How do you know if your baby has GAPS?

by brenda on February 21, 2012

This was Farm Boy 1 not long after he came home from the hospital (he was 3 months old here and about 5 lbs). He was a GAPS baby. How do I know? Because GAPS babies live their lives something like this:

While they are getting Mommy’s breast milk, they might be mostly ok. Or, they might have:

  • acid reflux
  • colic
  • vomiting
  • other digestive symptoms

Farm Boy 1 had acid reflux and would vomit whenever I gave him liquid vitamins (recommended by the hospital) or his acid reflux medications. Still, he started getting a little chunky on breast milk (supplemented with formula, for calories).

One month later, look at my chunky monkey! We kept feeding him breast milk with formula until he was 7 months old and I became pregnant with Farm Boy 2. Farm Boy 1 stopped liking my milk–and I thought that pumping (he was never strong enough to nurse) was causing me to miscarry. It turns out, I miscarried Farm Boy 2’s twin early on, but not Farm Boy 2 (praise God that Farm Boy 2 made it!). Still, I quit cold turkey and put my precious baby on 100% formula. Then, he started having issues with vomiting after feedings. We did what so many well meaning parents do:

We started feeding him BABY FOOD. But not just any baby food–his doctor wanted him to gain as many calories as he could, so we gave him the Mixed kind. Oh yes, we were introducing him to multiple grains at once, including the most chelating of them all: oats! These grains weren’t prepared properly, of course, so they were doing more damage to our son than good.

Look at the ingredients in Gerber’s Mixed Cereal for Baby:

Wheat Flour, Rice Flour, Oat Flour, Tri-and Dicalcium Phosphate, Soy Oil-lecithin, Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Electrolytic Iron, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide (A B Vitamin), Riboflavin (B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Thiamin (Vitamin B-1), Folic Acid (A B Vitamin), and Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin).

You get the idea:

Why don’t we take all of the most common allergens, dry them, kill them, add synthetic vitamins to them, mix them up and put them in a box and call it baby food??

How much more brilliant can scientists get? Replacing God’s perfect food for baby (breast milk) with a science concoction and calling it good!

Unfortunately, we bought the lie and thought we were doing a good thing for our little guy. He started thinning out. I told his pediatrician about this, and she said that all kids start losing their baby fat at around 6 to 8 months, because they start crawling and are burning more calories. But Farm Boy 1 didn’t crawl until he was about 1. I mentioned this to her, and she did not have an answer for me.

What happened to him is what happens to most GAPS babies: when they start eating solid foods, they begin to have more digestive issues:

  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • food refusal

Farm Boy 1 had SEVERE constipation. We had to give him suppositories to help him pass his stools. The doctors we saw would give us help for the constipation (suppositories, Mirilax, even mineral oil), yet they would not explain to us WHY this was happening to him. “Sometimes this just happens” is not a good enough answer for a worried Mom and Dad who see their baby struggling to push out his stools. Seriously, with all of the medical knowledge out there, that was all they could give us? Geesh. I can find more information than that by researching medical studies on the internet! More doctors need to do their homework! Severe constipation or diarrhea are not “normal,” don’t “just happen,” and the underlying issues will not be solved with medications.

The problem was…

wait for it…

wait for it…

wait for it…

LEAKY GUT!

This kid had GAPS! And Dr. Natasha says, 100% of the time, when a kid has GAPS, so does 1 of the parents (hello, that’s ME! I was a GAPS baby too! I was a projectile vomiter! Totally GAPS!). None of his doctors asked us if we had the same issues. None of his doctors, once, mentioned that his gut flora could be unhealthy or that his gut flora made up 90% of his immune system. We were giving him monthly synagis shots to prevent him from getting RSV. What he needed was a teaspoon of sauerkraut juice every day and a good strength pro-biotic!! (And no more starches or grains!).

GAPS babies and toddlers may have:

  • excessive gas
  • white stool
  • undigested food in stool
  • very smelly stool
  • liquid stool
  • floating stool (if they’re using the toilet)
  • diarrhea and constipation that alternates
As a toddler, a GAPS kid will start refusing foods and begin:
“limiting their diet to a handful of foods, usually starcy and sweet: breakfast cereals, crisps, chips, popcorn, cakes, biscuits, sweets, bananas, bread, rice, sweet yogurts.” –Dr. Natasha, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, page 9
Farm Boy 1 was textbook GAPS!
In hind sight, with these symptoms, I never should have immunized him. Kids with Leaky Gut are the ones who get Autism. I know that the CDC and many others claim that vaccines don’t cause Autism–and I agree, kind of. Vaccines don’t cause it. Leaky Gut does. And if a kid has Leaky Gut, their body cannot handle the vaccines, and then they often end up with Autism….I’ll write more about this soon!

Does your baby have Leaky Gut? Did you have it when you were a baby?

