• How can I break my baby's habit of wanting to be held constantly?

    Megan wanted to know “How can I break my five-month-old's habit of wanting to be held constantly.” 

    Dr. Sue writes:

    In the very first few months of life, you really want to hold that baby all the time, because you don't like to let a newborn cry. 

    Once they start to get a little older (four to six months) they are thinking, those frontal lobes start to work. So, you have to start slowly, slowly putting your baby down and letting them fuss for a few minutes, picking them up, re-consoling them, and putting them back down. 

    Patients will say to me “Dr. Sue that takes forever. It's easier just to hold them.” But I tell you, as a mommy and a doctor, it just gets worse if you don't start working on it. Little baby steps will be helpful. Calm your baby, lay them down, and walk out of the room. If they cry again, go back, re-calm them, and repeat the process. 

    I promise everyone that it does get better with time. Some babies come out and are easy to put down, and for others it takes a while to teach them to calm down.

  • Can I use saline on a newborn?

    Erica B. - Can I use the saline spray on an 8 week old?
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    You can use saline spray from the day you get home from the hospital. It's easiest to do if you put a few drops in the baby's nostril, occlude one nostril, put the drops in, take the bulb suction, and then do the other side. The most important thing when you hear that a baby has a stuffy nose is that you're watching how they breathe. You need to look at your baby's chest and make sure that they're not having any respiratory distress. Often, when you clear the nose, you realize that the noises that you are hearing are really from the upper airway, and not that the baby is having any breathing problems. If your baby has any problems breathing, you need to call your pediatrician.
  • How do I relieve my baby's stuffy nose?

    Tabetha K. - My 7 week old son has our family cold...congested but will sneeze out green snot, little cough, but no fever. He's eating, and going potty well. Just wondering what I can do to help his congestion. We've tried baby vicks and snot sucker and both only work so well.
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    "You know, if you're not the first child to run the fall already, you're probably going to have a baby with a stuffy nose.
     
    One of the best things to use for that is Little Remedies saline drops, and it also comes as a mist. Because babies can't rub their nose or even pick their nose, and all's they can do is have you help remove the mucus from their nose. So I'd put a little saline into their nose, one into each nostril. And then I use a bulb suction and suck out the mucus to help clear the airway.
     
    In a seven week old especially, you're always wanting to make sure that baby does not have a fever. So if your baby is fussy under the age of eight weeks and has a fever over 100.4, that is an immediate phone call to your pediatrician.
     
    But this is just the first of many stuffy noses as we get into fall and winter upper respiratory season."
  • Should I use acetaminophen after shots?

    The next question comes from Holly and she said, "Should I give my little one Acetaminophen after their shots?" 

    Dr. Sue writes:

    That's a great question. If your baby is acting absolutely fine, which is a case for most children after immunizations, then don't give them anything. If they seem to be more irritable, because we did give them a few shots in their legs or if they run a fever over 100.4, use your dosing chart and give your child the appropriate dose for their weight. You can use that every four to six hours. Pediatricians really want to see a baby that is under eight weeks of age and has a temperature of 100.4 or higher. If your baby is less than 8 weeks old and has a fever, call your pediatrician before giving them acetaminophen. If your child is going to have a fever or be irritable, it is going to be in the first 24 to 36 hours post vaccinations. Don't think that something that happened a week later is related to those vaccines.

  • How do I relieve my baby's severe gas?

    Nikki M. - We have a newborn. 4 days old. She's seriously an angel...until it comes time to pass gas. Poor thing screams and shakes until she passes gas that sounds of a grown man. Any tricks to help relieve her?
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    Flatulence, which is the word for gas, is very explosive in newborns, so don't be alarmed if you hear a big ... of gas. Try laying your baby on their back and exercise their legs like a bicycle. They also like massage at this time, and I would go and I would get my Little Remedies Gas Drops, which remember, and try using those to break down the gas bubbles. I love to give the baby a massage on their tummy, but never will your baby sleep on their tummy. So if they relax, and they fall asleep, you must turn them over.
  • What foods should baby try first?

    Victoria asks "when starting solid foods, what should be avoided?" 

