Archives for June 2008

How to Tell If Your Baby Has Food Allergies

peanut allergiesA true baby food allergy is an immune system response to a protein in a particular food. If this is the case, your baby’s body produces antibodies to fight off the proteins with histamine. The histamine is what causes allergic symptoms.

In infants and babies, common allergic symptoms are hives, rashes, eczema (atopic dermatitis), swelling or troubled breathing. The symptoms can also be gastrointestinal, like vomiting, diarrhea, bloating and cramping. If the reaction is severe, it can be life-threatening.

If your baby shows any of these symptoms, talk to your pediatrician. Make note of what your child has eaten within the last two hours of the symptoms appearing. It’s important to note that an allergy can develop at any time. So even though your child has safely eaten something before, don’t rule out an allergy to that particular food.

If your baby is experiencing peculiar skin conditions like eczema, gastrointestinal discomfort like reflux or colic, gas or constipation or has a chronic runny nose, you may choose to discuss the possibility of allergies with your pediatrician. If you are formula-feeding, an allergy or intolerance to ingredients may be the cause of discomfort. If your baby is breastfed, make a note of the mother’s diet too because trigger proteins can be transmitted through breast milk.

The likelihood of an allergy is higher if either you or your husband has a history of allergic disease in the family (environmental allergies, pet allergies, asthma).

Preventing Food Allergies
The cause of allergies (food allergies in particular) is still a mystery. Many experts  like Dr. Kenneth Bock, M.D., (author of Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies) believe that “genetics load the gun and toxins pull the trigger.” If this is truly the case, there is little that a parent can do except be aware of the possibility and then protect their babies against known triggers and toxins.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers some guidelines that do not guarantee the prevention of food allergies but over large population groups, are believed to help minimize the occurrence in high-risk children (those with parents or siblings with food allergies or other allergic disorders, like eczema).

* Breastfeed exclusively for at least four to six months, if possible.
* Breastfeeding isn’t possible, desirable, or workable in some circumstances. In these cases, doctors will likely recommend or prescribe hydrolysate formulas — formulas that have been broken down into simpler proteins that are considered easier to digest. At this time, extensively hydrolyzed formulas are considered the most effective for preventing allergic conditions.
* Wait until infants are four to six months old to introduce solid foods.

The following eight proteins are responsible for 90% of all food allergy reactions: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish and wheat. Take extra precautions when introducing new foods, especially these eight and especially if there is a genetic predisposition to allergies in your family.

Introduce new foods into your child’s diet with caution, i.e, one at a time for a duration until you feel certain that she is not reacting adversely to it. Although the idea of “preventing a food allergy” is controversial, you can still make it easier for yourself and your doctor to diagnose it by keeping foods simple and introducing new foods one at a time.

What is the Cure for Food Allergies?
Right now, there isn’t a cure for food allergies. The only available treatment for a severe reaction is a shot of epinephrine. If an allergist has diagnosed your child with a food allergy, he/she will prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector like the Epi-Pen Jr. or the TwinJect.

If your child is diagnosed with a food allergy, your challenge will be effective food management. Check My Tag’s online food allergy community provides ongoing tips on food allergy management for toddlers. Subscribe to the Check My Tag newsletter for exclusive tips on living with a food-allergic baby and toddler.

How to Write Your Birth Plan

There was a time not too long ago when women were wheeled into an operating room to deliver their babies under anesthesia. The doctor was in charge and there really wasn’t much communication regarding the mother’s wishes about the birthing process.

Fortunately, you don’t live in those times. Today, YOU the birthing mother is very much involved! Most midwives and OB’s want a written birth plan because it’s a tool in creating a safe and meaningful birth experience for a family. [Read more…]

How to Make Sense of Car Seat Ratings

With all the brands and styles of car seats out there, researching our baby car seat was more involved than my senior thesis paper. Fortunately for me, I had a gaggle of girlfriends who had just had babies so my first pass was just checking out their models. Then I jumped online to visit the sites of some well-reputed organizations who publish annually updated Car Seat Ratings! Yipee, huh? [Read more…]

How to Create Unique Nick Names for Babies

Parents usually invest time and effort in finding the perfect name for their babies. It is common that once a name is given to a baby, an appropriate nickname also follows. While there are a lot of uncommon and unique names for babies, the idea of combining two names for a baby is also common. Sometimes, one of these two names or the initials of the two names become the nickname.

Nicknames are given to shorten a name or a manner used to eliminate the formality in addressing a person. Babies are given nicknames to call them in an affectionate or more personal manner. Babies tend to have cute and fun nicknames. Depending on what is their real name, parents can always come up with something cute and affectionate to call their babies aside from their given names.

Some common baby nicknames that parents use to call their baby girls include Lily for Lilibeth, Jessie for Jessica, Annie for Annette, Lizzie for Elizabeth and Ella for Michaella and for baby boys, Bernie for Bernard, Mickey for Michael and Willy for William. Some parents with babies that have name combinations use the initials to come up with a nickname for their babies. Examples of these are; MJ for Mary Jane, JR for John Robert and RJ for Ronald Allen.

Coming up with a nice nickname to call your baby sometimes require a little creativity and a lot of affection for the baby. Some nicknames just come spontaneously like calling a baby girl Little Missy or a baby boy Little Mister for that sense. Some parents or even relatives and friends come up with their own nicknames for the baby thus creating a wide variety of nicknames. It is even surprising to know sometimes that a baby is called differently by different people despite of having a given name by his parents. This is how nicknames are, they are informal, spontaneous and more often than not, just elements of fun and affection. They are different adaptations of a person’s real name.

Giving your baby an appropriate nickname lessens the chances of people naming your baby any other way. Nicknames are sometimes used to make fun of a certain name or person. Parents should be careful in giving their babies nicknames as this may connote something else to other people. In creating baby nicknames, the integrity of the baby’s real name should be preserved.

Steve works for MTBBN where you can search Baby Names, Unusual Baby Names, and Top 100 Baby Names

Steve works for MTBBN where you can search Baby Names, Unusual Baby Names, and Top 100 Baby Names

Article Source: Ezine Articles

How to Put Your Baby to Sleep

Infant sleep is a hot topic for new parents… and understandably so. I’ve always been an eight-hour-a-night gal. No all-nighters for me in college… not even with no-doze, coffee, etc. So it was with much delight that I celebrated my firstborn’s sleeping through the night at seven weeks! Good girl!

On a friend’s recommendation, I bought On Becoming Baby Wise. It’s tauted on Amazon as “The Classic Sleep Reference Guide Used by 1,000,000 parents.” But it wasn’t that plug that sold me as much as the fact that I trusted my friend’s opinion and… being Practical… it was a pretty THIN book.
[Read more…]