My Blog
By Child & Adolescent Clinic
May 02, 2017
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Potty Training  
Saying goodbye to diapers is one of the milestones that parents look forward to the most. Kids are also generally excited about wearing “big kid underwear,” as well. Typically, most children will show signs of readiness between 18 and 24 months—but it can differ from child to child.  

How do I know When my Child is Ready?

It is important to understand when your child is ready to begin potty training. According to your pediatrician, your child may be ready for potty training if they:
  • Knows words for urine, stool and toilet
  • Is somewhat bothered by feeling wet or soiled
  • Shows interest in using the potty 
  • Has an awareness of when they are about to urinate or have a bowel movement

Are You Ready?

While it is important to know when your child is ready, your pediatrician also explains that it is also important for you to be prepared, as well. Potty training is not easy, and it does take a lot of energy and patience. It requires countless bathroom visits, and even extra laundry and puddle cleaning. If you or your spouse are up for it, go for it, but it is important to be patient and ready to help your child each step of the way—don’t get discouraged. 

Explore Different Strategies

When it comes to potty training, there are many strategies you can try. If you need help creating a proper strategy, talk to your pediatrician for suggestions. Here are a few commonly used by parents:
  • The hugs-and-kisses approach – give your child praise every time they use the potty correctly.  
  • The cold-turkey underwear approach – let your child pick out several pairs of “fun” underwear to make them feel special and go from there.
  • The get-with-the-program approach – dedicate time to promoting potty use for your child. Stay home and gently steer your toddler to the bathroom at predictable points throughout the day.
  • The sticker-chart approach – this is a fun way to encourage your child to begin potty training. Each time they use the potty, they get a sticker. 
Each child is different, so make sure you tailor your approach to best mean your child’s individual needs. While one approach may work for one child, another approach might be better for your other child. Talk to your pediatrician for more information on potty training and to learn more about other approaches you might want to tackle. 
By Child & Adolescent Clinic
March 30, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: tooth decay   bottle feeding  
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 Child & Adolescent Clinic
February 28, 2017
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Vaccinations   Immunizations  

VaccinationsDespite all of the research supporting the effectiveness of immunizations, many parents still question the safety of vaccines for their little ones. Will they protect my infant from serious disease? Or are the vaccines themselves harmful?

Immunization is one of the best ways parents can protect their babies from serious childhood diseases ranging from tetanus and mumps to whooping cough and seasonal flu—and have been for more than 50 years. In fact, vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90%!

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every child receive the protection that immunization provides.

Do vaccines even work?

Yes, vaccines work every year to protect millions of children from serious illnesses. Because infants are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases, if an unvaccinated baby is exposed to a certain germ, the baby’s body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Therefore it is very important that parents take the necessary steps to ward off harmful complications through immunization.

Are there side effects?

As with any medication, side effects can occur with vaccines. These side effects are usually very minor and include redness or tenderness at the injection site or a low fever, which indicates that the body is reacting positively to the vaccine. Most babies do not experience any side effects from vaccines, and severe reactions are very rare.

Parents have the power to protect their baby from serious illnesses. Deciding not to vaccinate your child could put him at risk for life-threatening childhood diseases. If you have questions about immunization, talk with your pediatrician. You can also visit the sites listed below for additional information and updated immunization schedules.

 

American Academy of Pediatrics

www.cispimmunize.org

Food and Drug Administration
www.fda.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/vaccines

National Network for Immunization Information
www.immunizationinfo.org

By Child & Adolescent Clinic
February 02, 2017
Category: Children's Health
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 Child & Adolescent Clinic
January 03, 2017
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Bottle   Sippy Cup   Weaning  
Making the switch from bottle to sippy cup may seem like a lost cause, but with tips from your pediatrician, you can easily transition your child. If you are ready to wean your baby to a cup, here are
some tips to make the transition easier:

Start Early. Try to introduce a sippy cup at 6 months to get your child acquainted with it before it is necessary for them to give up the bottle. Children than are older than a year often have a much more difficult time with this transition because the bottle becomes a source of comfort and security. 

Introduce a sippy cup in a fun way. Show your child how to drink from the cup and encourage them to imitate you. Start by filling the cup with a little water and celebrate each successive approximation toward the end goal of drinking from the cup.  
 
Try different cups. Sippy cups come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. The spouts can also vary in texture and size, and some children will respond better to one type of cup over another. Choose a sippy cup with your child’s favorite character or animal on it to grab your child’s attention. 
 
Eliminate bottle feedings gradually. Reduce bottle feedings systematically. Each week, remove one bottle feeding and offer a sippy cup instead. Your pediatrician encourages you to start by eliminating the midday bottle first, then the morning bottle and finally the evening bottle. 
 
Remember, out of sight, out of mind. Your pediatrician encourages you to remove all bottles from your child’s view during the weaning process. Only take the bottle out when necessary. If your child requests a bottle anyway and you have already determined that a bottle should not be given at that time, offer the sippy cup and food instead. 
 
With help from your pediatrician, you can easily wean your child off of bottles.  




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