My Blog
By Columbia Pediatrics
November 15, 2017
Category: Child Care
Tags: Baby Care   Infants   Colic  
All babies cry, it is their way of telling you that they’re hungry, wet, or tired. However, if your baby has colic, they may cry all the time. So how can you tell the difference between your baby’s normal tears and colic? 
 
Colic is a term used to describe uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy baby. If your baby is younger than 5 months old and cries for more than three hours in a row on three or more days a week for at least three weeks, chances are they are colicky. Colic is not a disease and won’t cause your baby any long-term harm, but it is tough to go through for both babies and their parents. By visiting your pediatrician, you can determine the best way to handle your colicky baby. 

Your Pediatrician Shares the Symptoms

When a baby is around two or three weeks old, colic most often shows up at this time. While babies normally cry to let you know when they are wet, hungry, frightened or tired, a baby with colic cries inconsolably and excessively—often at the same time of day. This can frequently occur in the late afternoon or evening.
 
If your baby has colic, their belly may also look enlarged. You may also notice that they alternately extend or pull up their legs and passes gas as they cry.  
 
Other symptoms of a baby that is otherwise healthy and well-fed include:
  • Predictable crying episodes. 
  • Intense or inconsolable crying. 
  • Posture changes. 

When to Visit Your Pediatrician

It is important to seek immediate medical attention if your baby’s crying could be the result of a fall or injury. Please call our pediatrician if you baby stops gaining weight or begins to lose weight.  Also, please call our office if your baby:
  • Can’t be soothed, even for a few minutes
  • Doesn’t suck strongly at the bottle or breast
  • Doesn’t like to be held or touched
  • Has an unusual-sounding cry, or sounds like they are in pain
  • Has diarrhea or blood in the stool
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Is less alert or sleepier than usual
  • Is eating less than usual
  • Is running a fever of 100.4 degrees or more
  • Is throwing up
We understand that a colicky baby can take a lot out of your day, but, as your pediatrician, we are available to help you better care for your colicky baby.  
By Columbia Pediatrics
November 03, 2017
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Bottle   Sippy Cup   Weaning  
Making the switch from bottle to sippy cup may seem like a lost cause, but with tips from your pediatrician, you can easily transition your child. If you are ready to wean your baby to a cup, here are
some tips to make the transition easier:

Start Early. Try to introduce a sippy cup at 6 months to get your child acquainted with it before it is necessary for them to give up the bottle. Children than are older than a year often have a much more difficult time with this transition because the bottle becomes a source of comfort and security. 

Introduce a sippy cup in a fun way. Show your child how to drink from the cup and encourage them to imitate you. Start by filling the cup with a little water and celebrate each successive approximation toward the end goal of drinking from the cup.  
 
Try different cups. Sippy cups come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. The spouts can also vary in texture and size, and some children will respond better to one type of cup over another. Choose a sippy cup with your child’s favorite character or animal on it to grab your child’s attention. 
 
Eliminate bottle feedings gradually. Reduce bottle feedings systematically. Each week, remove one bottle feeding and offer a sippy cup instead. Your pediatrician encourages you to start by eliminating the midday bottle first, then the morning bottle and finally the evening bottle. 
 
Remember, out of sight, out of mind. Your pediatrician encourages you to remove all bottles from your child’s view during the weaning process. Only take the bottle out when necessary. If your child requests a bottle anyway and you have already determined that a bottle should not be given at that time, offer the sippy cup and food instead. 
 
With help from your pediatrician, you can easily wean your child off of bottles.  
By Columbia Pediatrics
October 16, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Nutrition   Healthy Eating  

Child Eating WatermelonToo often, children fall into unhealthy routines when it comes to eating. These habits can jeopardize their long-term overall health, potentially leading to serious complications later in life. In fact, nearly 1 in 3 children in America is overweight or obese. That’s why the early years are important for building a child’s nutrition habits. By starting young and encouraging a fun, healthy diet, it’s possible to lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy, independent eating.

Here are a few simple tips for instilling healthy eating habits in your kids.

  • Eat in moderation
    Eating healthy doesn’t mean your kids can never have a little “junk” food as a treat. Teach your child the importance of moderation, healthy portion sizes and self-control when it comes to making daily food choices.
     
  • Quality over quantity
    Rather than making your child clean his plate, encourage him to eat slowly. This will help your child detect hunger and fullness better, preventing overeating and teaching portion control.
     
  • Shop smart
    If you don’t buy it, they can’t eat it. When shopping for foods choose fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats. Stock up on healthy snacks for after school, and avoid buying too many junk foods or sugary drinks and sodas that are stumbling blocks to healthy eating.
     
