Baby Medical Advice
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Dr Ben Lloyd answers some questions from new moms and gives some useful tips.

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In association with Silver Cross. Nina Sebastiane: Welcome to BabyTalk on the Baby Channel I am Nina Sebastiane. Now today on the show we will reviewing latest baby gear and gadgets for your child with Julie Wright, but first though I am joined on the sofa by consultant pediatrician and regular contributing to the baby channels Health Check Dr. Ben Llyod to say the answer of some of your medical questions. Now we have taken our cameras out and about, so without any further due, here is our first question. Cassandra: Hi! my name is Cassandra and this is my daughter Bionda and she is 17 months now and she is still not walking. Have you got any tips for me? Nina Sebastiane: So Ben 17 months old, she is not walking, should mom Cassandra would be worried. Ben Lloyd: I think the short answer is no. Most children of course they are walking by 14 or 15 months but not walking by 17 months is a common problem one of the commonest things I see and it's very rarely anything serious, the serious things it can be usually a neurological problem, cerebral palsy or muscle disease. But most children it's caused by just a normal variant it runs in the family. Nina Sebastiane: If it was something more serious do you think she would be seeing other signs of this problem. Ben Lloyd: I think that's right that's the most important thing is how well she gets about, most children who are slow to walk and are otherwise healthy are crawling fast or they are bottom shuffling this is the commonest mode, even if she isn't moving about it's probably still nothing serious, but that would be my take on that. Nina Sebastiane: Do you ever find that boys walk quicker than girl or vice versa. Ben Lloyd: It's often said that boys tend to be a bit slower with things but plenty of girls will also be slow to walk. Nina Sebastiane: So I could say something smug they are like oh! We are far brighter than we thought. Okay as we go another question now, let's take a look at the next one. Alisa: Hello! My name is Alisa I am mom to Ally and Drew, Ally is six months I am getting real trouble getting her onto a bottle, have you got any ideas? Nina Sebastiane: So having real problems coming off the boob any suggestions? Ben Lloyd: This is such a common and such a difficult problems and some babies can be very problematic the -- I don't know if she has sought advice from her health physicist but that's -- health physicist are very good at this sort of thing my comment would be that babies prefer breast feeding and will resist very much the idea of getting onto the bottle that's exactly what she has found. The normal advice is to keep trying with different sorts of teeth there are wide of teeth and similar with keep trying with different sorts of milk. In my experience often there has to be some cold turkey the baby has to realize that he is not going to get the breast and if he is going to get his appetite sated he is going to have to switch to the bottle. Nina Sebastiane: Some people try things like I don't know I suppose it's just as you say cold turkey avoiding mumbling around for a little bit of time, may be leaving the room or not being - Ben Lloyd: That's easy that advice is easier for some mother to follow than others and it also of course depends on the father being up for proxity over this cold turkey but I agree with you I think that the average sensible baby will realize that bottle milk is not bad and he is better than being hungry. Nina Sebastiane: Actually this is good advice after my own hawk so I have the same problem at the moment my child only takes breast and wont even consider the bottle to the point where spitting it out, having dad around and me disappearing a few hours is kind of really made her buck up and take the bottle at long last, but it's hard work yeah. Ben Lloyd: And your husband okay on that. Nina Sebastiane: Well it's hard as you say I think cold turkey is rather sort of good description of how it has to go it's a bit of crying and a bit of screaming and then okay I am desperate I will take whichever way it comes really. So let's take a text message now, we have got another question for you. Kathy: I made the mistake of rocking my baby to sleep. Now that he's ten months old finding it difficult to get him to sleep at all. Have you got any advice to help me? Nina Sebastiane: Have they created a rod for their own back here? Ben Lloyd: The short answer is probably yes, but it's nice to be with your baby when he is falling asleep but it is a rod for your own back. There are so many different approaches to this problem there is the brutal one and there is the gentle once. Nina Sebastiane: Which one is your favorite? Ben Lloyd: Well I don't know I am more a gentle person but I think brutal is good because this can go on for years otherwise. Nina Sebastiane: What is that, why do children want to be wrong, that's obviously