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I’ve been cheating on my dairy free diet. (And my baby has a lip tie.)

Anders had a bit of gas and reflux issue shortly after he was born. I knew there was a problem because he started out a pretty happy baby and then there were days where we’d both be crying and covered in curdled milk. I tried probiotics and getting rid of thrush first. I tried colic-curing things like baby heating pads and visits to the chiropractor. Sometimes he’d be alright, but mostly he was unhappy. After a few weeks I decided to go dairy free. It helped tremendously. A week into it I decided to eat some frozen cheese ravioli I bought and had in my freezer. I did it for the sole purpose of getting rid of it, though I admit it did curb my sudden urge for lasagna.

Then I bought all new replacements for dairy. I use rice milk as my main milk for cereal and cooking. I use coconut milk for baked goods. I use butter flavored shortening for most of my baked goods and I have a vegan spread for cooking and eating on toast. Silk makes creamers and So Delicious has great dairy free chocolate ice cream. The sour cream is amazing! The cream cheese doesn’t melt like dairy cream cheese, but it tastes alright. I’ve been reading labels and I’ve found some great snacks. And I’ve been eating healthier because I can’t smother everything in cheese.

Dairy free cheese sucks. I have tried two brands and they’re both ridiculous. How you can even pass it off as cheese is beyond me. My first try was for tacos. Gross. Then I tried making calzones. I wanted to gag. Seriously. My friend Katrina, who also had to go dairy free for her little one, suggested I wait a while and then try it so I don’t remember what cheese tastes like. I still haven’t tried it. I’m too scared!


Photo credit: An Open Sketchbook

When people ask how the dairy-free life is going I say it’s going well. And it is… most of the time. See, I love pizza. I thought if I could just make pizza at home with my special cheese life would be fabulous. But I was wrong. I can’t do it. So a month into my dairy-free life I ordered pizza. And it was delicious.

Of course the next few days I had to pay for it in baby snuggles tummy-to-tummy and diaper changes. But to me it was worth it. I feel horrible, but I was present for Anders and I helped him through his tough times.

And then last Thursday I did it again.

I feel bad. Am I horrible mother? Can I plea with you first? Here’s my justification: while reading about another moms breastfeeding issues on Facebook I came across an article that make me believe Anders has a lip tie. That matters because a lip tie can cause gas and reflux issues. So in my head I am thinking, “The dairy helps a lot, but there’s more to fix.” I guess my reasoning is that once his lip tie is resolved he’ll be fine and then my monthly pizza will cause nearly no suffering.

I took a picture but I’m not sure if you want to see the inside of my baby’s mouth. The lip tie goes all the way down his gums and wraps around the roof of his mouth. I’m going to take him in on Monday to see what further action to take. Lip ties can cause all kinds of issues like difficulty latching (and falling of the breast easily), gumming the nipple while nursing, gas, thrush, excessive drooling, creased or flat nipples after nursing, cracked/blistered nipples, plugged ducts, and reflux. Those are just the things I found from Mommypotamus’s list that we’ve already experienced. I’d like to figure it out before Anders has weight issues or sleep issues and definitely before I have supply issues.

My life is never dull. Another day, another hurdle.

[Edit.] You can read about our successful lip tie revision after 12 months of breastfeeding struggles over at Breastfeeding Place.



  1. My 5 month old has MSPI so ive had to take not only dairy but soy out as well .. and i too miss pizza however ive learned to eat my pizza with just sauce and veggies and it kinda calms the craving ! My son also has a lip tie however its not effected his growth therefore his is still there, the dr may cut it as his teeth come in as my 6 yr old son has it as well and had to have all his teeth capped and has a huge gap between his front teeth .. ! I wouldnt mind at all to see a picture and i think many moms would love to see it as well as many dont know about lip and tongue ties and that they can have negative effects on breastfeeding !

    • I will probably post a photo after I meet with the pediatrician to discuss our options. I had heard all about tongue ties, but you’re right… lip ties are more rare and it might supply some great information.

    • I know exactly what you mean…my son was severely colic from day one. He was given a strong antibiotic in the hospital because they thought he may have something based on an elevated white blood cell count at birth, but it turned out to be nothing. Meanwhile, I had a miserable baby from 7pm to 4pm every night – inconsolable screams! After about a week, I figured out by reading that it could be dairy, maybe gluten and other things, so I got off them all – including sugar because I had cracked nipples due to thrush – he didn’t have it in his mouth (that we could see). Also, we gave him Colic Calm – helps calm the system and worked.

      Long story short, after 2 weeks of being “good”, he stopped crying every night and became the happy baby that we hoped he would be. Living without dairy was very hard at first. Pizza was really hard, until I realized that pizza on gluten free crust with all of the toppings (the works) was pretty good. On regular crust even better. I still haven’t had lasagna, but hope to one day.

      No, you are not a bad mother for cheating. I tried cheating here and there until I got to the things that didn’t affect him. The problem with cheating is that it’s not giving their systems a chance to heal. Didn’t cheat on the dairy until recently (9 months old). He seems to tolerate cheese here and there, but not milk!

      One more thing, I went to my acupuncturist who does muscle testing for allergies for babies. We call her my voodoo doctor because it is unbelievable how it works, but it does. Helped so much to understand what I really could and could not have.

      Hope that helps someone out there. BTW – it took 6 months for the yeast to go away on my nipples…ugh. So happy to be able to nurse without pain. No sugar.

      • When I have the pizza it’s not so bad. Diapers are a little explosive sometimes and he gets fussy. I’ve found that cutting out soy alongside the dairy is working great for us, then I can occasionally cheat so that there isn’t so much getting into his system. I feel bad every time and I know it’s a compeltely selfish act, but it gets to the point where I just have to have a pizza and in the moment I don’t care as much. Our family is adjusting though and I’m confident we’ll make it work for us.

        Thanks for stopping by mama!

  2. Hey, we all do the best we can. If it means cheating on your dairy free diet every once in a while to spare your sanity, so be it! For me, it meant giving up breastfeeding completely. YOu can read about my struggle here:
    It was a tough decision to make, but I did.

    • Oh my goodness, you poor thing. I am a firm believer in the freedom of parenting choice, but I do feel it’s a personal requirement for my friends to at least try to breastfeed. If it doesn’t work out there’s no judgement. It isn’t easy, that’s for sure. At least your little man is happy and healthy. You made the right decision.

  3. I hope that you are able to find the help/information you need for your feeding issues. Our family has been trying more vegan recipes lately – it’s definitely tricky avoiding dairy!

    • I avoided soy before I had to go dairy free. I don’t know how people eliminate both. I know it seems nearly impossible when I’m reading labels!

  4. You are a great mom, doing all you can to help your baby. Great Job! I hope you resolve your baby’s issues and can return to eating pizza. Also, I agree with you on the non dairy cheese…yuck! We use non dairy everything else in our house, but not the cheese!

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I could totally be dairy free for life as long as I could still eat cheese. If his dairy intolerance is ever resolved I just might do the same!

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