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Blocked Tear Duct
Colic
Common Cold in Babies
Constipation in Babies
Cradle Cap
Nappy Rash
Spots in Babies
Sticky Eye/Conjunctivitis
Teething
Thrush in Babies

The first few weeks and months of your life with a new baby are both wonderful and yet often stressful and traumatic at the same time. There are many minor problems which are common to newborn babies and which can be easily remedied without the need for medication. The advice below is to support you through this time.

Homeopathy works extremely well with babies and children and an excellent book to help you prescribe for yourself and your baby is Miranda Castro's 'Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth and Your Baby's First Year'.  'Homeopathy for Children' by Gabrielle Pinto and Murray Fieldman is also a very practical and useful book.

Homeopathic pills can easily be placed, via the cap on the dispenser, into a baby's mouth where they will quickly dissolve. Always keep your baby upright when doing this and watch them to ensure they don't choke.  Homepathic tablets can be crushed between two spoons, then add a little water and give directly off the spoon.

It would also be a very good idea to see a professional homeopath during your pregnancy, or at least before the birth to ensure that you can get immediate advice and specific remedies to use during those first few weeks with your newborn baby. If you don't manage to organise this before the birth then most homeopaths are happy to give advice by phone and post remedies to you for a small fee even if they haven't seen you before. You can then arrange a proper appointment for a 'constitutional diagnosis' of your baby when you are back on your feet again sometime afterwards.

Once you then have a homeopath for your baby they can help you with any health problems that arise and will give you the support and confidence to use only natural health products and avoid the use of medicines.

Homeopathic kits are ideal for newcomers as well as those more familiar with homeopathy. They are invaluable as part of a first aid kit and make wonderful Gift Sets. Each kit contains a self-prescribing booklet to help you in your selection of the most appropriate remedy. A proportion of the sales of these kits are given to support homeopathic projects and charities - see Homeopathy.

Cranial osteopathy is very helpful to all newborn babies to ensure that the skeletal structure of the head and body are well positioned, particularly after a difficult or traumatic birth. Even a natural birth is the most stressful event of our lives. Cranial osteopathy is a gentle and subtle treatment that helps relive the stresses and strains in the body after birth and can help alleviate the following problems: crying, colic, sickness, and wind, feeding difficulties, sleep disturbances, recurrent infections, ear infections, asthma, sinus and adenoidal problems, behaviour problems, learning difficulties, Cerebral palsy and other types of brain damage and more. It is also beneficial for new mothers to ensure their body is properly re-aligned after the birth. Consider seeing a practitioner with your baby during the first few weeks after the birth.

NB. The information below is in no way intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are unsure as to the suitability of any of the products or recommendations with regard to your condition please consult your doctor. If your doctor does not approve of complementary medicine it may be helpful to find one who does.

BLOCKED TEAR DUCT

Tear ducts in the inner corner of each eye can become blocked in babies either because they are so small or because they are underdeveloped. The eye will be constantly watery and sometimes discharge will become sticky.

• Homeopathy works extremely well with babies and children and silica helps to clear this kind of blockage. Give Silica 30c twice a day for up to one week. Then wait one week and repeat if there was an improvement but it hasn't fully cleared - see Homeopathy. See the Homeopathic Kits for sets containing a range of different remedies.

• Very gently massage the corner of the eye by the nose in circular movements every two or three hours to help release the blockage

• If silica doesn't help, see a professional homeopath. If the eye becomes more typical of conjunctivitis with thick discharge and red eyes follow the advice under Sticky Eye.

NB. It is important to touch the pills as little as possible, ideally tipping them into the lid and then directly into the mouth, and also to avoid eating and drinking at the same time as taking the remedy.

COLIC

Colic is sharp, intermittent abdominal pains or cramps and occurs commonly in babies as their digestive systems mature. It occurs mainly in the first three weeks to six months and can be a very distressing time for both parents and babies - particularly new parents who have not experienced it at all. It can be difficult to 'wind' new born babies properly but propping them upright (supported under the chin) and carrying them around in a sling throughout the day, as opposed to being on their backs most of the day, can really help. Often the evenings are worse due to an accumulation of wind throughout the day. It is interesting to note that in other cultures where babies are constantly carried around in a sling by their mothers colic is non-existent.

Mothers who are breastfeeding should eliminate those foods from their own diet which are known to affect babies in this way: cows' milk and all dairy products, alcohol, tea, coffee, chocolate, spices (chillies and pepper), curries, onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, peppers (especially raw green), strawberries, oranges, pineapple and grapes. It may be helpful to avoid wheat, dairy and eggs, and even fruits with stones (apricots, peaches, plums, cherries etc). If you do cut out dairy products and are concerned about your calcium intake take a calcium supplement (up to 1500mg daily when breastfeeding) - see Minerals.

