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Baby Allergies & Intolerances

Your baby’s food allergies and intolerances can develop at any age. Here are some things to discuss with your healthcare professional if you’re concerned.

2 mins to read Jun 10, 2022

Baby allergies and intolerances to foods can develop at any time. An allergy is our immune system’s reaction to a substance it thinks is harmful. The severity of the reaction can vary greatly from person to person and can increase or decrease over time. A food intolerance may cause less severe reactions but can be harder to diagnose.

The best thing to do if you’re concerned that your baby may have a food allergy or intolerance is to speak to your doctor.

Here are some things about your baby's allergies and intolerances to be aware of:

  1. Be aware of the main allergenic foods in children. These include: cow’s milk, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.

  2. Remember these foods can be introduced at around six months when you start introducing solid foods to your baby. The introduction of common allergenic foods doesn’t need to be delayed, unless advised otherwise by your healthcare professional.

  3. Try to introduce allergenic foods one at a time and in small amounts so you can spot a reaction more easily.

  4. Once introduced and shown to be tolerated, try and include allergenic foods in your child’s usual diet, as this can minimize the risk of a future allergy.

  5. Signs of allergies and intolerances in babies can occur straight after a food is eaten, or several hours later, which sometimes makes it  difficult to know what food caused the reaction.

  6. Common signs of allergies and intolerances can be similar and include diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach cramps, rashes and hives. If you suspect your baby is having a reaction, monitor your baby's symptoms and seek medical help.

  7. Sometimes, a food allergy can cause a severe reaction, otherwise known as anaphylaxis. Severe symptoms could include swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, persistent dizziness and wheezing or difficulty breathing. If your child is showing signs of anaphylaxis, call emergency services immediately.

  8. Learning how to read food labels is going to be really important if your child has an allergy or intolerance. Avoid any foods where the ingredients are unclear.

For more information on baby food allergies, read this article. If you have any questions about food allergies or your baby’s diet if they have a diagnosed allergy, speak to your healthcare professional.