18 answers

Whole Milk and Diaper Rash

My 12 month old baby seems to be getting a diaper rash from starting on whole milk. Has anyone experienced this? She has had dairy since 9 months (yogurt and cheese). I started whole milk on Monday and she has had wet stools and this evening had the worst diaper rash (she's not suffered from diaper rash in her 12 months of life until this evening).

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I think the sugar content in milk may be too high for a child that young. The richness/fat can upset her stomach and cause loose stool, which irritates the skin touching the diaper(yeast). Or last but not least, she could just be allergic!
Best of luck to you both, J.

More Answers

Sounds like she has an intolerance issue. My husband can eat dairy products but gets loose stools if he eats cereal with milk. He limits milk to once a week if he feels constipated.

I would just stick to dairy products and skip the milk most of the time.

I would suggest Rice Milk. I comes fortified with all the vitamins and minerals that regular milk has and now just about all grocery stores sell organic rice milk. Health food stores will sell it to you at a discount if you buy it by the case-which many moms do. I would stay away from soy just because they have discovered that it has a form of estrogen and is causing early onset puberty in girls.

Hi L.,

My son had a few issues when we transitioned to whole milk as well. He had diaper rash, loose poop, and gas. He always had to be on soy formula because he had issues with milk based formulas. He was able to tolerate small doses of dairy from about 9 months like your little girl, so i really assumed the milk-based issue had been worked through.

We put him on Lactaid for a couple months. it's much more pricey than regular whole milk, but we were able to switch him to regular whole after that. I'm not sure if your daughter is having issues with the lactase but this seemed to work for my guy until he got better acclimated to the larger amounts of dairy.

It's worth a try anyway... i was tempted to give him soy milk (Silk) but there wasn't any that i could find with the same fat content... and ultimately that's why they keep them on whole milk as a follow up to formula/breastmilk. Edit: I did speak with my pediatrician about using Soy milk, and she frowned upon it and recommended toddlers stay away from it unless it's absolutely necessary. See what your ped. thinks before you make the change to Soy Milk.

good luck to you... it's worth a try.


Yes, this is pretty much how my son started showing his dairy sensitivity -- once whole milk started. Yogurt and cheese are often easier to digest because the proteins are already partially broken down, but milk isn't like this. My son could eat tons of YoBaby yogurt and some cheese and never had a problem, but when he started drinking a lot of milk he had chronic diarrhea and rashes for months till we finally figured out what the issue was (we had thought it was a problem with the diapers initially).

Stop the milk and see if everything clears up. Milk stays in the system for up to several weeks I believe, so it might not be an immediate change. You might just need to wait longer to introduce it, or your baby might just be sensitive to dairy in that form and you should avoid it longer. The less exposure, the more likely she is to grow out of the sensitivity. From 18 months to age 3 1/2 he had almost no dairy except for trace amounts in baked goods and the like. My son is now 4 years old and still cannot handle large quantities of dairy, but does better if we keep it to relatively small amounts than he did when he was younger.

This happened to my son a few weeks ago. I treated the diaper rash w desitin and as he got used to the whole milk his stool hardened and the diaper rash disappeared. It took about a week...my pediatrician said it might take that long for him to transition to the whole milk. We actually did rice milk and whole milk for 1 week to ease the transition. You might want to talk to your pediatrician if it doesn't get better in a few days.

I don't have an answer to the dairy issue... I can recommend a great cream for her diaper rash though. It's called TRIPLE PASTE (slightly expensive-but it works wonders). You can buy this at Walgreens or Babies R Us. This worked when no other creams, even prescriptions from the MD failed to work. This cleared a rash my twins had for a couple weeks in less than 3 days.

I think the sugar content in milk may be too high for a child that young. The richness/fat can upset her stomach and cause loose stool, which irritates the skin touching the diaper(yeast). Or last but not least, she could just be allergic!
Best of luck to you both, J.

Yes, this has been known to happen with the introduction of not only milk, but other new foods. It happened with my son too with milk and he has really never had diaper rash otherwise (only once or twice with new foods). It will clear up as her system gets used to the milk. This doesn't sound like an allergy or anything - if that were the case she would have other systems in her body in general (rash, etc). So, keep with it - she's just not used to the milk yet.

