While it is uncommon for babies to be lactose intolerant, it does happen.
If your child is affected by it, do not go into panic mode. It is not a life threatening issue, but it can make your baby feel really uncomfortable. So what should you do if your baby is lactose intolerant?
1. You can continue breastfeeding him or her.
This is because breast milk has so many nutritional benefits and lactose is actually good for your baby’s growth. Your baby can also usually tolerate a small amount of lactose, and gradually increasing it can help his or her body produce more lactase. However, consult your doctor before proceeding with this.
2. Change to a low-lactose or lactose-free infant formula.
If you do not want your baby to feel uncomfortable, you can switch to formula. There are a few types of formula targeted at lactose intolerant babies. Do take note that if your child is under 6 months old, it is best to avoid using soy-based infant formula.
3. Read all food labels!
If you’re hellbent on avoiding all products with dairy, reading food labels is an important step. Products like pancake, cookie mixes, cereal, instant soups, and some breads contain lactose, so stay away from them if possible. If ingredients such as whey, curds, milk byproducts, dry milk solids, and nonfat dry milk powder are listed, it means that there is lactose in the product.
4. Watch your baby’s reaction.
Your baby might be lactose intolerant, but there is different levels of the conditions. Some can digest small amounts of lactose, while some develop symptoms just from a small amount. Different kinds of cheese have different amount of lactose, and live-culture yoghurt has less lactose than milk or other dairy products. Observe your baby and adjust their diet accordingly.
5. Make sure your baby still has a healthy diet.
Removing lactose from your baby’s diet means that you are cutting off a crucial source of nutrition. If you are taking off milk products, make sure that your baby consume enough calcium for their growth. Alternatively, lactose-free products are also easily available nowadays.