- Amanda - Can gripe water be added to formula that is warmed?Dr. Sue writes:The answer to that is yes, Amanda, you can add Gripe Water to warmed up formula. Remember, Gripe Water is a combination of fennel and ginger, so it's an herbal remedy.
- Jodie S. - My son is 3. He's very big for his age. He weighs 50+ lbs., he's about 39 inches tall, he's healthy, but I worry about him being so big. He's chunky but not really fat. He is very active, and he is in the 99% of all his age. Is he just gonna be a big kid, or am I gonna have to put him on some kind of diet?Dr. Sue writes:"You know, Jodi, it sounds like he's just a big kid. He's very tall, but he's also in the upper percentiles for weight. This is the age when a toddler should be really active and so they're not gaining weight as rapidly as when they were newborns and young babies. Make sure he's not getting any more than three to seven pounds a year. They do seem to grow on air.Also make sure you're offering him really healthy foods. Toddlers are notoriously picky. Sometimes you find yourself as a parent falling into feeding them the same foods repetitively. I like to call it my dinner party. I fix a dinner and the children decide whether they're going to eat it or not. You don't have to be upset about it, you just don't let him have replacements.He should be growing about two inches a year, so by the time he's four, he's going to be about 41 inches tall. We don't talk about putting children on diets. We talk about changing eating habits and doing lots more exercise. Remember, model that exercise and play with him."
So, Autumn wanted to know, "How do the gas drops actually get rid of gas?"
Dr. Sue writes:
Well, Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops have been around for a long time, and it contains simethicone, which is proven to be safe in children and infants. Simethicone actually works by breaking the surface tension little gas bubbles and helping them combine into bigger ones. It's easier to expel larger gas bubbles. And remember, it's perfectly safe, and this product does not contain alcohol, artificial flavors, or artificial dyes.
- Amanda F. - I'm not a fan of using a lot of traditional medicine, I prefer natural remedies when possible. Aside from the nasal spray, what's best for congestion that that cold and flu season is now upon us?Dr. Sue writes:"The best thing really, you're right, Amanda, is using a nasal spray for a stuffy now. You want to use a saline drop to help clear that baby's airway.Other things you can do is put a cool mist humidifier in your baby's room. As the weather gets colder and the heat's on, the air is drying. That helps dry the mucus membranes, and then, before bedtime, I often give them a little warm bath or put them in the bathroom with the shower running to let the bath get steamy, but no products for children should be used with any honey under the age of one year, so make sure that you're reading labels."
Another mother writes “How do I transition from nursing?”
Dr Sue writes:
It depends what your goal is with nursing. If you're going back to work, some people can pump where it's easy to get up from their job and go to a nursing room, and other times it's not as easy.
Your breasts are smart, they will actually do what you want them to do. By that I mean if you want to stop nursing during the day because you have a job, like I did (I could not pump while I was seeing patients), then your breast can learn to do morning and night time feedings.
What you need to do is make sure whatever you're going to want to do that you do it before you go back to work. So you don't want to do it the day before you leave. You need to plan ahead. If you need to drop a feeding, you drop a feeding, you wait two to three days till you feel more comfortable through that feeding and then you drop another feeding.
For me, personally, the last feedings I drop are the morning and night time, but that's up to everyone and it depends on their schedule. Just remember you cannot stop breastfeeding cold turkey or you'll be terribly uncomfortable.
Most babies will also take a bottle fairly readily from a nursing mother. But if you plan on nursing for the first year of life exclusively, I think it's important to start an occasional bottle within four to six weeks after the baby has been nursing well.
Not every feeding, not at the same time every day, but just to make sure that your baby will take a bottle. The hardest thing for a new mom is to have a baby who refuses a bottle because we haven't tried one for the first four months and now she's going to back to work.
- Nancy G. - When can my baby start eating foods like puree?Dr. Sue writes:"The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting pureed foods around six months. So your baby is showing some interest, I would put them in the high chair if they can sit up now, and you start playing a little game which I called the yum-yum game. This is really not about calories and I promise you it doesn't make your child sleep through the night. It's about learning to put textures into your baby's mouth.So I start with cereal or a vegetable, or many of my patients like to start with avocado, and you put the baby in the high chair during the happy time of the day and you try to spoon feed them. Again, go by your baby's cues. Some babies think it's fabulous in the beginning and eat tablespoonfuls, and others push that spoon away and you try again tomorrow.It's a learning process so don't get frustrated. Once you've been starting foods, you can start a new food every several days."
- Carla S. - Can toddlers take lozenges for hoarse voices/sore throats etc.? Special size?Dr. Sue writes:It is parainfluenza season, which is the name of a virus that causes hoarseness, laryngitis, and croup. We don't recommend any lozenges for children and toddlers because they can choke on them. They're a choking hazard. If your child is over the age of one, you can use a product containing honey and you can also try giving them tea with honey or putting them in a steamy bathroom in the evening, but no lozenges because again, we're worried about choking.
- Jillie - How often should my baby have bowel movements?Dr. Sue writes:"Who knew we would talk so much about poop. Babies are very different, just like all people. Some babies poop five times a day, and other babies poop once every three to four days. It's really more important if your baby is comfortable.So, if they seem fine and they're gaining weight, don't worry about counting the stools. If they're gassy, sometimes I try giving them some gas drops and see if that relieves their gas. Again, remember that Simethicone. Then, if they're really having problems ... And I always say, ""Is it snakes or balls? It should be mushy."" Some kid taught me that.You wanna have mushy stools. If they're not mushy, you can try using some over-the-counter products that your doctor may recommend. But again, if she's comfortable, it doesn't matter if you stool every day. You just wanna make sure that she's having stools and growing well."