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle February 21, 2012 at 8:48 am

What would you recommend to treat leaky gut? Is GAPS enough or are other supplements needed? I am asking for myself & one of my children. I am sure that you have studied it more than I will have time to right now ~ Thank you for all that you share, btw! You do a wonderful job & I really appreciate it ~ Blessings, michelle

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Meghan @ Whole Natural Life February 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Most people can heal leaky gut just with GAPS. Some people end up needing additional help. I don’t think you’ll know which you are until you start, though.

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Kate Phillips February 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm

thanks for this awesome post, a very easy to share with friends who may not be familiar with the idea at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Meghan @ Whole Natural Life February 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Wonderful post. I was a GAPS baby, too! I had colic, stomachaches and became a picky eater as a toddler. Now I’m 26 on GAPS so that hopefully my future babies don’t have to be GAPS babies.

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Lilmars_bar March 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Thank you so much for writing this! I’m crying as I write – my daughter has had persistent white stools and only wants starchy or sweet food….I’ve worn myself to the bone trying to get her to eat more healthy food. I will get her on sauerkraut and a healthy probiotic and continue to try to get her to eat gaps-legal foods. She is 18months old, so I’m going to try now. We recently started Gaps, and in all the prep for starting it never occured to me that she might have it too!

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Brenda March 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Oh, sad! I’m so glad that you found this and are encouraged to get her on GAPS! Good for you! There is HOPE! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Jan Hallquist March 7, 2012 at 11:34 am

I’d like to sign up for your news letter. The fitst time on sight I started to sign up but thought you were about babies so I backed ouy. Then, I saw you are about GAPS and came back to sign up and it didn’t offer me the option. Sorry!88

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Brenda March 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Jan, look on the bottom right of the page, there’s a newsletter sign up! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Christine March 7, 2012 at 11:35 am

Please, can you tell me if you think that Synagis shot is good or not (I don’t know if my son is GAPS, but I don’t want to take risk!)?? My son receive Synagis, he is 2 months old.

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Brenda March 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Christine, I don’t know. I tried researching this a couple of weeks ago & did not come to a conclusion. My gut feeling is that they aren’t good. But I don’t want to tell someone that and have their preemie baby get really sick. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think that you can build up a baby’s immune system with good nutrition (breast milk) and some sauerkraut juice. But I haven’t tested that theory on my own kids (when they were babies). Sorry I can’t give you a more solid answer!

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Christine March 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tarena March 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

I read “The Sanctification of Human Blood: Vaccination Is Not Immunization” (2009 edition) and found it extremely informative and helpful. It is an AMAZING book with tons of sited references that he lists so you can look into it. I hope you can find some info you are looking for!
It is defiantly a decision that each parent needs to make…be sure to research what is being put into your child’s body…and be sure that the research isn’t funded by the billion dollar companies that produce the shots!

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X2steps March 7, 2012 at 11:40 am

I had been trying to get my doctor to acknowledge that my son and I had food related issues and got nowhere. After several months I paid for private tests and found we had multiple food intolerances. (my son was breastfed until he was 2 1/2 yrs old late weaned) We both have aspergers syndrome and possibility other issues as well. Now we are both gluten and milk free plus the other things we showed as intolerant to and feeling so much better. I’m glad I chose not to vaccinate. My parents used to say I had a pretty much constant cold when I was a child but I rarely remember feeling ill. I also had lots of problems with my ears and had what appeared to be hayfever. Now I suspect it was down to being cows milk intolerant.

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Tarena March 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

great job on healing your family! GAPS will bless your healing even more…I hope you get to try it! Even just adding bone broths into your diet is such a helpful step!

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Becca March 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

About undigested food in the stool…my son always passes nuts. Are nuts typically hard to digest or would a healthy person’s tract digest them so they were unrecognizable? Nuts and corn are about the only foods I find in his stool otherwise.

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Tarena March 10, 2012 at 10:59 am

Nuts need to be soaked to be digested better (they are hard to digest) and that is why so many have intollerances/allergies.
Most corn now is also GMO (changed from it’s original form) and our bodies do not recognize it in the same way…again why many have intollerences to it. I did too at one time when I was a teenager and had to stop eating it for a few years. Looking back it was probably about the time that the government allowed GMO corn to first be on the market (in the 90’s) without informing the consumers.
Look into this and you will find more info!

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Seamstresslady March 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

My daughter totally had this! She is nearing age 4 now, and style is symptomatic, but has been doing better slowly but surely. A GAPS diet is impossible for her right now, so I’ve been doing the best I can for her.

