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What To Do If Your Baby Is Lactose Intolerant?

What To Do If Your Baby Is Lactose Intolerant?

Cow's milk can make your stomach go bad — both in grown-ups and babies. While that might not stop us from enjoying a delicious bowl of frozen yoghurt, we might pay for it later.

cow milk

How does lactose intolerance work? The lactase enzymes found in the milk cause stomach issues, which can be severe in some cases. If you're lactose intolerant, your body can't process lactose — the sugar in dairy items. Furthermore, consuming milk or eating dairy items like cheese, ice cream, or yoghurt can lead to loose bowels. 

Various grown-ups live with lactose intolerance. Around 65% of people in India are lactose intolerant. Though lactose intolerance can be managed in adults and babies, you need to consider lactose intolerance in infants, just as how intolerance could affect breastfeeding and formula feeding. 

Identifying Your Baby's Lactose Intolerance

If your baby seems to experience difficulty processing your milk or formula milk, this doesn't imply that they're lactose intolerant. Some indications of lactose intolerance could be brought about by something different. (Nothing about parenthood is ever straightforward, right?). However, you need to keep an eye out if these symptoms are happening over and over again. The symptoms of lactose intolerance in infants include: 

  • Watery bowels  
  • Stomach cramps and pain
  • Swelling of stomach
  • Gas 
baby discomfort

How To Understand That Your Baby Is In Pain?

  • Clenching their hands 
  • Curving their backs 
  • Kicking or lifting their legs 
  • Crying while passing gas 
  • Stomach feeling bloated and hard

Some indications of lactose intolerance may begin soon after feedings — like within 30 minutes to 2 hours of breastfeeding milk, formula milk or eating solid food containing lactose.

lactose intolerance

How Normal Is Lactose Intolerance In Babies?

Many people with lactose intolerance don't show symptoms for a large part of their life until some incident causes extreme reactions to lactase — the catalyst that helps the body digest lactose.

This decrease doesn't usually happen until you have reached childhood. However, some people may see these changes in the adolescent years or adulthood. So lactose intolerance in infants under age 1 is uncommon — however, it is certainly feasible. 

Inherent Lactase Intolerance

A few infants have lactose intolerance since they're brought into the world with no lactase proteins in any case. It is known as Congenital Lactase Deficiency (CLD), and if your baby has this deficiency, you'll know it very quickly after birth. They'll show symptoms of lactose intolerance while being fed breast milk, which also contains lactose as in formula milk.

Developmental Lactase Deficiency

Some newborn babies come into the world with Developmental Lactase Deficiency (DLD). However, it is a temporary medical condition in newborn babies born premature or have underdeveloped small digestive organs. 

How Is Lactose Intolerance Analyzed In a Baby?

If your baby has indications of lactose intolerance, you don't have to worry. All you have to do is reach out to your paediatrician as soon as possible. They'll have more experience recognizing lactose intolerance and milk intolerance. Milk allergy is just like food allergy, and symptoms might be similar to lactose intolerance, but the conditions of these allergies aren't the same. So, your doctor can help you understand the changes you must follow in their diet accordingly. 

How Does Lactose Intolerance Influence Breastfeeding and Formula Feeding?


If you have had your baby tested for lactose intolerance, don't go into a frenzy and quit breastfeeding. Regardless of whether you're ready to keep breastfeeding or not, it is based on what type of lactase deficiency your baby suffers. 

For instance, if your baby has inherent lactose intolerance after a viral disease, the overall proposal is to keep breastfeeding. Breast milk can help you improve your baby's immune system and make them overcome any infection and bacteria.  

If your newborn baby has formative lactase deficiency because of premature birth, this condition could be corrected in a couple of weeks or months. So your baby may ultimately drink milk-based formula or breast milk with no issue, even though you'll have to use the lactose-free baby formula for the time being. 

In any case, breastfeeding isn't an alternative if your baby has an inherent lactase deficiency. The lactose in your breast milk can worsen the issue, which could lead to running poo, electrolyte loss and dehydration. You'll have to take care of your baby with lactose-free baby formula. 

Food You Should Avoid, If Your Baby is Lactose Intolerant

If your baby is lactose intolerant, then the chances are that you have to purchase lactose-free formula milk supplements for your baby. In that case, you need to read the ingredients properly before buying anything and stay away from certain food items like: 

  • Yoghurt  
  • Pre-made oats 
  • Lactose-based formula milk powder
  • Frozen yoghurt 
  • Cheddar and all types of cheese
  • Ice-creams and any dairy-based products
  • Bread, cakes, and more

A Final Word From Us

A baby's failure to process the sugar in milk can be difficult; however, the running poo, gas, and stomach pains don't generally mean lactose intolerance. These side effects could show milk sensitivity, general stomach-related issues that are normal in the first three months for your baby. However, if the symptoms exaggerate, then you need to reach out to the doctor immediately.

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