Dr. Bill Sears is one of America’s most renowned pediatricians, father of eight children, and author of over 40 books on childcare. He is the Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. Dr Sears Lean has a series on this blog that covers many aspects of raising healthy kids. Dr Sears shared many tips in this Singapore workshop ‘Keeping Your Child Healthy’.
- Healthy Child with Dr Sears – Health Q&A
- Healthy Child with Dr Sears – Parenting Q&A
- Attachment Parenting with Dr Sears
- Healthy Child with Dr Sears – Baby Nutrition Q&A
- Healthy Child with Dr Sears – 10 Tools for Success
Dr Sears explained that for many years, colic had not been understood by physicians and parents although recently, more causes had been known. Dr Sears also suggested replacing the term ‘colic’ which has taken on a negative connotation to the ‘hurting baby’.
Gastroesophageal reflux (also known as ‘heart burn’) – This condition is due to the lower esophageal sphincter not being closed tightly, allowing reflux and leading to colic. Symptoms include sudden crying outbursts, irritable child, sour burps and throaty noises of the baby which worsens when the baby is lying down. The reflux may be a reaction to (i) eating too fast or (ii) incorrect formula choice, including being allergic to food allergens in the breast milk or the formula, or being intolerant to cow’s milk protein. A leaky latch-on for a breast-fed baby is also a hint of intolerances to the breast milk.
Parents can help by gathering information for the doctor’s diagnosis, such as journaling the baby cries, tracking possible triggers and what works/does not. Recording videos of the baby having a reflux can also aid the doctor in his/her diagnosis.
The gastroesophageal reflux can be relieved through prescription antacids, avoidance of fuss foods (common ones are diary, wheat, caffeine and gassy foods like broccoli and onions) and having the baby eat and sleep in a more upright position. Feeding twice as often can also relieve the reflux symptoms for these babies.
Dr Sears shared that attachment parenting is simple as in it is the mother (and father) doing what they would naturally do, without wrong advice or pressures relating to ‘letting the baby cry it out’. First, let’s explore what’s wrong with the ‘let baby cry it out’ advice:
Should Baby be left to Cry it out?
NO – Dr Sears shared that training the baby to sleep, despite crying is the wrong advice. The newborn baby would naturally want to be near to the mother and intentionally leaving the baby alone and forcing the mother not to carry the crying baby has been studied to have negative effects. For one, a mother who implements this incorrect advice will overtime lose the natural sensitivity to the baby. On the other hand, the baby who has cried it out experiences slower growth, partly due to the body ‘shutting down’ due to lose of trust that care will be provided. A simple guideline for parents to know what to do or not do is ask
‘If I were my child, how would I want my parents to respond?’
Next week, we will learn more in-depth from Dr Sears on attachment parenting – what to do and its benefits. I didn’t get to have Dr Sears vet through this post before publishing, any and all mistakes mine.