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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #055
April 01, 2011

New Questions and Answers

Question: Hi, my newborn vomits out of nose and seems like she loses her breath when she does sometimes. I am scared she will stop breathing, is that possible? Should I change her formula?

Answer: It sounds as if your daughter has gastro-oesophageal reflux (a href="">click here) - this is a normal phenomenon in babies and the fact that it comes out her nose is not unusual. Babies can have periods when they stop breathing with reflux but they usually start again by themselves or with gentle stimulation.

If your baby is having period where she momentarily stops breathing then it would be wise to try and reduce the reflux. If she is on formula, get an anti-reflux formula (usually AR) which is thicker. Also, hold her upright after feeds and consider having her sleep at 30 degrees head up.

It is important that your baby sleeps on her back whatever you do, as this is the safest position for babies to sleep. Babies are not more likely to have problems with vomiting when on their backs, and sleeping on the back is the safest way for babies to sleep.

If the problem gets worse see your doctor as more intervention may be required.

Question: I was just wondering how much sleep a 3 year old needs. I put my child to bed at 8pm and wake him up at 6:30 every day. People say this is too little. Is this true?

Answer:I would advise that you let your 3 year old sleep as long as he wants in the morning rather than waking him - then you will know if he is getting enough. If you have a schedule that means you need to wake him at 6.30am, then he will be in that routine and if he needs more sleep he will probably have a longer day nap - as long as he seems happy and is not tired, then he is probably having enough sleep.

There is no hard and fast rule about how much sleep each child needs but most 3 year olds sleep between 10 and 15 hours per night (average about 12 hours). Parent's usually have an idea if their children are not getting enough sleep. If you feel he is happy and developing normally, then be reassured by that. If he is grumpy and irritable, then I would advise more sleep.

Question: My 1 year old baby girl hits her head on anything in sight when she's mad

Answer: Head banging is not uncommon in toddlers and is usually of no concern. It would be very unusual for a toddler to harm herself from head banging so my advice would be to ignore the behavior as much as possible or at least seem to ignore it from your toddler's point of view.

See Temper Tantrums for more information as managing head banging is similar to management of temper tantrums.

Question:My baby girl is 6 months now. What should I give as food for her now? Can she eat salt in her food?

Answer:Click here for information on weaning to solid food.

I would not recommend adding salt to food. There is usually adequate salt in the food babies eat without more needing to be added.

News and Updates

Vapor Rub Helps Night-time Symptoms of the Common Cold

Vicks Vapor Rub applied to the chest before bed has been shown to improve sleep symptoms, including sleep itself, in children with cold symptoms, such as a running nose and chestiness. So although, cough and cold over-the-counter medications are known to be of no benefit, you can still get better sleep by applying this well-known vapor rub.

Reference: Paul I et al. Vapor rub, petrolatum and no treatment for Children with Nocturnal Cough and Cold Symptoms.

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