Posts for: December, 2017
Giving your baby his first spoonful of solid foods is an exciting time! Many parents look forward to the day their little one takes their first bite of rice cereal, and in many cases, baby is just as eager! So how do you know if your baby is ready to transition to solids?
Here are a few tips for helping you introduce and successfully navigate feeding your baby solids.
Is my baby ready for solids?
As a general rule, most babies are ready to tackle solids between 4 and 6 months of age.
- Weight gain. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies are typically big enough to consume solids when they reach about 13 pounds—or about the time they double their birth weight.
- Head control. Your baby must be able to sit up unsupported and have good head and neck control.
- Heightened curiosity. It may be time to introduce your baby to solids when they begin to take interest in the foods around them. Opening of the mouth, chewing motions and staring at your plate at the dinner table are all good indicators it’s time to give solid foods a try.
To start, give your baby half a spoonful or less of one type of solid food. Generally it doesn’t matter which food is introduced first, but many parents begin with an iron-fortified rice cereal. Once they master one type of food, then you can gradually give them new foods.
Other foods, such as small banana pieces, scrambled eggs and well-done pasta can also be given to the baby as finger foods. This is usually around the time the baby can sit up and bring their hands or other objects to their mouth.
As your baby learns to eat a few different foods, gradually expose them to a wide variety of flavors and textures from all food groups. In addition to continuing breast milk or formula, you can also introduce meats, cereals, fruits and vegetables. It’s important to watch for allergic reactions as new foods are incorporated into your baby’s diet. If you suspect an allergy, stop using that food and contact your pediatrician.
Talk to your pediatrician for recommendations about feeding your baby solid foods. Your pediatrician can answer any questions you have about nutrition, eating habits and changes to expect as your baby embarks on a solid food diet.
Attention deficit disorder, or ADD, is a well-known problem about which many parents express concern. If your child has been experiencing problems with focusing and listening in school, you may have some concerns yourself. Here, our pediatrician Dr. C. Turner Lewis at Children's Medical Clinics in Kaufman, TX answer some common questions that parents have about ADD.
What is ADD?
ADD is defined as a mental disorder that affects brain function. Although it affects people of all ages, it's most often diagnosed during childhood, particularly before the age of 12. Symptoms include a long-term (six months or more) inability to pay attention or control impulsive behavior that has a negative effect on the home and school environment.
What is the difference between ADHD and ADD?
The "H" that is included in some ADD diagnoses made by your Kaufman pediatrician takes into account that some children will display hyperactive tendencies. These behaviors include restlessness, fidgeting, and difficulty waiting or remaining quiet. ADHD is clinically known as "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominately impulsive type." ADD's actual title is "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominately inattentive type." Many children display symptoms that are a combination of the two subtypes, giving them the diagnosis of ADHD, combined type.
What causes ADD?
The diagnosis of ADD can be due to a number of factors. Genetics is thought to play a big part in its development; the genes which regulate and transmit dopamine, a chemical in the brain that is associated with movement and emotions, are often involved in ADD. Environmental factors such as exposure to alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy can increase the likelihood that ADD will develop later. Children who have experienced a traumatic brain injury may also be at a higher risk for ADD.
How is ADD treated?
Typically, ADD is treated through counseling, medication, or a combination thereof. Counseling can not only help your child now, but the coping methods learned through therapy can help to prevent other issues, such as school failure and anxiety, from developing later. Medication usually consists of a daily stimulant that help to improve symptoms by encouraging the rest of the brain to "catch up" with the overactive dopamine receptors. ADD medication has been used for many years and is considered safe and effective. Working with your Kaufman pediatrician and being open to various treatments will help to manage your child's ADD effectively.
If you think your child may be dealing with ADD, contact Children's Medical Clinics in Kaufman, TX to schedule an appointment with Dr. C. Turner Lewis!
It’s normal for a child to get a rash at one time or another. But one common type of rash, known as eczema, can be especially troubling. Eczema refers to many types of skin inflammation, with atopic dermatitis being one of the most common forms of eczema to develop during a baby’s first year.
You may first notice signs that your child has eczema as early as one to four months of age, appearing as a red, raised rash usually on the face, behind the knees and in the bends of elbows. The rash is typically very itchy and with time may spread and lead to an infection. The patches can range from small and mild to extremely itchy, which may make a small child irritable.
While the exact cause of eczema is not known, the tendency to have eczema is often inherited. Allergens or irritants in the environment, such as winter weather, pollen or certain foods, can trigger the rash. For most infants and small children, eczema improves during childhood. In the meantime, however, parents should help reduce the triggers that cause eczema outbreaks and control the itch to prevent infection.
While there is no cure for eczema at this time, there is treatment. Talk to your pediatrician about ways to alleviate itching and reduce the rash. Minimizing how often a child scratches the rash is especially important as the more the child scratches, the greater the risk of infection.
To prevent flare-ups and help your child cope with eczema, parents should follow these tips:
- With your doctor’s direction, use antihistamine to relieve itching and reduce scratching.
- Minimize nighttime itching by having child sleep in long-sleeved clothing to prevent scratching through the night.
- Apply cortisone creams or medication to reduce inflammation.
- Use mild soaps during bathing and avoid frequent, hot baths, as they will dry out the child’s skin.
- Wrap moist bandages around the affected areas of the skin before bed to soothe and rehydrate the child’s skin.
- Avoid triggers that aggravate eczema, such as rapid changes in temperatures or seasonal allergies.
Many kids will outgrow atopic dermatitis, but it is still important to treat the condition right away to keep it from getting worse. Work with your pediatrician to find the best combination of skin care strategies and medications to ease the itch and inflammation and keep infection at bay.