Archive for the 'Feeding Problems' Category

Jun 30 2009

Put Feeding Problems to Bed

Why My Child?

It’s not just your child.  So many children have feeding issues of one sort or other.  Left unattended; many lead to feeding problems which will have impact on well being of the child.  Breast is best!  And problems often arise at transition from breast feeding to bottle feeding.  The symptoms of some feeding problems (such as diarrhoea or reflux for example) might be obvious.  But often the signs are more general.  Your child may seem to cry constantly, have dificulty settling and sleep for only short periods.  This can be exhausting, not just for your child, but for you too!

How Can We Help?

The common feeding problems in every young children include colic, reflux, diarrhoea, constipation and constant waking due to hunger.  They might also be prone to allergies.  This guide will help to explain these conditions and provide some solutions for managing them.  If you’re worried about your child, always talk to your doctor or your pharmacist.

 

COLIC – RELATED TO FLATUS & ABDOMINAL BLOATING

Does My Child Have Colic?

No one knows exactly what causes colic.  What is clear is that child with colic cry excessively for long periods of time (sometimes for 3 hours a day) and appear to be uncomfortable or in pain.  They may pull their legs up to the stomach, become red in the face, clench their hands, pass gas, refuse to eat of become fussy soon after eating.  Symptoms tend toworsen in the evening and your young childmay find it difficult to fall and stay asleep. 

Is Colic Serious?

Colis is not usually seriousand the child will continue to eat and gain weight normally.  In between bouts of crying, they may seem perfectly happy.  Being unable to pacify an inconsolable young child can be exhausting and constant crying can create stress and anxiety for families.

What Can I Do to Prevent Colic?

If you are bottlefeeding, changing to a milk with lower lactose content may be all that’s needed to cure your baby of ‘colicky’ symptoms.  Replacing the lactose with easily digestible carbohydrates can reduce wind, abdominal discomfort and best of all, crying.  Ask your healthcare professional or your pharmacist for an easily digestible and nutrionally complete formula adapted for child with flatus and abdominal bloating.

Will My Baby Grow Out of Colic?

The good news is that although colic usually appears in early stage of life, its often resolves when growing older.

How Else Can I Keep My Child Calm?

  1. Don’t overfeed your child
  2. If your child seems to have a lot of gas, burp him or her frequently
  3. Take your child for a walk in a stroller
  4. Wrap your child snugly and walk around
  5. Keep child moving in rocking chair or rocker
  6. Give your child a rub on the back or a gentle massage on the tummy
  7. Try a different teat on the feeding bottle

 

CONSTIPATION

Why My Child Constipated?

Sometimes there’s a clear reason for constipation.  A feed may have been made up incorrectly or the child has had insufficient fluid, for example on a warm day when their fluid needs are greater.  Constipation can also arise simply by changing  from breast milk to formula.

How do I Know My Child Is Constipated?

Children vary in terms of how many stools they pass a day, but your child may be constipated of bowel movements have changed and become infrequent – possibly to less than once every 1 to 3 days.  There may be pain when it happens, as the stools can be larger than normal, or hard like pebbles.  Your childs stomach can become bloated with crampy pain. 

What Can I Do to Prevent Constipation?

If you are breastfeeding your child, your diet may be low in fibre, so try to eat more fruits and vegetables.  If you’re bottle feeding, switching to a formula adapted for children with constant constipation is a natural way to help improve the situation.  The level of certain ingredients are slightly adjusted in an “anti constipation” formula to increase the movement through the child’s digestive system, resulting in softer, more frequent stools while meeting the nutrional needs of your baby.  Always ask a healthcare professional for advice especially if constipation becomes stubborn.

What Else Can Help?

  1. Cooled boiled water can be given in moderation, especially in hot weather
  2. Perform gentle bicycling exercise with your child’s legs
  3. Don’t resort to laxatives except under professional advice

 

DIARRHOEA

Has My Child Got Diarrhoea?

If the stools are loose and watery, occuring more than three times in one day, then your child may have diarrhoea.  A lot of water plus valuable electrolytes (that’s salts such as sodium and potassium) are lost through diarrhoea and because of this, infants can quickly become dehydrated.

What Has Caused My Child’s Diarrhoea?

Usually, diarrhoea is a temporary problem, caused by a bacterial or viral infection.  However, sometimes diarrhoea can be the result of taking certain medicines and occasionally of sensitivity to food.  Whatever the cause, because diarrhoea can lead to dehydration so rapidly in children this must be treated promptly to avoid more serious health problems.

What Can I Do For My Child?

The most important thing you can do is replace the fluid that’s been lost to prevent dehydration, and this may be the only treatment necessary.  However, as well as fluid, the body also needs electrolytes to function properly, so as solution containing electrolytes can help to rehydrate even more effectively.  You may find your child’s appetite is reduced and this can be the greatest challenge in preventing dehydration.  Try to feed fluid as often as your child will take it.

What Fluid Should I Give My Child?

Always follow the advice of your healthcare professional, as dehydration can be dangerous if not treated properly.  In general, breasfeeding should be allowed for as often and as long as the child wants it.  For bottle-fed children, a “rehydrating” formula that is specially designed for children with diarrhoea may be the best option until condition improves.

Is there Anything Else I Can Do?

  1. Feeding little and often may suit your child better
  2. Consider changing your child’s regular formula if diarrhoea occurs frequently
  3. In most of the cases, an ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) will be recommended by your doctor.  Follow instruction exactly
  4. Always seek a doctor’s advice immediately if the stools contain blood or are very dark, or there is no improvement after 24 hours.  Also check for fever and signs of dehydration (eg. child not urinating)

 

REGURGITATION

Why Does My Child Have Regurgitation?

Regurgitation is where milk escapes from the stomach and flows up through the oesophagus (or food pipe) and back into your young child’s mouth, often bringing stomach acids with it.  It is common in young children as they have an immature or weak valve between their stomach and oesophagus.  This allows the stomach contents to leak back up.  Regurgitation usually happens following a feed.

Is My Child In Pain?

Some young children with regurgitation do not seem upset by it.  Enough milk is usually kept down so that your child is not hungry and grows normally.  It may simply be a messy business where you feel there is no end to washing clothes – child’s and yours!  However, the stomach contents are acidic and their escape into the oesophagus can cause pain and irritation in many young children.

What Can I Do to Prevent Regurgitation?

If you are bottlefeeding and your child has a simple case of regurgitation, adjusting your child’s feed may be sufficient.  There are thickening agents that you add to your regular formula and also special thickened formulas.  Both tend to stay in the stomach and not escape so easily back up into the oesophagus.  However, formula that is thick in the bottle can cause air to be ingested while feeding and may not suit your child’s taste.  A milk formulated for children with regurgitation that remains liquid in the bottle, but thickens in the stomach may be preferred.  Ask your healthcare professional or your pharmacist.

Will My Child Grow Out Of Regurgitation?

As the valve linking the stomach and oesophagus matures, the signs or regurgitation lessen.  By the time your child is 12 – 15 months of age, symptoms have usually resolved altogether.

Is There Anything Else I Can Do?

  1. Avoid clothing and nappies that are too tight
  2. Don’t put your child to bed immediately after feeding
  3. Try giving smaller feeds at more frequent intervals
  4. Feed your child in a calm and relaxed atmosphere
  5. Don’t smoke around your child
  6. After feeding, place your child in an upright position and “burp” your young child if possible

 

 Brought to you by Novalac – Growing Up Formula

No responses yet