Precious Penelope’s Journey with Infant Food Allergies

We got lucky with Penelope who was born in the Spring of 2020, a month into the pandemic. She started sleeping through the night at 11 weeks old. I know, I know, I’m not supposed to tell people that because most mothers at that point are sleep deprived and lucky to shower. She was a very happy and healthy baby for the first three months of her life. Her biggest issue was being gassy and she didn’t like tummy time.

Then she hit 4 months old and everything changed.

I’ll never forget the red spots in her poopy diaper. I remember looking at my husband and saying, “maybe it was the red M&M’s or pizza sauce?”

I didn’t have a clue what we were about to embark on.

After the first “red” spots in her diaper, it didn’t happen again for weeks. Of course, as a first-time mom and during a world pandemic, I searched on Google out of curiosity.

I read about anal fissures or cracked nipples causing the blood in diapers. I realized the possibility it wasn’t the red food I was eating. Then after more searching, I finally found a little, and only a little information on infant food allergies and intolerances.

Penelope didn’t seem to check enough boxes for symptoms of infant food allergies or intolerances.

Symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Failure to Thrive

  • Colic

  • Abdominal discomfort

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Rash or hives

  • Bloody or mucousy stools

But she did check one box – mucousy stools. She averaged 4 poopy diapers a day. Sometimes she was gassy too, but I was told all this was normal. She was gaining weight well and we had nothing to worry about.

When You Can’t Figure Out What’s Wrong With Your Baby – It’s Scary

Penelope started to have blood in her diapers about two weeks after the first red spots that I now know were blood. Our pediatrician recommended an evaluation for anal fissures. We took her in and she did have fissures.

Her pediatrician also recommended I remove dairy from my diet since I was breastfeeding. She mentioned dairy is the most common infant food intolerance or allergy in infants.

I was surprised