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Dairy-free

1st May 2013

D has been having some terrible nights recently. He’s always been a terrible sleeper; I’ve talked before about all his wind issues and such like. He’ll sleep ok for the first part of the night, but come 1-2am, he’ll wake and be inconsolable. After that, he’s up every 20 minutes with wind and it’s started to get us down.

Back near the beginning, I considered removing dairy from our diets to see if it made any difference. I removed some obvious things, like yoghurt, cheese, buttery products and chocolate, but continued to have a small amount of milk with breakfast in the morning. I don’t remember if we saw any improvement (and, now that I think about it, we probably wouldn’t have without eliminating all dairy); sometimes we would have a good night and sometimes not, so I put the dairy thing out of my mind (after all, dairy generally makes people a bit windy, doesn’t it?) and decided it was not worth pursuing and that this wind thing was just something that would sort itself out.

It never did, we just got used to it. We thought we noticed a pattern when he or I ate cheese, but then, again, that’s known to make people a bit gassy so we held off on that. No real change. We saw a health visitor for D’s 9-12 month review last week, who told us (among other things) that the wind was caused by us not feeding D enough, and that we need to increase his intake of cows’ milk and cows’ milk products. Now, pretty much every piece of literature I have ever read on the subject does not recommend cows’ milk as a drink for babies < 12 months, so I was surprised to hear this. As D is still mostly breastfed, I did not think this was going to work for us, but I did try out giving him a bit more dairy. He does like his cheese (loves it, in fact) and we had been sparing with buttering his toast or similar because of possible dairy problems. Of course, the windy nights got worse at this stage. After reading about Jem's little boy, whose windy nights improved when eliminating dairy, I reconsidered the idea. I also talked to my mum, who revealed that there's a history of lactose intolerance in her family. Not quite the same thing, but an interesting point. I'm a big fan of chocolate, cake and other things with milk, butter and general dairy rubbish in it, so I wasn't too much of a fan of going completely dairy-free myself, but I am willing to give it a go if it improves our nights! Who knows, if D does indeed suffer from CMPI, removing the dairy could sort his eczema and poor appetite too. We started on Monday (though I messed up Monday lunchtime and ate some food containing whey) and last night, we had a much better night. It’s a bit soon for it to be down to the dairy-free-ness, but it was welcome nonetheless :) In any case, we’ll try it for a couple of weeks to see if there’s a difference. If there is, we’ll keep going and see what happens; if not, we’ll have to explore other options.

This dairy-free thing is quite hard though – everything contains some sort of milk! I am due to go out to dinner at the weekend and was browsing the restaurant’s menu online. Even their salad was said to contain milk! I guess there’s some sort of dressing that I could ask not to have, but then that’s a pretty boring salad :P Ah well, I’m sure I’ll find something. It’ll be more difficult again when we go and visit family in a few weeks’ time (for D’s birthday. OMG!) as it will mean them having to cook us special meals… Heh. Oh well, if it makes for better nights for us and D, I don’t mind… Much!