Infant | Fit Pregnancy

Infant

Double Trouble?

Double-Trouble

"Two in a family" visits that include a toddler typically don't work as well as individual appointments. But if you can't do it any other way, make the experience smoother for all involved by following these tips:

Dress to undress No putting your baby in bodysuits that have to be snapped and unsnapped; dress her in a shirt that pulls over her head easily. Avoid leggings or tights for your older daughter; put her in underwear she's proud of (if she's out of diapers) so she'll be happier to get undressed.

Baby Bites

Baby-Bites

The American Academy of Pediatrics and virtually all other experts advise against introducing solids before 6 months of age, so I'd wait awhile before giving him any more. (Babies are not meant to digest solids at 4 months, as you have observed.) When you do offer solids again, start with small amounts of fruits and vegetables, such as applesauce, pureed carrots, smashed pears or sweet potatoes; try them for a few weeks or more before offering oatmeal or cereal grains.

Protect Your Baby's Choppers

The most prevalent childhood disease is dental caries (aka cavities), but thankfully, cavities are largely preventable--as long as you start caring for your baby's teeth as soon as they sprout, usually at 6 to 9 months. "It only takes a couple of months for cavities to form," warns Joel Berg, D.D.S., M.S., a professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of Washington School of Dentistry in Seattle. Here's how to avoid early-childhood tooth decay.

Baby Spacing

Baby-Spacing

In more than 100 years of observing women having children, physicians and medical researchers have noted that the natural timing between pregnancies for healthy women who are breastfeeding and not using birth control tends to be between 18 and 24 months. What's more, a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that spacing pregnancies less than 18 months or more than 59 months apart appears to be associated with a greater risk of problems such as preterm birth and low birth weight.

Milk and Coffee

Milk-and-Coffee

Most experts recommend caffeine in moderation--that is, one to two cups of coffee daily--while breastfeeding. Since the servings you're having are not the "grande" size, you and your baby should be just fine. (This is one aspect of breastfeeding where cup size does matter!)

A Touchy Topic

A-Touchy-Topic

I think you need to speak up. It sounds like this child may be exhibiting signs of autism, and if he is, early intervention can be very beneficial. When you approach the parents, be honest but sensitive. Tell them you've cared for many children and have noticed that their son is speaking later and playing a little differently than most. If they ask what you suspect, simply say your experience shows that all kids with "differences" can benefit from a good evaluation.

Easing baby into his crib

Easing-baby-into-his-crib

I recommend a very gentle approach. Start by nursing your son for a shorter time in his own room and soothing him to sleep by patting and rubbing him through the bars of the crib. Do this for a few nights; for another few evenings, soothe him to sleep with no nursing. Finally, spend several nights talking to him until he falls asleep, with no rubbing or patting. I don't pretend this is a "no-cry" solution, but your baby's distress will be mitigated by your or your husband's presence. For more information, visit drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp.

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