Your health visitor or midwife will be able to suggest feeding positions to lessen the amount of air swallowed.

For bottle-fed babies there are a good range of bottles and teats specially designed to reduce colic, and they do make a difference. Discuss trying a different formula with your health visitor. If things don't improve then the problem may be an intolerance to cows' milk, particularly if there is also vomiting and or diarrhoea. Ask your health visitor about a hypoallergenic protein-hydrolysate formula - which is available on prescription.

You can help your baby by trying the following:

• Look for an Infant Massage class to learn gentle massage techniques, which can help to ease colic and help relax yourself and your baby.

• Try very gently massaging the abdomen in a clockwise circular movement to help relieve colic by opening the bowels. You can also try gently holding your baby, with their back to you, in a squatting position to encourage bowel movements.

• Place your baby face down on your lap, over a rolled-up towel, as pressure sometimes eases colic.

• Place your baby over your knees so there is no pressure on the tummy - pressure sometimes aggravates colic.

• Carry your baby around over your shoulder, or keep them rocking, moving gently until they calm down.

• Carry your baby up and down the stairs as the change in pressure can release wind.

• Give some weak warm dill or fennel tea (see below) on a teaspoon or a bottle, or try just cooled boiled water.

• Offer a finger or dummy to suck on to try and avoid overfeeding for comfort (see below) which will make the condition worse i.e. create more wind.

• Try and distract your baby visually with toys, books etc, but gently so as not to irritate. When they are calmer they are more likely to burp, or not feel so much pain, allowing remedies to have an effect.

• If you are breastfeeding try not to 'over-feed' your baby as this can make the problem worse. Young babies generally feed every two hours, and it takes that length of time for them to digest a feed, so if your baby is wanting to feed in between this time, or is being woken up from their sleep by wind and wants to feed, try and soothe them in any way you can, and ease the colic, without giving an additional feed.

• If your baby falls asleep on you after a feed, try to get into the habit of gently waking them, and make sure they are fully awake. Wind them and then when you are ready settle them back to sleep, if it is time for their sleep. This is very important to help avoid colic.

If colic is accompanied by frequent vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation in babies discuss this with your health visitor or doctor, and see a professional homeopath and cranial osteopath.

If your baby is crying and vomiting after feeding you may be dealing with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), which is common in babies, and is not colic. It usually occurs if the valve at the top of the stomach is weak and is allowing the reflux of acid from the stomach back up the oesophagus causing pain and discomfort, as with heartburn. Mild reflux generally resolves itself as the valve becomes stronger, however moderate to severe reflux needs treatment because it can lead to broken sleep, food aversion and poor weight gain. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis at an early stage. You can call the Baby Care Advice Line for more information on 0800 032 6026. Homeopathy and cranial osteopathy have both shown excellent results with this condition (follow the link below).

If symptoms of colic are particularly severe, or an older baby i.e. over 6 months is still suffering from colic there may be an underlying problem in the gut, an allergy or intolerance. Discuss this with your health visitor or doctor, and see a practitioner of radionics or a naturopath to get to the cause of the problem.

SUPPLEMENTS TO SUPPORT HEALTHY DIGESTION:

Probiotics - research has shown that good levels of probiotic bacteria in the gut can reduce the symptoms of colic in babies by 75%.  Probiotic supplements deliver good bacteria to the gut, which strengthens the guts action and improves digestion of foods and substances, including milk.  Women who were breastfeeding were also asked to cut out dairy products during the trial.  'Bifidobacterium infantis' is a dairy-free probiotic designed for babies from birth to six months old - see Probiotics for Babies & Children.

Herbs - the herbal remedy 'Windy Pops' has been developed specifically for digestive support in babies and is suitable from birth. It is a blend of chamomile, fennel, catnip and lemon balm and can be given directly or added to milk - see Herbs for Babies & Children.

Herbal tea - fennel or dill tea is good for both breastfeeding mothers and for babies themselves - give a weak warm tea to babies made using cooled boiled water. 'Nursing Tea' is ideal for new mums  to help ease baby's wind. It contains dill, fennel, fenugreek, peppermint, raspberry leaf and chamomile - see Herbal Tea.

