We have been on the diet for 3 years now. My sons require the Stage 1 diet, which limits all fruits and vegetables that are high in salycilates. I can totally tell when we "cheat". A perfect example of this is my younger son's 2nd birthday party. I bought the 4 oz size Apple and Eve 100% juice boxes for the party. Everyone loved the juice and the smaller size boxes. My sons loved them too. They even loved freezing the boxes and turning the juice into slushies. Unfortunately here it is a month later, and I'm seeing all the old behavioral issues creep back into view.
My older son, who is in kindergarten, is getting in trouble at school for "touching" the other children. He comes home complaining that the other children keep telling on him - I assume this is because his behavior is annoying them too! And his teacher told me that he has had trouble lying still for nap time, whereas before he would always fall asleep easily.
I've also noticed several changes in his behavior at home. He can't sit still to watch TV or eat dinner. When he is forced to sit in a chair, he is constantly in motion. At bedtime, he can't calm down. He keeps getting more and more wound up. His mind seems to race with thoughts, and he has to talk to get them out. At night he tosses and turns, has fallen out of bed, and keeps waking up before morning. Then in the morning he is exhausted. I have to dress him for school, carry him downstairs, and wake him up to get him to walk to the bus. He does walk on his own, but he looks like he is sleep walking. He has also had daytime potty accidents and complained of stomach and leg aches. All this because of fruit juice!
My 2 year old son is also showing signs of salycilate sensitivity. He used to be a good sleeper. Then like a switch went off, it changed almost over night. And it all started happening when he turned 2 years old. I can totally link it all back to the party when we started drinking the juice. Ever since the party, he has been waking up more and more each night. I've had several nights when he would wake every 15 - 30 minutes! He would be so exhausted that he would fall back to sleep in my arms, but he would wake up again within a few minutes. It was as if his body didn't know how to stay asleep! He also started nursing differently. He used to nurse about 3 times a day - waking up, nap time, and bedtime. All of sudden, he wanted to nurse all day long without stopping. He couldn't be satisfied. He would cry and cry when I made him stop. (This is the exact behavior my first son exhibited at the same age before we put him on the diet!)
Anyway, my younger son has been off the juice for two days now, and he is already going back to normal. Last night he only woke 3 times, so he slept for about 2 - 3 hour intervals. And he has only asked to nurse once today!
My older son stopped drinking the juice only 1 day ago, so it will still take a while to get him back to normal. I wish I could tell the whole world how much the Feingold Diet has helped my family. It is totally a sanity saver! If you have a high need baby or a child with behavioral problems, you should totally give it a try. Check out http://www.feingold.org for more details and support.
Disclaimer: The Feingold Association is not affiliated in any way with API. I found it on my own. The Stage 1 diet eliminates all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives and removes foods and medicines high in salycilates.