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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #003 -- December 2006
December 01, 2006

New Questions and Answers

Question: My 5 week old has white spots on his tongue.

Answer: If the white spots don't wipe away, then your baby son probably has thrush. This is a yeast condition caused by Candida. It is very common in babies.

Treatment is Nystatin oral suspension - 1 ml four times a day for 10 days. (some doctors give an oral antifungal agent called Ketoconazole instead, but Nystatin is usually enough)

Often, babies also get a thrush diaper rash. If that is the case, apply Nystatin cream (or a cream containing Miconazole) at each diaper change for 10 days.

To view a photo of diaper (nappy) thrush, go to the baby thrush page.

Question: My baby sleeps through the day fine. But during the night she sleeps only if me or my wife rocks her. 10 or 15 minutes after we put her in her bed she starts crying bitterly. Either one of us picks her up again, she sleeps in our arms fine, we put in her bed and again the cycle repeats. where could the problem be?

Answer: It sounds as if your baby just loves to be with you and her mother. That's understandable and to a certain extent you have not allowed her to learn to fall asleep in bed. She is used to falling asleep in your arms so when she wakes in her bed - like all babies will, she can't get off to sleep by herself because she doesn't know how.

You daughter has to get used to going back to sleep herself. You didn't say how old she was but I'm giving this advice assuming she is at least 6 months old. When she cries, go to her but instead of picking her up, just gently rock her body and speak to her with a soothing voice - let her know you are there. This probably won't be enough to begin with because she won't understand why you just don't pick her up. She may start crying louder. Wait before you pick her up. Start off waiting 5 minutes (or 2 minutes if you are a real softie and 10 minutes if you are determined enough).

Once in your arms she will settle - this might only be to stop hard crying and start little sobs - that's enough of a sign. Put her immediately back in her bed and leave her.

She will probably start crying again. You are not playing your usual game with her and it will take time for her to learn the new gameplan. Wait (same time as above) before you go back.Start by gentle talking and rocking. After 5 minutes (or whatever time you are working on) pick her up if crying hard. Once she is settled (even still with sobs), put her down and leave her.

Keep up with this practice. Every night increase the timing by 1 - 2 minutes (up to 5 minutes if you are determined enough). Eventually, your daughter will learn to go back to sleep herself. It might take a couple of weeks, though.

If your daughter is younger than 6 months, you can use the same technique but don't leave her to cry. Pick her up and check everything is fine and then when you know she is not wet or in discomfort, put her down again. Read more about crying babies.

Question: what do doctors do if a four month old girl's vagina is growing together?

Answer: Actually fusing of the labia (vagina growing together) is not that uncommon in babies. The treatment is applying an estogen cream twice daily for 2 weeks. That is usually enough to solve the problem. There are no long term consequences.

News and Updates

Play Nicely is a multimedia program that teaches parents how to deal with aggressive behavior in their toddlers. It is inexpensive (less than US$20.00) and runs for about 40 minutes on your own computer.

The majority of parents of 6 - 18 month olds who viewed the program agreed that it had been helpful in managing aggressive behavior (hitting and kicking) in their toddler when asked 1 year after viewing the program.

Links to the order page are available on the toddler biting and hitting page.

Reference: Scholer et al. A multimedia program helps parents manage childhood aggression. Clinical Pediatrics. Nov 2006; 45 (9): 835-840

Baby Carrier - have you seen the Moby. It's a great sling / baby carrier that is comfortable to wear and versatile. They even have fabric that acts as a sunscreen!

The website Instructions Page shows clear demonstrations of how to use the Moby and how to achieve the different holds, so you won't be battling for ages trying to work out how to tie the sling.

Limit fruit juice - Studies have shown that children who have more fruit juice are at risk of being overweight. The same study showed that having whole fruit was associated with reduced risk of becoming overweight.

Parents commonly think that fruit juice is a healthy option but it is better to give your child a piece of fruit than to give fruit juice.

Reference: Faith MS et al. Fruit juice intake predicts increased adiposity gain in children from low-income families: weight status-by-environment interaction. Pediatrics 2006 Nov;118(5):2066-75

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