Wednesday, April 11, 2012

more on VOMITING

What should I do if my baby's vomiting?


How to take your baby or toddler's temperature

Watch a pediatrician demonstrate how to take your baby or toddler's temperature in four different ways, including rectally and under the arm, and learn what type of thermometer to use.
Throwing up is usually no cause for alarm. But in some cases it can signal a serious health problem. Here's how to tell when your baby's vomiting needs immediate medical attention — and how to deal with vomiting that doesn't require a doctor's care.
Call 911 immediately if:
  • Your baby's having trouble breathing
  • He shows signs of severe dehydration, like sunken eyes, cold, splotchy hands and feet, excessive sleepiness or fussiness, or sunken fontanels (the soft spots on his head)
Take your baby to the emergency room if:
  • He seems in severe pain. Your baby obviously can't explain what's going on, but you know him best and can probably tell when he's in considerable pain. He could have a blockage in his bowel or some other problem that needs immediate attention.
  • His vomit contains bile (a green substance) or blood that resembles dark coffee grounds. The doctor will probably want to see a sample of the vomit if it contains blood or bile, so as distasteful as it is, you should try to save some in a plastic baggie. Green bile can indicate that the intestines are blocked, a condition that needs immediate attention.
  • He has a swollen, tender abdomen. This could indicate a buildup of fluid or gas, a blocked intestine, a hernia, or some other digestive tract problem. Blockages are uncommon but serious.
  • He vomits more than once after suffering a head injury, which may indicate a concussion.
Call your baby's doctor if:
  • Your baby's been vomiting for more than 24 hours. For some illnesses, this is perfectly normal, but check with the doctor to be sure.
  • He shows signs of becoming dehydrated. These can include decreased urination (more than six to eight hours without a wet diaper), dry lips and mouth, crying without tears if he's more than a couple weeks old (it takes two to three weeks for a baby to shed his first tears), lethargy, and dark yellow urine.
  • The vomit contains blood. A little blood in the vomit is usually nothing to worry about, as the force of vomiting can cause tiny tears in the blood vessels lining the esophagus. Your baby's vomit may also be tinged with red if he's swallowed blood from a cut in his mouth or a nosebleed within the last six hours. But call the doctor if your baby continues to have blood in his vomit or the amount increases. As mentioned above, if the blood resembles dark coffee grounds, go to the emergency room right away.
  • He has violent, persistent vomiting within half an hour of eating. This may be a sign ofpyloric stenosis (see below). Contact the doctor as soon as possible.
  • You notice a yellowing of your baby's skin or the whites of his eyes, which is a sign ofjaundice. Jaundice accompanied by pain in the upper right side of the abdomen (which, of course, your baby won't be able to describe for you) may signal hepatitis.
Call a poison control center if:
  • You suspect your baby has swallowed something poisonous. Call the American Association of Poison Control Center's national emergency hot line at (800) 222-1222 or your local poison control center immediately. If you can identify what he's swallowed — for example, you find an empty medicine bottle — tell the medical experts what it is and they'll give you exact instructions for taking care of your baby.


Sick baby with caring mom
Is it serious? Find out fast
Experts used to tell parents to keep either syrup of ipecac or activated charcoal on hand for poisoning emergencies. But that's no longer the case: Ipecac is not an effective treatment for poisoning — most emergency rooms don't even use it anymore — and activated charcoal hasn't been proven a safe or effective remedy to give children at home.

If you have ipecac in your home, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that youdispose of it immediately and safely. (Never throw away any medications in a garbage can that your baby can get into.)

How can I keep my baby from getting dehydrated?

Dehydration can be a serious problem for babies, and if your baby is vomiting (or has a fever or diarrhea), he's losing precious fluids.

One way to keep your baby hydrated when he's been vomiting is with an electrolyte solution as soon as he's able to keep liquids down. Such solutions are sold over the counter in most drugstores — ask your pharmacist.

Don't force your baby to drink the electrolyte solution when he's still vomiting frequently (every five or ten minutes). But after his tummy's been calm for half an hour or so, offer him slow, frequent sips — say 1 teaspoon (5 cc) every ten minutes for a couple of hours. Then — if he tolerates that well — increase the amount to 2 teaspoons (10 cc) every five minutes. Continue to progress slowly until the vomiting eases up.

Juice can sometimes make matters worse (especially if your baby also has diarrhea), but if he's old enough to drink juice and it seems the best way to keep him hydrated, you can give it a try. Don't increase the amount of juice he normally drinks in a day, but you might try diluting it with water. (So if he's drinking 3 or 4 ounces of juice in a day, you might dilute this to 6 or 8 ounces of liquid.) Don't give your baby carbonated drinks or water.

