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Practical tips for parents

Here are some tips that you can share with parents when weaning infants with cow’s milk allergy.

You can also download our taste and weaning booklets for parents here.

General tips 
 
- Parents of infants with cow’s milk allergy should consult a healthcare professional before starting
  weaning

- Babies with cow’s milk allergy should ideally be well and symptom free when weaning starts

- It’s better to introduce new foods at lunchtime than in the evening. This is because it’s easier to get
  medical help if an adverse reaction occurs

- Parents should record when new foods are introduced and any associated symptoms by using a food
  diary

 
- Recipe ideas using hypoallergenic formulas for infants with cow's milk allergy as a substitute for milk
  can be helpful. This means children can enjoy similar food to their families

 
- To reduce parental anxiety when introducing new foods, ensure parents know how to identify and
  manage allergic reactions

 
- Warn parents not to introduce goat’s or sheep’s (ewe) milk. This is because their proteins are similar to
  those in cow’s milk, and may trigger an allergic reaction1

 
- Soya formula is not suitable for infants under 6 months, but may be an option in older infants e.g. those
  who do not accept an extensively hydrolysed formula (eHF)1-3

 
- Hydrolysed rice formula may be considered in selected infants who are either refusing or not tolerating
  an eHF based on cow’s milk protein, or in vegan families, provided that they have been proven safe
  and effective in infants with cow's milk allergy1

- Suggest to parents that new foods are introduced with familiar ones rather than on their own as babies
  are more inclined to like foods with familiar flavors

- Tell parents to try to choose a time when their baby is hungry before introducing a new food

- Remind parents to be patient. All babies are different but it can take several tries before they will accept
  a new taste, even as many as 10

- Parents should try to stay positive at feeding times as babies will pick up on any negative reactions



Feeding tips
 
- If a baby is extremely hungry, give them half of their breast feed or Nutramigen to satisfy their hunger
  first, then follow with weaning food

 
- Encourage parents to go at their baby’s pace. Don’t rush or force feed, and let the baby decide when
  they’ve had enough

 
- Weaning at family mealtimes and talking to infants when feeding will make them feel included


Stage 1 tips (6 months)

- Offer small amounts of each new food at first: 1-2 teaspoons of smooth purée

- Get babies used to the idea of eating. Don’t worry about quantity eaten

- As weaning progresses, introduce the baby to different textures


Stage 2 tips (6-9 months)

- Encourage parents to get specialist advice before introducing other potentially allergenic foods e.g.
  egg, nuts and soya


- Parents can cook bigger portions of food and freeze the leftovers for another day


Stage 3 tips (9-12 months)

- Continue to spoon feed, but try out milk-free finger foods for babies to hold and practice chewing


Stage 4 tips (12+ months)

- Toddlers with cow’s milk allergy need good dairy-free sources of calcium to help develop strong teeth
  and bones


- 500ml of Nutramigen LGG 2 per day will provide all their calcium needs between 1 and 3 years old

 
  1. Koletzko 2012
  2. Du Toit 2010
  3. Vandenplas 2007
Introducing new foods

​Practical tips for parents