As a mum you know when something isn’t right, you can tell when your baby is in pain – but the hard, frustrating part is not knowing why?!! One of the most common reasons bubs suffer with colic, wind, reflux or tummy pains is from a food allergy or sensitivity.  Ok great, but which food?

By far the most common food allergy present in babies today is due to cow’s milk ie DAIRY. The protein, Casein, in cow’s milk can react with sensitive tummies and cause a range of symptoms:

  • Crying for hours each day                                 
  • Bloating
  • Frequent passing of wind.
  • Crying and pulling up of legs.                
  • Constipation
  • Mucous or blood in poos.                                   
  • Skin may show a rash or eczema.                                
  • Reflux
  • Snuffly- especially heard when feeding.
  • Poor sleep patterns –waking every few hours.

Here is where it gets tricky: for breastfeeding mums, it can be hard to tell if diary is causing the above symptoms.  Depending on how sensitive your baby’s tummy is to diary will depend on WHEN symptoms present. If the sensitivity is bad they will react within 45mins of a feed. However, some babies wont react until 24-72hours later!! The most accurate method of identifying diary intolerance is the elimination of all dairy products. And it takes about 2 weeks for all diary to be cleared out of mum’s system so you will only be sure that dairy is the problem 2 weeks later when bubs symptoms have eased.

The good news is, if you eliminate the allergen early, bub has a good chance of tolerating diary later in life. 70% of babies with delayed reactions to cow’s milk were tolerant of it at 3yrs old. (1)

Of course, there are many possible causes for these symptoms. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis through a paediatric Chiropractor or Paediatrician is important to resolve your bubs pain.

Yours in Health,


 (1) Carroccio et al, Evidence of very delayed clinical reactions to cows milk in cows milk intolerant patients, Allergy, 2000, 55; 574-579

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Daniel Rothenberg

Daniel Rothenberg is a Sports Chiropractor with a Masters of Chiropractic and Masters of Exercise Science majoring in Strength & Conditioning. He works closely with a range of athletes in Brisbane and Ipswich.