Once your baby's tummy seems fine, you can resume formula feeding or breastfeeding. (Some moms breastfeed a bit while giving their babies electrolyte solution, while others wait. Take your cues from your baby.)

What about medications ?

Don't give your baby any prescription or over-the-counter anti-nausea medication unless his doctor recommends it.

And never give medications containing aspirin to a baby. Aspirin can make children susceptible to Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal illness.

When can my baby eat solids again?

Once your baby's vomiting diminishes or stops and his appetite returns, you can slowly reintroduce other fluids as well as healthful foods if he's on a solid diet. The AAP recommends that a child recovering from stomach troubles resume a normal diet as soon as possible: Offer whatever solid foods your baby normally eats, including complex carbohydrates (like breads, cereals, and rice), lean meats, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables — but steer clear of fatty foods.

This differs from the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) that doctors used to prescribe. Studies show that reintroducing a standard diet can actually shorten recovery time by half a day because it restores essential nutrients that the body needs to fight infection.

Why is my baby vomiting?

Babies vomit for a number of reasons. And while it's always disconcerting for you and scary for your baby — it may even make him cry — vomiting usually isn't serious. (For guidance on when to see a doctor, see the first section of this article.)

Vomiting is different from spitting up, which your baby will also do, typically after a feeding. When a baby spits up — whether it's a few teaspoons trickling down his chin or a sizable amount on your shoulder — it comes out effortlessly, without seeming to upset his tummy or the rest of his body.

If your baby's throwing up, you'll want to find out what's causing it, both to confirm that he's okay and to make him more comfortable. Possible causes include:

Feeding problems
During your baby's first few months, vomiting is most likely linked to feeding problems, such as overfeeding or indigestion. A less common cause is an allergy to proteins in your breast milk or formula.

Viral or bacterial infection
Once your baby's a few months old, a stomach flu or other intestinal illness is the most likely culprit. If a virus or bacteria has infected your baby's stomach lining or intestine, other symptoms may include diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and fever. The vomiting usually stops within 12 to 24 hours.

Other infections
Congestion or a respiratory infection can lead to vomiting, especially during a coughing fit. A urinary tract infection and even an ear infection can sometimes cause nausea and vomiting. Throwing up can also be a symptom of serious illnesses like pneumonia,meningitisappendicitis, and, in rare cases, Reye's syndrome.

If your otherwise healthy baby throws up right after eating, chances are gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is to blame. Reflux happens when the muscle between your baby's esophagus and stomach isn't working properly, allowing food and gastric acid to gurgle up from the stomach into the throat.

Although your baby can't tell you about his discomfort, he may also have an upset tummy and a burning sensation or irritation in his throat and chest. The problem will probably disappear by his first birthday, when the muscle gets stronger.

It's important to talk with the doctor if you think your baby may have GERD, though, because it can cause poor weight gain and other medical problems, and the doctor can prescribe medicine to help make your baby more comfortable.

Pyloric stenosis
This condition is most likely to occur in the first few weeks of life and rarely shows up after a baby's 6-month birthday. Babies with pyloric stenosis vomit when the muscle leading from the stomach into the intestines thickens so much that food can't pass through.

This usually causes forceful projectile vomiting. Because it can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and other health problems, it requires immediate medical attention. If you think your baby may have this condition, contact his doctor as soon as possible. Pyloric stenosis can be corrected with surgery.

Motion sickness
Some babies and children tend to get motion sickness, which can be a problem if your daily routine includes a car trip. Experts believe that motion sickness happens when there's a disconnect between what your baby sees and what he senses with the motion-sensitive parts of his body, such as his inner ears and some nerves.

Poisonous substance
Your baby could be vomiting if he's swallowed something toxic, such as a drug, plant, medicine, or chemical. Or he may have gotten food poisoning from contaminated food or water. He may also have diarrhea.

Excessive crying
A prolonged bout of crying or coughing can trigger the gag reflex and make your baby throw up. Although it's troubling for both of you, throwing up during a crying spell won't physically harm your baby. If he appears otherwise healthy, there's no reason to be concerned.

Can I do anything to prevent vomiting?

Yes, several strategies are worth trying:
  • If your baby vomits after feedings, give him smaller amounts and burp him more often. Don't bounce him on your knee, put him in a bouncy chair, or let him get too active right after he eats — the food needs time to settle in his tummy. Keeping him upright for about half an hour after he's finished eating also helps.
  • If your baby has a lot of phlegm and mucus from a respiratory infection, try using abulb syringe to clear his nose. He probably won't enjoy it, but it isn't painful and may provide some relief.
  • To help minimize motion sickness, schedule plenty of stops during your trips to give your baby a chance to get some fresh air and calm his tummy. If he's eating solids, give him a small snack before the trip — having something in his stomach will help. And offer plenty of fluids to keep him hydrated; otherwise he may get headachy or even dizzy or weak, which will only make him more miserable.

when baby vomits often

Spitting Up and Vomiting in Babies

Spitting up and vomiting in babies have become a huge area of parental concern. Part of the concern is positive because it reflects a better understanding of reflux disease, but another part may be negative and reflects a push to blame vomiting for all problems (such as colic). As a result, there is a trend to place younger and younger infants on medications they may not really need and for whom possible side effects have not been determined.

