22 answers

Soy Protein Allergy

I have an 8 week old son who is solely breastfed. He is in the 97% for weight and 50% for height. I cant help but think, however that he is allergic to something that is being passed through my breastmilk. He has several bouts of crankiness and has a rash on his thighs, upper back and face. We went to the doctor yesterday and he said it was just a baby rash and that I shouldnt worry about it. I still think something else is wrong. I do not eat dairy or wheat products as I am lactose and wheat intolerant. I was hoping with this diet, the breastmilk would be free of allergens for my son. However, I am beginning to wonder if it is a soy protein intolerance. Has anyone out there had this issue?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

That is a normal rash. I have two young children, 1 and 2, and also babysit a 1-yr-old, 2-yr-old, and five-yr-old... Many of my young ones have had that rash come and go in their baby days.

It is completely normal. All you can do is put lotion on it when it itches (if it gets dry and cracky it will usually itch)... but it will go away after time don't worry.

My son had a rash like that for awhile when he was that age. It went away on its own. I didn't change my diet at all (I love milk!) :oP

More Answers


Baby's do seem to have a lot of rashes - if you think it is an allergic reaction to soy - try rice or goat milk.

It could actually even be some additive in the soy or a way that it is processed that is causing the problem. I know several people who swore they were allergic to soy yet when they tried the brand of soy that I recommended, they did just fine. There are many health benifits to soy and to get the most out of what you consume - you need to research how the product is made. You want to look for a soy product that is water-washed, not alcohol-washed (because that washes away a good majority of the benefical isoflavones). You want a dry soy that is prepared at time of use to eliminate addtives/preservatives, etc.

Another suggested cause of the rash, and one that is really very common in babies and small children is an allergic reaction to the laundry products used to clean the clothes and bed linens. I have been using 'green' cleaners for 25 years now and when my boys were babies - I used the same detergent to wash their clothes as I used to wash mine!! Besides rashes (one called Bounce Blush), some laundry products have been know to agrevate allergies/asthma in small children, cause coughing spells that keep them awake at night, etc.

I have always believed that you need to listen to your body - in this case trust your instincts - Doctors don't know everything. It may take awhile to figure it out but it will be worth it and your child will be happier.

Hope this helps - S.

1 mom found this helpful

I had a similar problem w/ my little guy. He skin tested positive to milk and nuts, but not the soy, so kept eating it initially in my diet, but he had eczema all the time. When I cut out the soy in my diet it cleared right up. He never had a severe reaction to breast milk, but would get hives if he directly ingested anything he was allergic to. Found that I could nurse him if I avoided the ingredients but once he was on solids we had to be super strict because he will react even to trace amounts of this stuff. by the way, this was the best diet I've ever been on and the only one I've ever stuck with!

My son had a rash like that for awhile when he was that age. It went away on its own. I didn't change my diet at all (I love milk!) :oP


My son was both soy and cows milk intollerant, and it was a pain. However, I think that generally if there is a severe allergy, there is vomitting involved after eating.

If you truly feel there is a problem, you might want to see about visiting a pediatric GI doctor. There is a pretty simple blood test that can tell about milk allergies in infants.

R. L. - my children have had the same experience with their skin. My husband and I have sensitive skin so it would be expected that our children would as well. So I purchased hypoallergenic everything soap, lotion, wipes etc. and still rashes on their legs, arms, and especially their faces. The only thing that has worked for us is paraben free and laurel sulfate free products ie: Burts bees for babies and JASON brand baby products. S. M.

It is common to worry about your children but..don't let your worry come into your complete enjoyment of these days. Usually, I would trust mama's feelings but then looking at his weight percentage, he is doing good. Many babies are "fussy". You carried him for 9 months in a warm place and he is not able to voice his complaints except in crankiness. Baby rashes are common...the rubbing of clothes and sheets..perhaps laundry detergent..softner...
Breast milk is the best for baby, continue to nurse him, make a diary of what you are eating...watch the onions and spices..see if there may be a connection though many mamas from other cultures seem to be able to eat spicy food without problems..but is there is an alergy-you might be able to pin point it with a food diary
You seem to be doing great on nursing..relax a little..that really makes baby cranky...he will pick up on your concerns
Enjoy your baby today...Blessings

It doesn't really sound like a soy protein allergy. Usually, there are more GI symtpoms with food intolerance like bloating, diarrhea, bloody stools, vomiting, etc. It actually sounds like a skin dermatitis of some sort. Try washing him only every other day and put baby lotion on him. Wash his clothes in Dreft. Both my children are EXTREMELY sensitive skinned. I use to give my daughter a bath everyday when she was a baby and she developed something like exczema due to dry skin from washing her too much. Since then, I only wash my babies a few times a week during the winter and every other day during the summer. Also, try to avoid polyester type of clothing and stick to cotton products.

