what is the problem with my baby?

Rooshany - posted on 04/18/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )




my baby was breastfed from birth n was unsettled ,cranky n having very loose stools .his ped was not sattisfied with his weight n stuff so he reccomended him lactose free formula..he was fine with it for almost a week now again he seems to be very cranky having loose mucousy stools ..what seems to be wrong with him..he is five months old...plz reply


[deleted account]

"Loose stools" is normal for bf babies. Also, make sure the doc is using the right weight chart for a breastfed baby. The WHO chart takes into account bf babies, whereas most doctors use a chart for FORMUlA fed baby. There is a big difference between the two. You bf baby was most likely fine in the weight department.

Babies that age don't normally have solid bowel motions like we do, because their digestive system isn't fully mature and won't be until they are about 12 months old.

Connie is right about babies not being allergic to mother's milk, but they can be sensitive to some things in mother's diet. Are you feeding him anything else besides formula or breast milk? Some babies are just more unsettled than others, but as long as you are burping him well and checking for other problems (dirty nappy, too hot, too cold, etc) he might just need more comfort.

If you are concerned about his stools and the crankiness, take him back to your ped and tell him to get the WHO weight chart (you could always print one out and take it in) to see how your baby is doing in the weight department and that he needs to start from scratch because you have the same problem. I wouldn't be concerned about loose stools necessarily, because a baby gets rid of whatever they don't absorb. My boys were bf and their poo at that age was quite watery and a mustard colour which is totally normal.

Aleks - posted on 04/27/2011




OK, first and foremost most here are getting LACTOSE INTOLLERANCE confused with DAIRY PROTEIN INTOLLERANCE and these two things are very different.

Lactose intollerance is the inability to process the lactose found in dairy milk (and also in human milk) while the Dairy Protein Intollerance is the inability to handle the many proteins found in cow's milk. Eliminating "lactose" from diet will not solve the problem with dairy protein, as it is found in ALL dairy whether it has lactose in it or not.

Most babies and little children do not suffer from *lactose intollerance* (it can happen but it is extremely rare) as someone said earlier breastmilk has a whole lot more lactose (ie, sugar) than cow's milk/dairy. So a baby's stomach is actaully designed to be able to handle a lot of lactose (usually this ability to tolerate larger amounts of lactose disappears when the child starts loosing his "milk teeth", and this is when true "lactose intollerance" can appear).

Dairy protein intollerance is usually caused by the immaturity of the digestive track (stomach, guts and bowels), usually by lacking the necessary flora and bacteria, which then gives us humans the ability (but not a good one) to be able to digest the very hard to digest proteins found in ALL dairy products, such as Casein.

Amanda, nearly ALL margarines contain some dairy in it, there are some on the market that do not, however, most do. One has to carefully read the label. But you are right in saying that loose stools are normal for BF babies. However, mucous is not. MUCOUS is a sign of INFLAMATION. (btw I am using capital letters in this post here as an intonation/itallics since there isn't the ability to do that here, sorry, I am not shouting.)

All I can say is that I have had 2 children who suffered from DAIRY PROTEIN INTOLLERANCE and both had mucous in the stool and also had blood in their stools as well. One also suffered from reflux and silent reflux, not to mention "colic" (which I hate that term as it is used as an explanation by doctors and "old wives" for why babies cry when no other cause is found, which is usually because we cannot be bothered or don't know to look further and deeper; there are many cultures on this earth where babies DO NOT have colic! so, I hardly would call it normal! Babies cry for a reason, just because we don't know what that is, does not mean it is "just because" as it seems it is what the term "colic" defines, but I digress).

I was directed, by my first baby's pediatritcian to do an elimination diet. And first of was dairy, I eliminated all TRACES of dairy from my diet - yes i was bf. And PRESTO!!! Blood in poo disappeared and so did the mucous, and so did the nightly crying/colic. My 2nd baby had similar symptoms, so I already knew what to do. She also ended up being soy intollerant and is probably sensitive to yeast also (its harder to diagnose this with elimination diet - as it is a very hard diet to follow as it is extremely restrictive and trying to raise a toddler on such a diet is not easy, and doctors are not willing to help...again I digress, lol).