What Causes Reflux in Babies?

After your baby swallows milk, it glides past the back of the throat into a muscular tube (the esophagus) and, from there, into the stomach. At the junction of the esophagus and the stomach is a ring of muscles (lower esophageal sphincter) that opens to let the milk drop into the stomach and then tightens to prevent the milk (and the stomach contents) from moving back up into the esophagus. If the stomach contents should happen to re-enter the esophagus, this is called "reflux."
Infants are especially prone to reflux because:
  1. Their stomachs are quite small (about the size of their fists or a golf ball), so they are easily distended by the milk.
  2. The lower esophagus valve may be immature and may not tighten up when it should.

Is Your Baby a "Happy Spitter?"

Every baby spits up or vomits occasionally, and some do quite often or even with every feeding. If, despite the spitting, your baby is
  • content
  • in no discomfort
  • growing
  • experiencing no breathing problems from the vomiting
she is what pediatricians call "a happy spitter" and no treatment is needed. Typically, the lower esophagus valve tightens up sometime in the first year, usually around 4-5 months of age, at which time the spitting up may go away.

Could Your Baby Have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

Unlike happy spitters, babies are diagnosed with GERD if the vomiting seems to be causing significant problems, such as:
  • discomfort and pain (presumably heartburn due to the acid-filled stomach contents irritating the esophagus)
  • breathing problems of any kind (gagging, choking, coughing, wheezing, and, worst-case scenario, pneumonia due to inhalation of the stomach contents into the lungs, called aspiration).
  • poor growth (due to the loss of so much nutrition from vomiting)
If your baby has any of the above GERD symptoms, talk to your pediatrician, who can perform different tests to diagnosis and treat it correctly.

Tips for Concerned Parents

For any spitter, there are a few things that might help:
  • Keep your baby upright for a half hour or so after a feeding (to let gravity help out).
  • Make sure there's no pressure on the stomach after a feeding. For example, try to wait at least 30 minutes after feeding before putting baby in her car seat.
  • Thicken feedings (usually by adding some rice cereal) so they're heavier and less likely to come back up.
Sometimes these simple maneuvers help enough to keep your baby as a happy spitter. But when they don't work, your pediatrician may suggest antacid drugs and/or medications that tighten the valve. Each has potential benefits and side effects, and only your pediatrician can decide which, if any, is right for your baby.

When to Worry About Baby's Spitting Up and Vomiting

If your baby is a spitter and experiencing discomfort, poor growth, choking, gagging, coughing, or frequent respiratory symptoms, then GERD should be considered.
However, most babies who have reflux are happy spitters. Medications in such cases should be avoided!
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on December 21, 2010

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Friday, March 16, 2012

good read

Bilingual babies: The roots of bilingualism in newborns

Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 14:30 in Psychology & Sociology
It may not be obvious, but hearing two languages regularly during pregnancy puts infants on the road to bilingualism by birth. According to new findings in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, infants born to bilingual mothers (who spoke both languages regularly during pregnancy) exhibit different language preferences than infants born to mothers speaking only one language. Psychological scientists Krista Byers-Heinlein and Janet F. Werker from the University of British Columbia along with Tracey Burns of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in France wanted to investigate language preference and discrimination in newborns. Two groups of newborns were tested in these experiments: English monolinguals (whose mothers spoke only English during pregnancy) and Tagalog-English bilinguals (whose mothers spoke both Tagalog, a language spoken in the Philippines, and English regularly during pregnancy). The researchers employed a method known as "high-amplitude sucking-preference procedure" to study the infants' language preferences. This method capitalizes on the newborns' sucking reflex — increased sucking indicates interest in a stimulus. In the first experiment, infants heard 10 minutes of speech, with every minute alternating between English and Tagalog.
Results showed that English monolingual infants were more interested in English than Tagalog — they exhibited increased sucking behavior when they heard English than when they heard Tagalog being spoken. However, bilingual infants had an equal preference for both English and Tagalog. These results suggest that prenatal bilingual exposure may affect infants' language preferences, preparing bilingual infants to listen to and learn about both of their native languages.
To learn two languages, bilingual newborns must also be able to keep their languages apart. To test if bilingual infants are able to discriminate between their two languages, infants listened to sentences being spoken in one of the languages until they lost interest. Then, they either heard sentences in the other language or heard sentences in the same language, but spoken by a different person. Infants exhibited increased sucking when they heard the other language being spoken. Their sucking did not increase if they heard additional sentences in the same language. These results suggest that bilingual infants, along with monolingual infants, are able to discriminate between the two languages, providing a mechanism from the first moments of life that helps ensure bilingual infants do not confuse their two languages.
The researchers observe that, "Monolingual newborns' preference for their single native language directs listening attention to that language" and that, "Bilingual newborns' interest in both languages helps ensure attention to, and hence further learning about, each of their languages." Discrimination of the two languages helps prevent confusion. The results of these studies demonstrate that the roots of bilingualism run deeper than previously imagined, extending even to the prenatal period.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

