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Baby has issue drinking cow's milk- any advice?

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,389
DS will be 13 months in a few days and is being slowly weaned off breast milk. Since 6 months old, he’s eaten dairy in the forms of yogurt, cheese, and milk baked or cooked in food. He’s also been getting dairy from me through my breast milk, as I have never been dairy-free. He’s never shown any sort of reaction in any way to his dairy exposure. Recently (but while still drinking only breast milk or water), he had a stomach virus with lingering diarrhea. I was concerned about his weight and the length of time he was still having stomach issues. The ped said that after stomach viruses, some babies temporarily turn lactose-intolerant and that I should put him on lactose-free formula or soy milk until the diarrhea cleared up. She stressed that it was different from the cow’s milk protein casein and that since lactose (the sugar) is the primary carb in breast milk, me having gone dairy-free wouldn’t have helped. So, I did as she said and after he was on the formula for a few days, the diarrhea cleared up and he was able to go back to breast milk with no issues.

He now has been on cow’s milk and has been getting diarrhea again. I suspect it might be related to the milk b/c he has his stomach issue in the morning, having had milk the previous night at dinner. Daycare does not yet give him cow’s milk and his poop is fine during the day. I took him off regular cow’s milk and have been giving him whole milk Lactaid. This seemed like it was working so the other day I went back to regular cow’s milk and bam! Upset stomach…again. He’s back on the Lactaid and is fine.

So, my question is, is it possible he does have an issue with cow’s milk and if so, which kind of issue? Allergic to the casein or to lactose? Why has he been able to eat dairy through breast milk and other foods but not able to drink cow’s milk straight? The drs don’t seem to think he has any issue b/c he’s never shown a reaction before; they think he just needs to get used to drinking the cow’s milk and he’ll get used to it soon enough. I give him probiotics daily. He’s also half-Asian and I know many Asians are lactose-intolerant (I am not, though).

Any thoughts or advice? I feel frustrated that no one is able to tell me what’s going on.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
It is likely the lactose (if anything) because casein is in lastaid milk and also a true allergy to cassein is very rare.

My DH is severly lactose intolerate so we watched for this closely in our son. He would show issues like you describe when he was getting over a bug, or just periodically.

If I were in your shoes I would keep him on the lactaid milk for a week or so longer, and then slowly introduce regular milk mixed with the lactaid milk and slowly increase the proportion. Maybe also introduce soy milk as an alternative. It is possible that his intestines are still a little off balance in terms of the healthy bacteria needed to break down all types of sugars. It could also be a coincidence about the regular milk and diarrea!

Either way, I don't think I would jump to an intolerance yet. Usually that would be accompanies by gas, skin rash and irritation, and discomfort in your son when he digests the milk. Does he have those symptoms?

BTW are you confident it is true diarrhea he is having in the morning? Depending on his diet, Hunter can have *very* loose poops, even now, because he tends to eat a tonne of fibre in his diet.
 

Izzy03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
613
I wouldn't be overly concerned at this point. My brother and my cousin both couldn't tolerate cow's milk and drank soy milk until age 2-3, Luckily they both tolerate cow's milk without issues now. I would talk to your pediatrician to decide on a timeline to keep him on alternative forms of milk.

I'm not saying this will be the case for your child, but I always feel better when I hear about other people's experiences. Good luck!
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,389
Dreamer_D|1304956145|2916260 said:
It is likely the lactose (if anything) because casein is in lastaid milk and also a true allergy to cassein is very rare.

My DH is severly lactose intolerate so we watched for this closely in our son. He would show issues like you describe when he was getting over a bug, or just periodically.

If I were in your shoes I would keep him on the lactaid milk for a week or so longer, and then slowly introduce regular milk mixed with the lactaid milk and slowly increase the proportion. Maybe also introduce soy milk as an alternative. It is possible that his intestines are still a little off balance in terms of the healthy bacteria needed to break down all types of sugars. It could also be a coincidence about the regular milk and diarrea!

Either way, I don't think I would jump to an intolerance yet. Usually that would be accompanies by gas, skin rash and irritation, and discomfort in your son when he digests the milk. Does he have those symptoms?

BTW are you confident it is true diarrhea he is having in the morning? Depending on his diet, Hunter can have *very* loose poops, even now, because he tends to eat a tonne of fibre in his diet.
Thanks, Izzy.

Dreamer, no, he doesn't get gas, rashes, or otherwise seem uncomfortable, which is a good thing. So maybe it's just a coincidence or just a matter of getting him used to the cow's milk. I hope so! I'm never 100% sure what he's having is truly diarrhea. I guess it could be more like very loose poop too. Drew does eat a lot of fruit...which could do the trick. Hmm...lots to think about.
 

megumic

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
1,647
This is so fluke...have you tried organic cow's milk? Perhaps it's the hormones and/or pesticides related to conventional cow's milk.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
Also remember diarrhea is more about frequency than consistency- the loose stools can very well be due to the lactose issue. Actual diarrhea would be that he was going a lot more often than normal. I agree with dreamer that you should try easing back into regular milk a little at a time.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Is there a reason he needs to drink cows milk? It's a complete fallacy that it's actually so nutritious. You get far more calcium from eating broccoli than you will from milk as our systems find it hard to absorb the calcium in milk. The natural vitamins are all destroyed during pasteurisation (and having worked with bovine TB I wouldn't drink unpasteurised milk from any source) so they have to add them back in again artificially.

Over 50% of people are lactose intolerant - rising to 80% of people of african origin.

We use cream, cheese, yoghurt etc (which don't have the lactose issues that milk does) and I occasionally use milk to cook with - but otherwise it never comes into our house.

