Infant | Fit Pregnancy

Infant

Sleeping Through the Night

Sleeping-Through-the-Night

Many babies, especially newborns, sleep only a few hours at a stretch because they need to waken to be cuddled or fed. Some may start sleeping longer at 4 or 5 months; others may not until after the first year. To help fix this problem, many books tell you to let your baby cry it out beginning in his first few weeks. But by enforcing these sleep-changing programs, you encourage less contact with, and feeding by, your baby.

Traveling with an Infant

Traveling-with-an-Infant

Include the following items in your travel kit and you'll be prepared for many minor wounds and mild ailments. A word of caution, however: All medicines have potential side effects, so call your pediatrician before using any of them. Also call your doc if your child's symptoms are worrisome in any way. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)This pain reliever soothes teething discomfort and reduces the fever that accompanies mild viral illnesses.

Swim Lessons

Swim-Lessons

Many experts recommend swimming lessons only after the age of 4, but I disagree. While I certainly do believe that children can't possibly be water-safe until they're at least 4 years old--and actually well older than that, in my opinion--lessons at 12 months or even younger help children become comfortable in the water. When the time comes to really learn how to swim, they'll enjoy the process much more and be less fearful.

Tofu For Tots?

Tofu-For-Tots

Tofu is safe for babies as young as 9 to 12 months old, provided it is part of a well-balanced diet. Critics of soy, a low-fat source of protein, overstate the potential drawbacks--severe allergies manifested in intestinal symptoms such as excess gas, bloating and diarrhea, and thyroid problems--and fail to note the benefits. The average American child's diet is too high in animal protein and saturated fat; eating tofu can help to change this. More study is needed before we can talk knowledgeably about any dangers.

Endless Colds

Endless-Colds

Viruses only seem to be passed back and forth from one child to the other. The reality is that they are getting different "bugs" each time. Every time a child gets a viral illness, the immune system makes antibodies to prevent its recurrence.

Deep Doo-doo

Deep-Doo-doo

In a word: regression. When the new baby arrives, much of your focus will be on her diapers--specifically, the pee and poop in those diapers. It can be hard for a toddler to see so much attention being showered on one family member's elimination habits at the same time that he is supposed to be "growing up" and giving up his diapers.

Thrush Remedies

Thrush-Remedies

It could be yeast, also known as thrush, a fungus that grows in warm, moist areas such as a baby's mouth or diaper area. It also can be found on a breastfeeding mother's nipples. One of the best ways to diagnose yeast is to try gently scraping it off with your fingernail; leftover milk will come off fairly easily, while yeast can't be scraped off. My first-line natural approach is to use 10 drops of grapefruit-seed extract per ounce of water. Apply this to your baby's tongue and, if you're breastfeeding, to your nipples every two to three hours for at least a week.

Jellyfish Stings

Jellyfish-Stings

Jellyfish tentacles release a very irritating toxin that leaves a line of raised, itchy, painful bumps. If your child is stung, rinse the affected area with saltwater (or vinegar, if you or the lifeguard have it on hand). Don't use fresh water, which can worsen the injury. If stingers are left on the skin, apply a baking soda paste and "shave" the area with the edge of a credit card to remove them, which will slow the injury's progress. If an arm or leg was stung, immobilize it with a splint to stop the venom from spreading.

Breast Milk Allergies

Breast-Milk-Allergies

No. If your baby had been allergic to anything in your system, he would have died before birth. Perhaps what your doctor meant is that your baby is allergic to a particular food in your diet. Your breast milk can contain protein fragments from foods, and if your baby is allergic to them, they can cause gas, rashes, reflux or other problems. To figure out if this is the case, eliminate from your diet the foods that are most likely to cause allergic reactions--dairy products, eggs, peanuts and soy--for two weeks. Then slowly add each one back in while monitoring your baby's reaction.

Flouride Drops

Flouride-Drops

I think that practicing good dental hygiene and not feeding a baby juice, sugary cereals, soft drinks or candy (yes, some people give these to babies) is more effective than fluoride supplementation. That said, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends checking with your pediatrician to find out if fluoride drops are necessary after age 6 months. If the fluoride in your water supply is greater than 0.3 parts per million (call your water district to find out), you shouldn't supplement until your child is 3 years old.

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