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Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #101 Update on FAQs
March 01, 2015
Hi

Welcome to another edition of Baby Medical Q&A News.

Frequently Asked Questions - update

This month, I thought I would share some questions that I've been asked - and my answers, of course.

There tend to be themes in the questions I'm asked so I think it is useful to share them from time to time.

Baby sleep issues

Question
My baby does not sleep much during a 24 hr period. He is 2 months old. My baby sleeps on average 8 to 9 hrs a day, all in very short periods. At night he sleeps in short periods. His burp pattern is very labored. I've tried giving him gas relief medicine and heart burn medicine, none have made much difference.

My first baby was a very poor sleeper. We did not use a pacifier for our first child, now we use a pacifier. Using the pacifier seems to at least keep him calm and not crying and gasping for air.

We live in a very warm climate with no air conditioning. We have not swaddled him because of how hot it can be. He seems to startle easily. Passing gas and burping takes sometimes an hour. I am getting no good sleep. I am nursing and watch what I eat so much that I am not eating anything but rice, miso soup, fish, carrots. Everything seems to cause him to struggle to pass gas and burp easily after nursing.

Any suggestions to help me help to sleep more at one time especially at night. I also have a 3 yr old. My mother and mother in law have been helping me so I can sleep during the day. Soon I will be alone without help during the day so I can take a nap. I need my rest so I function. Any suggestions. Thank you for any ideas.

Answer

It sounds as if you are pretty tired. Babies usually sleep a bit longer than your baby at 2 months but all babies are different. There are strategies for getting your baby to have healthy sleep patterns that I outline in my Sleep Book.

Babies can have short sleep periods (about 2 hours each) and then wake. When babies can settle themselves to sleep, they appear to be sleeping through. The number one tip for getting your baby to sleep through is to put him to bed while he is awake (and drowsy).

You may find the page on burping useful as well as a different position may work for your baby - click here. If your baby is not burping soon after a feed, I would put him back in his crib rather than keeping him (and you) up for an hour at night.

Immunization issues

Question

Will it or can it cause harm for a toddler under 2yrs of age to have 2 sets of shots that are the same within a 4 week period? She was behind had 4 or 5 shots and then was taken to a different Dr by a foster care provider and they gave her the same shots over again!

Answer

Usually you need to wait between shots to get them to work properly. It depends what shots were given but it probably hasn't harmed your baby by having an extra set but the extra set won't count, so if it was the 2nd shot in a series of 3, then even though your child has had 3 doses, it will only count as 2. Wait the appropriate time before the next shots but don't ignore the next ones because you think your child has had an extra set. I hope this is clear. Your doctor will be able to reinforce this.
You can read more on immunizations by clicking here

'Double jointed' baby

Question

My son is 3 and a half years old. While carrying him he tends to move his arms towards his back. My parents seem to think he is just double-jointed since I am. Is this something I should be concerned about or is he just simply a hypermobile baby?

Answer

Babies can be quite flexible. As long as the joints don't dislocate, there are no concerns. Dislocation (or subluxation which is not quite as severe) would cause a clunking at the joint. If you hear this, see your doctor.

Some children are hypermobile (which is sometimes described as 'double jointed'). There are usually no problems as a result of this but often these children are prone to aches and pains, particularly growing pains. You can read more about that by clicking here.

Unsettled Baby

Question

Hello, my 7 weeks old baby has been on a routine for a while. She's been eating every four hours and I'm breastfeeding her. Her bowel movements have been daily at least once every day and I have been feeding her for around 20-25 min in every breast. A couple of days ago she started eating less (like 5-10 min only) and crying when a put her back on my breast. She's not sleeping through either, waking up at least twice in between feeds. She looks uncomfortable while I'm feeding her and I'm concern she's not eating enough. What can I do?

Answer

The first thing to check with babies is that they don't have an illness, usually an infection, which will cause them to feed less well. If your baby seems very well between episodes of being distressed, an infection is less likely. However, if you are worried you need to seek medical attention.

If your baby is gaining weight, then she is getting enough milk. She should also be having regular wet diapers.

If your baby is well between episodes of crying and seeming to be in pain, then she may have what we refer to as PURPLE crying or what has been referred to in the past as colic. All babies have this period when they cry more. The letters of the PURPLE give a guide to the features of this behavior.
PURPLE crying -
-babies have crying that increases weekly until they reach a Peak at about 2 months of age when it plateaus and slowly falls off over the next few weeks
-the crying seems Unexplained and for no good reason
-the baby Resists soothing so often nothing you can do will help
-the baby looks in Pain
-the crying lasts a Long time
-the crying often occurs in the Evening.

If this sounds like your baby, just do the soothing exercises you would normally do but don't be concerned if they don't work. Carry your baby, talk gently to her, take her for a walk, give her a kiss on the head - all this sort of thing.

Also check out the pages on crying - click here
and colic - click here.

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Please feel free to share this ezine with family and friends.

Till next time,

Dr Maud

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