Good Morning! Since Baby Bee just turned three, I thought I would do a little update on his health and food allergies. A lot of you may not know that he was born with something called laryngomalacia, which is basically a floppy larynx, and a pretty common birth defect of the airway. It was very scary when he was an infant, because his breathing was incredibly noisy, and his chest would retract (suck in when he took a breath). I shared the whole story here and here.
I occasionally receive emails from mothers of babies who have been diagnosed with laryngomalacia. Somehow they have stumbled on my blog (most likely through late-night Google searching – been there, done that) and read about Baby Bee and feel comfortable enough to reach out and ask questions. I am so glad that other moms have found the posts that I’ve written about laryngomalacia. I welcome these questions from other mothers…I really wish I had known a mom of another LM baby when Baby Bee was diagnosed. Talking with someone who has been through it before is so helpful.
When Baby Bee was born, I had NO idea what the future would be like for my squeaky, honking, noisy baby. I could not imagine a future where he would breathe silently.
By the time he was two years old, he was breathing silently for the most part! But when he would get a cold, the congestion would make the stridor come back, especially at night. This month, he got a cold, and I am happy to report that the stridor did not return, even though he was extremely congested. I know that most articles say that most symptoms of laryngomalacia disappear by two years, and for the most part that was true for us. But there was still a little bit of noisiness left when he got sick. (Laryngomalacia never “goes away.” But the larynx firms up a bit, and the airway widens as the child grows, so the floppy larynx does not obstruct the breathing anymore in most cases).
I guess what I want to say is this: there is a light at the end of the tunnel! If you are holding a noisy newborn right now, please know that as they grow bigger and stronger, everyday should get a little better, a little less noisy, and a little less scary! Hang in there.
Now as far as food allergies go, a few months ago we were thrown a curve ball when we discovered that Baby Bee is allergic to cashews. This was a real shocker to me, and to be honest, I am still adjusting. I never imagined that any of my children would have a nut allergy. Both boys are sensitive to wheat and dairy, and Baby Bee is somewhat allergic to eggs, but I was pretty confident that most of those sensitivities would be outgrown someday.
But this cashew allergy is a brand new ball game. I have to be super vigilant about label reading. We can’t have any tree nuts at all in our house. Our allergist told us that we can’t take Baby Bee into restaurants where they do a lot of cooking with cashews – no Indian restaurants or Chinese restaurants anymore.
We have to watch what kind of food is being served at group functions and playdates. And a new thing I just found out about – ice cream shops are really not safe for people with nut allergies, because there is SO much risk of cross contamination. Which is a bit of a bummer in the summer months.
Cashew milk and cashew milk ice cream and other cashew products are cropping up everywhere lately, and people who have dairy allergies are celebrating, but these new products make me nervous, frankly.
I’ll be honest – it’s all a little overwhelming! But we just take one thing at a time. We talk to our relatives and friends and make sure they know what they have to do when we come over. (No nuts served, no nuts around where Baby Bee can reach, etc). We are super careful about wiping down surfaces when we are out to eat, so that there is no accidental cross contamination. Tip: Always check the restaurant high chairs, and wipe them yourself. There’s often food that is still stuck to the side of the chair or to the safety belt.
The next step will be to get him tested for other tree nut allergies this summer. Even though all nuts are off the table for him, it will be good to know if he is allergic to any other specific nuts.
I know that we will get used to dealing with a tree nut allergy, and it will become part of the routine. Just like laryngomalacia, it will just be a part of parenting, and of our life. We watched Finding Nemo the other day for the millionth time, and I keep thinking about Dory: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”
So that’s what we’ll do. :) To my fellow allergy moms, how are you doing these days? Anything new on the food allergy front with your families?