So you deliver this beautiful baby and all of a sudden it has these red bumps on its cheeks and a diaper rash and it doesn’t go away. You go to the doctor and they brush it off as “just baby acne and normal baby stuff” but you just have this gut feeling it’s something else and then you notice some spit up too. I tend to believe that mom gut (mom intuition) usually knows best. So you check Facebook mom groups and some people are all like “oh yeah my baby had that and it was a food allergy/intolerance” and you freak for a second..
MY PERFECT BABY CAN’T HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY!!
Sorry friend, but they can. And a lot do… and it’s going to be okay!
So then you start realizing, oh shit, my baby’s symptoms definitely get more intense in the morning, or they don’t sleep at night… and things start to click… ohhhh that’s the only time of the day I eat dairy, or soy… OR CORN.
This is where the elimination diet aka TED comes in to play. (If you’re not breastfeeding, I would try to figure out what food it could be, say soy or dairy, and find a formula without those and trial those)
Anyway, if you’re breastfeeding and your baby is struggling this post should help you.. or so I hope.
Let’s start here, WHAT is an elimination diet. In layman’s terms, it’s a diet where you remove foods you think are causing an issue, and slowly add them back to see if any reactions return.
I literally cannot tell you how flipping many TEDs I had to do with all 3 of my children to find their EXACT allergies, but I DID. It’s HARD AF, but it’s possible. But I’ll warn you, it’s not easy but you can do it.
The most common allergies/intolerances in babes are as follows:
Now if you have children like mine, the list goes down miles long. I hope for you that isn’t the case, but it happens and it can be figured out over time.
The easiest route, when breastfeeding, is to slowly remove allergens that seem to be the main cause of issues for your baby. Then one at a time for a few weeks you would watch to see if the baby stops having the reactions. If the first food doesn’t help; remove another food and repeat.
How do I know which food is causing the most issues though?
Good question, my favorite thing to do is a food journal. Whatever is easiest, wherever is easiest. I like iPhone notes. But if you prefer writing it out, have at it on a notepad. Keep a food journal of EVERYTHING. I mean everything you eat for a few days AND any symptoms you see from your baby as you’re eating. So if the baby spits up at 2:00pm, write that down.
Here’s a food journal example:
- Applegate chicken and sausage 2 pieces
- 8oz coffee with about a tablespoon of hemp milk
- Buddy’s pizza from last night, gluten free with black olives and normal cheese and sauce – one slice
3 -6 hours later Baby spits up 2 times, rash on cheeks (note sometimes it’s not that quick but sometimes it is)
- Celery 2 pieces
- A few carrots
- Stir fry for dinner with avocado, brown rice, chicken and peppers
Okay you get the idea right? anyway, keep track of it all. The journal above i’d immediately start with hmmm dairy looks like it didn’t do so hot with my baby, and start with that guy for your elimination diet.
If your baby has severe symptoms, lots of vomiting, diarrhea, blood in stool or diaper, etc. A more intense TED is recommended and that’s a bit more information and a lot of work. Basically you start with what are “commonly” safe foods in the TED community (literally a handful of foods that’s all you eat for a week or more) and add items back from there after your sweet babes gut has a rest and gets back to “baseline”. Baseline is where your baby is at a “normal” state with no symptoms. From baseline you add back in items and watch for reactions weeks at a time.
I know that’s like, a lot to take in. If it’s easier for you I’m happy to help you with your food journal, look it over and help you figure out what foods to remove or where to start with your TED. Just send me an email.
If you’ve ever done an elimination diet, mad props, solidarity friend. It’s incredibly difficult and soul sucking to eat like 5 foods for very long periods of time, but do you realize how amazing you are? Not many people have the ability or even want to push through something so freaking intense, and you did. For your child. Give yourself a pat on the back, no…go buy yourself something delicious to eat now that you can 😂
Hey TED parents out there, I see you… YOU ARE AMAZING
***as always please remember that I am not a medical professional, just a mom with lots of experience. Please always check with your pediatrician or family doctor when making any changes for you or your family.***