Homeopathic remedies - these can be very effective for colic. Use Colocynthis 30c if your baby seems very windy and is pulling her legs up in pain; use Dioscorea for windy pain that causes your baby to arch back and stretch out the legs; or Chamomilla 30c if these symptoms are not happening but your baby is clearly distressed, is inconsolable, is better for being carried, or if stools are green; try Pulsatilla 30c if colic occurs after eating rich foods and if your baby wants affection (Pulsatilla children are clingy). Mag Phos 30c is very good for easing pain particularly if the pains are better for warmth and Nux Vomica 30c if the colic is accompanied by a fever - see Homeopathy for these remedies. PLEASE NOTE: for Colocynthis 30c or Dioscorea 30c please call Helios the Homeopathic Pharmacy to order directly on 01892 537254. See the Homeopathic Kits for sets such as the Mother & Child Kit containing a range of different remedies.

Generally give one dose every half an hour to two hours depending on the severity, however if your baby has not calmed down within ten minutes of an initial dose, give another and continue as required. If the symptoms match two remedies alternate them.

NB. It is important to touch the pills as little as possible, ideally tipping them into the lid and then directly into the mouth, and also to avoid eating and drinking at the same time as taking the remedy.

The stronger the symptoms the stronger the potency required, so if you are unsure, if any of these remedies are not working, or you feel you need a higher potency contact a professional homeopath.

COMMON COLD IN BABIES

At the first sign of a cold give supplements to support the immune system  such as  vitamin C, zinc and a multi-vitamin (all suitable from birth) and echinacea (from 6 months only) - see Supplements  for details. To try and avoid colds and other viruses see Immune Support.

The dietary advice in the general Colds section can also apply depending on the age of your baby. If you can, try cutting out cows' milk and all dairy products, and soya products if you consume them, for a few days because they tend to worsen a cold by forming more mucous. Rice milk (available in most supermarkets) is suitable to give to babies instead of formula milk for 2-4 days - rice milk is non-mucous forming.

NB. Rice milk should not replace formula milk for any longer unless your child is over one year.

If your baby is eating solid food try adding a little grated raw garlic just as you finish cooking each meal, and include hummus in the diet if that is appropriate for your baby's age - raw garlic is anti-viral and a powerful immune-booster.

A cold and any other illness can often throw a baby out of their normal sleeping pattern or routine entirely, mainly because they cannot breathe properly and so need extra comfort and help in going to sleep. Try not to worry about this you may just need to reinstate good sleeping habits again once the cold has gone.

If your baby seems to have a constant cold pretty much from birth, or develops chronic catarrh then see a professional homeopath or practitioner of radionics.

If a cold does become a chest infection or causes an ear infection see your doctor for a firm diagnosis, and see Immune System for Babies & Children for support

To help ease symptoms or to prevent a cold developing into an infection these guidelines will help:

• Stay inside if it is cold or windy outside.

• Don't worry about bathing your baby until the cold has passed (to avoid getting chilled afterwards).

• Stay away from pollution such as traffic and cigarette smoke.

Fresh air can help if the weather allows.

• Breastfed babies often want to feed more, and babies who have started on solids may go back to breastfeeding, and just 'going with the flow' is good for both of you.

• Use plain water in a vaporiser to humidify a centrally heated house.

• Use a little 'Lavender oil' in the vaporiser at night, or on a tissue under the sheet, and or add a few drops to some base oil and massage onto chest and back. 'Po-Ho Oil' is a powerful combination of peppermint, eucalyptus, juniper, caraway and fennel oils to help ease congestion, for babies add 1 drop into a bowl of water or a vaporiser to allow the vapours into a room - see Essential Oils.

• Dampen a cotton bud with water or oil and gently use to clear your baby's nostrils.  For a blocked, stuffy nose the 'Rhinodoron Nasal Spray' helps to break down and clear inside a congested nose and is suitable from birth - see Coughs & Colds.

• Put a foam wedge beneath the sheet on the cot, or a pillow, rolled towel or blanket, under the mattress to elevate the head and ease congestion.

Homeopathy- homeopathy works extremely well with babies and children and there are many remedies for the common cold but here are some basic guidelines. If a cold comes on quickly, or in the very early stages give Aconite 30c and then determine what the symptoms of the cold are in case another remedy is more specific.

If discharge is thin and watery use Arsenicum 30c; if it is thick, bland and profuse, and your baby wants to be held constantly, is upset and clingy use Pulsatilla 30c; if your baby is miserable, irritable and is better for keeping still use Bryonia 30c; Natrum mur 30c is good for constant sneezing with a dripping nose; and if a cold is slow to go try Silica 30c - see Homeopathy for all these remedies. See the Homeopathic Kits for sets containing a range of different remedies.