R., your doc could be right, but he/she could be wrong. I was told "not to worry about it" and my daughter, who was allergy prone by genetics, ended up having problems. Later pediatricians told me it DID matter what I put through my breast milk. Even if your doc is right, it can't hurt to try removing the soy protein from your own diet and see what happens. Soy is in the peanut family, and peanuts are a big allergen for babies. If that doesn't work, try removing other things from your diet, or take the time to do the non-allergenic diet thing, where you basically start with rice, chicken, green beans, applesauce, bananas and add in a food every three or four days, to see what happens to your son.

If you need protein, try Rice protein. I use and prefer it. My daughter, who had dairy, egg, citrus and nut allergies from infancy on, highly preferred the rice products (milk, ice cream, etc) over the soy products anyway.

Good luck to you. I know it's distressing.

My son had a dairy and soy protein sensitivity as a baby. His started with what looked like a normal rash on his cheeks and spread to his chest. When on a 3 hour feeding schedule he would start to get really fussy after only two hours. It turned out to be pain from not digesting the proteins correctly and the ezcema was a skin reaction to the proteins.

Determine if the rash is eczema because that can definitely be a clue to a protein sensitivity (allergy). Also, vomiting is not a required symptom to diagnose it. I would not use any fancy products for his rash just use fragrence free hypoallergenic wash and creams and do not bathe him everyday. Aveeno is good and Aquaphor is awesome for his skin. You can find it in the baby aisle at most stores. If it is ezcema, you might have to ask about using a hydrocortisone cream to get it under control at first. The Dr. can prescribe a really mild one and tell you when/how to use it.

On a positive note, my son was eventually back on milk and soy by 18mths. However, if it is a protein sensitivity, I wouldn't try adding them into his diet again until after the first year.

That is a normal rash. I have two young children, 1 and 2, and also babysit a 1-yr-old, 2-yr-old, and five-yr-old... Many of my young ones have had that rash come and go in their baby days.

It is completely normal. All you can do is put lotion on it when it itches (if it gets dry and cracky it will usually itch)... but it will go away after time don't worry.

It could be a sensitivity to soy. When I breastfed my daughter, I stopped eating dairy or soy and that helped. She had a rash at about eight weeks old, but that went away without treatment and seemed to be unrelated to diet because I had cut out dairy and soy by then. Her crankiness lasted until the end of her third month, although the adjusted diet made it much more manageable. The digestive systems of newborns are still immature and it just takes some time, which may seem like too long, but it'll calm down. It's a great thing that you're breasfeeding. The situation would likely be worse if your son was taking formula.

Many people have soy allergies. Drink rice milk or goats milk or something else for a few days and see what happens. Mommy instinct is usually far more accurate than doctor book knowledge.
D.-mom of 9 breast-fed babies

Well generally if baby's are allergic to formula they switch them to a soy based one, so while it is possible to become allergic to any thing at any time in your life, I for instance suddenly at the age of 18 became allergic to Cloves, still am at age 31. It is more likely that it is the laundry detergent or bath soap you are using. My daughter who is 3 1/2 now has very sensitive skin and still has all these small bumps like a rash all over her back chest arms and legs but they aren't red. She also has eczema which if I do not keep her skin very moisturized those little bumps become little patches and very puffy and if left too long can even break open, so I am told. My Daughter's Pediatrician told me to switch brands of soap for her bath make sure it is a baby bar, I personally hate Ivory, and prefer the Dial version I think it is called Pure and Gentle or Pure and Natural it is by the Ivory, but Ivory always irritated my skin and I am an adult. Also her Pediatrician recommended switching from the smell good baby products with all the fragrances to a lotion for sensitive skin with no scent like Eucerin Cream or Cetaphil, I like the Cetaphil it is not as thick. Hope this helps, don't be afraid to switch Doctors either, we had 2 before we found one we liked, and now he seems to be a little overworked and not as good as he was 3 years ago, so we are thinking of switching again. Also if you are putting baby bath in his bath water, or one of those sleepy time bed time bath gels, don't those were the worst for her skin, just use warm water and a bar of baby soap the longer he sits in soap the drier his skin will get as well as the stronger the scent the worse it will be. It could also just be gas, I think I would have went crazy if my friend would not have told me about the gassy drops, they are in the pharmacy and are called infant gas relief drops, they work miracles, it won't hurt to try them and they might actually help.