teething pain

I realize that even though this might be distressing for me to see our baby experiencing discomfort, it is probably more for him.

I want to know more in this issue especially since I am a first time mother.
Reading this through to learn more at just how to take care of our baby during this disturbing TEETHING time.

Relieving Your Child's Teething Pain

It's downright sad that something that is a natural part of your baby's growth has to be so painful for them. Changes in your baby's behaviour can cause you to become stressed and frustrated. But you also likely have everything you need to make your baby feel better.
Tips for relief of your child's teething pain

Tips for Relief of Your Child's Teething Pain

Just when your baby adapts to a sleeping and eating schedule, teething pain can throw it out the window. With these tips, you can help your baby find relief so that neither of you feel like you're at square one again.
Tips for Relief of Your Child's Teething Pain
The first sign of primary (or baby) teeth usually brings a change in your baby's behaviour. A lot of that change has to do with pain. That's understandable because the pain can affect their eating and sleeping — not to mention your own.
Recommended tips to relieve your baby's teething pain
To give your baby the relief they're crying for, try these tips:
·         Gently rub a clean finger over your baby's gums — to temporarily numb the pain. [from]
·         Use your parenting magic — distract your baby from teething pain by rocking, singing, cuddling or playing with them.
·         Take away your baby's pacifier (if they're using one) — your baby may chew the end of the pacifier, which could pose a choking hazard.
·         Get your baby a cold, liquid-filled teething ring or washcloth to chew on — the coolness will help numb teething pain and will also help your baby's teeth break through the surface of their gums. [from]
·         Switch to a hard or bumpy rubber teething ring when your baby's molars have come in
·         Take precautions with teething rings — ensure your baby's teething ring is DINP free (this additive is found in soft vinyl [PVC] products and poses a potential health risk) and never tie a teething ring or pacifier around your baby's neck (the chord may get caught and pose a strangling risk).
·         Cold applesauce or yogurt can help numb pain if your baby is eating solid foods. [from]
·         Use an over-the-counter (OTC) pain relieving medication specially formulated for infants — to relieve your baby's teething pain, like Infants' TYLENOL® Drops. Do not put Infants' TYLENOL® or any painkiller directly against your child's gums because it may burn the dental tissue.
·         Ask your pharmacist about a topical anesthetic or teething gel — these gels may help numb teething pain for about 20 minutes but should not be used before breastfeeding because your baby's tongue may be numbed to the point where they can't suck properly. [from]
·         Do not give your baby products containing acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)—ASA may cause a dangerous medical condition called Reye's Syndrome.
When your baby's teeth break through their gums, you should also:
·         Help prevent tooth decay by limiting the amount of sugar you allow your baby to have— that includes replacing a bottle of juice with one filled with water, and avoid giving your baby a cookie or two to chew on, especially at bedtime
·         As teeth erupt, clean them with a soft baby toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste — breast milk that is very sweet should be cleaned from your baby's teeth
When to call the doctor about your baby's teething pain
Most children go through teething without the need to see the doctor but in some cases it may be worthwhile to arrange for a doctor's appointment:
·         If your baby's gums are bleeding — minimal bleeding may indicate an infection
·         If your baby is running a fever — since there is no proof that a fever is a normal part of teething, this too may be a sign of infection. Sometimes teething pain can be confused with ear pain at this age.
·         If the pain gets worse
·         Any time you feel unsure about any of your baby's symptoms.
You should also make an appointment with your child's doctor if your child is experiencing a toothache as a result of a thrush. Oral thrush is a condition in which the fungus "Candida albicans" accumulates on the lining of the mouth. Oral thrush causes creamy white lesions, usually on the tongue or inner cheeks. The lesions can be painful and may bleed slightly when scraped. Sometimes oral thrush may spread to the roof of the mouth, gums, tonsils or the back of the throat.

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