat milks) plus babies need to be eating a 50% fat diet anyway for their brain and body development. Unless a baby is eating too many sugar or white flour snacks they will not become overweight with a diet rich in good fats. (good fats do not contribute to overweight - processed foods/carbohydrates do) I would not recommend anyone drink low fat milk, much less a baby. My daughter is 3 now and didn't drink any milk other than breast milk until she was about 2. Now she drinks unpasteurized milk and a has largely raw/live food diet in general. She never spit up as a baby, has not been to a doctor since her second well-baby vist after she was born, and is extremely healthy and happy. She is around other children everyday. Natural raw and living foods, just the way God made them, are the most supportive for our bodies! Good luck!

You should discuss this issue with your child's pediatrician. Make sure you have a pediatrician you trust who shares your beliefs related to medical versus natural interventions. Many of the responses given have been excellent, but only if you have similar beliefs. Consult with your pediatrician and describe all of your child's symptoms and reactions. Your pediatrician should have suggestions for using a source of calcium and fat other than cow's milk, if your child is intolerant of cow's milk. Your pediatrician is also the best person to advise you on the use of soy, almond, or goat milk. Many people make the mistake of self-diagnosis without the benefit of medical training. Even though I am willing to diagnose my self, I don't believe in taking that chance with my precious children. The best course of action for my youngest child was drinking whole cow's milk until she was two. My oldest did not like milk of any type. Based on her pediatrician's recommendation we tried whole milk, 2%, skim, organic, pediasure, ensure, etc. when she turned one. She wasn't allergic or intolerant, she just didn't like it and wouldn't drink it. Instead, my oldest drank breastmilk until she was twenty months suplemented with other forms of calcium (yogurt, calcium enriched juices, vegetables) and vitamins. She now drinks milk only with cereal. Following our pediatrician's advice was the best thing for my family. I think you should consult with your pediatrician.

Sounds like a milk allergy. My son did not throw up, but instead had very bad diahrrea and a horrible upset tummy along with a rash. Some babies just can't break down the milk protein yet. I have read, and experienced through my neice, that as they turn into toddlers (ages 2+) they can handle cow's/whole milk better. I am going to retry when my baby turns 2 and see what happens.

My son did this at around age 1 when he went to milk. He quit drinking it because of the vomiting. We eventually found out he was allergic to Milk. We ended up taking him to an Allergist. You can try the Soy milk which is in the refrigerated section at the store. We use Soy Silk brand.

Try soy milk- maybe she has a milk allergy - which also could relate to the stuffy nose/allergy symptoms. The Similac Sensitive may be altered enough that she doesn't have reactions to THAT milk while the actual 2% milk may put her over the edge. That's what happened to my daughter. She ate cheese and yogurt ok - but once I put her on real milk she threw up every night. I switched to everything soy and no more throwing up. Also no more ear infections which had plagued her from birth. By the time she was 4 she could pretty much eat anything dairy without a reaction- although she still prefers the taste of soy formula to soy milk. And- no- my doctor NEVER brought up the idea of milk allergies beyond "try her on Soy formula" when she was about 4 months because she was colicky.

She may be allergic to lactose, but it may also be the 2%. Kiddos need whole milk; they need the high fat content and the high fat content helps them digest the lactose. If that doesn't work, try goats milk ... again, whole milk is best.

Try soy milk or lactose free. Both have about the same nutritional value

sounds like she is allergic. try soy milk.

I'm the same way. I cannot drink milk at all. I can tolerate other dairy products but not a glass of milk. I will immediately throw it up and I have been that way my whole life. I drink other milks such as soy, oat, almond, coconut. I have decided that even though I can tolerate other dairy products that my body doesn't process them well so I pretty much either don't do them or limit them to about once a week. Oh, I also can't eat any "fancy" cheeses (like brie) because they make me throw up too.

The best thing to do is try the obvious: Elminate all milk products (an elimination diet) for 7 days. Return to the Similac Sensitive. After 7 days, introduce milk, cheese and yogurt to see what her response is. If the constipation and vomiting start you will have your answer. Often you can just balance carefully giving her a little milk to drink on days that you do not give her any other milk products.

Good luck!
P. H.

I had the same prob then my son was able to hold it down but seemed sick all time. I switched to Lactaid and it made a world of difference for him! No more gagging or throwing up and no more mucus or congestion. He is 8 now and loves cheese and ice cream like there is no tomorrow and is fine with that. Best we could tell it was something in cows milk....

I have been giving my 14 month old whole fat Kefir instead of mild. I mix it with juice and he loves it. He gets all the nutrition of milk without the spitting up. It is also probiotic so it really helps with the constipation. You can buy the lowfat version with fruit already mixed in at Krogers but I have only been able to find the whole fat version at Whole Foods. Hope this helps.

M., never fear this too will pass. It takes some children a little longer to adjust to whole milk, you should change over to whole milk instead of 2% though. Whole milk is all that WIC will allow children over 1 year old to drink unless there is a weight issue. I have 3 children who are grown now, but I also work in a child care center, when the children outgrow formula and transfer to whole milk most children do have an adjustment phase. I have found that smaller servings to start with are best. You may try a small snack and half cup of milk to start with. The child shouldn't need more than 16 ounces in a day anyway.

It sounds like she is either lactose intolerant or has an actual allergy to it. Have you told your pedi about what happens when she has milk? I would first talk to your pedi and then request that she be tested for food allergies. I have a daughter that is lactose intolerant and my son is allergic. I will tell you first hand if it is an allergy you want to not mess around with it. Also, if it is a food allergy there are so many different ways that the reactions can present themselves; either rash/eczema, congestion, vomiting, and many others. If you do a google search on allergy reactions you might be amazed at how many different ways a food allergy can present itself.

I would also suggest to stop all foods that have milk in them. Like someone said before, she can get all the nutrients she needs from juices and such. Give her a week or two completely milk free and see if the congestion clears any.

Good luck!!

Did you tell the doctor about the vomiting and that you suspected it was from the milk? Also, at 1 year old, they should be on whole milk, not 2%. They actually need the fats that are in the milk for their development until they reach 2 years old. But, if she has an issue with milk, then she would have an issue with either one.

I would definitely mention this to her pedi and see what they have to say. If she's vomiting, then there is a problem. Go with your gut and make sure you don't leave that office without an answer! You may have to try toddler formula or some other kind of milk (soy or goat's milk). She may eventually outgrow it too, you never know. I just started my little guy on milk today and he had 4 ounces of it (2 in the morning and 2 before bed) and he didn't vomit. If he did, I would certainly be concerned! Good luck. I hope she's okay.

They have a children's soy milk that has added calcium in it. It's still not as much as cow's milk, but you can always increase her calcium intake with almonds, dark green veggies, etc. I personally have issues with milk so my family has switched to soy altogether. I make sure my daughter eats yogurt and other food items to increase her calcium intake. The soy milk has been a real life saver for me! Hope this helps! Take care and hang in there, I know it gets tough, stay strong and you will find something that works! ~ A.

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