Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar, found in breast, cows’ sheep and goats’ milk as well as products made with these milks.

Lactose intolerance occurs when the body is unable to break down the lactose present in the food due to the lack of the digestive enzyme lactase. If your baby is diagnosed with lactose intolerance, the treatment may involve avoiding lactose both in milk and foods. Weaning a baby with lactose intolerance may seem a little daunting at the beginning but try not to worry, once sources of lactose are avoided your baby symptoms will subside. If you are concerned that your baby is lactose intolerant, speak to your healthcare professional.

How to get started:

Portrait of young woman feeding her baby son

It is recommended that you start weaning your baby around 6 months and no earlier than 17 weeks. Baby rice is an ideal first taste as most are lactose free. It can be made up with your baby’s usual milk.

Start by offering one meal of around 1-2 tsp. of a very runny consistency for the first few days, allowing your baby to get used to the spoon. Gradually increase this to about 6 tsp. over next few days and then introduce a second meal. It is best to take the introduction of different textures as slow as necessary so that your baby can get used to a thicker consistency. If your baby struggles with a new texture, simply move back one stage. Wait for a couple more days and then try the thicker texture again. Our handy weaning guide will help you gradually introduce new textures to your baby.

What other foods are suitable?

The important thing to remember is that there is still a large range of foods that your baby can enjoy. Fruit and vegetables do not contain any lactose and can be used freely in the weaning diet. Meat, fish and eggs are all suitable as your baby moves through the stages of weaning. Preparing your baby’s meals at home will ensure that there are no lactose-containing ingredients present. However, if you are using baby cereals, jars or pouches, lactose/sources of lactose will be clearly marked on the label.

Make sure to check for other lactose sources such as rennet, whey protein, ghee, yoghurt, cream and more.

Lactose can be present in a product under different names. Make sure to check for other lactose sources such as rennet, whey protein, ghee, yoghurt, cream and more.

Most babies will outgrow lactose intolerance at some stage or will be able to tolerate some lactose in their diet. So it is important that your baby is monitored by a health care professional regularly.

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact our Careline 1800 22 1234