5 Month Old Allergic to Both Milk & Soy - What to Feed Him?

Updated on June 10, 2009
C.S. asks from Mesick, MI
28 answers

My 5-month old son has had a pretty severe case of eczema for over 5-wks. We've switched formulas several times and just had blood test done to confirm allergies. We are now trying Neocate, which is very expensive and he does NOT like the taste. Does anyone have a suggestion for an alternative formula? He's allergic to: milk, soy, wheat, egg whites, peanuts, codfish.

I've had people recommend goat's milk - but my research indicates this is not a good alternative due to lack of vitamins/nutrients that infants need.

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M.G.

answers from Detroit on

My daughter is allergic to the same things (and then some)...it's not easy! She drinks Rice Dream Vanilla and likes it. Good luck!

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

Ouch! How frustrating! Might I suggest adding a dietary supplement for his nutrient needs? I help health care professionals provide wellness products to their patients and we have a product for children that they can drink. Just let me know if you want information. I don't know what else to tell you! This is a tough one.

S.
[email protected]____.com

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A.D.

answers from Detroit on

My girlfriend's daughter has many of the same allergies, and she gives her rice milk. hope that helps

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A.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hello C. - my baby had terrible eczema - particularly over his head and would scratch himself until he bled. We were living in the UK and I was seeing a medical herbalist for myself. She suggested Chinese herbal medicine for my baby - I was very sceptical but the creams etc from the pediatrician were not helping. We took the medicine for two weeks and it was really a miracle - the eczema cleared up. My son is 11 and a half now and he has a small amount of easily managed eczema on his lower legs, particularly in the winter. Ask your pediatrician if he knows of a medical herbalist or ask your friends for a recommendation. If he's truly allergic to all these foods it's going to be very awkard, especially as he gets older. Perhaps his skin issue can be tackled in a way that doesn't involve him having to avoid them. Good luck - Alison

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L.P.

answers from Saginaw on

Allergy testing on children under 12 months of age are generally pretty inaccurate. I am surprised that you found an allergist to do testing on your 5 month old for a non-life threatening allergy. My son is allergic to tree nuts. His tongue swelled up, couldn't breathe, covered head to toe in hives, and needed an ER visit. Still, after all of that, I couldn't find an allergist that would touch him, for testing, until he was 18 months old.

How often are you bathing your child? The only thing that cleared up my child's eczema was to stop bathing him so often. Parents often bathe their infants daily, which is not needed. If you are using this for your nighttime ritual, find something different. Eliminating the daily bath has cleared up my son's eczema completely. We bathe him twice a week, maximum, and the eczema is just a memory.

Personally I would try alternative methods of controlling his eczema before believing the allergist and condemning my child to a childhood of food avoidance. As long as the reaction is not causing anaphylaxis, I would stick with a formula that he likes. Think about it this way: would you rather have a skin rash or eat something that you despise for the next 7 months?

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A.T.

answers from Detroit on

My daughter was on a similar formula with a very bad taste and she got used to it... you have no choice but to keep going with this one, it's the best for your little one.

Things that could help : put some sugar (not honey) or gourmet fruit syrup (sirop Monin for instance - check for the flavor with the allergologist to avoid any reaction)in the formula and you'll decrease the amount after a while so he gets accustomed to the formula without the sugary/fruity flavor.

Alternative "milks" like almonds or rice or goat like you said are not good enough to feed babies (and trigger allergies too) and since your little one a so many allergies (and serious ones since he has to be on Neocate) I would not try anything without the validation of the allergologist...

Keep up with the neocate, your baby will get used to it !

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P.L.

answers from Detroit on

My sister was born allergic to breast milk and cows milk at that time there was not many formulas to choose from let alone no SOY. She was raised on Goats Milk I understand the concern and would advise vitimans but she is just fine. A 3.8 GPA all through school and after some bumps in lifes road she is working on her Nursing degree everytime she goes back to college she has a 3.9 GPA. She had no growth problems unless you call her being a heavier child then the other three of use a problem not obese we were all really thin. Goats Milk is natures milk for all mammals who require milk. The zoos use it to feed there infants. We used it before we knew how to manufacture and engineer formulas.

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M.P.

answers from Grand Rapids on

My daughter came down with the eczema around the same time as your son and we had her tested (at my recommendation) at 11 months which confirmed my suspicion of food allergies (all those your son has and about 10 more!). I nursed her until 9 months, when I had to stop because I simply couldn't keep up with her as I was expressing and working full time. It was such a difficult decision.

