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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #013 - Oct 2007
October 01, 2007

New Questions and Answers

Question:My baby was born 8 days ago. He has passed meconium, but has not had a bowel movement in 4 days. He does have a LOT of gas though. I know his tummy hurts because everytime he goes to sleep, his gas wakes him up crying. Should I call my pediatrician or wait another couple of days? He is being mostly breast fed, but i have supplemented with the samples of formula the hospital gave me (enfamil and similac) at night (maybe one feeding a day). Please help, I'm so worried about my little one.

Answer:If your baby passed meconium within 24 hours, it is very unlikely that he has any problem with his bowel so that's good news. Breast milk is easy to digest so I'm not too worried about the stools at the moment - they should be soft. Try putting a cotton bud with a little bit of KY jelly around his anus. Don't force it in but gently insert it as if it was a rectal thermometer - that often stimulates a bowel movement. It should be soft.

See the baby poop page for what is normal in babies.

Hopefully your baby will have a normal soft bowel motion and all will be well. If your baby's abdomen becomes very distended or if he has bile stained vomiting, see you doctor (this would be unusual, though).


Question:My daughter is 20 months old and has just started blinking, she has attacks of blinking for around 20-30 seconds then wont have one for 5-6 minutes and they start up again, there are periods throughoutt the day when she doesn't have many episodes. The blinking is very rapid. My daughter saw an eye doctor for eye tests about 1 and a half months ago to ensure she had no problems as the health visitor thought she had a squint, turns out she hasn't. My daughter has had this problem for around a week now and i dont know what to do about it, she hasn't got any eye infections or any foreign objects in her eyes, is it possibly my daughter is having seizures as absent seizures run in the family or could it be some sort of tic? What specialist help should i ask for when i eventually get to see my GP about this?

Answer: Often young children get a habit of blinking - it's nothing to worry about and the best thing is to ignore it and in particular, not make any comment (that your daugther can hear anyway) about it. It will eventually stop. If you make lots of comments about it, it will reinforce the behaviour.

See the behaviour page for more information on this.

As far as absence seizures are concerned, the usual pattern is just a blank stare for a few seconds - during that time, your daugther would be unconscious and so would not react to you in any way - for example, if you flicked your hand towards her eyes, she would not blink. If you think this is the case, ask for a referral to your local paediatrician - he or she would order an EEG (electroencephologram) if they were worried. There is a characteristic pattern on the EEG in absence seizures.

Blinking isn't usually a sign of absence seizures, though, unless there is a brief period of unconsciousness as I described above.


Question: At three and a half weeks old, the top of my sons head looked very dry and peely. in a few days he was missing about an inch of hair from his hair line. it looks as though he was going bald. his doctor said she didnt know what the reason was. should i be worried and will his hair come back.

Answer:

I don't think you need to be worried. Your baby's hair will grow back in time. Just enjoy your time with him.


Question: My son is 17 months old and has croup, my pediatrician prescribed prednisolone to reduce the swelling and it's been 2 days and he sounds worse than before. Is this the correct steroid that was prescribed and if so, does it take a few days to take effect?

Answer: Steroids are the correct medication for croup - I usually use Dexamethasone but Prednisolone should have a similar effect, although may not be as effective as Dexamethasone. (Reference: A Sparrow, G Geelhoed. Prednisolone versus dexamethasone in croup: a randomised equivalence trial. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2006;91:580-583)

Usually a short course of steroids is enough - I use one dose of Dexamethasone. Sometimes, the condition needs additional management.

See the croup page for more information but if your son is not improving, see your doctor again.


News and Updates

I have a new page on potty training and there's even a page where visitors can contribute their stories.

See Toilet Training Toddlers. Please feel free to tell of your experience. Your top tip might be just the one that is right for another mom or dad.


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