My eldest son was the gassiest baby. Always fussy, hard to settle and he hated lying flat. He would squirm and cry in pain after feeds and did not sleep well at all.
After some investigation and trying lots of burping techniques my doctor suggested cutting dairy from my diet.
It turns out there are a small proportion of babies who are sensitive to dairy and its one of the only food groups proven by scientists to cause gassiness/fussiness in little ones. This is because the proteins from the cow’s milk transfer into the breast milk. However, I am no expert and there are many symptoms of sensitivity of food if you suspect diary is the problem its best to speak to your doctor before you do something drastic such as cutting dairy out of your life.
But dairy was our problem and the solution was waving it goodbye for the next year.
For me the worst thing about cutting dairy out of my diet was that it wasn’t a quick fix. You see it takes between 2-3 weeks for dairy to leave your system. Then once you’ve committed, you have to keep it up, there’s no days off until you stop breastfeeding all together, and the slightest slip up sees an instant return of a fussy baby and a 2-3 week wait for it to subside.
Then there’s the reality of actually giving it up. You see giving up a food group is bloody hard. You have to be hyper aware of what you’re eating all the time. Eating takes planning now and going out can be tricky. I also didn’t realise the extent of my love for dairy until I had to quit it for a year.
Now don’t get me wrong the sacrifice is worth it to stop your little one from being in pain. But I’m only human and when your sleep deprived having one more thing to think about is so stressful. Even though there are dairy alternatives some of them just don’t hit the mark. For example I always remember going to make a cup of tea and getting the milk out only to realise this daily ritual was no longer. I tried black tea, I tried tea with soy milk (YUCK!) I tried herbal teas but nothing cured my craving for just your standard cuppa. Other foods I just couldn’t satisfy my cravings for were cheese, chocolate, and milo.
However its not all bad, after I finished breastfeeding my eldest I didn’t go back to dairy in my coffee I am a permanent almond milk convert. Not being able to eat a lot of naughty foods such as cakes and biscuits also helped me loose my baby weight quicker. I discovered lots of new recipes and became more educated on the nutrition of my foods and drinks.
There are a few replacements I would recommend over others though to make the transition easier:
Almond Milk: I much preferred almond milk over soy milk. However I am a fussy almond milk consumer and only like MilkLab Almond Milk.
Coconut Yoghurt: This was a godsend for my smoothie ritual and when I needed convenient snacks in the fridge. Nakula Coconut Yoghurt Natural is by far my favourite and still a weekly staple for our family.
Vegan Chocolate Coated Blueberries: a workmate actually gave me a jar of these as a thank you and they changed my life. You can get them from your local bulk-food store or Dr Superfoods website.
Nuttelex: As a mad butter lover it I thought I’d have a hard time replacing it. Nuttelex is great, it tastes great and works fantastically in baking.
Weis Dark Chocolate Ice cream: Ice cream is my favourite dessert and sorbet never hits the spot for me. Weis Dark chocolate ice cream is to die for and you’d never know its dairy free!
Good luck dairy free mumma
Mumma Z xxx