Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance in Babies That You Need to Know

Others may have warned you that your baby is lactose intolerant. It’s good that you have the urge to know deeper before you agree. Mothers who do not take any chances love to learn more. First, you need to know the symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies.

Let’s find out if what they say is true!

What is lactose intolerance? 

Lactose intolerance does not belong to the allergy category. It is the inability to digest lactose. Lactose is the natural sugar found in dairy products and even from breastmilk. This disorder means your baby does not have enough level of lactase (digestive enzyme) to break down lactose for easy digestion.

Lactose is supposed to give energy to the body if adequately digested. But if not, this would cause the discomfort of your baby. 


Types of lactose intolerance

  • 1Primary- when you consume a small amount of dairy, your body will also react and produce lesser lactase corresponding to your lactose intake. This behavior is typical conditions for adults.
  • 2Secondary- when the digestive system momentarily does not function well because of infection, a particular disease or prolonged use of medication. The intolerance is temporary unless the gut does not heal.
  • 3Congenital- when the baby is born with a low level of lactase or sometimes even has none at all. Cases like these are rare because this condition is genetic. Lactose intolerance is also common to premature babies since they’re not yet capable of producing lactase.

What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies?

Signs will manifest in one to three hours after consuming food with lactose. Remember that each baby is different from the other so that symptoms may vary. Said indications might also be similar to other medical conditions. However, you may observe the following:​

  • Bloated Tummy, gastric pain, and flatulence- caused by the trapped air inside the tummy
  • Diarrhea- wet and frequent pass of poo that usually comes with tummy ache
  • Fussy mood- makes it difficult for baby to settle down
  • Frequent Crying- due to the pain and discomfort. Crying also causes gastric pain and abdominal bloating.
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe diaper rash that is raw and red caused by acidic stool
  • Heavy burping
  • Difficulty in gaining weight



If you notice that the distinctive symptoms of lactose intolerance are what your baby has right now, I recommend that you visit your doctor for proper diagnosis. It would be helpful to tell him what you have observed along with medical history. 

  • I know that you are feeding your baby with the best formula you can find. Nevertheless, the usual advice to prevent the symptoms from occurring is to shift to lactose-free milk. Eliminating intake of food that’s high in lactose is possible too.Nothing to worry, your doctor will recommend a particular diet made just for your baby. The diet program is to ensure that the right amount of nutrients is available nourishing his or her growth. 
  • Seven percent of breastmilk is made up of lactose. For breastfeeding moms, lactase drops are essential for your baby. You can mix the enzyme drops with your expressed breastmilk. Give a spoon of this mixture to your baby before feeding.

Here are some tips that you may find helpful:

  • Do as what the doctor instructed about diet. You may avoid cheese, yogurts, creams, and food that contains fat. Or you can look for alternatives that would be as yummy. As your child matures, he or she can already tolerate a little bit of lactose.
  • Monitoring the behavior and health of your little one will give you a heads-up for a probable condition that needs medical attention.
  • Make it a habit of reading the ingredients list of any food that you suspect that contains lactose. Cakes, cereal, biscuits, bread and even processed meats are one of them.
  • Inform other family members and friends about your baby’s lactose intolerance so they can help you avoid food that’s not good for him.
  • Always seek medical help.

Final thoughts

Your child may have different needs when it comes to food and being cautious in selecting the right kind maybe a little exhausting for a busy parent. With a bit of effort and discipline, this will come out easy as you have expected.

The good news is, the symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies are not to stay forever. As your child grows older and stronger, he would be able to stand some of it. You see, some challenges leave us to become more confident and stronger as moms.

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Sarah Palmer
Hi! I'm Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at I'd love to share my discoveries with you too!
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  1. […] Similac is a popular, trusted brand of baby formulas worldwide. This brand has a selection of formulas each intended for infants with diverse conditions like feeding difficulty because of protein or lactose intolerance. […]

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