So, Rooshany the introduction of the lactose free formula (which is such a bogus product on the market, as there are really very small percentages of babies with true lactose intollerance, and if they are truely LI, which is very serious in a little infant/baby, then they should be closely monitored by their doctors, so one would hope that their formula would not be just off the supermarket shelf type of thing, I again digress...lol ) would have abated the symptoms for a few days due to probably the change in diet. Frequently with elimination diets this is what happens, an improvement in the first few days followed by the return of symptoms. This return is a signal that the thing eliminated is not the culprit.

Rooshany, what I would suggest to you would be to go back to breastfeeding and eliminated ALL dairy from your diet. This needs to be followed strictly (read all labels of store bought food) for 3 weeks or so as it takes this long for all the dairy proteins to leave your body, which includes breastmilk. After this time follow this for a week or two after total elimination, if your baby has improved then you have found your culprit, if not, then need to pick another thing to eliminate.

The most common culprits are: dairy, wheat and/or gluten, eggs, soy, and also nuts.

Sorry about the lenght of the post.

Good luck and I hope that some of the info here has helped, at least a little bit :-)

Dana - posted on 04/21/2011




Carly, babies who are lactose intolerant do find on breast milk as long as the mother watches what she eats. You probably already know that but, it's good we make that distinction here.

Carly - posted on 04/21/2011




I am afraid I have to disagree with Connie - babies who are Lactose Intolerant do not do well on breast milk. I like the suggestion of Sonia and cutting down on dairy, worth a try and I would probably give the Lactose free formula for a bit longer... good luck.

Sonia - posted on 04/20/2011




I have 2 friends that have had this exact scenario. They went COMPLETELY off all dairy (no margarine, NOTHING) and continued to nurse. Their kids did GREAT! Also in both cases the family doctor did not accept this as a solution until they had proven it to him.


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Sarah - posted on 03/14/2012




Not to cause needless fear, but the mucous in his stools should be investigated. I would ask for a referral to a pediatrician and a sweat test to rule out cystic fibrosis. He probably doesn't, but worth ruling out. Good luck.

Sally - posted on 03/13/2012




Lactose intollerance is an inability to digest lactose--the sugar in all milk. Dairy allergy is an immune response to the protein in cow's (and some other quadrupeds) milk.. They have similar symptoms, but are completely different disorders.

A lactose intollerance is almost impossible before the age a child would wean natually (about 5-8 years). However, if a mother consumes dairy products the proteins will come through her milk and make the baby sick.

If I'd known what to look for, my daughter's dairy allergy would have been diagnosed 2 months sooner than it was and she'd have experienced a lot less pain in her life. She had almost the exact same symptoms you're describing, but I thought she was just a fussy baby, the spit-up was from eating like a pig, and the mucous poop was from everyone in the house having colds all winter.

The best thing to do is to continue nursing him while taking dairy out of your diet. Lactose free formula is not going to help a dairy allergy because the protein is still there. If you really want to keep him on formula, you could try a soy one, but that may increase his risk of a soy allergy.

If you choose the dairy free nursing, you will soon be an expert label reader. Milk hides under so very many names and any fake dairy product (such as margarine) that boast "natural flavors" probably hava a milk product too. "Lactose-free" and "vegetarian" products often have milk products in them and sadly sometimes "vegan" products do as well.

Good luck

Erin - posted on 04/27/2011




You should not feel guilty about "depriving" your child of breast milk. My cousin BF both of her babies exclusively for 6 months and when my daughter was born she gave me the best advice ever " put on blinders and ear muffs and do what is best for your baby"

My daughter has sever reflux and is on neocate a completely allergen free formula. She has a milk protein sensitivity and a soy intolerance.

As long as your baby is getting the nutrients he needs and is thriving and happy try not to be to upset about where it comes from. I was unhappy when I stopped breastfeeding but my daughter is happier now then she ever was and her happiness was more important to me then weather or not she was breast or bottle fed.

I did BF for a month and my doctor pointed out that a little time is better then no time.

Stevie - posted on 04/27/2011




Lactose Intolerance (LI) is the the inability to produce the lactase enzyme to break down the lactose sugar in milk. The result of this is essentially colic symptoms, highly acidic stool - happens lactose/galactose meet the bacteria in the stool and form lactic acid, tons of gas - bacteria and sugar mix, fussiness, discomfort, lots of very loose stool.

