Allergies in Infants and Babies
Sometimes, parents notice allergy-like symptoms in their babies. While it's important you talk to your Boys Town pediatrician about your concerns, here are tips and advice on allergies in infants and babies.
Relieving Allergy Symptoms
Perhaps baby is sneezing a lot, has watery eyes, or maybe they're rubbing their itchy eyes too frequently. If you have a newborn at home and think they may have some type of allergy with congestion, try these treatments:
- Nasal suctioning
- Place a humidifier in their room
- Decreasing allergens such as dust mites
- Keep pets out of their room and away from their crib
As your baby gets older, medications are a possibility. Zyrtec is appropriate for children six months or older. Before that age, there's no effective allergy medication for infants. Allergy testing usually doesn't start before baby is six months old.
Food and Contact Allergies
When it comes to food allergies, you will notice:
- Anaphylactic reactions (such as swelling around lips or mouth, difficulty breathing or swallowing)
Breastfeeding and Allergies
Some moms worry that they'll pass their allergies down to their babies through their breastmilk. For example, if mom is allergic to gluten or dairy, can she give this to her baby? Allergies tend to be genetic. If there is a family history of allergic reactions to gluten, eggs, peanuts, etc., make your pediatrician aware of them.
If you notice that when you eat a specific food, baby has problems with gas, is more irritable, or harder to console, stop eating that food and see what happens. However, be careful with eliminating foods since it can impact breastmilk production. Always talk to your pediatrician about the foods you're eliminating. There may be another reason why your baby is having more gas or is fussier than normal.
Formula and Allergies
If your baby is formula fed, problems such as diarrhea, gas or spitting up may be due to an intolerance of the formula and not an allergy. An allergy is your immune system having an overreaction to an outside source, versus your body simply not being able to tolerate a certain food.
Introducing Potential Allergens
Baby foods starting at about six months of age are a great way to introduce foods that could cause an allergic reaction. There are a variety of studies that show that the earlier you introduce potential allergy causing foods, the less chance your child will develop those allergies. However, if someone in your family has a specific food allergy, consult with your pediatrician first.