Woman's Era - - Contents -

MY BABY HAD A THICK CRUST ON HIS SCALP. I AM VERY par­tic­u­lar about his hygiene and yet this flaky sort of thing has ap­peared. Please tell me what is it due to and how to get rid of it?

The crusty flakes that some ba­bies have on their head, is called cra­dle cap or se­b­or­rhric der­mati­tis. It is a form of dan­druff com­mon in in­fants. The greasy sur­face scales on the scalp in mild cases re­spond well to a mas­sage with oil fol­lowed by a thor­ough sham­poo that re­moves the crust along with the oil. In those cases where the flak­ing is heavy and there are brown­ish patches or yel­low­ish crusti­ness, a visit to the doc­tor is war­ranted.

Since the con­di­tion wors­ens with sweat­ing make sure to keep your baby’s head cool. Avoid cov­er­ing his head un­less ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary. Oc­ca­sion­ally cra­dle cap may per­sist through­out the first year but as it causes no prob­lems and is only cos­met­i­cally un­ap­peal­ing do not try vig­or­ous meth­ods of re­mov­ing it.

IHAVE A THREE MONTHS OLD BABY AND LIVE ABROAD. MY par­ents helped me out in the ini­tial days af­ter de­liv­ery but now their visa has ex­pired and they will go back to In­dia. I will now have to fend for my­self. Though I am not a work­ing woman I have to do all the chores my­self in­clud­ing go­ing to the su­per­mar­ket etc. Please tell me what is the right way of com­mut­ing with a baby? It will not be al­ways pos­si­ble to carry him in a pram as I of­ten travel by the tube.

Till the age of four months one should use baby car­ri­ers that are at­tached in front for the baby can­not sup­port his head. Af­ter four months the baby can be car­ried in back­packs. Prams should have a sound frame, sound brakes and han­dles of the right height. Cars should have rear fac­ing in­fant re­strains held in place with adult seat belts. If trav­el­ing long dis­tance, one must carry ad­e­quate amounts of diapers, wet wipes and for­mula milk ( if the baby is be­ing bot­tle fed), ba­sic medicines, linen and clothes.

WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW MANY MILK TEETH A CHILD HAS AND what is the or­der of their erup­tion?

A child has a set of 20 milk teeth (up­per and lower jaws com­bined) that com­prise of 2 in­cisors or front teeth, a ca­nine on ei­ther side of the in­cisors and the 1st and 2nd mo­lar at the back on ei­ther side on each jaw. Den­ti­tion be­gins at 6 months of age and is com­pleted by 24 months. The 1st to ap­pear are the lower cen­tral in­cisors at 6 months of age while the up­per cen­tral in­cisors and the lower lat­eral in­cisors erupt at 7 months. The 1st mo­lars ap­pear be­tween 12 to 14 months, the ca­nines be­tween 16-18 months and the 2nd mo­lars be­tween 20-24 months.

MY SON IS FOUR- AND- A- HALF- MONTHS OLD. This time when I vis­ited his pae­di­a­tri­cian I was told that I would have to start wean­ing him soon. What did he mean by that? Also please tell me how It is done.

Wean­ing is the process by which a baby gets used to eat­ing fam­ily food and re­lies less on breast milk. Wean­ing should be­gin around 5 months of age. Start with juices and soups and later add cereals like rice. Start with one food at a time. Give small quan­ti­ties at first and grad­u­ally in­crease the amount over a pe­riod of time. Re­spect the baby’s tastes for, like us, they too have in­di­vid­ual pref­er­ences. Use foods rich in en­ergy and nu­tri­ents and avoid un­hy­gienic foods. Pro­teins are re­quired for body build­ing, car­bo­hy­drates and fats for en­ergy while vi­ta­mins and min­er­als for over­all de­vel­op­ment.

A bal­anced diet in­cludes bread / cereals / rice, veg­eta­bles, fruits, milk/ cheese, meat/ poul­try/ dals. Con­tinue breast feed­ing as long as pos­si­ble.

MY 12- YEAR-OLD SON DE­VEL­OPS UL­CERS IN THE MOUTH OFF and on. They are quite painful and he ex­pe­ri­ences dif­fi­culty in eat­ing. Please tell me why they oc­cur and what should be done about them.

Mouth ul­cers oc­cur due to a va­ri­ety of rea­sons rang­ing from di­ges­tive prob­lems, al­ler­gies, stress, fa­tigue, ill­ness, in­jury, de­fi­ciency of Vi­ta­min B12 and folic acid. Good oral hygiene is of paramount im­por­tance. See that he avoids spicy foods as they ag­gra­vate the con­di­tion. Strong mouth washes ir­ri­tate the ul­cers and are best avoided. Lo­cal ap­pli­ca­tions and pain killers help al­le­vi­ate the symp­toms but do not cure the dis­ease. Take him to a spe­cial­ist.

IHAVE RE­CENTLY ADOPTED A BABY AND THOUGH I AM VERY happy, I am also ner­vous at the re­spon­si­bil­ity of rais­ing a child. Every­thing gives me the jit­ters. Am I giv­ing her enough milk or am I giv­ing her more than re­quired? Please lay these fears at least to rest and tell me how much does a grow­ing child re­quire.

As you have not given me the ex­act age of the baby you have adopted I will give you a brief over­view of a child’s re­quire­ments in the first year of life. How­ever there is no hard and fast rule and the re­quire­ment varies from baby to baby. An ap­prox­i­ma­tion is given be­low:

– Dr Am­rinder Ba­jaj, MD.

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