Give one pill every two hours and if there is no improvement within 24 hours change the remedy. If you feel that the symptoms match two remedies alternate them every two hours.

NB. It is important to touch the pills as little as possible, ideally tipping them into the lid and then directly into the mouth, and also to avoid eating and drinking at the same time as taking the remedy.

The stronger the symptoms the stronger the potency required, so if you are unsure, if any of these remedies are not working, or you need a higher potency contact a professional homeopath.

CONSTIPATION IN BABIES

Babies vary enormously in the regularity of their stools. Some babies pass stools after every feed while others go every few days, or even once a week. Constipation then is not necessarily an infrequency of stools but whether they are hard or painful and difficult to pass.

Constipation can be caused by; the introduction of different foods when weaning begins; an inadequate fluid intake; the use of antibiotics and/or insufficient levels of good bacteria in the gut; being away from home; formula milk that perhaps isn't suiting your baby; or a fever which is using up the bodies fluids.

If your baby is bottle-fed and becomes constipated, ask your health visitor for advice. She may suggest giving additional fluids and trying a different formula milk.

When weaning make a note of any foods that cause constipation and avoid those until a later date when the digestion will be stronger. Wheat for example can slow the digestion down, and bananas need to have almost blackened skins to be easily digestible for babies. It is a good idea to wait until your child is a year old before introducing egg, which has a binding effect on the gut. Give freshly prepared baby food as much as possible.

Give extra water if your baby has a fever or the weather is hot.

The following can help relieve constipation:

• Gently apply some 'Baby Bottom Butter' around the anus to soothe the area and avoid a tear - see Skincare for Babies & Toddlers.

• Give a little strained prune juice on a spoon. Cover some organic prunes with boiling water and soak overnight to make the juice.

• Give a little strained and diluted freshly squeezed orange juice.

• Repeat these methods as and when required if they work.

• Infant massage can help with constipation. Very gently massage the abdomen in a clockwise circular movement to help pass a stool.

• If your baby is eating solids; increase fruit and vegetable intake; avoid refined foods and use whole grains i.e. brown rice, brown bread; give porridge for breakfast as a good source of fibre (never use bran it is too abrasive for young digestive systems); and give more water to drink.

SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEALTHY DIGESTON:

Probiotics help to build a strong digestion by delivering good bacteria to the gut. Formulas suitable from birth to six months, and then from six months onwards - see Probiotics for Babies & Children.

see also Bowel Support Kits

Homeopathy - homeopathy works extremely well with babies and children. If the constipation is due to bottle-feeding, or occurs when weaning use Nux Vom 30c; if cows' milk is the cause use Mag-m 30c (Magnesia Muriaticum); try Bryonia 30c if the stools are very dry and your baby is very thirsty; and Nat Mur 30c if the symptoms include dry skin - see Homeopathy. See the Homeopathic Kits for sets containing a range of different remedies.

Give one pill every two hours and if there is no improvement within 24 hours change the remedy.

NB. It is important to touch the pills as little as possible, ideally tipping them into the lid and then directly into the mouth, and also to avoid eating and drinking at the same time as taking the remedy.

If you are unsure or if any of these remedies are not working, contact a professional homeopath.

CRADLE CAP

 

WHAT IS CRADLE CAP?

Cradle Cap (Infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis) is a common and fairly innocuous condition that occurs in babies usually within the first three months of their lives.  The condition may not look very pleasant — it is a patchwork of yellowish, oily and encrusted scales on the skin that can occur on the scalp, ears, eyebrows and eyelids — but is normally not harmful to your baby in any way.  It can sometimes occur around the armpit area and nose as well. And while it may look like it is itchy and uncomfortable for your baby, it generally is not.

Mild cradle cap usually clears by the age of about 6 months, however for some it does not, and for others it reappears and can become more severe.

In adults the condition Seborrheic Dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition often triggered by stress and nutritional deficiencies.

SYMPTOMS OF CRADLE CAP:

The symptoms are easy to see and can range from dry skin or white flaky patches that look like mild dandruff to greater extremes such as large patches of oily, yellow scales that can be thick, waxy and smelly.

Sometimes the scales can result in a bacterial or fungal infection.

WHAT CAUSES CRADLE CAP?

Cradle cap is caused by the overproduction of sebum (oil) in the hair follicles. This has been mainly attributed to:

-  Hormones from the mother that linger in the baby well after it is born.  These hormones promote the secretion of oil from the skin causing the skin cells to stick and become flaky. For the most part, the hormones will diminish along with the symptoms of cradle cap by themselves within the first two years of your baby’s life.