comforting to beheld I suppose, but it's like sending the baby in the car, you cant settle a baby take the around the block two or three times. Ben Lloyd: I guess the advice would be to reduce the amount of rocking you can either do it suddenly or gradually and then when you stop rocking you can gradually sort of move towards the door that's the sort of gentle approach the more brutal one is to let them cry and let them cry for a bit and then go back show them you love them, but it's bed time. Nina Sebastiane: Yeah a lots of people advocate that, they sort of pick up settle put down as soon as they stop pick up settle put down. Ben Lloyd: And leave them for increasing amounts of time and what I always say to mothers is that you leave them for five minutes the first, ten minutes the next time, fifteen minutes the next time and ten it's very important that when you go in you aren't all over them you just show them you love them but it's sort of category B lover there they are called and- Nina Sebastiane: I love you put on going to put you down, I love you but we are not joined to the -- Ben Lloyd: Exactly and then I have heard what I say to people is the baby will know that if he goes on crying long enough his mom will come back but is it really worth it and that definitely works but it is very tough for lots of mothers to do that, very tough. Nina Sebastiane: Alright well let's get another question for there, hope that answered your query, let's take a look at another one. Catherine: Hi! My name is Catherine this is my daughter Maddy, she is 16 months and this is Donna Bell and she is just 6 weeks old and this is my mom here -- she is grand mom. I heard in the news that dummies prevent cot death and I was just wondering this is true or not. Nina Sebastiane: Okay so can dummies prevent cot death well this was a recent report wasn't it. Ben Lloyd: This was a bit of a stunner for a lots of us because we have being getting around same dummies as a bad fear and suddenly this research saying where they reviewed the history of babies who have had cot death in compared with the history of babies who still alive and there were lots of expected things like smoking is far common or in the cot death group but dummies seem to be protective and I am very skeptical and a lot of people very skeptical because if you do studies like this you will get false association and everyone is familiar with the idea that one week coffee protects against cancer and the next week coffee causes cancer and this was one study. So the short answer is there is some evidence that may be and you can think why dummies might prevent against cot death by keeping the busy [voice overlap] possibly I would say that you would not have the dummies to prevent cot death the best way to prevent cot death is to follow the standard advice and two of the most important things they are allying the baby on their back and not smoking. And not smoking is certainly important. Nina Sebastiane: Okay well that's interesting that you know it's only one research or one piece of research. Ben Lloyd: It's one piece of research and anyone who reads the papers knows that one piece of research is may returned by another piece of research the next year. Nina Sebastiane: So do the sensible things first and then the dummy- Ben Lloyd: That if your baby is very ready to the dummy you could draw some consolation from the fact that may be its helping, I don't think. Nina Sebastiane: My first was addicted to dummy, she still is, she still is. Ben Lloyd: Can I just say about smoking I was told recently that the last cot death in the city of bristle involving a non smoking mother have been five years ago so that smoking is not smoking is a really brilliant way of preventing cot death and the other thing to say about cot death is that I know lot of mothers worry endlessly about it and I can understand that that it's very-very rare now-a-days. Nina Sebastiane: Well I am pleased you said that actually because I think every mother and father goes through that first four week period where they check their baby to see, are they still breathing, are they alright and if they haven't working you are up through the night you wake up with this sort of dread in the bottom of your stomach until you go and checking it's actually they've slept through the night and either you have broken the first mile stone. Okay well let's go to our another question, this time it's text message. Speaker: My baby boy is nine months old and I still can't get him interested in solid foods. Do I need to be worried? Will he still be getting enough benefit from breastfeeding? Nina Sebastiane: What do you make of that Ben does that sound normal? Ben Lloyd: It's a difficult one to judge without seeing the baby, there is a tremendous variation of course in how much babies move and some are holding their head in the first days of life and others will take longer, it depends a bit what you mean by holding your head by four months they should -- most babies are holding their head to some extend and the kicking that's