Posts for tag: Infants

By Walpole Pediatric Associates
January 16, 2018
Category: Children's Health
You might think that your child can’t develop tooth decay when their teeth have not grown in yet, but they can. Tooth decay in infants and very young children is often referred to as baby bottle tooth decay and it is easily preventable. Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when sweetened liquids or those with natural sugars--including milk, formula and fruit juice--cling to an infant’s teeth for a long time. 
 
The bacteria in the mouth thrive on this sugar and make acids that attack the teeth. Children that are at risk include those whose pacifiers are frequently dipped in sugar or syrup. And if you give your infant a sugary drink at nap time or nighttime, it is even more harmful, as the flow of saliva decreases during sleep. By talking to your pediatrician, you can easily prevent baby bottle tooth decay from developing. 

Tips from Your Pediatrician for Prevention

A few simple steps can help stave off baby bottle tooth decay. In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene at an early age, you can also:
  • Wipe your baby’s gums with clean a gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding.
  • Begin brushing your child’s teeth (without toothpaste), when his or her first tooth comes in.
  • Clean and massage gums in areas without teeth.
  • Floss once all the baby teeth have come in.
  • Ensure your child is receiving enough fluoride.
  • Schedule regular dental visits by your child’s first birthday.
Talk to your pediatrician for more information about how to protect your child from baby bottle tooth decay. Remember, your child’s oral health also affects their general health, so speak with your pediatrician for more information to protect your baby from harm.
By Walpole Pediatric Associates
December 15, 2017
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Baby Care   Infants   Colic  
All babies cry, it is their way of telling you that they’re hungry, wet, or tired. However, if your baby has colic, they may cry all the time. So how can you tell the difference between your baby’s normal tears and colic? 
 
Colic is a term used to describe uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy baby. If your baby is younger than 5 months old and cries for more than three hours in a row on three or more days a week for at least three weeks, chances are they are colicky. Colic is not a disease and won’t cause your baby any long-term harm, but it is tough to go through for both babies and their parents. By visiting your pediatrician, you can determine the best way to handle your colicky baby. 

Your Pediatrician Shares the Symptoms

When a baby is around two or three weeks old, colic most often shows up at this time. While babies normally cry to let you know when they are wet, hungry, frightened or tired, a baby with colic cries inconsolably and excessively—often at the same time of day. This can frequently occur in the late afternoon or evening.
 
If your baby has colic, their belly may also look enlarged. You may also notice that they alternately extend or pull up their legs and passes gas as they cry.  
 
Other symptoms of a baby that is otherwise healthy and well-fed include:
  • Predictable crying episodes. 
  • Intense or inconsolable crying. 
  • Posture changes. 

When to Visit Your Pediatrician

It is important to seek immediate medical attention if your baby’s crying could be the result of a fall or injury. Please call our pediatrician if you baby stops gaining weight or begins to lose weight.  Also, please call our office if your baby:
  • Can’t be soothed, even for a few minutes
  • Doesn’t suck strongly at the bottle or breast
  • Doesn’t like to be held or touched
  • Has an unusual-sounding cry, or sounds like they are in pain
  • Has diarrhea or blood in the stool
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Is less alert or sleepier than usual
  • Is eating less than usual
  • Is running a fever of 100.4 degrees or more
  • Is throwing up
We understand that a colicky baby can take a lot out of your day, but, as your pediatrician, we are available to help you better care for your colicky baby.  
By Walpole Pediatric Associates
November 03, 2017
Tags: Baby Care   Infants   Thumb Sucking  

Thumb SuckingMost young children use a pacifier or suck on their thumb or fingers. Sucking is a natural instinct for an infant and often sticks around as a comforting habit into the toddler years. However, this can be troublesome if your child persists sucking a thumb or pacifier past the age of four or when the permanent teeth begin erupting. The risk of these habits can lead to include overcrowded and crooked teeth, problems with the development of roof and mouth development and bite problems. Sometimes the front teeth may even tilt toward the lip or not come in properly.

Pacifiers and thumb sucking usually stop on their own when your child begins pre-school or kindergarten due to the peer pressure associated with begins around other children their age.  However, if your child is having trouble giving up thumb sucking or a pacifier, your pediatrician can offer you some helpful suggestions.

