Tag Archives: health

BABY NOT EATING? TRY THIS BABY PRODUCT.

mesh feeder for giving baby solid foods

Baby Safe Disposable Feeder

BABY GEAR TO ASSIST WITH EATING SOLID FOODS

A teething feeder is a very simple and inexpensive baby product for parents with babies who are refusing solid foods. Just take a small piece of food and place it in the mesh container which has a ring on it for baby to hold.  Baby will place the mesh surrounded piece of food into her mouth and suck on it.  She will receive much of the nourishment of the solid food by sucking on it.  When baby is having difficulty chewing and/or swallowing solid foods, this is an excellent option.  The baby milestone of eating can be challenging for some babies and this feeder helps them through the transition.   It is also great for introducing new flavors to baby’s diet and these feeders come with a convenient storage cap for travel.

WHEN TO INTRODUCE SOLID FOODS TO BABY

Recent research shows the best time to introduce solid foods to baby is at age six months.  It is important not to introduce solid foods before baby is ready to sit up, chew and swallow the food.  Foods that are a bit soft such as strawberries, banana, watermelon, or cooked zucchini are best to use with this feeder.  Keep the food temperature not too hot or not too cold.  Remember to always check with your pediatrician to see what foods are best for your baby.

FEEDING BABY ON THE GO

Parents are always looking for ways to feed baby when traveling.  The teething feeder comes with a cap which allows moms to prepare the food ahead of time by placing it in the mesh container and covering it with a cap until it is time for baby to suck on it.  This mesh cover also prevents choking hazards as you feed baby solid foods.  The mesh keeps the solid part of the food from getting into baby’s mouth which can possibly cause choking.  Sometimes both parents and child are easily distracted especially when outside the home environment, so always keep your eyes on baby when when she is eating.

 


SOLID FOOD FOR BABIES

WHEN TO INTRODUCE SOLID FOODS TO BABIES

This week the New York Times published an article which clearly identifies the best time to introduce solid foods to babies.  “Infants Are Fed Solid Food Too Soon, C.D.C. Finds,” was published on the heels of a research study published in the journal Pediatrics.  Researchers discovered that many parents are feeding their baby solid food long before the infant’s system can handle it.  Some parents fed their infant solid food as young as early as 4 weeks.   The recommended age for feeding babies solid foods is six months, states the New York Times article.

MYTHS ABOUT FEEDING BABY SOLID FOODS

Researchers found some common reasons that parents feed babies solid food before they were ready.  The article identifies the following myths which are not reasons to feed babies solid food:  to help improve sleep, because they are hungry, baby is growing rapidly, it helps baby put on weight, or because it is easy to feed them a small portion of the meal prepared for the family.  In fact, studies show problems such as obesity can result when babies are fed solid food too soon.  It is very important for parents to understand not to feed baby solids until he is 6 months old.

BABY DEVELOPMENT FOR EATING SOLID FOODS

The development of a baby includes the achievement of certain milestones which prepare baby for the milestone of eating solid foods.  These important developmental skills enable a baby to sit and chew food that is taken from a fork or spoon.  These skills include:

  • ability to sit
  • ability to keep his head lifted or upright
  • ability to chew 
  • ability to close the mouth when food is put into it
  • development of gut bacteria in the intestines (not a motor skill)

 

Once a baby has acquired these abilities and is 6 months old, check with your pediatrician to confirm that it is time to start feeding him solids.  Remember to ask the pediatrician for a list of recommended solids to feed baby and a list of foods to avoid feeding baby.

 


BABY EXERCISES FOR RELIEF FROM CONSTIPATION

baby in tummy time with one foot up toward ceiling

HOW DO YOU HELP A BABY WITH CONSTIPATION ?