also very variable. So I suspect this isn't a major problem but I think I would make an appointment to see general practitioner or the health physicist. I think it sounds like that she is concerned and I think that should be taken a bit further. Nina Sebastiane: Alright let's take a look at one of your other questions now next question. Nathaniel: Hello! My name is Nathaniel these are my boys Justin and Mathew, one of things I a worried about at the moment is meningitis. We are wondering if perhaps you can give us some of the early warnings signs for that. Nina Sebastiane: Okay worried dad there Nathaniel what are the early signs for meningitis. Ben Lloyd: Well there are lots of early signs of meningitis I think I would like to just broaden it out a bit because what from adult perspective when a child has a high fever the worry is not just meningitis it's also other forms of blood poisoning and so if I just called it serious-serious infections of which -- because you cant really tell the difference in meningitis and blood poisoning when you see a baby. So the question is how can you tell, I think the question is how can tell when a baby has a bit of fever whether it's a serious infection like meningitis. Nina Sebastiane: How do you tell, if you are the average you just panic. Ben Lloyd: Yes well I think it can be very difficult but the first thing to remember is that only a very small percent one or two percent of children with a high fever will have a serious infection 98% to them will have a virus and I think there are several things one is how is the baby in himself so a baby who is smiling alert, smiling how is the bad feed a baby who is feeding some what who is drinking well, so the worrying things baby who is not feeding at all a baby seems very unwell with it. The other classic features of meningitis and serous illness that's I am sure you know about the blood spots, the glass test, should I go through that. Nina Sebastiane: Yes please. Ben Lloyd: Well that's where you get little purple spot anywhere on the body, which don't go away when you press on them into the usual recommendation is to press on them with the glass that you can see where they go away. So the presence of blood spots would set to be a worrying sign of a serious infection including meningitis. I think I would say to people trust that judgment that if baby doesn't seem too bad and it's just a fever and is not too ill then probably the situation is fine and they should take Calpol or Junifen. Nina Sebastiane: But also follow your instinct, follow the instinct if it feels something is wrong go see somebody be it GP of if it's middle of the night and you are panicked. Ben Lloyd: Casualty. Nina Sebasitiane: You go to casualty. Ben Lloyd: Of course the younger the baby the more worrying it is I mean I have a much lower threshold for going for seeking advice for young baby then I would for a 4 or a 5 year old. Nina Sebastiane: Yes but if you are in any doubt get it checked out okay. We are running out of time a little bit. So I am going to pass around to the next question. Tina: Hi! my name is Tina, this is Jay he is 2 and this is Oliver he is 7 months and he has been suffering from a block tear duct since he was born, I have tired massaging as I was advised, is there anything else that I can do to try and alleviate the problem. Nina Sebastiane: Do you get blocked tear ducts? Ben Lloyd: Oh! Yes this is such a common problem and people get very worried about it and the message is don't worry it will come right lots and lots of babies will have a block tear duct so they classically have a sort of whipping eye they can be whipping pussy material as well more normally it's clear and there was vogue in the old days for operating for probing this but now the eye surgeons don't probate until the certainly after the age of one or may be even two because the duct open ups itself so the problem is going to go away when the baby gets older. The massage people would prescribe whereas massaging like that and sometimes that seems to help but it's a cosmetic thing and Nina Sebastiane: But it's not going to be ultimately damage the eye. Ben Lloyd: I think if you appreciate that if the mother appreciates that then often it may be easier to life with it, it's not going to damage the eye. Nina Sebastiane: And that mean you are susceptible to more infections if it's blocked. Ben Lloyd: Well you can't get -- I have never seen the serious infection from it. Nina Sebastiane: So don't really worry about it, it more slightly go away, you can try massage. Okay we have run out of time sadly questions this time. Dr. Lloyd thank you very much for coming and to see us. Now if you have got a medical question for Ben or indeed any of our other practitioners who join us regularly on the Baby Channel and get in touch. You can telephone 09050280090 and leave us a voice mail or you can text the word Baby plus your message 282540. Coming up after the break Julie white will be in the studio reviewing the latest baby and toddler toys and gadgets we will see you then.