It’s important to introduce allergens to your baby within the first 12 months, but what if one parent has allergies themself? Let’s explore how allergens are introduced and what you can do to prevent allergic reactions from a parent with allergies.
Typically a small amount of allergens are introduced one at a time to build your baby’s tolerance. A well-cooked egg or smooth peanut butter is a great place to start, by adding ¼ teaspoon of the allergen to their usual meals and monitoring for any reactions. Then gradually increasing the amount of allergen added over time.
When introducing allergens, it's best that the parent without allergies preps and serves these meals. There may also be other members of your household or the occasional guest with food allergies. So there are a few things you can do to prevent triggering an allergic reaction in others.
- Give the food to your baby while they’re in a high chair. This prevents the allergen from being spread through other areas of your home.
- After feeding bub, wash your hands thoroughly and wash bubs hands and face.
- Have a special cloth for wiping up allergens like milk spills. E.g. A red or patterned cloth that others know not to touch.
- Wash all utensils, plates/bowls and surfaces that have been in contact with the allergen with warm, soapy water.
- If possible, serve the allergen while the household member with allergies isn’t home.
- Discuss a plan for introducing allergens safely around others with allergies with a specialised dietitian or a patient support organisation.