Egg Allergies in Babies: The Complicated History and How Free to Feed Can Help

You’re doing everything you can to help your baby with food allergies. You’ve cut the top two infant food allergies: dairy and soy. Cutting those two out of your diet is tough work, but producing safe breastmilk is worth it. Sadly, some babies continue to show symptoms and signs of discomfort.

What’s next? For a lot of parents, it’s egg.

For others, it’s grains or wheat – but that's for another day…

After cutting dairy and soy, the last thing you want to do is cut egg. Eggs are packed with protein and help you stay full. We know staying full isn’t an easy task when you're breastfeeding either!

And what about breakfast?

Free to Feed is here to provide your family with the information you need to successfully continue breastfeeding your baby with food allergies. Today, we’ll be looking at all the things related to egg allergies in babies.

The History and Science of Egg Allergies in Babies Is Confusing

As with everything baby food allergy-related: egg allergies are complicated. It’s been studied and studied with different results over the years, leading to more confusion and frustration for parents. All the questions — how and when to reintroduce what type of egg to your sweet baby — still plague parents because of its confusing history.

We’re going to take a look at a few research studies as well as the most recent scientific evidence on egg allergies in infants to help us understand more.

One study introduced pasteurized eggs to infants around 4 months old — with established eczema — who had never eaten an egg. They stopped the study early for ethical reasons due to a high frequency of allergic reactions and one case of anaphylaxis. [1] Can anyone say scary?

Maybe don’t feed your baby eggs at 4 months old if they already have eczema and you don’t know why — yikes! Fortunately, we have a few encouraging studies to share.

The Beating Egg Allergy Trial (BEAT) evaluated high-risk infants (meaning a first-degree relative tested positive for an egg allergy). This study gave babies pasteurized eggs from age 4-12 months. Babies who received eggs had significantly lower chances of developing IgE food allergies to eggs. [1]

(If we just confused you, make sure to look at our blog, What You Need to Know About Infant Food Allergies for more information on IgE vs. Non-IgE food allergies.)

In the Prevention of Egg Allergy with Tiny Amount Intake (PETIT) trials, they took high-risk 6-9 month-old babies and fed one group heated egg powder and another squash. At 1 year of age, immune reactions were significantly less common in babies who had eggs (8%) compared to babies who did not get eggs (31%). [1]

A 2017 study found that babies eating small amounts of egg daily, starting at 6 months of age, prevented egg allergy in high-risk infants. [2] This is promising, people! It shows the value of not withholding eggs from your baby — if they don’t react to them.

We know you’ll eliminate every food possible to be able to keep your baby healthy and continue breastfeeding. And now you have some good news: scientific studies prove that proper introduction can prevent egg allergies in babies.

The current Center For Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for introducing foods (including allergens) begin at 6 months of age.[3] But remember, food allergy parents need to wait 6 months since the last reaction to that particular food. Keywords: proper reintroduction.

Now let’s talk about some of the symptoms of egg allergies so you can know what to look for.

The Main Symptoms of Egg Allergies in Babies

What symptoms do egg allergies cause that maybe others don't? Oh, that was wishful thinking again... Unfortunately, symptoms overlap, and eggs don’t necessarily have their own unique list. We know – everything with baby food allergies isn’t easy. And, you’re the most resilient parents we know!

So let’s cover the main symptoms of food allergies in babies: [4]

  • Reflux

  • Vomiting

  • Rash

  • Eczema

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Mucousy stool or bloody stool

  • Colic

  • Failure to thrive

Did you notice the rash symptom is bolded? It’s important to mention that a 2020 study shows that egg allergies often presented in infancy are accompanied by hives, swelling, and gastrointestinal issues. [5] This is valuable information because if cutting dairy and soy didn’t clear up your baby's skin, egg could be the cause.

Let’s talk about that beautiful baby skin you’re trying to improve. Rashes or hives can present in many different forms:

  • Red blotchy patches