What should I do if I think my baby is allergic or intolerant to cows’ milk?

If you notice that your baby is having an allergic reaction or intolerance to cows’ milk, you need to go to the hospital and ask a doctor about the problem. Then, the doctor will do some assessments to discover that your baby’s reaction is mainly because of cows’ milk allergy or something else. As we all know, there is an abandonment of important nutrients that are essential for your baby in the cows’ milk. Because of that, you need medical advice from the doctor before making a decision to take out cows’ milk away from your baby’s daily intake.


Cows’ milk allergy, also known as cows’ milk protein allergy, is one from many allergic reactions or intolerance among children. The progression usually started when you first introduced cows’ milk into your baby’s diet either you give them in a form of formula milk or when the baby is able to eat solid foods. In some cases, babies who are currently under their exclusive breastfeeding may experience cows’ milk allergy as cows’ milk obtained by the mother from the diet passed to the baby during breastfeeding.


It is important for the mother to know what is the common symptom of cows’ milk allergy so that you can go straight over to the hospital if the symptom appears. Sometimes, sudden severe allergy symptoms can be obtained from cows’ milk allergy. For example, the mouth and throat become swollen, wheezing, cough, difficult and noisy in breathing. There are a wide variety of cows’ milk allergy symptoms. They are:

  1. Reactions to the skin. Red itchy rash or swelling appear at the lips, face and around the eyes.
  2. Problems in digestion. Your baby may have a stomach ache, vomiting continuously, colic, diarrhoea as well as constipation.
  3. Hay fever-like symptoms. For example, a runny or blocked nose.
  4. Appears of eczema that does not resolve with treatments. Once the doctor has diagnosed your baby with cows’ milk allergy, they will consult you regarding what to do to treat their allergy. The doctor may also refer you to the dietitian. Treatment will be removing all of the products that were made from cows’ milk from your baby’s diet for a while. If you are feeding your baby with formula milk, the doctor may prescribe you with a special milk formula for infants. Avoid giving your baby any other types of milk without first getting medical consultation by the medical healthcare. If the baby is currently under exclusive breastfeeding, the mother will be asked to avoid taking any of cows’ milk products from their diet. After that, the baby will be assessed again every 6 to 12 month to see if the symptom of allergy has been relieved or not.
    Besides that, there is also a disorder that has similar symptoms and is always being diagnosed with cows’ milk allergy called lactose intolerance. Baby with lactose intolerance will also have a reaction to milk, because the body is unable to digest essential sugar in the milk called lactose. But it is not considered an allergy. The baby will experience lactose intolerance temporarily, for example they will have it for a few days or few weeks. Symptoms of lactose intolerance is mimicry to the cows’ milk allergy such as below:
    1.. Having a diarrhoea
  5. Frequent vomiting
  6. Stomach ache
  7. Wind
    If your baby was diagnosed with lactose intolerance, they will be treated depending on the severity of the symptoms. Some children may not show any symptoms after consuming a small number of dairy products. On the other hand, some children may experience frequent vomiting or severe diarrhoea after giving some dairy products into their diet. In some cases, you may be given a further consultation by the dietitian regarding how to manage your baby if the symptoms appear.