You can't always tell when your baby has cow's milk protein allergy. That's why it's important to see your doctor if you believe your baby is showing cow’s milk protein allergy symptoms.
Your baby’s doctor will want to check your baby's growth, development and hear more about your baby's behaviours. Of course, even the most basic information—such as the brand of infant formula you use—can slip your mind when you're exhausted and stressed from dealing with a fussy newborn. To ensure you don't forget key details while talking with your doctor, prepare and bring the following materials with you.
To help your baby’s doctor get a better picture of your baby’s behaviours, track your infant’s daily activities for at least a week. Note how much your baby eats at each feeding, the time each feeding starts and stops, and the type of infant formula given, if any. Document his sleep habits, including how many hours of uninterrupted sleep he gets at night, how many times he awakens, how many hours he sleeps at naptime, and how long he fusses before falling asleep. Describe behaviours that cause concern, such as gassiness, jelly-like stool (mucus), inconsolable crying (colic), skin rashes, or spit-up (reflux), and include what time of day these things occur. At the end of each day, rate your baby’s day on a scale of 1 (very good) to 5 (very bad). If it was bad or very bad, look over your notes and highlight the behaviours that concern you.
Once you have chronicled your baby’s behaviors, pull out the key points that you would like to discuss with your baby’s doctor. You might want to highlight the number of bad or very bad days your baby had in a week. Your baby’s doctor probably will want to hear about your baby’s most severe, recurring behaviour, including how often it occurs and how your baby acts. For instance, does he try to scratch a rash or get upset when you touch it? Does he have blood in his stool? Is his diarrhea persistent? Does it have an odd smell? What color is it? All of this information can be helpful to your baby’s doctor.
Let your baby’s doctor know if there is a family history (on either the maternal or paternal side) of food allergies to cow’s milk protein, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, or fish; or a family history of hay fever, asthma, or eczema. A family history of any of these conditions can increase your baby’s risk of cow’s milk protein allergy.
If your infant takes formula, either write down the brand name and bring that paper with you, or bring in the actual can. Talk to your baby’s doctor about Nutramigen® A+® with LGG®, clinically shown to be effective in the dietary management of infants with cow’s milk protein allergy, including colicky* infants.
*Due to cow’s milk protein allergy
List of Questions or Concerns
It can be helpful to jot down questions as you think of them. Take this list to your doctor to ensure your concerns get addressed. Here are some questions you might consider asking:
- What conditions could be causing my baby’s behaviours?
- Is it possible that my baby has cow’s milk protein allergy?
- How do you know whether a baby has cow’s milk protein allergy? If tests are being done, how long will it take to get results?
- What dietary changes should I make if I am nursing a baby who has cow’s milk protein allergy?
- How soon should my baby’s cow’s milk protein allergy symptoms improve after I make these dietary changes?
- What formulas do you recommend for a baby who has cow’s milk protein allergies?
- Do you have samples of hypoallergenic formulas designed for babies with cow’s milk protein allergy, such as Nutramigen® A+® with LGG®?
- How soon after switching to a hypoallergenic formula should my baby’s cow’s milk protein allergy symptoms improve?
- What is the long-term outlook for my baby if he has cow's milk protein allergy? Will he always have allergies?
- Should my baby see a specialist, such as a pediatric allergist, gastroenterologist, or dietitian?