One of the most common dilemas I see with new moms is how to solve the problem of baby constipation.   Some people suggest that mothers who breastfeed should remove dairy from their diet or add papaya to their diet.  Recently I spoke with an experienced doula on the topic and she advised moms to just be patient since sometimes constipation is a sign of developmental change in baby’s digestive system.  She mentioned that it is common for babies to have constipation around the three month age.  I  recommend that mothers learn a few hands-on exercises to practice at home when baby has constipation.  These hands-on skills help improve circulation and stretch the muscles surrounding the area of pelvis and hips.  Since constipation my bring tightness in the muscles around the abdomen and hips, movements to improve circulation and stretch the muscles in these areas may provide some relief.  And of course, always check with your pediatrician when you have concerns.  Try the following three baby exercise moves, in the order presented, to relieve infant constipation discomfort and improve digestion and elimination.

BABY EXERCISE #1:  MASSAGE THE ABDOMEN

Begin with baby on her back.  Gently rub your hands along her abdomen in long strokes moving from her pelvis toward her head.  Take your time and brush slowly!  This can be done with baby clothed or with her bare skin.  Brush with a bit of pressure, it your touch is too light you will effect only her skin.  With just a bit more pressure this massage stimulates both her lymphatic system and nervous system.  The nervous system will feel which muscles are being tightly contracted and then relax them.  Your constipated baby may be sensitive to the touch if she is experiencing internal discomfort, so gage your pressure by her response.  Lighten your pressure if she looks uncomfortable with your touch.

BABY EXERCISE #2:  BEND AND STRETCH THE LEGS

While baby is on her back, take one leg and bend it in toward the chest and then extend it toward the straight leg position.  Repeat this several times with one leg and then repeat several times with the other leg.  The hand that is holding her leg should gently squeeze the leg so she feels the movements more clearly.  This baby exercise will gently stimulate circulation and stretch muscles in the lower abdominal and hip area.  A baby with constipation will benefit from this exercise which may help release gas.

BABY EXERCISE #3:  TUMMY-TIME WITH THIGH LIFTS

Put baby in tummy-time with a favorite toy as in the above photo. The position of tummy-time gently stretches the abdominal area.  Place one hand under her thigh and close to her knee.  Place the other hand on her ankle.  Gently lift her thigh off of the floor just a little bit.  Make sure the hand near the knee is doing the lifting and move very slowly, pausing for a moment before returning to the starting position.  This elongates the muscles in the front of baby’s hip joint and abdominal area.


BOOK REVIEW: TREATMENT ALTERNATIVES FOR CHILDREN

Treatment Alternatives for Children book cover

A MANUAL FOR CHILDREN AND BABY’S HEALTH ISSUES

Treatment Alternatives for Children presents side-by-side comparisons between conventional and alternative treatment options for over 100 common childhood illnesses, allergies, and health incidents such as bee stings.  The information is presented in a way that is easy for parents to understand and apply.  Written by Lawrence Rosen, M.D., and Jeff Cohen, this is a must-have book for parents.  Rosen is a “nationally recognized expert in pediatric integrative medicine and Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Integrative Medicine.”  He is the founder of the Whole Child Center, a primary care practice in new Jersery with a focus on integrative medicine.  Cohen has authored three books and is the holistic parent of two children. Together Rosen and Cohen combine years of clinical and parenting experience and expertise with a well-organized writing style to create an essential addition to one’s collection of parenting books.

The clarity of presentation makes it easy to navigate this book.  The table of contents groups ailments into categories such as tummy, temperature, skin, first aid, nervous system, and breathing.  This is followed by an alphabetical list of ailments.  Each ailment is presented with a  brief discussion followed by a chart containing categories such as how the treatment works, active ingredient, dosage, side effects, and less serious side effects.  The chart allows parents to find the information needed immediately without having to read a lot of extra words.  Specific brand names of products are recommended as well as the use of items from your kitchen cupboard such as honey or baking soda.  The chapter “Baby Matters” addresses the following common baby health issues:

  • Colic
  • Cradle Cap
  • Diaper Rash
  • Newborn Eye Discharge
  • Spitting Up
  • Teething
  • Thrush
  • Umbilical Cord Care

 

The reference section at the back of the book includes three alphabetized lists for quick reference:  ailments, conventional remedies, and alternative remedies.  It also features a section with a few top ten treatment lists such as:

  • Ten Spice Rack Resouces
  • Ten Curative Foods and Beverages
  • Ten Indispensible Oils
  • Ten Healing Herbs and Plants
  • Ten Helpful Homeopathics

 

The authors also touch on issues such as failure to thrive, bed wetting, ADHD/ADD, and sleep issues.  If your child has an ache, bee sting, allergy, or accident, it is probably covered in this book.  For easy reference in the future, buy the book and read it to familiarize yourself with the layout.

