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A blog about our busy family with two amazing kids, one of whom happens to have Down syndrome!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The barfing saga continues...

We've tried Zantac, special formula, different feeding schedules, making her sit up for an hour after each bottle, praying, wishing and quite possibly doing a no-barf rain dance.

This girl "spits up" aka barfs up her entire bottle almost every single time.

We talked to the pediatrician about it a couple of months ago and I suggested that maybe it's a cow's milk sensitivity. Even formula is made from milk protein. She agreed it could be a possibility and at first suggested soy formula. But Lauren already has constipation issues so that wasn't a viable option for us.

The plan has been to switch her to cow's milk at 12 months old just like any other baby. She's had it here and there already. She drank about 4oz yesterday and proceeded to throw up all freaking day! Way more than usual. I'm starting to really get concerned with her liquid intake and I don't understand how she isn't dehydrated. She doesn't spit up food, just formula and milk. And yogurt- all over my phone which now doesn't always have sound!

It's to the point where she's starting to wean herself from bottles, I think because in her mind she thinks, "Every time I drink this it comes back up and hey, it hurts!" But she hasn't quite mastered a straw cup.

We bought her unsweetened coconut milk yesterday from Trader Joe's. Or "Joey's" as Ryan calls it. She chugged it and didn't spit up even a tiny little bit. Not a drop. That's not happened since I quit breastfeeding.

The problem is that coconut milk doesn't have any protein. So I don't think it's a long-term option for us even though it's high in "good" fats, which she certainly needs. Her diet is really varied and she eats healthier than most adults, much less most 1 year olds. So I know she's getting protein in her diet! But I'm positive that the pediatrician won't give the OK to give coconut milk instead of cow's milk. Maybe almond milk? Anyone been here? I never realized how frustrating food sensitivites could be. Oh my word! I'm at my wit's end!

I'm afraid the pediatrician is going to think I'm some kind of weirdo who doesn't want to give my kid cow's milk- NOT that people who don't want to give it to their kids are weirdos! I'm just afraid that it's how I'll be perceived. And even more concerned that it will make our pediatrician wary of giving me solid advice on an acceptable alternative.



  1. Almond milk! We do almond milk. Ben never had major spit up issues, but he did start randomly vomiting after we attempted the switch to whole milk at one. It happened enough that I had to try something else. He does not throw up the almond milk at all. And we fortify it with coconut oil sometimes, because he needs to gain weight. Our ped has been fine with us switching. And I don't know why a ped would give you a hard time if you tried it and it worked.

  2. Almond Milk. Both my kids had a hard time with cows milk. My son is allergic and my daughter is lactose intolerant.She can drink lactose free milk. He can have very little on cereal. He doesn't drink it and dumps it off the spoon before he eats his cereal.
    I was forever finding a formula that worked. He ended up on a special soy blend that I had to get from the Pharmacy. Good Luck

  3. I have a dairy allergic 3 year old and they diagnosed her with reflux as a baby on breastmilk only the meds never helped. She had bad eczema as well as a baby. We did a short run of hypoallergenic formula until she was 12 months. Now she does Almond milk almost exclusively with a little soymilk thrown in once in while. We also give her soy, almond milk or cocunt milk yogurt which you can buy at Whole Foods if your grocery doesn't carry it in the health food section. Just read the ingredients to verify it doesn't have "casin" or "whey" as an ingredient. I highly suggest you go to an allergist who specializes in pediatrics to get her tested before you move into a more varied table foods (Lucy was tested at 10 months so if your ped says she is too young call yourself). A lactose intolerence is very different than a milk allergy A milk allergy can be very serious in some kids - even though she was diagnosed until 10 months old, these days Lucy has a pretty major reaction to something we didn't notice had milk in it at least once a month - so we carry an epipen but are fortunate to not had to use one yet..

  4. OK two stories here.
    P has mild CP plus other issues causing delayed pyloric opening, she puked everything she drank it seemed. They never did anything to help us and we tried every formula/medicine combination under the sun. We ended up keeping her on enfamil AR and pumped pear juice into her daily to help with the constipation. She stayed on that until 14 months or so and then slowly cow's milk.
    M was a preemie and was on axid for her reflux, she used the similac sensitive, and NOTHING ELSE. Plus, it had to be ready to feed or she wouldn't drink it. She had to stay on formula until close to 18 months because of her small size to help with caloric intake. She would not drink cow's milk, period. So, we tried almond milk. She loves it & we were told by pedi & gi that it is a great substitute especially since she eats alot of other dairy. We get the blue horizon original.

    Good luck!

  5. Claire is on rice milk. We also has issues trying to switch her to cows milk and rice has worked well for her. We've also given her almond milk..

  6. It seems obvious to me. Get the girl off dairy. Does she react the same way to yogurt? Sometimes yogurt is easier. And greek yogurt has lots of protein. There are lots of other options for protein: nuts, legumes, meats. And for milks: almond, coconut, rice, hemp. I'd say try some things out and see what works. Dairy doesn't agree with everyone and if you can help her to feel better and keep her food down that would be so great for all of you.

  7. I've been thinking about my comment and wanted to post again. It sounded a little harsh stating that it seems obvious. It's actually never really obvious and that's what makes it difficult. We went through a lot with Cora's GI issues. After a year or so we finally discovered she has FPIES, a rare food intolerance that can't really be tested for. The diagnosis was made purely on my own observations and my own gut feelings. And the truth of the matter is that what you choose to feed your child is your decision, not your pediatrician's. As long as you are trying to meet her nutritional needs (which can be a challenge with someone like Cora who is so picky, so that's not always even possible) then you are doing a good job. And choosing not to give her cow's milk based on your observations that it makes her sick does not make you a crazy mom. If your pediatrician thinks so, then either try not to let that bother you, or maybe look for another pediatrician. A naturopath could also be a good choice to help walk you through your options and help you see how Lauren actually responds. Cora's naturopath is amazing and I love her. But she is not her primary doctor. I just find it good to have another perspective and one that I value, even though I know that she also needs a more traditional medical approach too. For us, experimenting is what helped. Experimenting and seeing what works. You will know her best and it is your right as a parent to choose how to feed your child and what not to give her. There are many many people who choose not to give dairy. It is inherently difficult to digest unless it's in a fermented state like yogurt. That is a perfectly valid choice. Anyway... sorry for the super long post, and just wanted to reach out again.