If you suspect your baby is lactose intolerant you should visit your pediatrician for advice on how to properly take care of your baby. Lactose is present in all dairy products; it’s the sugar in cow’s milk for one. Being lactose intolerant simply means the body is not able to produce enough lactose which is used by the body to digest lactose consumed in dairy products. Lactose that is not digested remains in the intestines and causes gastrointestinal problems. Some babies may outgrow it as their digestive systems and other systems mature. |
Babies born prematurely are more likely to be lactose intolerant as their digestive systems are not fully developed, or even as developed as a full-term baby. However, any baby or child can be lactose intolerant. Signs of lactose intolerance include diarrhea more often than normal and crying that appears to be from stomach pain. Some babies may also vomit. Breastfed babies are just as likely to be lactose intolerant as bottle fed babies. Symptoms usually begin within one hour after consuming milk. The severity of lactose intolerance varies from baby to baby.
Because young babies have no other way to show pain, they usually cry, scream, grimace and become restless when they have discomfort. Once other reasons for the crying are dismissed, you might consider when baby fed last, and consider the possibility of baby being lactose intolerant. Babies may also be restless during sleep, wake up during sleep, or have trouble falling asleep. Finding alternatives to products containing lactose is important for keeping baby symptom free. If breastfeeding it may be necessary to cut dairy products from your diet; bottle fed babies should be given a lactose free formula. Babies who are eating should not be given dairy products. After baby is older, you can consider introducing dairy products again to see if baby has outgrown the lactose intolerance.
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