There is a lot of care and work that goes into raising a newborn, and your pediatrician is here to help right from the beginning. Your pediatrician typically sees your newborn for their very first appointment within a few days of being discharged from the hospital. Your pediatrician is here for you to ask any questions or address any concerns you may have about your newborn and caring for your newborn. Some of the topics that your pediatrician may discuss in that first visit are:
Feeding- Your pediatrician will watch your baby’s feeding habits during this period and make sure that their growth is right on schedule. During the first six months of your newborn’s life, you’ll feed them formula or breastmilk. Breastfed babies tend to eat more frequently than babies who are fed formula.
Sleep- Every baby has different sleep schedules and needs. Most newborns tend to sleep sixteen to seventeen hours a day, but only sleep a few hours at a time. Sleep cycles don’t tend to normalize until your baby is about six months old. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy infants should sleep on their backs until they are able to roll over on their own.
Bathing- Infants do not usually require daily bathing, as long as the diaper area is thoroughly cleaned during changes, because daily bathing dry out their skin. Instead, it’s recommended to sponge bathe areas as needed.
Umbilical Cord Care- An infant’s umbilical cord should eventually dry up and fall off on its own by the time your baby is two weeks old. Until then, make sure to keep the area clean and dry by using sponge baths instead of submerging your baby in the tub. Small drops of blood are normal around the time that the umbilical cord is supposed to fall off. If you notice any active bleeding, foul-smelling yellowish discharge, or red skin around the stump, contact your pediatrician.
Your newborn should see their pediatrician at 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, and regularly throughout their life. Call your pediatrician for any questions on newborn care today!
Does Your Child Have Vision Problems?
Does your child have vision problems? Children learn through their eyes. Healthy vision is critical for children to see the computer and chalkboard, read, write, and even play. Children's eyes should be examined regularly, as many eye conditions and vision problems can be detected and treated early. Here are six signs that your child may have a vision problem.
1. Squinting eyes. If your child is nearsighted then squinting his eyes helps him make his vision a little clearer and can clear up any distorted vision. Nearsighted just means that they can see things that are near them but have a harder time with objects that are far away. Squinting is a coping mechanism to help relieve their blurry vision.
2. Sitting close to the TV. While it's a myth that sitting close to the television will damage your eyes, this habit may be a sign of a vision problem. If your child can't see televised images clearly or always holds a book too close, it could mean she or he is nearsighted.
3. Frequent eye rubbing. Yes, kids often rub their eyes when they're upset or tired. But if your child rubs her eyes while she's trying to concentrate on something, or while she is being active, it could mean that she has a vision problem. Frequently rubbing their eyes can be a sign of eye strain in children. It can be a sign of a focusing issue that causes the eyes to tire easily.
4. Losing place while reading. When children learn to read and are sounding out words, they will frequently use their finger to track which word they're on. But eventually children should be able to focus without losing their place. If after a while your child still uses his finger, ask him to try reading without pointing. If he has trouble, he may have a vision problem.
5. Sensitivity to light. Are your child's eyes sensitive to sunshine or indoor lighting? Many common eye conditions can make people more sensitive to light. If your child's light sensitivity is caused by an eye condition, then treatment for their condition can mean that his eye becomes less light sensitive.
6. Receiving lower grades. If your child is having a hard time seeing what her teacher writes on the board because of poor vision, she may not tell you about it. As a result, her grades can suffer. Most of what kids learn in schools is taught visually. That means if your child has an untreated vision problem, it could affect his or her development.
Yearly eye exams are as important as visits to the pediatrician. If you think your child may have a vision problem, schedule an appointment with a doctor. Early detection and treatment provide the best opportunity to correct a vision problem so your child can learn to see clearly.
Maintaining an optimum weight is important for the health of your little one.
It’s never too early to make sure that your child is adopting the best habits for maintaining a healthy weight. After all, with obesity on the rise among our children and teens, it’s so important that we are doing everything we can to keep kids healthy and to prevent serious health problems that can arise as a result of obesity. These habits, along with visiting a pediatrician for regular care and advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, can keep your child feeling their best.
If your child is overweight there are certain things you can do to help them lose the weight and to maintain a healthy BMI (body mass index),
Lead by Example
Children pick up a lot of their habits from their parents, and it’s certainly much easier to eat in an unhealthy fashion if everyone in the family is. This is the time to truly evaluate the family’s eating habits as a whole. Are your meals healthy, balanced, and nutritious or do you find yourself going out for fast food or heating up prepared meals? If parents make healthier eating choices children are more likely to, as well.