Is there a way the doctor can check for this type of allergy? As for the rash, check out the Arbonne baby care line. It's both dermatologist & pediatrician tested, all natural (herbal & botanical based) and very beneficial for the skin. We had a client who's baby had a rash on his face and was trying different perscription ointments, but Arbonne cleared it right up. Check it out on my website. If you have any questions, just ask. Is it possible the rash is what's causing the crankiness? Just a thought. Hope you can get it figred out soon. I feel for your little guy.

How long has the rash been there? Were the 'bouts of crankiness' right before the rash? If so, sounds like Roseola. The crankiness was the fever that comes first and the rash won't be itchy or uncomfortable. It may not be an allergy. It could be that your child is gassy or plain 'ol cranky and the rash has nothing to do the crankiness at all. Try to look at all the angles, you never know what can make a baby fuss!


Looks like you have some great advice. Hopefully one of these things will help. I just thought of one more thing. Sometimes baby get heat rashes from over swaddling. If he is in layers and layers of clothing then he may be getting too hot. He should be in the same amount as you would wear around the house if he is in the house. So if you have him swaddled just make sure he doesn't have too many layers.

Good luck.

I had a similar problem with my son. It turns out he was having problems digesting lactose and once I cut all the dairy out of my diet he was a happy baby boy. My Dr. also dismissed my concerns and I consulted a lactation consultant who helped me discover what the problem was. Try taking the soy out of your diet and if that doesn't work you can try taking out something else that you eat a lot of. You could also contact the la leche league or a lactation consultant in your area. Don't get discouraged, you are doing a great thing for your baby by breast feeding!

My son is allergic to Milk and Soy. He had the rash too. To tell if it really makes a different you really have to go 1 month of a strict diet. Rice Milk is about it. Goat milk has the same proteins as milk and soy. The faster you get off the more likely your baby will out grow it.
Here some website with mothers going through the same and talk to each other to help out.
I hope this work.

Just don't give up the breastfeeding!!! I think that is sooooo important for a baby's health. I just saw something on T.V., maybe the news or Today Show, saying that there is no need to adjust your diet (for allergy purposes) while you are nursing. Yes, eat & drink healthy foods, but that the specific foods are not passed through to your baby, only the nutrients. Just thought I'd mention that!

I had something similar happen with my son. I had to stop breast feeding and thought that is would be best to put him on soy because I was scared that he would have a milk allergy. Well come to find out he has a soy allergy. Most soy products are not as healthy as we think. mercola.com is a web site that can help you and answer a lot of questions with organic alternatives and just plain healthy ways of living.
Dr. John Dennehy is the chiropractor that helped us. He has been such a blessing for our sons health. He is in Hannibal Mo and I highly recommend him. ###-###-#### is the office.
I hope that you find out what is going on. You are totally right in wanting to know why this is happening.

the rash could be a sensetivity to soaps or lotions. My son would get a rash if I used certain laundry soaps or softeners when he was a baby. dreft was ok.
and babies are often cranky for reasons us moms can't always figure out- especially if they are just 'collicky'. my son also just cried and cried for several hours every evening until he was about 3 months old. baby 'beano' helped some- but it was mostly just carrying him drapped over my forearm patting his back the whole time to keep him from crying. (he was breast fed).
overall, breastmilk should be 100% better then about any manmade substitute. just keep track of what you eat day by day and eliminate things one at a time and see if it makes a difference if you really think its something you are eating.
good luck!

First off, congrats to you on your beautiful baby boy and kudo's to you for breastfeeding. Have you considered that possibly he is allergic to something he is wearing? My Son could only wear huggies and my daughter could only wear pampers! But they both had something like that before I figured out that it was their diapers. my daughter also could only use lansinoh baby wipes for the longest time. I also had a friend that couldn't get rid of the rash on her baby until she switched to baby ALL from Dreft laundry detergent. Her baby also has excema which made her worry about his skin. These kids would all have rashes all over them from their various triggers. I would start trying different diapers, wipes, and laundry detergent. Something is causing it and I'm sure you'll find it.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.