• Can my baby become addicted to gas relief drops?

    Corianna wanted to know, "Will taking gas drops too much make a baby dependent on them?"

    Dr. Sue writes:

    Absolutely not. You can use these gas remedy products containing simethicone or gripe water with fennel and ginger for many years safely and there's no addiction to it. And, remember, they don't have alcohol. They don't have artificial dyes and so they're perfectly safe for infants and children. 

  • Does my baby needs a daily vitamin?

    Shelby wanted to know, "Is a daily vitamin necessary for young children?"

    Dr. Sue writes:

    Actually, the answer is, "No, it is not." Unless you are nursing, where we do recommend supplemental vitamin D, it is not necessary to give your child a vitamin, unless your doctor recommends this. Sometimes as a parent, you feel good if you give them a vitamin because they aren't good eaters, which is fine.  Remember, if your doctor has recommended your child take a vitamin because they are anemic or breast feeding babies who need extra Vitamin D, make sure you get the product that they recommend.

  • Can I give my older children gripe water or gas relief drops?

    Jessie wants to know, "Can I use gripe water on my older children?"
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    The answer is yes. Sometimes we all get stomach discomfort.  You could use gripe water or Simethicone drops in older kids and it's easy to put that into a sippy cup for your baby to use.
  • How can i tell if my child has a cold or allergies?

    Cathy wanted to know, “How can you tell between a cold, a cough, or allergies?”

    Dr. Sue writes:

    Sometimes it's even hard for a doctor to decide in the beginning Cathy, but most children under the age of two years do not develop seasonal allergies. So they are not allergic to oak or elm or grasses at that time. Most of the time that you see a cough and cold in that age-group it is related to upper respiratory infections and unfortunately there's hundreds of viruses that can cause many of the same symptoms. You may also notice seasonal Allergy symptoms as a parent. You think John does this every March when the oak trees are blooming. Or Sarah has a problem in the fall. Then after the age of two or three you might consider that these are symptoms of seasonal allergies.

  • Can babies use cough medicine?

    Janie wanted to know if it was okay to give infants under six months of age cough medicine.
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    No, it is not. We really don't want to give young children cough suppressors or cough medication and so I would prefer that you use a saline spray to clear the mucus from their airway, which will help them not cough as much and use also a cool mist humidifier in their bedroom.  But do not use cough medication for that young of an age.
  • When is it ok for kids to play with tablets?

    Jennifer C. - Hi Dr. Sue. Tablets and smart phones are laying all over our house. They have peaked my 2 years old’s interest but I am hesitant to let her play with them. What age do you recommend children be allowed to pay with tablets and smart phones and how much screen time should we allow?
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    "I don't think you should let your child play with a tablet or a SmartPhone at all as long as you can go. Certainly under the age of two the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that children don't use media. As your child gets older it's everywhere and I think it's difficult to keep them away but you need to remember to limit it. It should not be something done every day and I really admire my patients who don't have any media during the week with their children who are in pre-school or school and save it for the weekend.
  • How much medicine should i give my newborn for fever?

    Lupe wanted to know how much acetaminophen should be given to a one-month old.

    Dr. Sue writes:

    Lupe, great question, but the answer to that is none. In pediatrics, we really want to see a baby that is under eight weeks of age and has a temperature of 100.4 or higher. If they do, that is an absolute call to your pediatrician, and we would prefer that you don't give them any acetaminophen prior to being seen.

  • When will my baby start sleeping?

    Laurie W. - Hi Dr. Sue, My 1 month old is not sleeping through the night ever since we brought her home from the hospital. I know it’s common for babies to wake during the night but when should I start being concerned?
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    "Laurie, not yet. Your baby's still little, and remember: Your baby just got here, and probably hardly realizes she's on earth yet, so she doesn't have circadian rhythm. In fact, circadian rhythm is learned from daylight and nighttime as well as your brain maturing and the hormones in the brain, which are called melatonin and cortisol that give us that day and night awakening.
     
    You get this to happen one, by age, so your baby does this on her own as she matures, but two, by patterning. So during the day, I'm awakening her every two to three hours, even when you're tempted not to. And at night I'm turning down the lights low, I'm being quieter, and I'm trying to spend some time singing to her, calming her and then laying her down to bed awake.
     
    I know people think that's crazy, but that's how you start teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own. It's gonna take you a good nother four to six, eight weeks before your baby's sleeping what we would call ""through the night"", which is about six to eight hours - not 12 hours yet.
     
    But you should not be concerned. If any of your friends are telling you the baby slept at four weeks, I think they've forgotten."
  • How can I help a baby pass gas?

    Britney wanted to know, "How can I help my gassy baby, even after they have had gas drops?" 

