How do you know your baby is lactose intolerant? Lactose intolerance, like peanut allergies, is a relatively new health phenomenon. The topic first came to public light with the airing of Lactaid commercials a number of years ago. But, it is easier for adults to describe symptoms (these will be covered in a separate article) to their doctors and have their doctor or nutritionist diagnose for them. But, how can you tell if your baby may be lactose intolerant?
There is a difference between lactose intolerance and a milk allergy and the symptoms are equally different. There are also different levels of lactose intolerance. Some people can tolerate small to moderate amounts of milk or dairy products, others can't have dairy at all. For the purposes of this article we will concentrate on the signs to look for in your baby that could indicate lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance simply means that a baby cannot digest the lactose present in milk (breast milk contains about 7% lactose according to www.babycareadvice.com). Mothers who are lactose intolerant may also have babies who are lactose intolerant and, since there is lactose in breast milk, there is a chance that your baby won't be able to tolerate your breast milk. Many infant formulas also contain milk ingredients and, hence, lactose.
The most commons signs to look for that might indicate lactose intolerance in your baby include lots of gas, bubbles, burps, and flatulence following feeding. Lactose intolerance in adults can lead to indigestion, bloating and gas...it is likewise with babies. Some babies deal better with the gas than others.
To narrow down what might be affecting your baby try the process of elimination. Select a bottle that eliminates air bubbles from being swallowed along with the formula. Adiri Nursers are simple to use and effective, but Avent, Dr. Brown's and Playtex all have their own methods. Once gas from swallowing air during feeding is addressed, the only gas then will be from the actual formula that you're using. If this type of gas still seems to be aggravating your baby, then you might want to start looking for a lactose-free formula.