Weaning – Dairy And Soya Free Baby

We like ironic outfits.

Well hello there. Things have been, shall we say, patchy when it comes to blog posts lately. In the past, I probably would have apologised but I’ve been thinking about it recently and actually I create content here for myself and for my children to look at when they’re older, so if I miss a few Tuesdays or Thursday here and there, it really isn’t a big deal! There are a million ways I could be kinder to myself, and not beating myself up about doing something entirely optional is one of them.

Anyway…on to the actual post.

Weaning. 

We are now a few weeks into the weaning process, which began the day Max turned six months. I wasn’t 100 per cent sure he was ready as he’s still not sitting up independently and he hasn’t yet got the pincer grip necessary to pick up smaller items, but he’s actually taken to eating very well. We decided to give purees rather than go down the baby led weaning route, mostly because that’s what we did with Alexandra so we stuck to what we knew, but also partially because I wanted to know he was having a consistent amount of food when we started trialling soya.

For the first two weeks, Max just had pureed vegetables twice a day at lunch and dinner. He got on great with those, and there was only really parsnip which he didn’t seem to enjoy. Then we introduced fruit which he absolutely loves. As soon as you give him fruit he’s wolfing it at great speed. He’s now having three meals a day – a couple of times he’s tried pureed versions of what we’re eating but mostly he’s having separate meals, although eventually all his dinners will be the same as ours (blended less over time until he’s eating it in the form we do).

We then started to introduce soya, which is what had been advised by the paediatrician. The aim was to give soya every day for a month, at which point we could say with certainty that Max wasn’t allergic to it (when he was diagnosed with his dairy allergy, we were told there was a one in three chance soya would also affect him. At that point, we were advised to cut out soya as well as dairy to allow him to get well again). The first three days were fine and then on the third day, he started being sick a little more than usual. It wasn’t a horrific amount, but then on the fourth day he seemed a bit lethargic and his poo also started changing (sorry for TMI). This continued on the fifth day so we stopped soya altogether. The plan in that scenario was for Max to be soya-free for four weeks and then we can try again, just in case the initial reaction was actually down to something else.

I feel like it’s pretty inevitable that he’s going to start showing symptoms when we re-introduce, which is a shame as I was really hoping he could have soya. There are so, so many dairy-free alternatives out there but a vast proportion of them contain soya. So if he reacts again and doesn’t grow out of the allergy (which his doctor doesn’t think is likely), then it’s really going to narrow down his options when it comes to food – and to eating out especially. It’s a real shame for him. Food is so integral in our society: birthday parties, Christmas, family meals, sleepovers at friends’ houses. Having never had allergies myself, it wasn’t until I had to go dairy and soya free to continue expressing for Max that I realised how lovely it is to be able to go to a supermarket and have your pick of anything on the shelves, rather than scouring through the ingredients of everything, double checking just in case, and then basically eating whatever you can rather than what you want.

I’m going to update on his weaning journey next week probably, as we have had more ups and downs this week already and I think there will be more to report by then!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x

In Hospital Again!

Just when we thought we were settled, we had our lovely little family together and our biggest challenges were night feeds and nap times, poor Max is now back in hospital.

It began last Tuesday when he had his check up, where the doctor said although he was putting on weight it wasn’t enough and recommended us mixing 70ml of my milk with 30ml of formula at every feed. We did so and almost within a day began to feel he was much more unsettled. Then his nappy products didn’t look quite right. And then by Friday his feeding was all over the place, he was quite lethargic and by the evening he had gone really pale.

I’d sought advice from the health visitor who said it could just be the switch to formula but when Dylan came home he said there was a massive difference in Max’s appearance from that morning so we called out of hours and went for an appointment there, which eventually turned into an admission to the children’s ward at our local hospital (ten minutes away from our house compared to an hour for the women’s/children’s hospitals he was in previously).

That night was terrible. He’d lost 11 ounces in three days and at one point became unresponsive when they were trying to do a lumbar puncture on him. They pumped loads of fluids into him, some medication as he was severely acidic and did about a million tests.

Then they called the intensive care team to come and see him for an assessment, with it being touch and go whether he would be moved to another hospital with an intensive care ward. Luckily he’d responded to the fluids and meds so they said he could stay at our local hospital with the specialist teams from the hospital where he had his hernia surgery advising the doctors here.

He restarted feeding, small amounts at first which he wasn’t happy about, and has been gradually gaining weight each day. Currently (Tuesday) he’s still having lots of tests to determine if there is an underlying condition relating to his kidneys, liver or metabolism but he’s just come off his antibiotics because there’s no clinical evidence of infection.

One of the theories they’re working on is that Max has had a severe reaction to cow’s milk protein (there is a much higher amount in formula than cow’s milk which would explain why he became so poorly after starting the formula), so they’ve asked me to stop having dairy and they’re also doing some tests relating to that.

If he does have that then, rather than growing out of it like some children do, because he became so unwell at such a young age it’s possible it may be a life-long allergy.

He is doing well and is very alert and wanting to feed a lot which are all good signs. Compared to the pale little lifeless boy we had on Friday, he’s once again proved how strong he is and bounced back. We’re just hoping for an answer soon so we can take him home again as another round of this is not what any of us wanted!

Harriet, Alexandra and Max x