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Going Dairy-Free for My Baby

Jennifer Wagner
From New Beginnings, Vol. 26 No. 1, 2009, p. 20

As first-time parents, my husband and I assumed our infant was just a bit fussier than most. Several times a day baby Scott would have a meltdown, but he was growing well and appeared healthy, so we waited for the three-month mark when we'd heard "colicky" behavior was supposed to decrease. Wearing him in a sling, taking frequent walks, and listening to a hairdryer helped calm him, but at four months he was still frequently very upset. By this time I was used to the fussiness and assumed it was part of my son's disposition.

One day our attentive LLL Leader noticed Scott's upset demeanor (probably because we'd had to leave several meetings and play dates due to his inconsolable crying). She suggested that perhaps I might try removing dairy from my diet. Since Scott showed no rashes, diaper problems, or other obvious signs of food sensitivities, I didn't expect any difference, but gave it a try. After a week or two, he did seem to be growing calmer, but he was also learning to play with toys and I attributed his improved mood to increased independence. One weekend I consumed some milk, and noticed a return of Scott's fussy, gassy behavior in the following days.

I've since been convinced and gone dairy-free! Certainly Scott still has an intense personality, but his fussing bouts are less frequent and occur most often when he is tired or hungry. He plays more calmly, naps better, is generally happier. Motherhood is more delightful, too. I wish I had known how to make him feel better from the beginning.

I'm so thankful to be a part of an active local LLL Group. Leaders and mothers have decades of combined experience and sometimes notice things that a rookie mom doesn't. We meet regularly and spend time getting to know the ladies and babies, and everyone benefits. Historically, this role seemed to be filled by sisters, mothers, and women of the tribe, but in our society mothers are increasingly isolated. LLL helps fill the gap and promote healthy babies and happy mothers.

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