Why Is My Baby [fill in the blank]?

What a treasure trove of information this is! Ahhhhh thank you for writing this, Amanda!


by Amanda Black | editor for The Snap Mom

Mothers are observant. They know their babies! Sometimes, its hard to interpret all those observations. That is why I’ve compiled this guide to some of the hardest symptoms to interpret:

Drooling/Chewing

drooling

Sofia and Evelyn (snap babies)

 

Teething?  At 2 months?  Probably not.  A babys salivary glands develop between 2-3 months old. This is great because around this age, the gross motor skill of putting hands and toys in their mouth develops. Saliva is a natural antibacterial barrier. Good news! You can stop disinfecting everything in your house now 😉 Well, maybe not everythingYou may also see a change in poo due to the drooling.

Tips:

  • Bibs and/or dry out babys neck rolls and chest.
  • Use a barrier of shea butter, coconut/olive oil, or lanolin. 
  • Use arrowroot powder to help keep it dry. There is some debate on the safety of baby powder, but arrowroot is generally regarded as safe [source]. Babies under 3 months are sensitive to breathing in particles of anything and absorbing things on their skin, so use caution with little ones.

Then when is my baby actually teething?! The most surefire way is to watch for little swollen gums and teeth buds on the bottom gums. Youll see a little speck of white under the gums. All the other signs (cranky, chewing, sleep disturbances) can be caused by a number of things babies go through.  Only 1% of babies get a tooth before 4 months old [source].  But dont worry, weve got your back when your baby is teething. [click here]

Fussing at the Breast/Refusing to Nurse

photo source: becuo.com

photo source: becuo.com

Your baby was breastfeeding smoothly. Then one day, he/she just pulls off and fusses. all. the. time! What is happening? Self-weaning? Teething? Needs solid food? Low Supply?

Before 4 months, you may consider if your supply is low, or baby is frustrated by a slow let-down. If you suspect your supply is low: Increasing Your Supply and Lactation Cookies may help.

After 3-4 months old, teething could be making his/her mouth sore. If you see teeth buds, use some teething remedies to help.

The 6-12 month old is much more aware of their surroundings. It is very common for them to want to be a part of the action and not settle in to nurse. This doesnt mean they are self-weaning! On their own, most babies will not wean until 18-24 months. Lots of milestones are being achieved from 6-12 months, and some babies are too busy or their bodies are uncomfortable to nurse.

Tips:

  • Breast Compressions 
  • Pump to get let down faster
  • Pump and bottle-feed while continuing to offer breast
  • Lots of skin-to-skin, especially a bath together
  • Offer breast more often [source]

Reaching for food

photo source: www.woolworths.co.za

photo source: www.woolworths.co.za

At about 4 months, babies develop a fine-tuned grasp and their depth perception is improving. These combined developments mean baby will reach for everything! This means he/she will reach for your food, your drink, your hair, your noseits the beginning of your baby physically interacting with you!  Reaching for your food does not mean your baby is actually hungry. Try handing baby a spoon or cup!  Fat is an essential nutrient to the rapid brain growth in infants. Breastmilk and formula are high in fat! These should not be replaced in baby’s diet until necessary.

There is a huge digestive milestone that happens between 5-6 months. Babies do not have mature digestive systems that secrete enzymes of their own until that point. At this time, the intestines start blocking proteins from the bloodstream. This helps protect the baby from foreign pathogens, irritants, and allergens.  Practically speaking, babies that can sit unsupported and feed themselves are so much easier. This also happens around 6 months. Regardless of other signs that baby might be ready, there is much wisdom in waiting until his/her digestive system is ready (typically 6 months).

Tips:

  • give spoon/cup/napkin to include baby in meal time
  • put a dropper of water on the high chair tray to play with
  • reserve special items like maracas or other novel things
  • make breastmilk popsicles

sources: 

  • http://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/delay-solids/
  • http://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/solids-when/
  • http://www.livestrong.com/article/252816-infant-digestive-system-development/
  • http://thevisualmd.com/health_centers/child_health/infant_nutrition/milk_enters_the_stomach

Waking Often/Not Sleeping 

sofia waking up

Oh boy. There are never-ending reasons for this. Hot/cold, teething, sore muscles from growth spurt, new milestones, restless mind, misses mom/dad, hungry, cant find lovey, gas/digestive troubleBest thing you can do is think through all of these reasons, have realistic expectations for baby sleep in the first year, and set a pleasant sleep environment [click here]. In my experience, sleep during the first year is unpredictable and dependent on so many things. You can encourage good sleep, and once baby is old enough, I recommend teaching sleep vocabulary such as lay down,” “get your lovey,and time to sleep.  This way you can communicate your expectations to baby while still responding to their needs. Also, just know you will not ruin your babys sleep forever by attending to them until whatever age you feel you need to.  After a certain age, sleep can be modeled and learned. The key is communicating your expectations and being consistent. 

Tips: 

  • Assess reasons listed above
  • Set peaceful environment
  • If old enough, teach vocabulary/skills
  • If little, just hang on, and it will pass!

Having Irregular Poo

baby bum

My babys poo is ____________[hard, green, mucous-y, yellow, weird]. Over at The Snap Mom Community, weve seen it all. Literally. The most obvious answer is its related to babys digestion/food intake.

First, wait a day or two and see if it goes back to the norm. Babies go through so many digestive developments in the first year, there is bound to be random bouts of irregular bowel movements.

Second, take a mental note of what baby is eating. If breastfeeding, what are you eating? Irregular bowel movements can be caused by drool, allergens, digestive maturing, and/or sickness.

The Big 8 Allergens are cows milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy beans.  Our output is a major clue as to how our body is functioning. Sometimes its a bit of trial and error to figure it out. Breastfeeding and/or probiotics combined with watching how your baby is reacting to specific foods is the best way to proceed. Every baby is going to be different, if you find a specific food disrupts your babys digestion, wait a month and try again.

Tips: 

  • Wait it out a couple days
  • Check diet for allergens
  • Add probiotic (dairy-free if you’re concerned about allergens)
  • Baby Massage

These are the best resources I’ve found to educate yourself on all the changes your baby might be going through. They are definitely my go-to apps/sites.

The Wonder Weeks App {$1.99 | Mental Development} : http://www.thewonderweeks.com/about-the-wonder-week-app/

Baby Center App {Free | Physical Development} : http://www.babycenter.com/mobile-apps

KellyMom.com

Dr. Sears 

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