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Damn you Dairy!

Since Dumplin’ started showing signs of acid reflux two months ago, I completely cut out dairy- no lactose-free milk, no cheese, no yogurt/kefir, no cottage cheese, no sour cream… And the ones that hurt the most- no butter and no whey protein. 

Time passed, and I guess I was so preoccupied with his gas and general colickiness that I didn’t notice how much less he was vomitting (“spitting up” doesn’t accurately convey volume). Plus, I think it took a while for the dairy to leave my system.

So things were good. My boy was less barfy, and he was sleeping better at night. I was gonna take it, no questions asked.

And then…

Renee’s Caesar salad dressing happened…

And buttery garlic shrimp happened…

Within the same 24 hour period….

Two evenings ago.

And all day yesterday, my beautiful boy was puking and crying, writhing and arching his back after every feed. When laying flat on his back, even an hour after a feed, barf would start oozing out of his mouth. Poor baby hates it and tries covering his mouth with his hands, or covering his face with a receiving blanket. 

But last night was the worst. No one got any sleep. Dumplin’ wasn’t acting like his normal self at bedtime (usually he nurses right to sleep while we breastfeed side lying). He fed and fussed, we sang to him and rubbed his belly thinking it was gas, but still crying and kicking. Then he puked a bit. Then he puked a lot and we had to change the thick receiving blankets we lay down on our bed. DW took him downstairs and put him in the swing (because it’s on a bit of an incline) so he could be more comfortable. Then he got hungry and I fed him and we tried having him sleep in the Boppy nursing pillow propped up (yes, I am aware of the safety risks of doing this), but that was short lived because he’s so wiggly that he’d end up in weird and unsafe positions, so I took him out of it. Then morning arrived and poor DW had to leave for work, and Dumplin’ was crying incessantly and inconsolably. He had been puking but swallowing it all morning, and was in so much pain that I even considered taking him to the hospital to get some reflux medication, but I decided to breastfeed him instead, since it was time for him to nurse, and I’d read that breastmilk can help to neutralize the stomach acid. So I did, and my sweet boy was quietly sleeping on my breast in a football position (ah! Relief!), but then I struggled to find a comfortable semi-upright position for him to sleep in. Then, I remembered that I had rigged up his bassinet (aka blanket and toy storage bin) to be sorta on an incline, months ago. 

So friends, after almost 4 months of failed attempts at getting Dumplin’ to sleep in his bassinet, he finally does it- after the worst night of sleep we’ve had so far. And here I am, blogging about it instead of sleeping! Silly me!

Also, his pooping patterns have been different the past 24 hours. We went from pooping every other day since the beginning of January, to pooping 4 times yesterday! And these were full volume poops, approaching poopsplosion magnitude! So clearly, the dairy contaminated milk is not digested and absorbed as well, and is giving him the shits.

So now we wait for the dairy to leave my system. I am shocked by the strong reaction that he had to me reintroducing it. Honestly, we went from one reflux event per day to at least 12 over the past 24 hours. And his reflex events used to be less severe- he’d puke up usually already curdled milk, arch his back, and then smile, or he’d gag and swallow it, or he’d choke and look like he was drowning but then be fine. But this past day and night, he was refluxing large volumes of non-digested milk, arching his back and screaming in pain. He was not soothed by cuddles (he rarely is, actually), and refused the breast (which never happens). He was unhappy laying flat on his back, which normally doesn’t bother him too much.

So damn you dairy.

I’m hoping he returns to his cheery self soon. Otherwise, any tips on how to make his better, faster? We’re already burping him a lot and keeping him upright for as long as possible after a feed. I’m not loving the idea of medication, but after last night, I would be open to it if it makes a significant difference. Cutting out dairy seemed to make a big difference already though.

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25 thoughts on “Damn you Dairy!

  1. Oh poor boy! It is so easy for it to slip our minds and eat something we used to. Especially when they are doing so well. You are right that it can take some time to leave your system and his, sometimes 3 months. You could get medication for him for short term but they can take a week to be effective and by then the impact of the dairy you ate will likely be tolerable for him. Go take a nap, in case tonight is bad too!

  2. Awww, shit. This sucks so much. I don’t have any tips but I do hope the dairy gets out of your system ASAP and you get your happy and healthy little boy back. Dairy is evil in our house, too! But oh, so delicious.

  3. Sounds like you’re doing everything right – keeping him upright, frequent burping, etc. The only other thing I can think of is feeding him smaller feeds more often so that his tummy has less to cope with at once.

    Hope he’s feeling better soon!

  4. Poor little man. It’s just the worst when they’re that miserable. At least you know what triggered ur. Sounds like you just need to get it out of your system again. I think we’re having similar dairy issues. I started reintroducing dairy a few weeks ago and it seemed like it was going well. Then the last 2 nights have been awful. She has so much gas and she thrashes around all night. No sleep at all. I can’t decide whether it’s dairy or the broccoli she’s been eating.

    • Oh man. We need to start a Sleepless Mama support group that meets at 4am. Yeah I hope it’s just a matter of time, waiting for the dairy to exit our systems. Now you have me wondering if it’s possibly the large amount of cauliflower I’ve been eating too? That would explain the gas, but not the reflux though. Sorry, thinking out loud. I hope miss Charlotte’s gas and discomfort sort itself out soon. I can’t even imagine how tired you (and she) must be. At least she’s super cute eating her broccoli. Hugs all around.

  5. Oh no, I hate hearing when a baby is having a tough time. But I’m glad you know the cause and you are on your way to returning to healthy sleep filled (or at least more sleep) nights. Sending love, as always!!

    • Thank you 🙂 Sweet boy is sleeping now (finally!). It really does seem unfair that sweet babies should ever be in discomfort, doesn’t it? Thanks for the love. I hope you all are doing well too 🙂

  6. I am so sorry to hear this. I know the acid reflux story all to well. Jace is on an antibiotic for a double ear infection and it interacts with the acid reflux medicine he takes so we had not been giving it to him correctly and man can you tell a difference. There is nothing like feeling helpless.
    Have you tried putting a wedge pillow in his crib? We bought one and it goes under the sheet and helps keep him at an incline. It helped a little and might at least be worth a try.

    • Aww poor Jace. I hate that he (and you) is going through this too. Yeah, we have a wedge, but it’s so narrow, and he just rolls right off it. I think I need to recruit my wife or in-laws to make a wider foam wedge. It’s tricky too because he’s not yet in his crib. We’re still bedsharing.

  7. Ugh I’m so sorry. I too love dairy. It must be difficult. I recently made a pasta dish with soymilk and even though I usually like vegan cooking, it wasn’t the same. I’m glad you know the cause and effect at least so you can see the positive results of your sacrifice. Hope Dumplin starts to feel better.

  8. I have a love/hate relationship with dairy myself. I’ve been on/off again throughout our breastfeeding journey. I’m not convinced that Wyatt is 100% affected by it just yet… but I do keep an eye on it. As for remedies, my chiro recommended this tea back when Wyatt was gassy and not sleeping well. Brew chamomile with fennel and dill seed (1 tsp each). I put it in a glass jar with a dropper. He gets 1-2 squirts if he’s really got an upset tummy. It’s cheap to make and only lasts a few days. We find we don’t ever use an entire bottle before I dump it and rebrew. I only use it if he’s had a really bad day though. When my chiro told me about it, she actually suggested using it before every feeding.

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