I have spent a good 18 months of Duplo’s short life eliminating foods from my diet or his to try to determine what he’s allergic to. When he was nursing, eliminating dairy seemed to positively affect how much he spit up and had diarrhea, so I basically went off dairy. Except that he still spit up quite a bit, and his dirty diapers never seemed quite normal. When he was 10 months old, I experimented with reintroducing a little bit of dairy into my diet (I still wouldn’t let him have any), and it seemed fine, so I eventually just had as much dairy as I wanted, with no ill effects that I could see.
When Duplo weaned at 13 months, I just weaned him to whole milk. I had been allergic to cow’s milk as a baby but had grown out of it by the time I weaned, so I assumed that’s what had happened with him. He seemed to do just fine with the milk at first, but two months later, he started having diarrhea all the time. This went on for weeks before I started wondering if it was something he was eating or drinking that wasn’t agreeing with him.
So I started by eliminating dairy and switched him to lactase milk (which supplies the enzyme lactose intolerant people lack). No change. Next was to try soy milk (at $6 a gallon, this was a big ouch!). He seemed to get better pretty dramatically, so we kept doing that for about eight months. I couldn’t get ALL dairy out of his diet, though. It’s just in everything. I mean, no dairy meant no pizza, no cheese at all, no sauces with even the slightest bit of cream in them, no processed foods that might contain milk derivatives . . . you get the picture. Oh, and no baked goods, including breads, with milk or butter in them. I did my best (removed the cheese from his piece of pizza, etc.), but Duplo did get some dairy most days. Usually less than a tablespoon total, which I assumed couldn’t be enough to do much harm.
But he started having chronic diarrhea again. I know it’s gross to talk about, but it was really worrying me. I started to wonder if maybe dairy wasn’t the culprit after all, so I would try letting him drink whole milk for a few days and see if there was a difference. Other than diaper rash, there usually wasn’t. I read up on what’s called “toddler diarrhea,” which is basically caused by young kids drinking too much juice. I was pretty sure Duplo wasn’t, but I made myself pay attention and never give him more than 4–6 ounces of juice a day, plus no more than three cups of soy milk. Still no change. I tried eliminating wheat, soy, and eggs, but ultimately I found it too hard to maintain, and I wasn’t seeing much if any change. Finally, I took him to the doctor. He had never really seemed uncomfortable or sick, which is why I hadn’t done it sooner.
The doctor checked him out and referred him to an allergist. After pinprick testing of quite a few common allergens, including milk, soy, wheat, eggs, corn, and peanuts, the results were that Duplo is not allergic to any of them. I could not have been more surprised.
So I stopped buying soy milk. Two months later, he actually seems more normal and healthy than he was before I switched him back to milk. He’s certainly happy to be allowed as much dairy as he wants (see the next post). I still don’t know what was causing all his digestive problems, but I hope this time they’re a thing of the past.