POSTS WITH TAG: baby health

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    Baby spit-up ... it's a rite of passage for new moms. There's no way you will escape infancy without getting slimed. Your washing machine will get a workout from burping cloths. It is what it is.

    But while all babies spit up, some babies spit up more than others, and that can be disconcerting for moms. You may wonder if all that spitting up is normal. Is baby getting proper nutrition from his feedings, is he uncomfortable ... will the spit-up phase ever end?

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    Back when I was a kid, antibiotics were all the rage "curing" everything from the sniffles to the more serious. But it wasn't really the cure-all we once thought it was, and it has done more harm than good in many cases, building up an antibiotic resistance and not allowing the medicine to work the way it's supposed to work when it's needed.

    I am one of the anti-antibiotic parents. My children's pediatrician was of the same school of thought. Antibiotics were only for emergencies like when my daughter had Lyme Disease and needed it. I made sure she had probiotics as well, to boost and not kill off all the helpful bacteria in her gut. A new study has revealed that it's suspected if a child is given antibiotics early in life or raised in a overly sterile environment, they may be more susceptible to food allergies. And there's more.

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    When babies are born in hospitals across the country, it's standard operating procedure for doctors to give them a shot of vitamin K to protect them from bleeding issues. But more and more moms are saying no to the vitamin K injection and it's opened up an alarming problem in hospitals: dangerous -- even fatal -- hemorrhages in infants.

    Doctors at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, noticed a spike in hemorrhages last year with five babies in just eight months suffering from what's known as Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB). Doctors determined the cause of bleeding and noticed all the babies had something in common: their parents declined the vitamin K shot at birth.

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    Babies aren't always born looking, er, exactly how we'd envisioned. Here's one example that's thrown many moms for a loop: their newborn has breasts. Yes, it can happen -- to boys as well as girls.

    Stranger still, your baby's nipples may even emit milk. Don't freak out yet. Thankfully there's a perfectly logical explanation for all this that doesn't involve going out and buying your baby a teeny tiny bra.

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    Infant massage may sound a little woo woo, but hey, who doesn't love a little pampering? And as the benefits of infant massage continue to grow, more and more moms are giving it a try. "Some of the benefits of infant massage include helping you to bond with your baby, as well as helping babies relax, improving their sleep, digestion, and bowel movements, and developing their body awareness, which is important for movement," explains Diane Bahr, a certified infant massage instructor and author of Nobody Ever Told Me (or My Mother) That! Some studies also suggest that it can enhance a baby's immune system, which is particularly important for premature babies.

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    Sometimes, poop isn't just poop. When babies are really little, stools are an obsession. Moms, in an effort to determine if their baby is eating enough (particularly a mystery for breastfeeders who can't measure their infant's intake), often track the number of soiled diapers per day -- it's akin to a full-time job. And until you have a baby, who even knew there were so many colors and textures and types of excrement? No wonder it can cause so much anxiety. To help you separate the true potential health problems from what's completely normal, we've put together a color-coded baby poop decoder (and don't worry, these photos won't make you gag). Whatever's going on down there in diaperville, we've got answers and advice on what to do if you do spot something worth worrying about.

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    If you thought you knew everything about baby dental hygiene, think again. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just released a new report that names tooth decay as "the most common chronic disease in children in the US" and urges parents to start using fluoridated toothpaste when baby gets her first tooth.

    But before you start running out to your pediatrician and consulting the pharmacy on which new tube to buy, the AAP has set some very strict guidelines on how much parents should use and when. Fluoride, after all, can be toxic to babies when ingested in large amounts.

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    When you have a sick child, there isn't one decision you make that's an easy one. You doubt yourself at every turn and pray your next move will be the one that takes your child's pain away for good.

    We can only imagine how UK mom Elouise Davis felt when she found out her 10-month-old son, Jacob, was the perfect bone marrow match for his 2-year-old sister, Seren-Rose. The little girl suffered from a rare disease called mucopolysaccaridosis, or MPS, which causes developmental delays and can lead to death. Elouise was faced with a harrowing choice: risk her baby's health in order to save her older child, or hope for the best and take a chance by not taking chances.

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    Every mom knows there are a bevy of reasons her little one might be crying -- from hunger to teething or tiredness. But just like grown-ups, babies may get fussy thanks to an annoying, uncomfortable ailment: the all-too-prevalent stomachache. "Breastfeeding mothers will want to see if there is something they are eating in their diet that could be upsetting the baby," says pediatrician and certified lactation educator Christine Wood, M.D. "Common things can include milk and dairy products, and spicy foods." However, gastrointestinal upset may also occur as the result of another wellness woe, such as colic or indigestion.

    Here, 5 causes of babies' upset tummies and the best tricks for addressing each.

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    The summer my daughter was born was a hot one. As I sweated buckets and downed gallons of Poland Spring to stay hydrated, I couldn't help but look quizzically at my infant and wonder: Does a breastfeeding baby need to drink water, too? At the time, my daughter was nursing exclusively, but that just didn't seem sufficient in this sweltering heat. Was she slowly dying of dehydration? After all, don't all living things need water?

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