I had originally planned on posting every week, WITHOUT FAIL. That’s the way to launch a successful blog, I’m told.
And I failed, because I’m human, and nursing what was a screaming monster-child through two separate bouts of all-nighters. There were many tears, and I can’t say I always kept my cool.
But guys. Guys. We figured it out. Our monster has turned into an angel and it’s all because of one thing.
An ingredient so dastardly, we hardly give it a second thought. It hides in everything, from processed foods to condiments to beer. That’s right. Beer.
It’s freaking CORN SYRUP.
It didn’t dawn on me until I had a conversation with my mother over the phone. It’s apparently part of our heritage that, along with high fertility and easy births, we get the most hypo-allergenic babies there ever were. We were all allergic to milk as babies (my six siblings and I). My eldest sister was so allergic to eggs that the doctor wouldn’t vaccinate her (vaccines are grown in egg proteins). One of my brother’s weird allergies was strawberries. We’ve all since grown out of these allergies (usually at 6mo to a year). My older sister, though, was allergic to corn syrup.
And since my mother just wasn’t in a place to breastfeed her, that made finding a formula hard. Impossible. They all contained corn syrup (and condensed milk, ew). So she was eventually put on a beef formula. Yeah. You read that right. Beef.
It’s amazing. Once I had this conversation with my mother, I realized I was using fake creamer in my (decaf, now) coffee. Baby Z went crazy anytime after I had coffee, so I drank very little. But it wasn’t the coffee, it was the corn syrup in the fake creamer (even the Sprouts brand – which was worse than the Kroger brand. The first ingredient was corn syrup as opposed to the third or fourth). Ditto on the Lucky Charms and coconut milk – she can tolerate moderate coconut, but not the corn syrup that is all over the Lucky Charms. (I know, my diet needs work.)
I finally decided it MUST be the corn syrup when, after work one day I stopped to get some (non-dairy) frozen yogurt from a YogurtZone. After I had gorged myself on delicious mango and watermelon (dairy-free) yogurt, I stopped and looked at my treat. And then I bothered to look up the common ingredients in yogurt.
Cheap, delicious frozen yogurt that’s the healthful, refreshing alternative to ice cream has in it, as its first ingredient, – wait for it – corn syrup*.
*I am fully aware of the controversy that surrounds FoodBabe. However, all you have to do is look at the pictures of the ingredients listed on the bags of yogurt mix to get my point.
That night, after my seemingly innocent indulgence, my sweet Baby Z was inconsolable. Barely slept all day and would not sleep all night. She was literally up until five or six in the morning, sleeping five minutes every few hours when we put her down in her bassinet or fell asleep on daddy’s chest. Otherwise, if she wasn’t screaming, she was grunting and groaning with obvious gastrointestinal distress.
So I cut out corn syrup, completely. I stopped eating all the “treats” I had been allowing myself. I let my husband finish the Lucky Charms. I put my fake creamers in the teacher’s lounge at school.
She took a day or two to “detox” out of my system and hers. And then she was an angel.
I’ve never had such a “normal” baby. Since she was born, she had two modes – hungry and mad (and I guess also sleeping, so three. Three modes). Now, she has calm periods. She’s begun to smile. She chills and takes in the world around her. She sleeps easily, and nurses at night without waking up also to scream. She’s a completely different baby.
Staying away from corn syrup is so difficult, though. It lurks in amazingly unsuspecting places – like in beer (just look at the ingredients), and bread (unless you get fancy-pants $4 organic half-loaves). And it’s in all the places we suspect, but fail to realize – like Lucky Charms and PopTarts.
It’s so hard, guys. But her content – it’s so worth it.
I’m so glad we figured it out. I have a feeling my son suffered the same allergy – he was so fussy, even when we eliminated all the obvious allergens. I’m sure this is something my babies and I will simply have to go through. This may be my motivation to have a corn syrup-free home all together!