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JT March 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm

This sounds so much like my little guy! He is three, very tiny for his age, and cannot tolerate milk or grains. I nursed him until he was two, and had to keep dairy out of my diet, too. He was very late to teeth, crawl, and walk. He has been whiny and irritable since birth, practically. He is extremely picky–has been since day one. We waited to start him on solids until he was almost a year, with egg yolks prior to that, and no grains till much later, properly prepared. He still has a little trouble with digestion, even after removing grains and dariy. He will eat very little meat, and wants only sweet, starchy things–no veggies–much like you described above. He steals food, making life hard for all of us. We have been desperate to figure out what his problems are, have even had lots of testing done by the doctors; blood work, thyroid, celiac, but nothing came out as being abnormal. Still….I know something is not right. We have several other children, with great temperments and not picky at all. I know nothing of GAPS…is it like a Candida diet? He eats way too much of rice products and fruit, in my estimation, but it’s hard to get him to eat ANYTHING. I know all about healthy REAL food–we garden and raise our own eggs and meat, but this does him no good if he won’t eat it! Does this sound like it could be GAPS?

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Tarena March 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

HANDS DOWN GAPS!
You must buy and read the book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” she addresses your concerns EXACTLY!

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JT March 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Thank you. Will do!

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Megan Ciampa March 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Does spitting up necessarily mean your baby has a leaky gut? Both of my children (now age 3, and 4 months) who were/are breastfed spit up when they were younger (6 mos and under), but then slowly worked their way out of it. They’re “happy spitters” though, and show no other signs of reflux. Their pediatrician said it could just be “physiological reflux.” Their weight gain as babies has been great as well and my oldest hasn’t been terribly picky about foods, although she seemed a little sensitive to wheat and dairy at first so I held off for quite a while. She drinks coconut milk now. She also passed whole pieces of fruit when she was first weaning (13-15 mos), but after I put her back on more pureed and more easily digestible foods that changed as well. Part of me wonders if for them it’s just allowing their GI tracts to mature, or if it’s truly a gaps issue. Thanks for the info!

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brenda March 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Megan,
Yes, I think so. I think a sensitivity to wheat and dairy are also a sign of GAPS. (Before the 1950’s, Celiac disease was a starch intolerance, until 1 doctor studied 10 patients and decided it was gluten…Celiac patients have GAPS. Their guts are not healed even after years of gluten free eating). I think it probably is GAPS. Sorry!

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Taneshaenjoli November 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm

My son will be 11 weeks on Thursday. Feeding has been a battle since day one! He was frank breech and had to be taken by c- section 9 days early due to a drastic heart rate drop during a stress test. He spent 48 hours in nicu due to low glucose and hypothermia. He refused to eat enough if the enfamil they were trying to feed him so they switched him to similac has and fussiness. He is now on his 6th formula and we are meeting with the pedi next week to discuss hypoallergenic formulas for him due to undigested milk in his stool. He was diagnosed with gerd and colic at 4 weeks and is now on a ppi daily. He seems uncomfortable most days and has a lot if clear drool constantly. I’m assuming stomach acid. My mother an mother in law talked me out of breast feeding b/c of my job and neither me not my husband were breastfed. I wish I would have stuck with my gut on that one but too late now. Can you suggest a formula that will help him? I do not want to see him become delayed due to the pain of feedings!

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Taneshaenjoli November 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Also my mother in law said my husband projectile vomited after every feeding. Then she put him on while milk at 6 months and he was fine.

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holblevgirl April 15, 2013 at 10:40 am

I wanted to cry reading this. BOTH my younger children had all these problems and now they have terrible allergies. My first, whom I breastfed exclusively until age 1 never had them. I wish I could turn back the clock…

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Beth B May 6, 2013 at 11:25 am

Hi Brenda! I know this is an older post but I’m desperately hoping you’ll be available to respond. I have been researching the GAPS diet for over a year now, but still haven’t started it. I have had numerous digestion problems since my son was born and believe it would help, but I’m still intimidated by it.
But, my -unrelated to that- question is did you every write more about vaccines+leaky gut (may)= autism?
My little one (15 months) has some of these symptoms, each of them off and on. From early on I’ve been concerned about Autism. I’ve worked with Autistic children for about 5 years and I can’t verbalize what it is I see (of course all of the ‘professionals’ just tell me I’m crazy because, “he makes eye contact”) but something is, ‘different’. He had a slight developmental delay, enough to receive physical therapy for about 8 months, but is about to graduate out of the program.
I have not delayed any vaccinations up until this point, I’ve never really been on board with vaccines causing Autism, but I’m very interested in any information as well as your opinion on how the combination of vaccines and GAPS/leaky guy may have concerning autism.
Thanks so much!

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jase November 11, 2014 at 7:42 pm

I was enjoying the information until you “claimed to know the cause of autism”.
I would say pass on the article if you have not read it yet.
This doctor is clearly a QUACK!

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tatiana December 2, 2014 at 8:55 am

where is more about this? post us a link please. I’d really like to learn more about your experience and what you did. did you put your baby on the GAPS bone broth meat based formula?

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Maxwell Foley September 22, 2015 at 9:48 pm

I don’t understand how vaccines would cause autism because of leaky gut since they do not pass through the digestive system but are injected…?

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Annonynus May 20, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Vaccines cause autism and leaky gut as well…the more vaccines a child is given the more he will be prone to leaky gut.And when the leaky gut occurs autism will occur…autism is not a brain disease it is a gut disease…

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