Sam wanted to know, "How many times a day should you be using saline nasal spray?"
Dr. Sue writes:
Little Remedies has several products that you can use. They have a saline spray + drop and they also have a mist, which ever your child prefers. You can use it as many times a day as necessary. You will also want to use an appropriate nasal aspirator. Newborns often have nasal congestion. Many young parents will say to me, "I think my baby already has a cold,” but what they actually have is mucus in the posterior pharynx of their nose, where some milk can build up. You can use saline to help wash this down. The nice thing about Little Remedies products, you can use it either with a baby upright or you can lay them down, it works both ways.
- Kassidi H. - I want to know if babies as early as 4 months, shes 7 months now, can have nightmares? My baby has woken up in the middle of the night at least 4 times in the past couple of months crying like she is scared to death. I don't know what to do about it.Dr. Sue writes:"You know, we do think that babies probably dream, but this is also a time in your babies life that they are having more mature sleep patterns and they have arousal. When we talk about a baby sleeping through the night, we don't sleep through the night, right? We all roll over, punch our pillow, look at the digital clock.Your baby has to learn the same thing. When she awakens, she cries for you because she's been taught to do that. As an infant, we go to them. Now is the time to walk into your babies room, make sure she's okay, reassure her with voice only, you don't pick her up, which I know is so hard, and leave the room. She needs to learn how to self-soothe. It's like riding a bike. Some babies learn on the first day and other babies take two to three weeks and sometimes months, but be assured that she is not, as you said, "scared to death". This too shall pass."
Taylor asks me, "Can babies start teething at three months?"
Dr Sue writes:
At about three months of age, you start to notice that your baby is drooling, and they're also putting their hands in their mouths. I'm not sure that's always related to teething as much as child development. Somewhere between four months and twelve months is the most common age to cut your first tooth. And some parents can tell that their baby seems to be fussy a day or two before the tooth arrives. During this time it may be appropriate to use a pain reliever, like acetaminophen. But you don't want to get in the habit of giving it every time your baby is fussy. You may actually find out that over time you don't even realize when that next tooth comes in.
- Julie - My baby is 5 weeks old and has baby acne all over here face. What do I treat it with, and how long will it take to get better?Dr. Sue writes:Julie, this is not a good time to take pictures of your baby's face. This is a common time for them to have an acne breakout, which is really from your hormones. The baby's most like an adolescent. That baby acne will go away by itself. Wash her face with soap and water. You don't need to use any over-the-counter acne products, which some of my patients have wanted to use, and no picking. Usually that baby acne is gone by three weeks and you can start taking those cute pictures all over again. Plus you all have Photoshop, so they don't have baby acne anymore.
- Jennifer M. - I have a 2 month old little boy. He has had issues with reflux and spitting since he was born. The spit up has turned into throwing up a lot after every feeding. How do you know if they need to switch formula or have an intolerance to something in this one. He's so squirmy and unsettled after he eats.Dr. Sue writes:Some babies do seem to have an intolerance to lactose in the formula or in breast milk. Everyone can tolerate a little bit different amounts. First I would try if you're a breast feeding mom taking the dairy out of your diet and see if that makes any difference. Secondly, if you're bottle feeding, there are low lactose formulas that you could try.If you continue to have problems or your baby seems to be getting worse instead of better and it's everyday, it's very important when we're talking about these symptoms that it's every single day and not randomly. I'd give my pediatrician a call and go in and talk to them about that. Again, the most important thing about a baby is that they're growing well and gaining weight.
Another question comes from Courtney, who wants to know what's best for babies that spit up constantly.
Dr. Sue writes:
There are some babies called happy spitters. They spit up all the time. They're always dripping on their mom and dad, and they're quite content spitting up. In fact, I had a grandchild like that. I don't think I've ever seen so much spit up in my life, but she outgrew it. Most children grow out of spitting up between the ages of six and 12 months.
If your child is irritable when they are spitting up, then you might try things like sitting them upright during a feeding or even giving them breast milk that has been thickened if you need to do that. That's a conversation you should have with your pediatrician. The main thing in a baby that spits up is that they are gaining weight and thriving. If they're spitting up excessively, they won't gain weight. If you go in to your pediatrician for their checkup and see your baby has gained two pounds over two months, because we like to see an infant gain at least a pound a month , then you can feel reassured that the spitting up is not causing any problems.
- Brittany M. - My daughter is almost 5 months old and for the past month or so she's really been giving us trouble feeding. She suddenly won't eat more than a few ounces at a time so I wind up feeding her almost the entire day long unless she's napping cause she wants to eat in such short spurts. What gives?Dr. Sue writes:"This could be something called gastroesophageal reflux that we see in this age child. So if your baby seems to be suddenly not wanting her feedings, arching her back when she feeds, eating voraciously for the first couple ounces and then pushes it away.I'd call your pediatrician and maybe go in and have a visit. Make sure that the baby is gaining weight well, but also talk about GE reflux. This is a common problem and not all babies are bothered by it. We have babies that are much more bothered when they reflux than others and we have babies who spit all the time, which are called happy spitters."