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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #010 --July 2007
July 01, 2007

New Questions and Answers

Question: My daughter is 2 years old and doesn't have a vagina. She has the part that she can pee from and the part for number two, but nothing in between. I have never heard of this ever before and am really concerned. Is this common, or what causes this?

Answer:The most likely thing is that she has fused labia. This is not uncommon in little girls and is related to the fact they have low estrogen levels. Usually, there is some irritation of the labia and the body gets confused and think it's a cut to heal and so the labia become fused together - it looks just like you have described.

Mostly, fused labia don't cause any problems. We often try an estrogen cream (applied twice daily) for a couple of weeks and this often allows the labia to separate. Eventually nature will separate them anyway as natural estrogens increase.

Don't try and force the labia apart.

Until you see your doctor, just make sure your daughter doesn't have any irritation in the genital area as this can make the situation worse. Avoid bubble baths and if your daughter is in diapers / nappies, apply a barrier cream at each change.

Question: my grandson is 10 months old and can not sit up. What could be wrong with him?

Answer:A baby of 10 months should be able to sit up. If he was born on time and the rest of his development is normal, he may have a neuromuscular problem (for example, cerebral palsy). He needs to have a neurological examination.

If he was born early, sometimes development can be slow and then catch up.

See Baby Development for more information on what he should be doing.

Question: I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter. In January she showed interest in potty training. She did so for a week, then just stopped. Now she wants nothing to do with it. I finally had to stop trying for a while because I would get so frustrated. Is this normal? What should I do?

Answer: By 3 yrs most children are ready for toilet training. You can use the toilet with a kiddy seat and a stool, or you may prefer a potty. At 3yrs. I'd probably prefer the former as it's easier and you will need to teach your daughter to use the toilet anyway. A kiddy seat is a good idea so she doesn't get frightened of falling in the bowl.

When the weather gets a little bit warmer, just leave your daughter without pants. When you see her starting to pee, take her to the toilet to finish and then give lots of praise for going on the toilet. Also give lots of praise for telling you she wants to go.

The important things are not to get frustrated or cross if she doesn't make it and to give heaps of encouragement when she does or almost does. Maybe she got a fright on the potty and so leaving it a couple of weeks is probably okay.

She should be toilet trained by the end of summer if you follow this advice. Good luck.

Question:I have a 4 week old and she grunts all the time. Is this normal?

Answer: Babies make litte noises that sound like grunts and that is normal but grunting can also be a sign of respiratory distress. If your baby has respitatory distress and is grunting because of that, you will notice other signs of distress as well, like indrawing (which you can see because your baby's ribs will stick out when she breathes) or blue lips.

See Baby Health Problems and go to the link at the bottom of the page Baby Check - there are videos of indrawing on that site.

If your baby has no other signs of respiratory distress then don't be too concerned about little grunting noises.

News and Updates

This is an article I recently wrote on Giving Medication to Babies and Toddlers. It has emergency phone numbers for national poisons centres at the end.

Tips for Giving Medication to your Baby or Toddler

Occasionally, babies and toddlers need medication. This can be a challenge for some parents. The following tips may help:

  • If you blow gently on a baby's face, he or she will blink and swallow
  • Try using a straw so your toddler can sip up the medicine
  • Give an ice block to your toddler before giving the medicine - it will numb the taste buds
  • Have something to give your child after the medicine that he or she likes - a reward
  • Get your toddler to hold his or her nose - it will reduce the sensation of taste
  • If you use a syringe, syringe the medicine onto the inside of the cheek - there aren't any bitter taste buds there
  • Remember to shake the bottle well before you give the medicine
Of course, when giving medication it is always important to remember safety as well.
  • Only give medication to the child it's prescribed to
  • Never mix medicine with milk in a bottle - your child may not finish the bottle
  • Always finish the course of antibiotics - it reduces the emergence of resistant bugs
  • Always replace the cap and make sure it's tightly screwed on
  • Don't refer to medicine as a "sweet", a "candy" or a "lolly" - if you do, your child may try and get some when you're not looking
  • Never store medicines in drink or food containers
  • Keep medicines out of reach of children - remember toddlers are exploring their world and can climb
  • Have the number of your local poisons center handy, so if your child does take some medicine he or she shouldn't, you can phone for advice. Here are a few numbers:
    • United States: 1-800-222-1222
    • New Zealand: 0800 POISON or 0800 764 766
    • Canada: (800) 567-8911
    • Australia: 131 126
    • United Kingdom: 0870 600 6266 From outside the UK:+44 870 600 6266

Have a look at this website that has home heating information :

Home Heating Systems and Solutions

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