My experience of a Cows Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA baby)

Alyssia was diagnosed with a cmpa (Cows Milk Protein Allergy) at just a few months old after we noticed how bad her eczema really was. For the first 2 weeks of Alyssia’s life she was breastfed, I struggled & as a first time mum – it hurt so bad. I just couldn’t do it anymore & couldn’t meet my childs needs. I felt like a massive failure giving up, but I couldn’t possibly continue. Her first formula was aptamil breastmilk substitute, she was a very unsettled baby, very clingy & would scream out of nowhere in her sleep. As a new mum, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing – but at the same time I knew something wasn’t quite right.. After speaking to a midwife we thought that maybe changing her milk would help, so we put her on aptamil comfort milk (supposed to be easier to digest) – this didn’t help at all so we changed back again.

(Alyssia’s eczema on her face)

After a week or two of no sleep, we finally took her to the doctors, turns out she had colic. I was told to try gripe water and infacol to help with the pain, but nothing seemed to be working for our baby girl. If I’m honest, I felt like such an awful parent. 

At around 3 months old – Alyssia was diagnosed with CMPA and was put onto
aptamil pepti 1 milk.

(Aptamil Pepti 1 is an extensively hydrolysed formula in which the milk proteins have been broken down (hydrolysed) to reduce the likelihood of them causing an allergic reaction.) 

Alyssia seemed so much happier in herself once she had settled on the new milk, she was like a completely different child. We got ourselves into a routine, I knew what I was doing and it was just so easy – until at 5 months old she started to refuse her milk. What do you do when your babies not drinking her milk? I took her to the doctors & was told to start weaning at 5 & half months – starting with soft purees. We did this for a few weeks & at around 6 & half months we started babyled weaning with finger foods. (Mostly fruit & veg with her being so young still)

I never knew how hard weaning would be until I went to the baby section in asda, most pouches, jars & finger foods had milk in. I was shocked at how little they had for babies with allergies – I didn’t want to give my baby the same foods at every meal time, we needed variety..

Maybe just maybe I’d LOVE to know she can divulge in chocolate, yogurts, cheese etc if she wanted to when she’s bigger. Instead half my time is spent reading the back of food packaging with that sinking feeling that yet again she can’t have something.. so instead of paying £1 for a pack of 6 normal yoghurts, I am paying £1.25 for a tiny pack of 2 dairy & soya free ones.. and instead of paying £3 for 900g of cheddar cheese, I am paying £3.20 for a tiny 240g block of goats cheese just so that my child can eat the same foods as everyone else.

At around 8 months old Alyssia started to eat what we were eating – proper meals. But this meant that we had to change our lifestyle to suit her, dairyfree meals & snacks. This was when we discovered the freefrom section – an absolute gods send but at the same time – very pricey! Trust me the cost of having a baby with CMPA is so high.

Eating out with Alyssia is an absolute nightmare, I am constantly having to check the menus / ask if things have got dairy in etc.. or having to pack extra food just for Alyssia to be able to have tea out. At home I try and plan my food shops & meal plans around Alyssia’s needs – everything I buy (pretty much) is dairy & soya free so that we can have meals as a family and she doesn’t feel left out. She’s 11 months old so she doesn’t really notice/ understand that she’s got different food to other people but it still affects me knowing that one day she’s going to wonder why she can’t have that same chocolate bar as the other kids at school etc.. the doctors told us that she might grow out of it, and that this could just be a temporary thing but we have noticed that she gets the same reaction with soya products & after the last time (swelling eyes, diarrhoea, eczema rash, colic & vomiting) I am very nervous to try her on any of those foods again. We are finally being reffered to the paediatric dietician so that we can put a plan together on how to slowly introduce dairy again, if possible? 

My baby girl with eczema at 5 months VS 11 months (6 months difference – amazing)

Thanks for reading,

Zoe x

You may also like: Alyssia’s 11 month update 


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