Common Signs of Cow Milk Allergy (1 of 4)

Posted 10.13.15 | Nutrition Specialist

When a healthcare team recommends an amino acid-based infant formula like Neocate Infant DHA/ARA, it's often based on a suspicion of cow milk allergy (CMA). The best way for a healthcare team to confirm that an infant has CMA is to 1) remove cow milk from the diet, and 2) re-introduce cow milk in a healthcare setting under a doctor's supervision. If suspected symptoms of CMA improve when cow milk is removed from the diet then reappear when cow milk is reintroduced, CMA is likely to be officially diagnosed.

But many new parents dealing with unexpected symptoms in their little one wonder: What are some of the most common signs and symptoms of CMA among infants? This video outlines 8 of the most common signs and symptoms that a heatlhcare team is likely to keep an eye out for, or that may lead them to suspect CMA. It comes from a Board-certified pediatric allergist. However, it's certainly not a comprehensive list - some signs and symptoms are less common.

Also, not every infant with one or more of these symptoms will be diagnosed with CMA. Finally, every infant who develops an allergy to cow milk will have a slightly different experience with different signs and symptoms - no two babies with CMA are the same! Here's a bit more information on two of those symptoms.


Diarrhea can be very concerning to someone caring for an infant. It's not unusual for every infant to have a loose stool every now and then, but multiple loose or liquid stools a day may be a sign of something unusual. For infants who experience diarrhea as a result of CMA may also have blood in the stool. It's important to remember that diarrhea has many causes, so the best thing to do is to check with the healthcare team if you are concerned that your little one is experiencing diarrhea. Read more about diarrhea and it's association with a cow milk allergy.


It's normal for every infant to spit up at some point, but some infants spit up more than others. Many infants who spit up but don't seem bothered by it are termed "happy spitters." For some infants though, spitting up may represent something more concerning such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or vomitting. In these cases, the reflux of vomitting may be related to cow milk allergy. In those cases, taking cow milk out of the diet should help resolve the reflux or vomitting. Read more information on reflux and vomitting in infancy.

As always, consult your heatlhcare team if you are concerned that your little one is showing signs or symptoms of a cow milk allergy.


Part 2 of 4 - Skin rashes, Extreme fussiness
Part 3 of 4 - Slow weight gan, Gas (Flatulence)
Part 4 of 4 - Respiratory symptoms, Failure to thrive

Read Comments (2)

  • 2015-10-13 | Lynnda Olivier

    Our daughter was just 3 weeks old when diagnosed with CMPA & thank goodness for Neocate. She’s 14 months old & still has the Neocate Infant in a bottle 2-3 times a day. She is allergic & has several food intolerances. Neocate saved her!!!

  • 2015-10-14 | Nutrition Specialist

    Thanks for sharing your story, Lynnda! We’re so glad to hear that your daughter got a diagnosis so quickly, and that Neocate has been such a big help.

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Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.