How to Stop Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Dependence

As a first step in dealing with your child’s sucking habits, ignore them. Most often, your child will stop on his or her own. Instead of forcing a change, your pediatrician offers these helpful tips:

  • Praise your child when he or she isn’t sucking their thumb or pacifier. Be positive and do not punish him or her.
  • Reward your child if he or she does not resort to thumb sucking or a pacifier during stressful situations or falls asleep without sucking.
  • Try trading the pacifier for another special toy.
  • Don’t make it into a power struggle or a dramatic experience trying to wean your child off the pacifier. Be patient and always remain positive.
  • Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety that may be causing your child to be dependent on sucking their thumb or a pacifier.
  • Bandage the thumb or place a sock over the hand at night to remind your child of the habit.
  • If serious enough, your dentist may also suggest a mouth appliance to block the ability to suck.
  • In infancy, avoid ever dipping your child’s pacifier in honey, sugar or syrup.

For more advice or counseling about your child’s thumb sucking or pacifier habits, please visit your pediatrician. With their help, you can successfully wean your child off of their thumb sucking and pacifier habit. 

By Walpole Pediatric Associates
September 15, 2017
Tags: Baby Care   Infants   Teething  

Baby TeethingTeething is an important part of your baby’s development. Although it can be an irritable time for your baby, there are many ways you can help ease the pain. Most babies get their first teeth around 6 months, but they might come anytime between 2 and 12 months of age. Teething does not cause a high fever or vomiting and diarrhea, so if your baby does develop these symptoms, it is important that you contact your pediatrician immediately. 

Helping Ease the Pain

When your baby is teething, all you want to do is help ease the pain. Your pediatrician offers a few tips to keep in mind when your baby is teething:

  • Wipe your baby’s face often with a cloth to remove drool and prevent rashes from developing.
  • Give your baby something to chew on, but make sure it is big enough so that it can’t be swallowed and that it can’t break into small pieces. Teething rings are a popular choice for babies to chew on, as well as plush toys that are crunchy on the inside.
  • Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger.
  • Never tie a teething ring around your baby’s neck, as it could get caught on something.
  • If your baby seems irritable, ask your pediatrician if it is okay to give your baby a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease discomfort.

Cleaning Your Baby’s New Teeth

Once your baby’s new teeth have arrived, they are susceptible to plaque buildup just like adult teeth, which can lead to discoloration and dental complications. However, do no use toothpaste on your child’s teeth until they are old enough to spit—around the age of 2 or 3. Until then, brush their teeth with a small, soft toothbrush and water. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that kids visit the dentist by age 1, when six to eight teeth are in place, in order to spot any potential problems and advise you about proper preventive care. 

By visiting your pediatrician, you can establish proper care for your child. Your pediatrician can help guide you in caring for your child through teething so that they are more comfortable.

By Walpole Pediatric Associates
August 01, 2017
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Baby Care   Nail Care   Infants  

 

When it comes to caring for your baby, nail care is often overlooked. In the first few months of life, you may not be too worried about caring for your baby’s nails. But at some point your little one will take a swipe at you, and you will quickly find out how sharp those nails are. Baby nail care is easy—for the most part. Your pediatrician is available to offer helpful tips to ensure proper care for your baby’s nails.

Proper nail care can be as simple as trimming the nails when they get long enough to scratch you. However, your baby may squirm and move around, which makes cutting his or her nails difficult. Your pediatrician, we want the process of cutting your baby’s nails to be as easy as possible, which is why we are available to offer friendly advice.

There is no wrong way to cut your baby’s nails, as long as you do not nick the baby, and the nails get trimmed. Your pediatrician shares some basic tips:

  • Clean your baby’s hands, feet and nails during regular bathing.
  • Hold your baby’s finger and palm steady with one hand and trim with the other.
  • Press down on the fleshy pad of his or her fingertip to move the skin away from the nail.
  • Cut along the shape of the nail and snip any sharp corners or use an emery board.

While these tips may be easy to follow, some parents may still remain concerned about cutting their baby’s nails. If you are still concerned, follow these tips to make the job easier:

  • Have your partner hold the baby while you trim the nails.
  • Do it while your baby is sleeping.
  • Use only baby nail clippers to trim the nails.
  • Wait until your baby is in a good mood and find something to distract him or her, such as a new video, toy or snack.


Visit your pediatrician for more information on how to care for your baby, including proper nail care.



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Walpole Pediatric Associates

(508) 668-2200
1350 Main Street Walpole, MA 02081