Dear L.,
Humans aren't meant to drink another species milk. Even though your child seems to be tolerating dairy,her symptoms could be manifesting in a variety of ways. A rash is generally your bodies way of detoxing. Rice milk and rice cheese are a good substitute. If you are looking for calcium, go with leafy green veggies.
B. Powell

I have experienced this as well. You may want to consider some of what this web site has to say www.realmilk.com.

One specific brand we found, Traders Point Creamery, available at Fox & Obel, was not only the best milk I have ever tried, as it is not as processed as other milks, is non-homogonized, organic and grass fed.

Not sure if it will make a difference for you, but it did for us.

12 months is almost too soon to start whole milk. I started introducing milk at 15 months. My child and many children have a problem digesting whole milk and end up with the wet stools and diaper rash. Of course, talk the pediatrician, but also try mixing the milk and formula and gradually decrease the amount of formula and watch how you baby responds. Also, the type/quality of the milk also plays a part. Try 2% and if you are comfortable, with it try organic milk. I even used goat milk for a while. My son was on soy based formula as an infant for awhile too.

Please, please take her off Dairy immediately! That's your baby's way of telling you that she is allergic to cow's milk!!! You can try switching her to plain soy milk or rice milk if you feel the need to give her "milk". All of them are fortified like cow's milk. If you continue to give her cow's milk, the rash will get worse, she'll then develop eczema, then possibly asthma and so on! If you have any further questions, email me at ____@____.com or call me at ###-###-####. I'm a Naturopathic Doctor and specialize in Family Natural Medicine.

Try introducing the milk slower. I did a tablespoon for the 1st week and then slowly went up from there. Sometimes it just takes time for their little bodies to adjust to it. Ask your doctor if you can try skim sometimes it is easier for them to digest. This does not mean your child is allergic to milk. Many children go through an adjustment period. I have one daughter who was truly allergic to milk. She could not even have anything that was baked with milk in. There was no way she would be able to have cheeese or yogurt. Now at 16 she has finally out grown her allergy. A little later than the allergist said, but I am glad it finally happen.

I'd switch to either soy or rice milk and see if that makes a differnce. My kids can eat dairy products (cheese, ice cream) but are unable to digest cow's milk protein. It's common and their symptoms are exactly what you describe. Horrible diaper rash and loose, yellowish stools. Try soy first because it's got more protein in it, but kids who are sensitive to dairy are also sensitive to soy. If that doesn't work go for rice milk. (It's cheaper at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.)

Good luck!

One of the reasons our son has drank skim milk since the day he started drinking milk. If your child is is eating cheese or yogurt, etc, she is already getting enough fat in her diet. Since whole milk is harder to digest, try skim milk.

Our son is 17 years old now and still drinks about 3 gallons of milk a week. I think a lot has to do with the fact it is not heavy and he never had problems when he was a baby with milk.

She could also be lactose intolerant and the whole milk is bringing it our. Do some research on-line and talk to your DR.

Good Luck,

Hi L.. This happened to my daughter too. She ended up getting horrible yeast infections from this and it was a nightmare. I took her off milk for awhile and just kept trying to slowly re-introduce it. Well as weird as this seems, even to me still she ended up only having a reaction to a certain brand of milk. In her case she cannot drink milk from Aldi food store. Very strange I know. So maybe just watch the brands and see if that could be the case. The more I tell this the more I am hearing that she isn't the first. Good luck.

This happened to both my kids when I introduced whole milk. It turns out they were lactose intolerant. They were fine with cheese and yogurt, but milk (and ice cream) were a problem.
My DD grew out of it when she was 2 1/2 yrs, and my DS grew out of it when he was 18 mo. In the meantime my ped said that soy milk would be fine, and we use the Silk Very Vanilla for kids (which is delicious - who knew?). I also substituted plain soy in recipies.
Now they can have cow's milk with no trouble, but they much prefer the Soy milk.
I hope that it's just an intolerance (and not an allergy), but it's best to talk to your baby's ped! Good luck!

Whole milk is difficult to digest. Sounds like she has an allergy to dairy now. My daughter had that I had to switch her to soy milk.


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