Dr. Amy Fan Conrad
Ask Dr. Amy [1/6/2020]
It’s been such an exciting start to 2020 here at Kinder. We are so grateful for your enthusiasm about our launch and look forward to getting to know many of our followers and future patients.
But for now, here are the answers from this week’s Ask Dr. Amy on Instagram:
1. How do you feel about melatonin for toddlers?
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, a part of the brain thought to be responsible for day-night rhythms. In other words, we all have melatonin in our body right now.
For that reason, I think trying a dose of 3mg melatonin for otherwise healthy toddlers in an acute setting such as traveling/jet-lag has the potential to help with the transition. There are very few, if any, documented side effects to this natural hormone. Long term use is not well studied.
2. We are having Norovirus right now (us and 10 month old). How long does it last/stay contagious?
Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that. Norovirus causes acute gastroenteritis (vomiting, diarrhea) that can be very severe. The good news? It’s self limited.
Vomiting should not last more than 24-36 hours. Diarrhea can last a bit longer. Other symptoms can include fever, stomach discomfort or cramps, and muscle aches.
It’s important to remember the virus sheds in the stool for at least two weeks after symptoms have resolved, and sometimes longer in immune-compromised individuals. So good hand washing all around is important, even after the crisis is over.
Lastly, the most important issue here is hydration. Make sure everyone is still urinating close to a normal amount, otherwise more aggressive hydration methods might be necessary. Other signs of dehydration can include dry mucous membranes, fast heart rate without fever or pain, and increasing sleepiness/lack of alertness.
3. Do you like baby-led weaning or prefer purées?
I think this topic deserves a longer answer, so watch out for a blog post on this in the next week or so.
For now I’ll just say: I think this is a topic that has been set up to be an either-or situation, and it doesn’t have to be.
I usually recommend letting babies try finger foods starting at 4 months, only if they are interested, remembering that everything they eat now is for practice and we don’t depend on it for nutrition yet.
At 6 months, where we officially begin to add in foods for nutritional value and dial down the breast milk/formula, purées can be added to complete the meals depending on what else they have already eaten.
4. 8 month old still not interested in food. What to do?
My first question for this is: what do you offer first? Most of the time, the reason for lack of interest in food at this point is a lack of hunger - being offered breast milk or formula first.
I would recommend using healthy hunger as a tool, and start meals with offering foods first, then ending with breast milk and formula as needed.
As always, check the growth curve with your pediatrician to make sure the overall growth is on track!
We hope everyone had a great start to the new year. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on Kinder news. See you all soon!
Much love, Dr. Amy and the Kinder Team
* Information provided on Kinder Blog is for educational purposes only, and cannot be used as medical advice in the absence of a doctor-patient relationship. Always check with your own doctor before giving any medication, or for specific medical advice. Never delay seeking medical care due to educational information from Kinder, and please call 911 if there is a medical emergency.