What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Baby Food?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2018
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Some infants are allergic to certain types of baby foods, and they may display their discomfort through a few different symptoms. For example, some babies break out in hives, develop a runny nose or have trouble breathing. Gastrointestinal upset is another sign of a possible allergic reaction to baby food, because infants may spit up or have diarrhea. As a result, babies who experience allergic reactions tend to become fussier than usual, which is another way of letting others know about their discomfort.

A rash is a common sign of an allergic reaction to baby food, just as it is a symptom of food allergies in most children and adults. Some babies get a rash around the mouth or on the hands where the food touched their skin, though the irritation also may appear inside their mouth. On the other hand, hives may appear anywhere on the baby's body, while a rash may appear on the rectum; these issues tend not to disappear with the usual remedies when they are caused by food allergies. Some babies also get a runny nose, watery eyes and a cough after eating a particular type of baby food, while others develop the much more serious problem of having difficulty breathing, because their lips, tongue or throat might swell up. A baby who has difficulty breathing or swelling in his lips, tongue or throat should receive immediate medical attention.


Another serious symptom of an allergic reaction to baby food is the presence of gastrointestinal problems. For example, some babies begin spitting up more often than usual, typically right after eating the offending type of baby food. They also may have diarrhea and excessive gas. On the other hand, some infants have unusually hard stools that may smell worse than usual. When these symptoms occur shortly after feeding the infant a new type of baby food, parents are usually encouraged to stop giving the baby that particular food and call the pediatrician to find out if the infant needs to be seen by the doctor.

Not surprisingly, some of these signs of an allergic reaction to baby food may cause discomfort in the baby, which may result in crankiness. Fussing tends to be the typical baby's only way of letting others know that he is not feeling well, so parents are advised to think about whether their child seems more upset than usual after eating, even if they cannot see any physical problems. Infants having an allergic reaction to baby food may find it difficult to sleep or relax when experiencing stomach pain, trouble breathing or a rash, so they usually need extra comfort and care, even if their doctor does not order any medical treatment aside from avoiding the problematic food.



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