    Dr. Sue writes:

    You know Britney, there's lots of things we can do in those first three months of life, because that's the most common time to have a gassy baby. They've called it the fourth trimester, which I think is actually true. That's when your baby is developing their neurological system, their intestines and everything area is also maturing, so those first three months are the most common time to hear about gas and fussy babies. I like to recommend things like swaddling your baby. I'm a huge fan of a pacifier for non-nutritive sucking. And then you might try bicycling their legs, sometimes that helps them expel gas. I also like to try a warm bath, I was convinced that warm baths helped my children when they were gassy.

  • When should I start introducing cereal, and what kind should i use?

    Destiny - My sons doctor said I can start adding baby cereal into my son's diet at 4 months. Which is the best kind to start with and how should I begin?
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    "Destiny, personally, as a pediatrician, I don't like to put cereal into formula. I like to teach the baby how to eat from a spoon and I think it's a really important mile stone.
     
    The recommendation is to start at about six months. You can start a little earlier, but it's best to start when the child is a little older because they have more head control and can sit up in a high chair and also, if you've noticed your baby at four months is really still has that tongue thrust, where they mm, mm all the time, and the moms want to know why they're sticking out their tongues. As they mature, you lose that tongue thrust.
     
  • What's the most frequent parenting question you get?

    Valerie J. - What is the most frequent question you get from new parents and could you share the answer?
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    The most frequent question I get is, how do I raise a healthy child, and how do I get my child to behave? And you know what? It's really about us. We are modeling the behavior that we expect from our children. And it's a hard job that you have to do every single day, but I promise you, if you feed your child, have a good routine at home, set up limits and boundaries, and love your child unconditionally, they will turn out really well. But it's a journey. It's not a sprint."
  • How can I relieve a toddler' stuffy nose?

    Alexis wanted to know, "What is the safest way to treat congestion in a toddler?" 

    Dr. Sue writes:

    Well the safest way to treat it is to use a nasal saline spray or saline mist. It helps to break up the mucus and loosen it, making it easier to suck it out with an aspirator or maybe teach your child how to blow their nose.

  • Why is my baby's nose so runny?

    Sharon P. - Why does my son have a lot of nasal drainage? I do not know what to do to help him.
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    "Sharon wants to know, why does my son have a lot of nasal drainage, and I don't know what to do to help him. Sharon, it depends on the age of your child, because newborns have newborn nasal congestion. They sound stuffy all the time, because they have mucus in their nasal passages, and milk in their posterior pharynx.
     
    The best thing to do for that is one of the over the counter Little Remedy products, which is a nasal saline, which is great because you can buy the mist or the drops, whichever one you prefer. And then I like to put it in there and then suck it back out and get that mucus out, which is the best way to open your baby's airways when they seem stuffy.
     
    If your child is older and they have a cold, they're gonna be really stuffy. And the best thing for that is to teach them how to blow out the saline drops, which you have to have an IQ to blow your nose [inaudible 00:00:51] over 150. So your child may be able to spell and use an iPad, which we'll talk about later, but they can't blow. Put the nasal saline in, occlude one nostril, and then help them learn how to blow out, and that will really help relieve the congestion.
     
    Again, lots of humidity in the house when the heat is on, so you want a cool mist humidifier. Never hot, because your child could get burned from that. And I'm a big fan of steamy showers, and I put eucalyptus in there to make you feel better when you have a cold."
  • How can I teach a toddler to blow his nose?

    Dr Sue writes:

    I think this is a really great question. What's the best way to teach a toddler, like a three year old, to blow his or her nose? It's almost like riding a bicycle, you just have to practice and practice. Make sure you show them how to close one nostril. Have them try to blow the tissue and make it move. Using a saline spray or mist will also help the mucus come out easier, so they'll feel more successful. But there's no big magic to this and it really is practice, practice, practice which as a parent you'll realize is a key to many skills.

  • How do I get my toddler to eat their meals?

    Alicia B. - How do I get my 19 month old son to eat more, he refuses most of the time. There's lots of unhealthy habits he has, while it prevents him from getting good nutrition and practicing developmental qualities, associated with cup drinking/feeding himself? Our pediatrician said, too much of anything is not good. My son only eats a very limited variety of certain foods, and I have to blend food and spoon-feed him to ensure he's getting enough food to sustain.
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    "So Alicia, this gets back to that same thing. You are providing nutrition for your children. They have to choose whether or not they're going to eat it. Children are really smart. They don't starve themselves. Most toddlers only eat one good meal a day and they throw away two, so if you don't have a dog, you're picking a lot of stuff off the floor. If you make chicken, green beans, and carrots for dinner, that's dinner. They choose to eat it, or they don't.
     
    It's really, really hard to do that, though, and don't get emotional about their eating. Be matter of fact and just say, "It's fine. We'll have another meal tomorrow morning." I promise you he won't starve, and you're setting him up for lifelong good eating habits. So it's so important to begin this at a young age."

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