What moms and dads need to know about lactose intolerance in babies

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Knowing the signs of lactose intolerance in babies is very important since it would help you take better care of your little one.

Being lactose intolerant isn't really a severe problem. However, the symptoms can cause a lot of discomfort for your child, so it's good to be aware of what signs to look out for.

What are the signs of lactose intolerance in babies?

Here are the 5 most common signs of lactose intolerance that moms and dads need to watch out for in their babies:

  • Gas and problems with bowel movement
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Flatulence, nausea, and feeling bloated
  • Rashes and colds
  • Abdominal pain, including cramps

Whenever your child has these symptoms after they drink milk or eat food that contains milk or lactose, it's very likely that they might be lactose intolerant.

The symptoms also get worse the more lactose your child consumes. So it's a good idea to introduce small amounts of milk or lactose to your child at first. That way, you can gauge if they are able to fully digest lactose.

But how do babies become lactose intolerant?

There are 3 primary ways that babies can become lactose intolerant, namely:

Acquired intolerance

This happens as the child grows older. Sometimes lactose intolerance can be acquired, as a normal part of aging.

Primary lactase deficiency

Babies who have this condition have a severe lactose intolerance right from birth. This means that they have trouble digesting even breastmilk, and have to be given special baby formulas. Thankfully, this type of lactose intolerance is very rare, and doesn't happen a lot.

Secondary lactose intolerance

This form of lactose intolerance is usually temporary and manifests as a result of irritation of the digestive system. This occurs most often after a case of gastroenteritis.

Rotavirus and giardiasis are the main types of bacteria that cause this type of lactose intolerance.


If your child does have lactose intolerance, the best thing to do would be to consult your doctor in order to find out what the extent of their lactose intolerance is. For the most part, a change in diet is recommended by doctors, since it's the best way of dealing with lactose intolerance.

However, there are certain types of medicine that children can take, which allow them to have a form of tolerance for lactose, which means that they can eat dairy products without any significant problems. But it's still best to not rely on these types of medicine, since lactose intolerance is a life long condition that can best be managed through proper diet.


Sources: health.clevelandclinic.orghealthychildren.org 

Photo: pxhere.com

READ: 5 things you didn’t know about lactose

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