Answers to most frequently asked questions:
My newborn has a rash, is she allergic to something?
No, the red dots on her face and body that look like flea bites are called erythema toxicum and are a normal newborn rash that will go away on it's own in 2 to 3 weeks. You do not need to put anything on the skin during the newborn period.
My baby sneezes a lot, is she catching a cold?
No, the sneezing is just a reflex. If he feels any mucus up his nostrils, he will sneeze to try and blow it out. You can buy some over the counter nasal saline drops to put down each nostril and use a nasal bulb to suck out the mucus.
My baby hiccups all the time, is that normal?
Yes, hiccups are just spasms of the diaphragm, a muscle under the lungs that help us breathe. You don't need to do anything special and the hiccups will go away on their own. They don't bother the babies at all.
How do I know my baby is getting enough to eat?
If you are breast-feeding, sometimes it is hard to tell; but if your baby is sucking and swallowing for a good 10 to 15 minutes and has at least 4 to 5 wet diapers a day and 1 to 2 stools per day, most likely he/she is getting enough. You can always visit your pediatrician's office and weigh the baby too. Your baby should be gaining at least ½ to 1 ounce per day.
Help! My child has bad temper tantrums. What should I do?
It is common for children to throw tantrums when they don't get what they want, especially if they can't verbalize their frustrations yet. It helps to make sure their eating and sleeping routines are set up and adhered to because if children are hungry, thirsty or tired, they are more likely to throw tantrums. Make sure your home is child proofed so he/she can roam around without you having to take away things they want to play with as that can set off a tantrum too.
My toddler likes to bite and hit. How can I stop it?
We do not recommend biting or hitting the toddler back since that sets up a bad example and he/she will think that behavior is acceptable. When you notice the toddler about to bite or hit someone, remove him/her from the environment. You can hold his/her hand or face and say an emphatic " No" with a stern face. Children often can read your body language and come to understand when they've done something wrong.
Colds are caused by germs called viruses. They do not respond to antibiotics. Symptoms include a runny nose that can start off initially with clear mucus and can turn white, yellow and then green. Colored mucus does not indicate a bacterial infection. Most colds will resolve on their own in 1-2 weeks.
Croup is an upper airway infection caused by a virus, most commonly parainfluenza virus. Symptoms include a barky cough that sounds like a seal. Since it is a viral infection, antibiotics do not cure the infection.
Otitis media is a middle ear infection that often starts off with a cold. Symptoms include ear pain, fever, cough and a runny nose. Ear infections can be caused by viruses or bacteria. For young children, ear infections are often treated with antibiotics to prevent more serious complications of ear infections like meningitis and mastoiditis, an infection of the bone around the ear.
Gastroenteritis is an infection in the gut that can present with vomiting, diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain. The most common cause is rotavirus but other viruses and even bacteria can cause the same symptoms. Most children have vomiting for a day or two then diarrhea for four to five days. Most infections resolve on their own without any medication but avoidance of dairy products for a couple of days may help.