While we all seem to be glued to electronics these days, it’s important to power down and to get some regular physical activity. This can include joining a school sports team, community sports, or even going out in the backyard and kicking a ball around. Children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
Choose Healthy Snacks
When your child comes home from school are they rushing to grab cookies, potato chips, or other unhealthy snack items? While these foods can certainly be fun and enjoyable in moderation, they shouldn’t be the norm. Instead of stocking the house with junk food, opt for things like peanut butter or hummus on apples or veggies. If you aren’t sure which kinds of healthy snacks to get, talk to your child’s pediatrician for recommendations and advice.
Get Some Shut Eye
It’s important that your child is getting enough sleep each and every night. In fact, children that don’t get enough sleep may actually be more likely to become overweight or obese. Making sure that your child regularly receives eight hours a night is a great way to set them towards a healthy lifestyle.
Concerned? Give Us a Call!
If your child is having challenges with their weight it’s important to turn to a pediatrician who can provide you with the most effective and safest methods to help shed the excess weight and to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
What is bronchiolitis? — Bronchiolitis is a common viral infection that affects a part of the lungs called the “bronchioles.” The bronchioles are the small, branching tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. When these tubes are infected, they get swollen and full of mucus. That makes it hard to breathe. Bronchiolitis usually affects children younger than 2 years of age. In most children, bronchiolitis goes away on its own, but some children with bronchiolitis need to be seen by a doctor. The most common cause of bronchiolitis is a virus called “respiratory syncytial virus,” or “RSV.”
What are the symptoms of bronchiolitis? — Bronchiolitis usually begins like a regular cold. Children who get bronchiolitis usually start off with:
- A stuffy or runny nose
- A mild cough
- A fever (temperature higher than 100.4ºF or 38ºC)
- A decreased appetite
As bronchiolitis progresses, other symptoms may develop, including:
- Breathing fast or having trouble breathing. In infants, the first sign can be a pause in breathing that lasts more than 15 or 20 seconds.
- Wheezing, or a whistling sound when breathing (which usually lasts about 7 days)
- A severe cough (which can last for 14 days or longer)
- Trouble eating and drinking — because of the other symptoms
Should I take my child to see a doctor or nurse? Many children with bronchiolitis may not need to see a doctor. However, you should watch and arrange f/u for concerning symptoms that involve increase in difficulty breathing, including wheezing; increased congestion with problems with feeding, any signs of choking or severe gagging from increased mucus, and problems with maintaining adequate hydration and urine output.
Call 9-1-1 for an ambulance if your child:
- Stops breathing
- Starts to turn blue or very pale
- Has a very hard time breathing
- Starts grunting
- Looks like he or she is getting tired of having to work so hard to breathe
Call our clinic if you have any questions or concerns about your child, or if:
- The skin and muscles between your child’s ribs or below your child’s ribcage look like they are caving in and there is struggling with breathing
- Your child’s nostrils flare (get bigger) when he or she takes a breath
- Worsening cough and congestion
- Your infant younger than 3 months has a fever (temperature greater than 100.4ºF or 38ºC)
- Your child older than 3 months has a fever (temperature greater than 100.4ºF or 38ºC) for more than 3 days
- Your infant has fewer wet diapers than normal
How is bronchiolitis treated? — The main treatments for bronchiolitis are aimed at making sure that your child is getting enough oxygen, and able to breathe well despite the increased mucus that this virus produces. To do that, your child may need to receive:
- Moist air or oxygen to breathe
- Medicines to help open up the airways
- Deep suctioning of the airways
Bronchiolitis does not need to be treated with antibiotics because it is a virus, however children may develop complications from the virus including ear infections or pneumonia. If your child has a persistent fever or if he was getting better and then gets sick again, please call for an appointment.
Is there anything I can do on my own to help my child feel better? — Yes. You can:
- Make sure your child gets enough fluids. Call our office if your infant has fewer wet diapers than normal.
- Use a humidifier in your child's bedroom
- Treat your child's fever with non-prescription medicines, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if your child is over 6 months of age).
- Suction the mucus from your child’s nose with a suction bulb
- If your child is older than 12 months, feed him or her warm, clear liquids to soothe the throat and to help loosen mucus
- Prop your child's head up on pillows or with the help of a car seat. Do not use pillows if your child is younger than 12 months old.
- Sleep in the same room as your child, so that you know right away if he or she starts having trouble breathing
How did my child get bronchiolitis? — Bronchiolitis is caused by viruses that spread easily from person to person. These viruses live in the droplets that go into the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes.
Can bronchiolitis be prevented? — You can reduce the chances that your child will get bronchiolitis by:
- Washing your hands and your child’s hands often with soap and water, or using alcohol hand rubs
- Staying away from other adults and children who are sick
Adapted from UptoDate.com
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