Four weeks ago I was feeling terrified at the prospect of starting the milk ladder. How would we get on? Would Millie react on day one? What if her reactions were serious? What if my baby got ill? So many concerns, but I knew we had to give it a go sooner rather than later.
I posted at the beginning of our journey and promised to keep you updated along the way, so here is our latest update, unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be this time around, but it didn’t stop her smiling:
– Week 1 Malted Milk biscuits – we used Tesco own brand malted milk biscuits and Millie couldn’t get enough of them. Day one and I was so relieved we didn’t have any immediate reactions, no vomiting or diarrhoea, no swollen tummy. In fact it wasn’t until day five that I noticed a few small patches of eczema starting to form on the back of Millie’s legs. She hasn’t ever suffered from eczema so naturally I put it down to the milk ladder. As it was so minor we decided to keep going.
– Week 2 Garabaldi Buscuits – again I used Tesco own brand biscuits. I was beginning to get a bit concerned about the amount of sugar Millie was consuming on the milk ladder so decided for future stages I would make my own of everything rather than use shop bought. After a couple days on step 2 Millie started to dribble a lot more than normal, this had always been a sign of a bad reflux day in the past so I began to wonder if it was milk related and it had triggered a relapse in her reflux. I decided to see out the week and monitor if it got any worse. It didn’t seem to change at all for the next few days so we moved on.
– Week 3 Mini muffin – despite vowing to bake my own I again went for shop bought, partly because I was beginning to think Millie would fail at this step so would just buy a few cakes as we probably wouldn’t need them anyway. Across the week Millie continue to dribble quite severely and also started grinding her teeth both day and night. I couldn’t figure out if this was perhaps teething related despite her having all 8 front teeth now or if it was in fact an allergy. We finished week 3 with no real change in the symptoms.
– Week 4 Scotch Pancakes – the instructions indicate giving a full pancake but this seemed an awful lot to give a baby so I just went for half a pancake. Within just a few hours Millie’s tummy became extremely swollen, she continued to dribble excessively and she now had really dark rings under her eyes. Although showing some signs of a reaction they didn’t seem quite severe enough to give up so we tried day two of the scotch pancake. The dribble was horrendous for the rest of the day, having to change bibs every 20 minutes. That night she was grinding her teeth so badly during the night that she made her gums bleed and absolutely covered her bed in blood. My mum had previously told me that teeth grinding can be a sign of an allergic reaction, it is a way of diverting the pain or irritation caused by the allergy (being an allergy kid myself my own mum is also pretty hot on all things allergy related) but for some reason I brushed it off. However seeing blood all over the bed that night really upset me and I realised my tough little cookie was in fact suffering in her own quiet way and I’d probably pushed the milk trial as far as I should!
So we got as far as day two of step four! I did feel a little disappointed that we weren’t able to get further this time but seeing my baby suffer I knew it was time to stop, for now.
Having now made our first stab at the milk ladder I’ve definitely learned a few things about the process so far:
– it’s not as scary as it seems – having made it through week one I do feel a little more confident to continue and realise that it is a really slow approach to the reintroduction of dairy and you can take it as slow as you need to.
– you know your own child and when the time is right to stop.
– teeth grinding really is a symptom of allergies. Sorry mum I should have learnt by now you really do know best!
– my little girl really is a toughie – when Millie’s reflux was at its most severe our health visitor told us that she will probably turn out to have a very high pain threshold as she has spent most of her early months hurting from reflux that she will become used to feeling pain. This has proved true so far with both teething and also how she coped when she was obviously feeling discomfort during the milk trial.
We are now having 4-6 weeks of dairy free time before we even think about starting again. I don’t feel in any hurry to give it another go and want to make sure Millie is completely over her symptoms first.