  • Pack smart for school
    Be aware of your child’s school lunch options by reviewing the menu. Help your child understand how he can make good meal choices at school, and if you need to, pack your child a nutritious lunch to ensure he’s getting a variety of healthy foods that he likes to eat.
     
  • Load up on fruits and vegetables
    When cooking, introduce a variety of fruits and vegetables into your meals as a great way to get your kids to try—and even acquire a taste for—healthier foods. It may take several tries, so be persistent and creative in your meal planning.
     
  • Set a good example
    One of the best ways a parent can support healthy eating habits for their child is to model similar habits. Most kids are more willing to try foods if they see their parents enjoying them.
     
  • Make meals family-time
    Eat together as a family when possible, and make mealtime fun by trying new foods together.

Bottom line: Instilling healthy eating habits in children is an ongoing process that takes time and patience, but the benefits of a healthier lifestyle can last throughout their entire life. Talk to your child’s pediatrician for guidance if you have questions about your child’s eating habits or dietary needs. 

By Columbia Pediatrics
October 04, 2017
Category: Child Care
Tags: Baby Care   Infants   Thumb Sucking  

Thumb SuckingMost young children use a pacifier or suck on their thumb or fingers. Sucking is a natural instinct for an infant and often sticks around as a comforting habit into the toddler years. However, this can be troublesome if your child persists sucking a thumb or pacifier past the age of four or when the permanent teeth begin erupting. The risk of these habits can lead to include overcrowded and crooked teeth, problems with the development of roof and mouth development and bite problems. Sometimes the front teeth may even tilt toward the lip or not come in properly.

Pacifiers and thumb sucking usually stop on their own when your child begins pre-school or kindergarten due to the peer pressure associated with begins around other children their age.  However, if your child is having trouble giving up thumb sucking or a pacifier, your pediatrician can offer you some helpful suggestions.

How to Stop Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Dependence

As a first step in dealing with your child’s sucking habits, ignore them. Most often, your child will stop on his or her own. Instead of forcing a change, your pediatrician offers these helpful tips:

  • Praise your child when he or she isn’t sucking their thumb or pacifier. Be positive and do not punish him or her.
  • Reward your child if he or she does not resort to thumb sucking or a pacifier during stressful situations or falls asleep without sucking.
  • Try trading the pacifier for another special toy.
  • Don’t make it into a power struggle or a dramatic experience trying to wean your child off the pacifier. Be patient and always remain positive.
  • Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety that may be causing your child to be dependent on sucking their thumb or a pacifier.
  • Bandage the thumb or place a sock over the hand at night to remind your child of the habit.
  • If serious enough, your dentist may also suggest a mouth appliance to block the ability to suck.
  • In infancy, avoid ever dipping your child’s pacifier in honey, sugar or syrup.

For more advice or counseling about your child’s thumb sucking or pacifier habits, please visit your pediatrician. With their help, you can successfully wean your child off of their thumb sucking and pacifier habit. 

By Columbia Pediatrics
September 15, 2017
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Common Cold   Allergies  

Child SneezingYour child is sneezing, coughing and congested. Is it the common cold? Is it seasonal allergies? What is the best way to give them relief from these symptoms?

Allergies and colds often have overlapping symptoms, including a stuffy or runny nose, cough and low energy. It can be difficult for parents to know whether their child is battling a stubborn virus or having an allergic reaction.

Common Cold

Kids with a cold may feel achy and develop a sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose and low-grade fever. A cold usually doesn’t last longer than a few days before it starts to improve. Since common colds are viral infections, they can’t be cured with antibiotics. To ease your child’s symptoms or discomfort, make sure your child is getting plenty of fluids and rest. 

Allergies

If your child’s stuffy nose lingers for several days, this may be an indication that they are suffering from allergies and not a cold. In fact, allergy symptoms can last for weeks to months.

Tell-tale signs that your child has allergies and not a cold include:

  • Cold-like symptoms linger for more than a few weeks
  • Chronic (continual) cough
  • Mucous is clear
  • Persistent stuffy nose
  • Itching of the nose, ears, mouth and/or throat
  • Itchy, watery, red eyes
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing and other respiratory symptoms
  • Unexplained bouts of diarrhea, abdominal cramps and other intestinal symptoms

In some cases, reducing the triggers that are causing the allergic reaction can control many allergy symptoms. This may include washing your child’s bedding and toys to remove dust and bacteria, bathing pets regularly, vacuuming your home at least once a week and replacing furnace and air filters every few months.

Although common colds and allergies have similar symptoms, there are distinct clues that help parents differentiate one from the other. When in doubt about your child’s symptoms, always contact your pediatrician.  





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