My daughter is now almost 3 1/2 years old and we've lived and adapted to life with these allergies pretty well. If I were in your situation I would work to get your son on the Neocate and keep him on it until he is one. Alternative milks, like rice and almond are not appropriate to give as a formula replacement. And, personally I would not add any sweetener to the formula, I'd keep him on one of the formula's he already likes and add bits of the Neocate to it until it is exclusively neocate. Yes, you will be giving him the formula he is responding to, but it will gradually get him used to the good stuff. And, honestly, after dealing with allergies for 3 1/2 years, eczema, while painful as a parent to see, isn't the worst thing in the world. He's already had it for these 5 weeks, extending it another week until he is used to the Neocate is worth it.

Our Ped, allergist, and health nutritionist all gave me "samples" of the neocate which helped with the expense. Although in the end, we didn't use it as we believed she was responding to that too (which the allergist said was impossible, but we saw it in front of our eyes).

Hope that helps. If you'd like to "process" a bit with someone who has walked your journey before I'd be more than happy to share what we've learned along the way.

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C.T.

answers from Detroit on

That's a lot to deal with. There's a great pediatrician in Ann Arbor MI that helps with this issue a lot. Dr. McCreadie. You can contact her through www.nourishmd.com. She's a holistic MD and might be able to help you.

Congrats on the first tooth!

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S.G.

answers from Detroit on

My friend's daughter had trouble with formulas and breastfeeding wasn't going well. She really trys to go organic as much as she can, so she ended up giving her daughter almond milk. I don't much about it myself, but it's something you could look in to / ask your peditrician about.

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B.T.

answers from Detroit on

How about consulting a peds dietician. He's so little, I would want to get some expert advice.

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K.K.

answers from Saginaw on

what about rice milk?

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D.Y.

answers from Detroit on

Check out MilkShare: http://milkshare.birthingforlife.com/

Human milk for human babies. Nature's way is to match the baby with the mother's milk: human for human, cow for cow, goat for goat.

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M.K.

answers from Detroit on

You could try oat milk..they have it at Whole Foods

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D.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

C.; what about purchasing real human milk, ? it may be hard to find, and itmay be expensive, or what about breastfeeding yourself, or pump? or you may be able to give them liquid vitamins and goats milk , so he get the nutrition, i dont know, find a lactacing mom and she might give you some ? or someone who does lactacte ? it may be an answer, poor little guy i bet you love him and he is a dear keep up the good work and do what you can, sounds like you got your hands full, keep trying things, D. s

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M.G.

answers from Jackson on

Dear C.,

I am so sorry to hear that this special time with your precious little son is marred by his discomfort! That's alot to be allergic to!

A couple of questions to make sure I understand, if I may:

Did the Dr tell you what about milk your son is allergic to? That can help you decide if you can use goats milk. That is something we chose with our son...but it was appropriate for his sensitivities. We were able to get his sensitivities and his eczema under control.

The only milk that has the proper nutrition is yours. But I know of Moms who create a good replacement. Is your Dr talking to you about building your son's immune system to reduce the allergies?

Has he had antibiotics so far?

Warmly, M.

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

Well my acupuncturist's youngest baby had exzema caused by what the acupuncturist ingested. She nursed him and that's how he got sensitivities.
You might want to consider seeing an alternative practitioner to get to the root of the sensitivities. Maybe one or two could ultimately be eliminated.
Meanwhile, there's rice milk or almond milk.

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A.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Our son is also allergic to milk and soy. It was confirmed thru blood tests and 3 endoscopes! The docs put him on elecare (which is similar to neocate).he didn't like the taste either. They have "flavor packs" out there. Ask a gatroenterologist or an allergist for them or go to elecare website and I believe you can order them. When baby gets closer to a year old, you can get elecare vanilla for your baby. It actually tastes like vanilla soy milk to us!! Our son loves it! You do NOT want to try goats milk. First of all your son needs to be on baby formula! He is too young still and needs the nutrients from formula! Our pediatrician told us to stay away from anything that has hair (example; goats milk) as far as other milks. Our gastro doc wants us to try almond milk next month. Our son is now 14 months old. Hope that helps!!

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A.U.

answers from Detroit on

a hypoallergic formula, like Alimentum!

