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Signs Your Baby is Allergic to Milk Protein

Updated on July 6, 2011

It is rare that babies are allergic to milk proteins found in formula, but it does happen. Also, half of all babies who have a milk protein allergy also have a soy protein allergy. Below are some symptoms to keep an eye out for in the event that you suspect your baby may have an allergy to milk protein. If your baby has any of the listed symptoms or you think he or she has an allergy, immediately contact your pediatrician. They will determine whether or not your child should undergo allergy testing or have their formula switched.

Sneezing, Runny/Stuffy Nose, Coughing

It is common for newborn babies to have a stuffy nose for a few months after they are born. However, if you notice that these symptoms seem to be chronic and occur frequently after feedings, there is a chance that your baby might be allergic to the protein in their formula. These are simply the same reactions that our bodies have when we are allergic to something. If you notice these symptoms, monitor them closely and see if they coincide with feedings then make a decision if you think you need to see your doctor about allergy testing.

Painful Flatulence

Painful flatulence is another symptom that is sadly just part of being a newborn. Some babies have more sensitive tummies than others. However, the painful gas can also be a sign of a protein allergy. Some babies with a milk or soy protein allergy will stay up crying in pain all night or simply be cranky all day and night. If your baby seems to be more fussy than what you think is normal, contact your doctor for further evaluation.


Many babies with a milk protein allergy vomit up their bottles or have diarrhea. It is the body's way of getting rid of something that is harming it. This can be a huge concern, because if a baby is constantly vomiting or having diarrhea, they can easily become dehydrated and not get enough nutrients to grow properly. Remember, vomiting is different than spitting up. Most babies spit up to some degree. Vomiting visibly upsets the baby, whereas spitting up does not seem to phase a baby. Also, mushy stools are normal for babies. However, if they are watery, they should be considered diarrhea.


Some babies's bodies react to a protein allergy by becoming constipated. It is not normal for infants to have hard, infrequent stools. If your baby does not poop for more than four days and frequently has hard stools, he or she very well may have a milk protein allergy. If constipation persists, explore the possibility of allergy testing with your pediatrician.

Blood in Stool

Some babies who are constipated might get blood in their stool on occasion from anal fissures, which occur when passing hard stools. However, if your baby frequently has blood in their hard stools or diarrhea, contact your pediatrician immediately. This is a huge indication that your baby has a milk protein allergy.


Some babies get baby acne as well as eczema. These are both common in babies. However, a rash on their belly and chest could indicate an allergy to milk proteins in their formula. If you notice a rash, contact your pediatrician to have the rash evaluated. A rash can be a serious side effect, so do not wate time trying to evaluate whether it is an allergic rash or not. It is better to be safe than sorry.


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      This is helpful info. Thanks.


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