    Dr. Sue writes:

    Victoria, that's a great question, because there's a lot of new data about this. Actually, we want to start foods earlier, and not wait as was recommended several years ago. So now you want to begin giving your baby solid foods somewhere between four and six months of age, depending on your pediatrician's recommendations. And I still often start with infant cereal, because it's a good texture. And then after viewing cereal, the recommendation now is to start peanut butter products, or peanut butter, around that six month age. I actually have my patients start mixing peanut butter in with infant cereal once they've been giving cereal for a while. 

    Remember, when you start baby food, it's just your child learning to eat. Every baby's different. Some babies immediately open their mouths, are so anxious to eat, and others spit that baby food or cereal right back at you. So this is about learning to do this dance, and they're leading our dance. So don't make it a time of day that is emotional for you or start something new when your baby's cranky. And just play around with foods. 

    I like to do vegetables first, and then fruits, and then meats. But you might talk to your own pediatrician and see if they have a preference. I think the most important thing is that the newest data is to start food sooner. So, peanut butter, eggs, fish and things, we generally want to do at younger ages than recommended in the past.

  • When to use gas drops, gripe water or colic relief?

    Amanda D. - Hi Dr. Sue, I have used Little Remedies products and love them. But, I often wonder if I'm using the right thing. How do you know when to use gas drops, gripe water, or colic relief? I currently use the gas drops at nighttime feedings, and gripe water in the day. Thanks!
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    The first thing you need to know is that babies are really gassy, especially the first two to three months of their life, because their GI track is just immature and they don't process the milk well, either breast or bottle, all the time.
     
    So when your baby's gassy, I try to do things like exercise their legs, give them a warm bath, give them some tummy time and rub their back, but I also like to use gas drops. The Little Remedies Gas Drops are perfect, which is simethicone and that's a medicine that helps break down the gas bubbles in your baby's tummy.
  • What's the best thing to use for a teething baby?

    A mom asks: "What's the best thing to use for a teething baby?" 

    Dr Sue writes:

    Well, we've talked about using an acetaminophen product like Little Remedies Infant Fever + Pain Reliever. It's also perfectly appropriate to give them teething rings. I like to put cold things in the baby's mouth and let them chew on it. You can put something in the refrigerator and switch it out again later on. But remember those teeth are coming for a long time. 

    I think it's important for you all to know that the FDA has recently recommended that benzocaine teething products no longer be given to any children. If you have any products, look on the label, make sure they do not have benzocaine.

  • Is teeth grinding normal?

    Elizabeth W. - My 6 month-old is grinding his teeth. Is that normal or should I be alarmed?
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    Similar to ear tugging and thumb sucking some babies will start to grind their teeth soon after their top and bottom teeth have erupted. The average age for a baby to get a first tooth is around 6 months and these are usually the lower two front teeth. Several weeks to months later, the upper 2 teeth erupt and then your baby realizes that they may make a sound if they “grind” their teeth together. This is a type of “self -stimulating “ behavior and is nothing to be concerned about. This will not have any long terms effects on their teeth. But, it is hard to listen to…like fingernails on a chalk board. This too shall pass!
  • When is the best time to use gas drops?

    Megan wants to know with her new baby what is the best time to give the gas drops, before or after a feeding? 

    Dr. Sue writes:

    You know, Megan, it really depends on your own baby. You can use gas drops immediately after a feeding if you feel like your baby has gotten gassy because they've eaten faster that time or swallowed more air. You can also safely put it in a bottle with your formula in excess breast milk if you would like to. And, in an older child you could put it into a sippy cup

  • Is my baby teething?

    Michaela P.- How do you tell the difference between early teething and 4 month sleep regression? 4 month breastfed baby.
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    Teething causes a great deal of concern for parents. Your baby will start to drool (around 3 months), and soon thereafter they put their hands in their mouths and “gum their toys” and parents are convinced that this is a sign of teething. Actually, this is developmental and probably has little to do with teething. The average age for cutting a first tooth is about 6 months and for most children there are very few issues or noticeable changes…and then suddenly you notice a tooth (usually bottom). Sleep issues are also common in the first year of life as well.
     
    Between 4-6 months your baby really does begin to associate their crying with how you react. By now your baby may awaken at night…usually around the same time and cry for you to pick them up. This is not teething, but again developmental. At this age it is very important that your baby self soothes to sleep (rather than being rocked to sleep) so that when they arouse during the night, they begin to fall back to sleep on their own. Remember, a baby cuts teeth during their first 2 years of life…only to have them all fall out. When your child is getting their permanent teeth you will not even consider “teething” as an issue…unless you forget the tooth fairy!
  • Why is my baby tugging her ears?

