When Baby Bean was getting ready to arrive, I did lots of research and one thing I came across was the fact that I might have benefitted from doing some food restricting to see whether Pk had any sensitivities. When she was older, I did see a naturopath who took us off everything (the woman was a crackpot, if you ask me in hindsight) and that accomplished nothing but I never thought to eliminate anything at the time.
When Baby Bean started to show signs of what dh and I referred to as the "evening grunchies", I decided to drop dairy from my diet. I couldn't really tell whether it was making a difference or not but the plan was to try it for four weeks and then try introducing a bit of goat's milk into my diet and see what happened.
The four weeks were hard. I LOVE cheese and if you haven't even had to be aware of it, you would probably be surprised at the number of foods that contain "modified milk ingredients", whey powder or lactose. Because my father is lactose intolerant, I know what I am looking for so I can pretty confidently say that I was milk free. Baby Bean seemed much mellower than Pk - he had his moments but nothing like what we had seen with Pk.
Last week, we went to visit my inlaws. My m.i.l. isn't very good at looking for milk ingredients so I had to be really on the ball, which was tough, because I didn't want to offend her. Desserts were out, snacks were out and even a couple of meals, I had to eat very selectively. I took my almond milk (I love tea with milk and I have found that to be the closest substitute). I had a few things that were kind of suspicious and while we were there, Baby Bean had some moments of real grouchiness, especially towards the end of the visit. I tried to tell myself that it might be due to a different environment, strange people, overstimulation, etc...
Well, last night we had pasta for dinner and I put a bit of goat's cheese on top. From what I have read, infants are not lactose intolerant, their issues are almost always allergies to milk protein (which, thankfully, are often outgrown in early childhood). Goat's milk is a protein source that is easier to digest than cow's milk so it seemed the most likely thing to be o.k. It's not, for Baby Bean anyway. This evening, we have had glimpses of Pk as an infant. Constantly crying, grouchiness and a strong desire to comfort nurse (my breasts are in need of some serious t.l.c. at this point). I think that dairy is out of my life for the next few months, at least. I plan to nurse heavily for at least his first year and to continue nursing, at least somewhat, until he is at least 16 months (when I weaned Pk). My goal would be two given that is the WHO recommendation but I am not sure that I have it in me (when they are using sentences to ask for nursing, I personally get very uncomfortable).
Being dairy free is a tough pill to swallow and makes eating out or at other people's homes almost impossible. On the other hand, the evening crying makes me crazy and I would do almost anything to have a happy baby.
Please, if you can, go and have some cheese or ice cream for me. I am in serious withdrawal.