My daughter has secondary lactose intolerance because she had 20" of her bowel removed at birth due to a congenital defect. I breastfeed my child but we treat her with Lactaid - which is a lactase enzyme that I give before I feed her.

She suffered nearly 2 months of being lactose intolerant until she was diagnosed during one of our hospital stays. Since then she does very well. We still have issues from time to time but this is something we manage.

I hope you find an answer that works for your family!

Iridescent - posted on 04/25/2011




Breast milk is very high in lactose, you are correct. While it is in cows milk, it is in even higher amounts in human breast milk naturally and a child intolerant to lactose will not do well on it. The problem you are dealing with is that it appears he's gone from being intolerant to lactose, going onto a milk based formula (lactose free) and doing well, and within a week becoming ill again. This is a very common symptom of having developed a full blown milk allergy. You can request switching to soy (I never did) or going to either Hydrolyzed Milk formula (ex: Nutramigen) or Elemental formula (ex: Neocate).

Redo the stool samples or request labs be drawn to check for IgE mediated allergy to dairy. Many doctors ignore the problem and never draw the blood for it, but it's not a bad test and will provide a lot of answers.

Rooshany - posted on 04/23/2011




actually since birth he was crying profusely then we got the stool dr done the results were not good ...altho he was exclusively BF he had wbcs IN HIS STOOLS ..the ped asked me to switch him to lactose free formula jus to chek if the lactose in the breastmilk is being the culprit...n the baby was fne within 48 hours..he started gettin better stools ..no mucous so he thought my baby has to be on lactose free atleastr we wont try any otha formula till he turns 9 months..he says no matter wat the mother eats LACTOSE will still be there....i feel very guilty to deprive him from BF:(

Carly - posted on 04/22/2011




Maybe he is hungry? You can start him on solids now, so maybe a bit more in his tummy will satisfy him...

[deleted account]

I just had another thought regarding the unsettled and cranky. He is at the age to be teething. His crankiness could be because he is teething.

If you are having trouble figuring out what he is trying to tell you, I would recommend the Dunstan baby language book. Well, you can actually google her five cries. She has identified 5 distinctive cries in babies and given the meaning of each cry. I was quite skeptical about it, but took the time to experiment with my firstborn. I learned the cries and it totally saved my sanity. It really works! Maybe it could help you identify what's going on with your son. Also, another helpful hint is teach him sign language so that he will be able to communicate with you. This is more long term, but it will help you and baby if he can tell you in simple terms what he needs. I taught my babies the signs for food, drink, apple, banana and chair to start with. It makes life so much easier when baby can communicate with you.

Faye - posted on 04/21/2011




My mom used Carnation milk for my formula 42 years ago. As there was no formula for babies then. Her milk ducts were goofed up and she did not produce enough for me. Yes I know that Carnation Milk is a product from cow's but this show what moms 42 years ago did for their kids.

Karen - posted on 04/21/2011




I agree everyone about avoiding milk products, but there are other things that you may be eating too that is causing him to be cranky. Cut out coffee or caffiene, onions, broccoli, and other gassy foods. Some children are just prone to colic. Its very normal. If after cutting things out of your diet and he doesn't settle down you can give him Oval or gripe water. Some babies are put on reflux medicine. Talk to you pediatrition about all your options.

Amanda - posted on 04/21/2011




I agree with the ladys about avoiding milk products, btw margarine is NOT a milk product its OIL

Loose poops in a breastfeed child is NORMAL.

Tyrae - posted on 04/21/2011




lactose intolerance comes from an intolerance to the protein in COWS milk. So the mother would have to stop eating/drinking anything dairy to prevent this from happening. That being said...

My mother could not find a formula which didn't upset mine and my sisters stomaches when we were babies. None of them worked for us. She had to go with whatever didn't make us the crankiest.

Connie - posted on 04/20/2011




there is no baby born allergic to his mothers milk but the nutrition he gets from it comes from you and the things you eat can upset him. with my second daughter my nutrition was not good and she had a hard time gaining weight as soon as my diet improved she did too...some babies like my nephew are just cranky...good luck and God bless

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