    Lisa H - My daughter is almost 9 months old and constantly tugs at her ears or puts her hands to her ears. She has done this since she was 3 months. Sometimes she does it with sounds or for no reason at all. I asked my pediatrician if I should be concerned. She stated she doesn't have an ear infection and could have just sensitive hearing. Any advice on what you think it is or how I can get her to stop it?
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    Babies will often tug on their ears…and parents often think they have an ear infection or are teething. Other babies may play with their ears or even cover up their ears at times for no reason. While all of these behaviors may seem to bother parents, they rarely are cause for concern.
     
    Babies do many things out of habit and may find their ears (just like their hands) when they are 4-6 months old. If your baby seems otherwise well, without cough or cold symptoms, no fever, and are happy and sleeping well I would not be too concerned. While some babies do seem to be more sensitive to loud noises (the same way that some babies tend to squint in bright light), most babies will outgrow the ear pulling and covering… only to be replaced by another new habit... like hair twirling or thumb sucking. Of course, if you are concerned that there is something more going on or are generally concerned, I encourage you to consult with your pediatrician. No parent ever regretted being overly cautious when it came to their baby.
  • Which Little Remedies product is right for my fussy baby?

    Amanda D. - Hi Dr. Sue, I have used Little Remedies products and love them. But I often wonder if I'm using the right thing. How do you know when to use gas drops, gripe water, or colic relief? I currently use the gas drops at night time feedings, and gripe water in the day. Thanks!
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    Little Remedies® makes several great products that may be used for a fussy or gassy baby. Most babies have gas as their intestinal tract is still “developing” just like your infant during the first months of their lives. If they seem to have a lot of gas and are uncomfortable try the Little Remedies® Gas Relief Drops that contain Simethicone, which helps to break up gas.
     
    At times your baby may have the hiccups, which are more common in the first few months of your baby’s life. At other times your baby may seem to have “tummy discomfort” which may be associated with your baby drawing up their legs or arching their back. Little Remedies® Gripe Water is an herbal supplement containing ginger and fennel seed extract both of which may help calm your baby’s tummy as well as helping relieve hiccups.
     
    I recommend trying Little Remedies® Gas Relief Drops if your baby is just gassy and see how they respond. You may add Little Remedies® Gripe Water to the mix as well if they have hiccups and/or seem to be irritable at times. Every baby responds differently to different medications and you will soon see what works best for your own infant.
     
    Just make sure to follow the directions for each product you are using.
  • How do I relieve a baby’s congestion?

    Tabetha K. - My 7 week old son has our family cold...congested but will sneeze out green snot, little cough, but no fever. He's eating, and going potty well. Just wondering what I can do to help his congestion. We've tried baby Vicks and snot sucker and both only work so well.
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    Babies with colds get runny noses and congestion just like adults, but they may demonstrate more discomfort. I use nasal saline spray in each nostril to loosen and thin the mucous and then use a bulb syringe to help clear their airway. I am also a fan of taking the baby into the bathroom while running a steamy shower or using a cool mist humidifier in their room to help with the congestion.  Most importantly, it’s imperative to ensure that the baby is eating and staying hydrated, while not demonstrating any respiratory distress. Once the baby reaches 7 weeks of age, make sure they do not have a temperature above 100.4 degrees and be sure to reach out to your pediatrician if you are concerned.
  • Is my baby constipated?

    Michelle M. -  My two month baby girl has become constipated is there anything natural I can give that does not have possible side effects?
     
    Dr. Sue writes:
     
    During the first 4 - 6 weeks of an infant’s life babies may “poop” after ever feeding but as they get older they typically have less frequent stools. While parents often worry if their baby does not stool everyday, it may be normal for some babies to skip days here and there. The goal is that a baby has a soft stool (and it will look quite different if breast vs bottle) every 2 - 3 days. Babies will often grunt, turn bright red and seem uncomfortable when they pass a stool, but if their stool is soft this is normal and not a cause for concern.  If your baby is continuously having hard stools that look like small pellets you might want to discuss this with your pediatrician.

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