Pediatrician - New Port Richey
2044 Trinity Oaks Boulevard Suite 235
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 375-5437

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Posts for tag: The Pediatric Specialists

As many of you already know I became a grandpa last month!  So far it has been an amazing experience. It’s so exciting watching this new life grow and develop as well as watching my son grow as a caring, nurturing father.  It’s been a blessing to have my son, his wife and my grandson share our home.  Obviously things aren’t always perfect…especially when it’s time for bed.  My almost-perfect little grandson has decided that 10 PM – 1 AM is a great time to be awake.  Not just awake but crabby and awake.  He has a mild case of colic.

So what is colic?  Basically a baby with colic is a perfectly healthy child who is almost inconsolable for several hours per day.  Some infants are colicky all of the time, but the vast majority have a 3-4 hour time period, usually in the evening, of inconsolable crying.  The classic hours of colic are 6 PM – 12 AM.  No one really knows what causes colic.  The prevailing thought is that it is a symptom of an immature nervous system.  The symptoms of colic usually start between two and four weeks of age. Thankfully infants outgrow colic around three months of age, although some will continue through six months.

What should you do if you suspect your child has colic?  It’s not a bad idea to make an appointment with your pediatrician to rule out other reasons for the irritability such as milk protein intolerance, illness, reflux, hernia or something else.  If other causes are ruled out it’s time to figure out how to deal your baby’s irritability.  Some tips that can sometimes help comfort a colicky baby include:

  • Swaddling:  Many infants feel more secure and comforted when swaddled tightly in a thin blank.

  • Pacifier: Many infants respond well to sucking on a pacifier.  It can be a great option to overfeeding colicky babies who have a strong need to suck.  My son likes to call it the “mute button”.

  • Rhythmic movement:  Many infants find comfort in rhythmic movements such as being rocked, being in a baby swing, gentle bouncing motions, being held and walked or rhythmic patting on the bottom.  A good butt pat was a life-saver during my time working as an RN in children’s hospitals caring for infants whose parents couldn’t stay with them.

  • White noise:  Some infants find peace in the sound of running water, vacuum cleaner, clothes dryer, etc.  There are also many sound machines designed for infants with the sound of waves, nature, the sound of being in a womb, etc that can be helpful.

  • Give them to grandpa: Well at least that’s what my son does sometimes!  I love that one-on-one time even if it does cut into my sleep time.

One of the more frustrating characteristics of colic is that soothing techniques often give you only a few minutes of relief at a time until the colicky episode passes.  It can become quite difficult for parents to cope with a colicky infant after a long day and weeks or months of not sleeping well due to the responsibilities of parenting an irritable young infant.  Some parents find themselves getting tense, anxious or even angry when their child will not stop crying.  If you find your frustration rising it’s time to take a break.  It is OK to lay your crying baby in their crib for a while, shut the door and give yourself a few minutes of cool-down time.  If you have someone else to share the responsibility take turns comforting your infant.  Most importantly, never let your aggravation lead to shaking your child.  Shaking an infant can lead to brain damage, blindness and even death.

Parenting an infant with colic can be trying so don’t forget to take care of yourself in addition to caring for your infant.  Parents who have someone they trust to watch their infant can schedule date nights to get away for an hour or two, regain some sanity and hopefully nurture their relationship with each other. If you don’t have a significant other just schedule some fun time for yourself, even if it’s just sitting in a nearby park or beach for a short time. It may not feel right at first to leave your infant at such a young age but it can be a great tool to help you cope. 

I remember feeling like the colic would never end when my oldest was an infant, but lo and behold he turned into one of the most easy going toddlers and preschoolers you have ever met. If you’re dealing with a colicky infant don’t give up hope!  It will pass!     

Christopher Pope, ARNP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          

By Dr. Sheridan Hernandez
July 23, 2015

Hi Parents.

Today I'm going to talk about babies and their pooping. Pooping, it seems to me, is the biggest concern of parents of newborns and infants. So here's some info to hopefully guide and reassure you.

Some babies poop several times a day, little liquid toots with poop usually. Some babies only poop every few days and, usually for exclusively breast fed babies, sometimes only about once a week. When these less frequent poopers do finally unload, it is usually a huge explosion of stool and requires quite the clean up 😁. This is normal. If your baby is happy and feeding well, passing gas (gas is fine, all babies are quite gassy), not vomiting, his/her tummy is not hard and bloated, then do not be alarmed by 6 poops a day or one poop in 6 days. On the other hand, if your baby is crying inconsolably, not feeding, bloated and not passing gas and/or vomiting, then it may be a serious medical emergency. In this case the baby should be evaluated ASAP.

Baby poop can be liquidy or pasty. It can be yellow, orange, green (dark to light) and various shades of brown. After the first few days of life it should not be black. Neither should baby poop be white (especially if your baby is jaundiced) or have any thing that looks like blood. So if it's black, bloody or white and baby looks yellow, call and make an appointment to have your baby seen. There is an app called poopMD that shows pictures of different types of normal baby poop.

Okay, hope this helps.

Dr. Sherry Hernandez

By Christopher Pope, ARNP
July 02, 2015
Welcome to our first blog post! 
 
Doc McStuffins is always singing, "It's time for your check-up!", but why?
 
Many parents ask, “My child is healthy and up-to-date on vaccines, why do they need a physical?”  There are many reasons routine well visits or physicals are important throughout childhood.  During infancy, growth and developmental changes happen rapidly.  In addition to disease prevention through vaccinations, infant well visits are an excellent opportunity to catch developmental concerns or growth issues before they become a serious problem.
As children age they still benefit from yearly physicals.  These office visits are a great opportunity for children to be educated on the importance of good nutrition, exercise, sleep as well as safety concerns specific for each age group.
Besides the obvious benefits to health screenings, the yearly physical also helps promote a trusting relationship between health care providers, patients and their family.  A trusting relationship can be invaluable as children become adolescents and young adults.  When an adolescent trusts their health care provider they will be more likely to bring up potentially serious health concerns that they may otherwise be too embarrassed to discuss with someone they do not know well.  Because of the bond that we have formed with our patients we have had many divulge problems with severe depression/anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse, and relationship difficulties among other things that they did not feel comfortable discussing with their parents directly.
Through routine healthy check-ups I have had patients with heart conditions, neurological problems, anemias, lipid disorders, hypertension, tumors, physical and cognitive delays, growth abnormalities, endocrine problems and countless other conditions that would have likely gone undiagnosed and caused significant health consequences had they neglected routine physical exams.
Thankfully most go through childhood without significant health problems, but it's certainly worth an hour or so out of the year to have that piece of mind to know your child is healthy and to hear some tips to help them stay that way.  Prevention and early detection is so much easier than trying to fix problems after they have occurred. 
 
Finally, annual physicals are covered 100% by almost all insurance companies, so there's usually no out of pocket expense. So if your child is behind on their routine physcal there is no excuse not to listen to Doc McStuffins and get that check-up!
 
Have a great summer and hope to see you and your child soon for a healthy check-up!
Chris Pope, ARNP


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2044 Trinity Oaks Boulevard, Suite 235
Trinity, FL 34655