The Breast Fed Baby and Mom’s Diet

Studies strongly suggest that if your breast fed baby is colicky, it is worth a try to eliminate cow’s milk from your diet. You will want to avoid cheese, ice cream, milk (in a glass or on cereal), yogurt, puddings, custards, cream sauces, and butter. This is not a quick fix, however. Cow’s milk protein can remain in breast milk for up to two weeks after the mother has stopped eating dairy foods. To see whether dropping dairy really makes a difference for your child, have your dietary experiment last about 3 weeks. If the change in your eating habits does improve your baby’s colic, you will probably want to avoid dairy at least until the typical colicky period is over — when your baby is 12 to 16 weeks old. If your child’s colic was severe and it turns out that he or she is especially sensitive to cow’s milk protein, you may want to avoid dairy even longer. Although many babies become tolerant of cow’s milk protein before their first birthdays, some children can take a full year or longer, and some never become tolerant.

Published on: May 31, 2001
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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