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G.B.

answers from Detroit on

It would be a job but it is certainly likely that you could still bring in breastmilk if you can get him to latch on or use a pump. You'd have to continue to feed him other milk in the meantime. There's a supplementer that would run a thin tube down the breast to get the milk into his mouth while he's at the breast so he could experience milk while sucking. You could also contact the milk bank in Kalamazoo to see what's involved in getting breastmilk from them while you work on bringing in yours. Contact them at [email protected]____.com or call ###-###-####. It is almost impossible for babies to be allergic to breastmilk. Even women who haven't given birth (adoptive moms) bring in breastmilk though they usually can't totally sustain their babies with it. You, however, having given birth a few months ago, have a far better shot at it.

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A.B.

answers from Detroit on

alimentium, it is for lactose free children, or children allergic to milk

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B.D.

answers from Grand Rapids on

I would definately stick it out with the formula, your son will get used to the taste eventually. Also, I would look into goats milk, because if I'm not mistaken, it has a milk protien in it, so your son can't have it. When you do switch to rice milk, you are right it doesn't have as many nutrients in it, however, you can buy vitamin drops and just give them to your son. I know they are egg and milk free, but you will have to check for the other ingredients. I know it is very hard to have a child with allergies, I'm going through the same thing. I would also suggest making alist of things he can have. Take a day and go to the store and just start reading labels. With that being said, make sure you check the label every time you buy something because they change ingredients all the time in products. Also, there are a lot of awesome vegan and allergy websites. If you need any just pm me and I'll be happy to send them to you!

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R.G.

answers from Detroit on

Have you tried rice milk?

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C.D.

answers from Detroit on

As I'm sure you're already aware, it's recommended that little ones receive their primary nutrition from breastmilk or formula until their first birthday. He'll get used to the Neocate, it might take awhile, change is hard. I know it smells bad, too, which probably puts you off as well. If he completely rejects the formula, I would suggest checking with a specialist at CHM or Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. A pediatric registered dietitian may be able to help as well. Good luck to you and congrats on the first tooth, that's such a huge milestone and makes for an adorable smile :)

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L.M.

answers from Detroit on

There is also Elecare, but it also does not taste very good. They do have a vanilla one but your child has to be 1yr old, however, I would discuss this with your doctor to see if you can give him the vanilla now or maybe mix half vanilla and half regular to make it taste better. Also, you may also ask if there is anything you can add to the formula to make it taste better. I feel for you, it's a tricky spot to be in.

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T.D.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.. My son has all of the same allergies. Its very hard with a child with all of those allergens because you have to check all the labels even in JUICE. You have to be very careful to know what some other ingredients are made of. Like food colors contain SOY but the labels dont indicate that. To answer your question my child drinks Rice Dream. It comes in regular, vanilla and chocolate. Its a little pricey at the neighborhood grocery stores but you can find it for under $3 at Wal-mart. It doesnt come in gallon size. Hope this helps..Also check with your doctor because it is not recommended for children under 5 because of the rice grains but my son has been on it for over a year and he is fine. In the beginning it was tough because he was drinking it while on the bottle and it caused a lot of constipation so be careful with that if you choose to use it. I had to mix it with prune juice to avoid the constipation. Now he is 3 and he drinks it with chocolate milk and cereal and doesnt have a problem at all. If you ever have any questions or concerns please dont hesitate to contact me.

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Y.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi C.,
Have you tried rice milk? It's been a long time since my son was little, but we've been drinking rice milk for, I don't know, many years now. I like it. Do your research on it, and see what you think. Also, have you looked into alternative medicine? I know the alternative center that I go to recommends rice milk as well, and they work with children/infants and adults-- in particular those of us with food allergies. Hope this will work for you.

yvonne

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C.J.

answers from Lansing on

C.,

Meijer sells vitamin drops in the baby section that I know are relatively allergy free. My son has 7 food intolerances and these drops worked for him. I now give him Melaleuca Vitamins, but am looking into the Zoo Kids brand as well - cheaper per pill.

You can always call the nurse line at your pediatrician's office and talk with them about your concerns. Dosage of vitamins is determined by weight, not just age, so it will be important for you to have the ingredient and nutritional lists handy when talking with the nurse or doctor. They will be able to calculate the number of drops or pills needed for his weight and age.

Also, see if your health insurance will cover a visit to a nutritionist. Don't be surprised if your son starts to lose a bit of weight as you change the foods around, but too much weight is a concern. This is where a nutritionist can help you figure out how to get him the stuff he needs that is also tasty.

Rice milk is now fortified with vitamin D and other vitamins, but I don't think it has as much as cow's milk. It might be worth a check on-line. Be aware, Meijer brand rice milk contains soy, as do a few others. Rice Dream, however, does not so it should be safe for your son.

If you have any questions drop me a message and I'll try to help you find the answers.

Good luck!

-C..

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