Feeding Babies: How to Spot an Allergic Reaction

What are the signs of an allergic reaction to look for?

There are several signs to watch out for that may indicate your baby has a potential allergy or intolerance to a food. Many of these signs and symptoms may also occur due to a variety of different environmental factors such as laundry soap, illness or even teething.


The odd appearance of a rash might simply be due to the acidity of foods like kiwi, oranges, or even tomatoes; sensitivity to the acidity of fruits is common in babies younger than 10-12 months of age.


 Gassiness is another symptom that is often due to temporary food intolerance and not to an actual food allergy. Your baby may become gassy because his immature digestive system may simply be reacting to and trying to process a newly introduced food.

Digestive Upsets:

Digestive upsets tend to be nothing more than temporary tummy troubles rather than an actual food allergy or food intolerance; think of the way broccoli makes many adults gassy or the heaviness of white mashed potatoes.

Closure or tightening of the throat:

Of all of the signs, the closure or tightening of the throat is the most difficult to determine in babies. If your baby’s face begins to swell then it is possible that his throat is beginning to tighten and close also; please be sure to seek immediate attention if swelling occurs. Watch for these symptoms, note the food that you have fed your little one and continue to keep a close watch on your baby to see if the symptoms progress or subside. Breathing or other respiratory difficulties as well as swelling should be reported immediately.

Here are signs that your baby may have an allergy or an intolerance to a food

Sudden loose or diarrhea stools *Seek immediate medical advice/treatment if symptoms persist

Vomiting *Seek immediate medical advice/treatment is symptom persists

Sudden rashes or red splotches on the skin and bottom

Runny Nose


Irritability and/or gassiness after a new food or meal

Breathing or other respiratory troubles after a new food/meal *Seek immediate medical advice/treatment

Swelling of the face, lips and/or tongue *Seek immediate medical advice/treatment

Closure or tightening of the throat *Seek immediate medical advice/treatment

Read about Changes to Baby’s Poop when foods are introduced