Kids Corner with Dr. S 

 

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Welcome to my blog! I am Dr. Lauretta Stombaugh (Dr. S) and I have been part of the Hendersonville Pediatrics family for over 8 years. I have decided to share this blog because I feel that it is vital for parents and caregivers to be well-informed as well as have access to solid, accurate medical information. Your children are our children and we take pride in the excellent care we provide here at Hendersonville Pediatrics. Please join me monthly (or every two weeks if my four kids allow me time to write!) and I will in turn provide interesting, helpful and maybe even comical blogs. Please share a link to my blog! Ready, set, go!!

There is no catchy title for this blog with good reason. I believe immunizing our children is a serious topic. It deserves this longer, thoughtful, well-intentioned blog.

As I sat down to write this, I wondered how I could present it in a way that is nonjudgemental and thorough. This topic stirs up lots of drama on social media, at mommy groups and elsewhere. It is a serious concern for us pediatricians, as we see vaccine preventable illnesses kill children. Present day. In our communities. In our local hospitals. My partners and I strongly encourage vaccines. So while I tackle the myths about vaccinating, I have the strong intent to educate and keep you well- informed. Our goal is to create a trusting relationship with you as we guide your children and keep them healthy into adulthood.

First time parents, pediatricians and old folk love discussing poop. When, what and not usually how, thankfully. As I go about my day in the office, it is inevitable that I will talk about poop at least a few times. While at home, I clean it up a few times and hour. Parents often have legitimate questions about what is normal, when to be worried and when to just “go with the flow.”

I was thinking about adding photos and graphics to these blogs, but I’ll spare you the visual details.

Let’s review normal and abnormal stools by age.

 There are a few times when I recommend things to parents, believe all that I share with them, but I understand where they are coming from when they challenge my advice. Safe sleep practices with newborns/ infants is one example. I understand parents are exhausted. I understand that breastfeeding or any feeding is easier at 3 am when mom is in a cozy bed. I understand that nothing feels better than embracing your new baby.

We are well into our winter here in North Carolina, and that means we are seeing a lot of viruses such as Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus. These, among many other illnesses are filling our waiting rooms and making our kids really cranky. With crankiness comes the fevers. Many of us are sleep deprived as we battle one illness after another. In my case, that is multiplied by 4 which means I have had about 3 hours of sleep in the last 3 months. Ok, maybe 4? So this blog is dedicated to the parents or caregivers out there who are waiting for a break from the snot, coughing and middle of the night dosing of Tylenol.

Starting solids for your little one can be a time filled with questions, concerns and preconceived ideas about “the right way” to introduce these foods. In this bog, I will address some common myths surrounding a baby’s first foods and hopefully I can calm your worries.

Get ready for a mess!

Get ready to take some adorable photos!

Get ready for this new milestone - the first of many!

Myth #1:

Veggies first.

I hear this all of the time. Parents believe that they must feed veggies first to avoid the baby only wanting fruits. While it is true, most babies (and adults) will prefer sweeter foods, there is no research to suggest giving veggies first is beneficial. I recommend giving whatever you want first. Avocados, pears, peas, applesauce (raviolis? just kidding) are good starting points. Offer a variety of tastes/ food groups/colors in no particular order. You can start with rice….or oatmeal or barley. You can mix pears with oatmeal. Enjoy it! Remember your baby’s stomach is small (between the size of a kiwi and an orange) so no need to fill an entire bowl with cereal. Start with about two tablespoons.

Myth #2:

Starting solids early will help the baby sleep through the night.

Eating solid food is a developmental milestone and should not play a role in sleep goals. Seriously, if this was true, I would have given my 6 week olds a pureed, 5 course meal! Most babies are simply not ready before 4 months of age. They need to have good head control and the tongue thrust reflex must be gone. This is a normal human response to something placed in the mouth - tongue thrusts outward. This usually disappears at 4-6 months which is why we recommend waiting until then to practice with solids. Practice is just what it is at first. The baby needs to figure out how to get the food off the spoon, get the food from the front to the back of the mouth and then swallow. Be realistic with this new experience and be patient. It may even take a few weeks to get your baby eating regular meals. No worries as there main source of calories is from their formula or breastmilk. They do however need some supplemental food at 6 months to prevent vitamin deficiencies (mainly iron and zinc)especially if exclusively breastfed). Always get the ok from one of us that your little is ready for solids and ask us any questions that may come up. We are always here and willing to help.

Myth #3:

Infants cannot have dairy, nuts or any spices.

I have one rule - no honey before a year. While I would recommend keeping foods bland to start with, by the time my kiddos are 10 months old they are eating a variety of pureed adult foods (sometimes with simple spices…ehemm ehemm, garlic?) and some store bought baby food. I’d love to say that I make separate, pureed, organic, food cubes with a baby blender type thing and store them in those cute freezer containers, but let’s be real. I have no time. I briefly dabbled in making some baby food with kid #1 but the little jars in Ingles were just too tempting for me. I envy you if you make your own, make me some for my toddlers! Just be careful not to load foods with extra salt or sugar. Keep it simple. Soon they will eat nothing but chicken nuggets and waffles and then you will need to bring out the creative juices.

Call us or send us a message through the portal if you have any questions.

Dr.S