Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Trying fomula milk for the first time.

Erbie has been as calm as anything over the past 2 days, his teething pains seem to have subsided, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to try him on formula from a bottle. He has had expressed breast milk from a bottle a couple of times, but never very much. I only managed to get 3oz / 90ml the last time!

I bought a carton of ready made Aptamil first milk and decanted it. At around 2 o clock, Erbie was showing signs of being hungry, so I offered him the bottle of formula. He guzzled, visibly enjoying it. He was holding onto the bottle, and I just helped guide the teat into his mouth when it came out. He stopped for a few breathers and some of the formula got on his face. Guardian reader looked over and said: ‘Why has his face gone red?’ I stopped feeding him and saw that he had gone red around his mouth, and it looked as if some spots of formula were spattered on his skin, I went to wipe them off, but then realised it was a rash and it was coming up fast, his face got redder and the white spots were literally pinging up before my eyes.

We check him in the light of the kitchen window, all the while, he is as happy as Larry. We decide it must be from him chewing the biscuit tin lid. I take him into the bedroom to change his nappy, but when I lay him down on the bed, I see that under his chin and around his neck has gone red and looks swollen. Oh my God, I panic and say ‘Let’s take him to the doctor’, Guardian reader throws the empty carton against the wall and mentions babies dying in China. We bundle him into his snow suit, forget the shoes and go out the door. By the time we get to Soho Square, the fresh air has calmed us down and the rash has all but disappeared. We walk a circuit around the Square and go back home.

I spend the early evening looking up rashes on the internet and read up on anaphylactic shock, which apart from blocking your airway, apparently makes you pale and drowsy, Erbie has been asleep for an hour a half, I check on him, he looks pale, I hold his little hand and a wave of abject fear sweeps over me, but he grips me back and gurgles in his sleep. I have no idea what caused the rash, it could have been the metal the tin lid, was the teat latex or silicone, could it have been the formula? I’m worried to try again.

He soon wakes and after some play we go through the bedtime routine and he is sound asleep by 6.30pm. I have half a glass of red wine.

The next day I call the Aptamil helpline number that I find on their website. A very nice lady calls back and I tell her what happened. She tells me it is almost certainly lactose intolerance, and that this can happen when the milk gets on the skin. It was not a severe reaction as he wasn’t sick and his nappies are normal, but I should not try it again for at least a month. So, it looks like I’m going to be breastfeeding a bit longer after all. She suggested soya based formula, but said he may not like the taste. I should be careful when introducing yogurt and cheese, and do so in very small amounts. I could try by doing a skin test, with milk from the fridge on the inside of his wrist. She said: ‘Lots of babies have a lactose intolerance but hardly any school children do’, so not to worry too much.

My colitis flares up.

I eat a whole bar of chocolate.

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