If he's reacting badly then I would just stick with water or whatever else he likes to drink.
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 5, 2003
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Megumic- we do use organic mik, but it was a good thought!

Pandora- I guess there's no one compelling reason for him to drink milk. I do like that the whole milk supposedly fattens him up some. He is a very skinny and tall fella and has fallen off his growth curve from 80% weight to under 20%. Some people have asked if he was overdue b/c a heavier birth weight could be a little deceiving as he was baking in there for longer, but he was actually a week early. The ped said she's not overly worried at this point but wants him to gain 2.5 lbs by his 15 month visit or she may have us visit a GI to see if he's absorbing nutrition properly. He also is a poor eater so milk is a easy way to get calories/calcium in him. I hear you about milk not being the greatest way to get calcium though.

He has been doing well on the Lactaid so perhaps I will keep him on it for longer and then ease back into the regular milk. Daycare gave him some yesterday and he was fine.

If he does end up being truly lactose-intolerant, I will be annoyed! He's only half-Asian, for goodness sake! His sister, aunt, and I are all full Korean and none of us is lactose-intolerant!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
I was so keyed up to watch for a lactose intolerance in Hunter, I feel your pain!

I like HUnter to drink milk because he likes it, and because I don't give hum juice, and because it fattens him up too. Around the same age as your son Hunter also got skinnier. I don't think 20th percentile, but definitely a drop. It was because he got so active! He eats a tonne, but he just could not keep on the weight. Homo milk was a nice caloric boost. And did I mention he likes it? 8)

It sounds to me that it is not lactose. I am not a specialist, but live with someone with a lactose issue, and the symptoms are more diverse that you describe. Your son may also be more like my son in his digestion, which is to err on the side of loose poops and to be very sensisive to fibre in his diet! Since he started eating solids full time, Hunter has pooped between 2 and 4 times a day on a regular basis! At 2 he is a 2x per day type of guy, at 1 year it was more like 3x per day regularly. His poops are generally very soft. He eats a lot of legumes/beans and fruit, which I think is the reason. He also does not eat processed grains very often -- by this I mean things like crackers and other highly processes flours -- which I think are very constipating. Though he does eat meat, he is mostly vegetarian, and that means a lot of fibre in his diet. And that means loose stools. It causes him no issues, and is far preferrable to the alternative that many kids suffer, which is difficulty pooping or constipation.

On occassion, when he has eaten someting *very* high in fibre -- like my am fibre cereal which he loves to steal from me :rolleyes: -- his poops are downright watery! He was even sent home from daycare once with "diarrea" because of this fibre (we knew it was the fibre because of our past experiences). Kiwi is also a big culprit for him.

I actually have never seen true diarrea in Hunter. I believe the definition is actually pooping more than 3 times per say, with loose and watery poops, so your son having an a.m. loose stool does not even meet the technical definition. I think I would not sweat it too much, but perhaps make note of what he eats the day prior to the looser stools so you have an idea of how his digestio nworks more generally? If he is not bothered, then I would not worry too much.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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Logan Sapphire|1305031034|2917236 said:
Megumic- we do use organic mik, but it was a good thought!

Pandora- I guess there's no one compelling reason for him to drink milk. I do like that the whole milk supposedly fattens him up some. He is a very skinny and tall fella and has fallen off his growth curve from 80% weight to under 20%. Some people have asked if he was overdue b/c a heavier birth weight could be a little deceiving as he was baking in there for longer, but he was actually a week early. The ped said she's not overly worried at this point but wants him to gain 2.5 lbs by his 15 month visit or she may have us visit a GI to see if he's absorbing nutrition properly. He also is a poor eater so milk is a easy way to get calories/calcium in him. I hear you about milk not being the greatest way to get calcium though.

He has been doing well on the Lactaid so perhaps I will keep him on it for longer and then ease back into the regular milk. Daycare gave him some yesterday and he was fine.

If he does end up being truly lactose-intolerant, I will be annoyed! He's only half-Asian, for goodness sake! His sister, aunt, and I are all full Korean and none of us is lactose-intolerant!
Okay, the 'fattening up' makes sense. I have a child who has the worse diet in the world if she actually bothers to eat at all (I got 1/4 of a melon in today which was a big achievement) and she's fallen from 75th centile to 9th. I'm still breastfeeding so she fattens up and gets all her essential nutrients that way. I did contemplate giving her cows milk to fatten her up as well and even bought chocolate milk and she took one sip and spat it out and that was that!
 

pancake

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
1,500
logan_sapphire, how long has it been now since you put your bub back on cow's milk? If it's still within a few weeks, it could well be still be post-gastroenteritis lactose intolerance, as it takes some time for the intestinal brush border to regenerate (the BB is where the lactase is - and often this border is sheared/damaged during an episode of gastro) - I think this is BY FAR the most likely scenario. It isn't cow's milk protein intolerance, given that he has tolerated CMP through your breastmilk and in his solids diet previously, and is currently taking lactose-free CM with no problems.
 

Sabine

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
3,446
My son actually had a milk protein allergy that he outgrew (he would swell up and get hives, etc.). After he outgrew it, we tried him on whole cow's milk, and he also got diarrhea from it. We tried it for a week to see if his stomach would get used to it, but at that point we switched to lactose free milk and he did much better on that. So we've stuck with the lactose free milk in his sippies (he still gets regular dairy in everything else...yogurt, cheese, sauces, even ice cream) but in large quantities he'll get diarrhea again from regular cow's milk. Hopefully he'll outgrow that too, but if not, well, in terms of food issues, not being able to drink a large quantity of milk is not the end of the world!
 
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