 


HEALTHY HALLOWEEN TREATS

HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES

As many parents and children celebrate Halloween, we would like to offer some tips on how to have a healthy Halloween for baby’s future years.  First, choose festive activities over candy-collecting (a.k.a. trick-or-treating) which is much better for children’s health.  Many communities now offer fun family Halloween activities on the weekend prior to the holiday as well as on October 31st.  Just read your local papers and check the nearest Moms Club calendar for listings.  This year our neighborhood offered a costume contest at a local restaurant, a carnival with camel rides and a bounce house, a pumpkin patch, a haunted hayride, and a carnival at a local school.  Who needs to go trick-or-treating with so many fun activities to attend?

TRICK-OR-TREATING

If you take your toddler trick-or-treating, try and keep some healthy options mixed in with the candy.  Buy a healthy treat to give to kids who come to your door so you will not be stuck eating left-over candy.   Today, CNN offered some tips we would love to share:  “Make better candy choices.”  Here are our favorite suggestions:

TOP 3 TIPS FOR HEALTHY HALLOWEEN TREATS

  1. Choose healthy food such as unsalted nuts for trick-or-treats.
  2. Give a non-edible treats such as stickers, or trading cards.
  3. Donate part of your candy to Halloween Candy Buy Back.

Remember one of the most important facts is that sugar creates cavities.  The hard candies such as lollipops are the treats that do the most damage because they stick to the teeth.  Encourage brushing the teeth immediately after eating candy, if possible. For more information about teeth that is specific to babies, please read our posts on how to promote healthy teeth for baby:

BABY TOOTH DECAY

BABY CAVITIES

 

HAVE A HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND SAFE HALLOWEEN!


CHILDHOOD OBESITY RESEARCH: C-SECTIONS

“C-Section May Boost Childhood Obesity Risk, Study Finds,”  Jennifer Huget, The Washington Post, May 23, 2012.

WHAT IS CHILDHOOD OBESITY ?

“Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height,” defines the Mayo Clinic.  Physical diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol used to be prevalent primarily among adults.    Now, we see children with extra weight (obesity) heading down the path toward these conditions.  Furthermore, children with obesity are at risk for developing poor self-esteem.  Research is showing us how certain factors in infancy may contribute toward the development of this condition.

OBESITY AND C-SECTIONS

This past May, research was published in the BMJ Archives of Disease in Childhood  showed babies delivered by c-section were more likely to become obese as children than babies born vaginally.  In fact, they were almost twice as likely to become obese.  The study looked at records of 1255 mom/baby pairs, with 274 delivered by c-section and 971 delivered vaginally.  Researchers looked at both the BMI (Body Mass Index) and the skin-fold of the children at the age of three.  BMI is calculated from the weight and height and is a screening tool.  At the age of three, 15.7 percent of the babies delivered by c-section were obese compared with 7.5 percent of those delivered vaginally.

The authors of the study suggest that the babies delivered by c-section are not exposed to the same colonies of digestive bacteria as a baby delivered vaginally.  They suggest that this lack of digestive bacteria may diminish the digestion and absorption process of food and contribute to obesity.  The authors point out that 4 to 18 percent of c-sections are carried out at “maternal request” rather than at the doctor’s recommendation.

PREVENTION OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Once baby is born it is not possible to change the way in which she entered this world.  Although we can can not change the fact that some babies were born by c-section, what we can do is minimize other contributing factors.  Parents help prevent childhood obesity by feeding babies and toddlers healthy and fresh foods rather than highly processed ones and by providing daily time on a play mat, in a swimming pool, or at the park for exercise.  Although a c-section can be a life-saving delivery method, elective ones may diminish with this new research.  Through pre-natal education, research studies such as this one may provide important points of discussion regarding the cost/benefit of an elective c-section delivery.