Smart Feeding Strategies
In late 2007, Dr. Greer and the AAP's committee on nutrition revised the AAP's nutritional guidelines for babies with eczema or a family history of allergies.
- Try to exclusively breastfeed your baby for at least four months, and don't restrict your own diet.
- Choose formulas carefully if you must supplement. Dr. Greer suggests that parents not use formulas made from more common allergy triggers like cow's milk or soy. Instead, use hydrolyzed protein formulas. They contain predigested proteins, making them easier to digest. They're less likely to cause allergic reactions, says Dr. Greer.
- Using "hypoallergenic" formulas that are made with hydrolyzed proteins may delay an allergy's onset, but the formula won't prevent it from occurring.
- If your baby has eczema, delay solid foods until she is about 4 to 6 months old. She will get the nutrients she needs from breast milk, with the possible exception of iron, which she can take as a supplement. Your doctor may also suggest restricting her diet, such as waiting to introduce eggs until she is 2 years old.