Milk Allergic Symptoms in Babies to Watch for

Milk Allergic Symptoms in Babies to Watch for


Parents may worry that their baby might be suffering from an infant milk protein allergy or even an allergic reaction to soy formula. Allergy symptoms to soy- and milk-based formula in a baby can be alarming. However, when noticing signs that an infant isn’t tolerating his or her formula well, before immediately changing to hypoallergenic baby formula, which may not have an appealing taste, check with the baby’s doctor to make sure that the problem is indeed the infant formula and not something else.

Respiratory Symptoms Associated With a Milk Protein Allergy in Babies

When a baby isn’t suffering from a cold but does have nasal congestion, mucus in the throat or nose, shortness of breath, wheezing, or asthma, or any other respiratory issues, then an allergy to milk protein, in particular, may be suspect. Milk protein allergies in babies may fade over the years as the child ages.

Baby Formula Allergy Symptoms on the Skin

Babies may develop a skin rash as a response to an allergy to formula. The rash may appear as eczema, hives, or a ring around the rectum not helped by diaper cream, or even another rash. Eczema can be recognized by the dry and flaky patches that appear on the skin. A skin rash doesn’t mean a food allergy definitely, but it can be the reason to suspect formula as the culprit.

Vomiting as a Sign of an Allergic Reaction to Formula

Vomiting may be a sign of a milk or soy allergy. Although it’s normal for young babies of up to a few months old to spit up due to their immature digestive tracts, watch for projectile vomiting, frequent spitting up (a possible sign of GERD, the abbreviation for gastroesophageal reflux disease), or vomiting repeatedly throughout the day.

Abnormal Stools a Possible Allergic Response

If the baby is changing to formula after being breastfed, some change in the odor and appearance of the stools will naturally occur. However, diarrhea and constipation may indeed be symptoms that a baby is allergic to a formula based on cow’s milk or soy. In an allergic baby, stools may be very hard, very loose, or smell very bad. Call the infant’s doctor especially if there is any sign of blood in the stool or if diarrhea occurs frequently – that is, more than once daily for several days.

Additional Digestive Symptoms of an Infant Formula Milk or Soy Allergy

Signs of colic or abdominal pain can be symptoms of an allergy to baby formula. If a baby fusses – that is, cries or squirms – during or after a feeding, this could be due to the baby’s having an immature digestive tract, or it could be indicative of something more, such as an infant formula allergy. Note that although some parents suspect lactose intolerance when babies display colicky behavior, the governmental health encyclopedia MedlinePlus states that lactose intolerance is quite uncommon in babies born at full term.

Other Symptoms that a Baby is Allergic to Formula

If the baby is having problems sleeping well due to discomfort, this could be a sign that the baby isn’t tolerating infant formula well due to an allergic reaction. In addition, excessive weight loss, failure to thrive, or excessive weight gain can all be symptoms of a food allergy. Failure to thrive in particular should be attended to immediately, whatever the cause – get the baby to a doctor.

Signs of Formula Allergies May or May Not Indicate True Allergies

Parents concerned about any of the symptoms above should talk to the infant’s pediatrician to see if a hypoallergenic formula is indicated. Although the symptoms do not necessarily mean that the child is allergic to formula, they may suggest that he or she is indeed experiencing an allergic reaction. Also, calling a doctor is urgently indicated if the baby has breathing problems, isn’t growing well, or has frequent diarrhea or blood in the stools.