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Dairy Overload


Dairy Overload is another branch of Digestive Overload caused by a newborn, or infant receiving dairy in their diet, either from the mother’s breastfeeding diet, or formula choice. It is a biological fact that in the first year of life we humans struggle to break down the casein and whey in dairy. Fat is another component of dairy that also has a significant effect on a newborns digestive system and their comfort levels.

Research shows us that high fat concentration in stomach contents for neonates can slow down gastric emptying.  Furthermore, when a baby is fed in quick succession in relation to how their digestive system functions (so before 3 ½ hourly or cluster feed) they automatically push their milk faster through the digestive tract, which often means fat is not given enough time to be digested fully in the stomach, and/or by the small intestines. This then results in fat deposits within their bowel motion that cause upset behaviours because fat is not meant to travel into the large bowel.

Upset behaviour indicating dairy overload can be evident from Day One and can happen at any time, continuing as long as there is an overload of dairy intake. However, if dairy was introduced after one year of age the child would react better to it, because their digestive systems produce more enzymes by that time.

Note: Some newborns experience true Dairy Intolerance, known as non-IgE medicated in the medical world, or a Dairy Allergy, often called Cow’s Milk protein Allergy (CMPA) or IgE medicated. You can read more about these two effects of dairy here, along with Dairy Overload. I also want to make clear here that Lactose Intolerance is also different to Dairy Overload, Dairy Intolerance and Dairy Allergy. You can read more about Lactose Intolerance here.


This form of Digestive Overload is quite simply remedied. All you have to do is stop eating dairy if you are a breastfeeding Mum, or change to Goats formula if your child is not Dairy Intolerant. By doing this you eliminate the symptoms below, although it is fair to say that some families see little improvement when excluding dairy because the baby is also experiencing one or more of the other forms of Digestive Overload.
  • Irritability, grizzling, inconsolable crying, screaming.
  • Bloating, cramps, and excessive gas.
  • Heightened communication around bowel motions.
  • Constipation, frequent watery, frothy and/or explosive bowel motions - often yellow in colour with an offensive odour, seed like deposits and/or of stringy texture,
  • Weight gains that are consistently at the upper regions or beyond recommendation.
  • Wakefulness from discomfort with episodes of longer periods of sleep, but the latter is often from exhaustion through crying and lack of sleep rather than because they feel comfortable.
  • Frequent searching for something to suck - exhibiting the ‘root reflex’. This means baby is seeking comfort, but it is often misread as hunger.
  • Arching backwards or sideways, writhing, wriggling.
  • Pedalling legs.
  • Gulping their food, seeming very hungry while being restless – sometimes refusing to feed, pulling off the nipple, or when bottle-fed, having flailing arms and legs with much turning of the head because of digestive discomfort.
  • Steatorrhea 

BabyCues philosophy – a real solution

By learning how to nurture your baby and infant within their natural digestive capacities and capabilities while understanding and responding knowingly to their full array of cues, you can provide the care needed to prevent and remedy Dairy Overload.

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BabyCues self-help book

A parenting book that delivers original, proven findings and practical know-how to help parents achieve natural digestive balance for their newborn throughout their first six months of life. This book is perfect if you want to learn how to nurture alongside your child’s natural digestive biology, while confidently understanding and being able to respond to their full array of cues. It will also help you to reduce, if not eliminate the abnormal behaviours of colic, reflux, lactose overload, dairy overload and inconsolable crying as it relays the natural causes of these behaviours, and steps you through the solutions.

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