Athena ~ My daughter is 20 months old. She is my third child out of four. She was exclusively breastfed until 11 months of age. I started feeding her baby cereals mixed with breastmilk, and baby fruits and vegetables gradually starting at age 4 months. She would vomit up the cereal everytime, but not the fruits and vegetables. She was diagnosed with eczema at that time as well. At 6 months of age, I fed her a baby 'cheese puff' that is marketed for crawlers. She instantly broke out into hives. The label listed the only allergen as whey, so I knew instantly that she was allergic to milk, but it took awhile to get doctors to believe me …
She also seemed allergic to soy products. At 9 months of age, she was tested by a pediatric allergist and a milk allergy was confirmed, but no soy allergy. I was told that milk and soy proteins are similar and sometimes the body will react to the soy, even though you are not allergic to it. This was her case.
Even after eliminating milk from her diet, she was still breaking out in hives, her eyes would swell, her eczema would get worse, and her nose would run. She was so sensitive, you couldn't touch her after handling a product with milk in it before washing your hands. She was still exclusively breastfed, and I didn't understand how she was being exposed to milk. It turned out that milk proteins from my diet were getting into my breastmilk and making her sick.
I was forced to wean her at 11 months and put her on an aminoacid formula. She will be on this for many years to come. I have had to learn an entire new way of cooking and eating. I make almost everything from scratch. She cannot eat anything made with milk in it, and it sure seems like everything is made with milk it. We have to carry Benadryl and an epi-pen everywhere with us, just in case! Recently, I was feeding my newest baby a bottle of my expressed breastmilk. I left it unsupervised for a minute, and my daughter sampled it. She quickly had a reaction to it.
Myself, my husband, and older kids still consume milk with cereal and such, but we made a pack as a family that all family meals and deserts must be dairy free. If the entire family can't eat it, then it isn't allowed. I am still learning, but we are definately eating a more healthy, natural, balanced diet because of milk elimination.