baby girl holding pink spoon in a high chair eating

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How NOT To Introduce Peanut Butter To Your Baby

Okay folks, here’s the thing…I messed up big time.  I’m here to tell you how NOT to introduce peanut butter to your baby in hopes that you won’t make the same mistakes I did.

I’ll start by saying my little girl is doing okay.  We had a bit of a scare yesterday after feeding L her first helping of peanut butter.

Let me back up a bit and give you some background info.  No one in our immediate family  has a food allergy. My son eats everything and anything, and had no reaction to any of the foods that are considered allergenic.  I spoke to L’s pediatrician about when to introduce solids and allergenic foods.  When L was ready for solids, I fed her one food at a time (all veggies at first), and it was only the last two weeks that I started to introduce high allergens.  First yogurt, then eggs and now peanut butter.  I waited three or more days in between.  L had no reactions to yogurt or eggs, so I was confident she would be fine with peanut butter.

Fast forward to yesterday morning.  I mixed one teaspoon of peanut butter with two teaspoons of yogurt.  This was the exact same thing I did with G when he was 6 months’ old.  I started to feed it to L, and she loved it!  Before you know it, she finished it all. That’s when things started to go downhill.  I noticed immediately after she finished that she had red markings around her mouth.  She also started to rub her eyes, and her forehead started to develop little bumps.  Internally, I started to panic a little.  I turned to my good ol’ pal “Google” and did a quick search.

How To Introduce Allergenic Foods To Your Baby

My face dropped as soon as I read the recommendations.  What were my biggest mistakes?  I gave her the full serving without stopping and observing.  I was way too overconfident.  Every recommendation said to give your baby a “small amount on the tip of a spoon.”  Then “wait 10 minutes”.  If I had done that, her reactions wouldn’t have been as bad as they were.

I am still kicking myself and in near tears as I type this.  Before putting L to bed, she still had hives on her forehead, and her right eye was starting to swell up from her constantly rubbing it.  She also had hives on her back and belly.  Of course, with COVID-19 literally going viral around the world, it was impossible to get through to 8-1-1 (BC Health Hotline).  I also didn’t want to give L any Benadryl because there are potentially fatal risks of giving it to your baby before the age of 2.

Here are the recommendations from Food Allergy Canada:

  1.  Introduce complementary foods to your baby when they are developmentally ready.
  2. Offer allergenic foods for the first time at home.  There should be at least one adult present to observe your baby for at least 2 hours afterwards in case allergy symptoms develop.
  3. Offer peanuts by putting 2 tsp of smooth peanut butter to 2-3 tsp of hot water.  This mixture can be offered alone or added to an already tolerated food (ex. cereal, pureed fruit, etc.).
  4. Offer eggs or other allergenic solids by boiling or pureeing it and mixing it with an already tolerated food.
  5. Offer your baby a small amount of the allergenic food on the tip of the spoon.
  6. Wait 10 minutes.  If no symptoms develop, continue to give the remainder of the allergen-containing food.  If your baby is tolerating the allergenic food, keep it in their diet a few times per week to maintain their tolerance to it.

Click here for Food Allergy Canada’s full guide to “Early Introduction of Allergens:  FAQs for Families”.

I’ll update this post in a few days to let you know how L is doing, and how long the symptoms lasted.  I’m hoping she wakes up back to normal (fingers crossed).  Hopefully this helps you and saves you the heartache I’m going through right now.  Thankfully her symptoms are considered “mild” since it’s skin-related.

[Update – Sunday, Mar. 22, 2020]:  Baby girl woke up and the swelling in her eyes have gone down, but they are still a bit red.  She still has tiny bumps on her forehead, belly and back.  It looks a lot better than it did last night, but we will continue to monitor.]

I’d love to hear how you introduced peanut butter to your little peanut.  Comment below to share your story on introducing allergenic foods to your baby.

Until next time, stay healthy and safe, my friends.

baby playing with toys after eating peanut butter

Want to make your own baby food?  Check out my post on Homemade Baby Food Using the Beaba Babycook.

My Favourite Life is a publisher with Commission Junction and Well.ca, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to well.ca.

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