- A lack of intestinal flora (good bacteria) and a deficiency in biotin (a B vitamin needed to help your body use essential fatty acids and assists in promoting healthy skin, hair and nerves). Good bacteria are responsible for producing essential B vitamins including biotin.

- A deficiency in omega 3 – babies with cradle cap have been found to have an imbalance of essential fatty acids in the blood. These ‘good’ fats are essential for healthy skin.

DIET & LIFESTYLE ADVICE:

- Never pick at the dry skin or scales because it can leave sore patches on your baby’s skin and can increase the risk of developing an infection.

- Do not use over-the-counter shampoos and ointments as these usually contain chemicals and these can worsen the condition - see Hair Care for Babies & Children for natural shampoos.

- Increase your intake of essential fatty acids which are vital for healthy skin by eating more oily fish, seeds and nuts, and vitamin E which is found in avocado, nuts, seeds, cold-pressed oils, wheat germ and oatmeal. Both of these nutrients help the skin to keep its moisture intact and prevent dryness.

- Do not eat/give any foods containing raw egg. Egg whites contain high levels of avidin, a protein which attaches to biotin and prevents it from being absorbed.  Mayonnaise and some types of ice cream contain raw egg

- Eat/give foods which are high in biotin such as liver, kidney, herrings, cooked eggs and some fruit and vegetables (sweetcorn, watermelon, cauliflower, tomatoes)

- Other foods to avoid are chocolate, dairy products, white flour, fried foods, seafood, and anything containing sugar

- Many skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis have been linked to gluten and dairy intolerance.

NATURAL CRADLE CAP TREATMENT:

see our CRADLE CAP KIT contains Baby Special Skin Balm and Baby Massage Oil

 

 

SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEALTHY SKIN & DIGESTION:

Baby Scalp Support Kits
CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT:

The conventional approach to treating Cradle Cap has been to frequently use over-the- counter soaps and shampoos to gently remove the scales from your baby’s skin.  However these are chemical-based products and there is some debate as to which are actually mild enough to use so frequently.  If you aren’t careful, you can do more harm than good.

COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES:

Cranial osteopathy has had good results with problems such as cradle cap and baby spots or milk spots. It may be that it helps to encourage the elimination of hormones and toxins from the body – you can find a local practitioner at www.cranial.org.uk

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS:

- Extra Vitamin A and Zinc are also very beneficial to help heal the skin 

- If your childs cradle cap is red, inflamed or smells we would recommend that you spray the area with Colloidal Silver-MSM  or mix a little Tea Tree Oil into the baby massage oil and massage generously into the affected areas as above - see Essential Oils

HOMEOPATHY - homeopathy works extremely well with babies and children. Use Calc carb 30c if your baby has a large head and belly, is sweaty and does not digest milk well, use Lycopodium 30c if there are other skin eruptions like eczema and sore patches in the creases of the skin, for cradle cap that gets worse for being covered up, with thick scales that may have a brownish tinge, skin is dry, parched and chapped in the folds, especially the neck; Nat mur 30c for severe cradle cap around the hair line margins, with dry, flaky, cracked scalp, and lips that are dry with cracked corners at the mouth; Rhus tox 30c for maddingly itchy cradle cap that triggers restless nights with lots of scratching to ease irritation, and looks thick, crusty and moist - see Homeopathy. See the Homeopathic Kits for sets containing a range of different remedies.

Give two to three pills a day for up to a week and see if there has been any improvement. Continue if there has been and change your remedy if there has not.

NB. It is important to touch the pills as little as possible, ideally tipping them into the lid and then directly into the mouth, and also to avoid eating and drinking at the same time as taking the remedy.

If you are unsure or if any of these remedies are not working, contact a professional homeopath.

NAPPY RASH

Nappy rash can be caused by several things; the chemical reaction between urine and stools which releases ammonia which can burn the skin; chemicals and enzymes in the stools and urine which can irritate the skin; chemicals in disposable nappies; residues of chemical soaps or detergents in washable nappies; an actual infection, or during teething when the digestion becomes more acidic. Either way the skin becomes red, spotty, swollen and very sore.

There is another type of rash called thrush, which is an indication of a fungal infection in the gut caused by an overgrowth of the yeast candida albicans - see Thrush in Babies. This rash looks different from nappy rash - the bottom tends to be very shiny and red, and spots can radiate outwards from the anus. Thrush can also spread above the tummy button and nappy rash won't. If you have ever had a candida infection, if you are breastfeeding and have had antibiotics, or if your baby has had antibiotics, this can increase the risk of thrush. If you are in any doubt see your health visitor.

To help with nappy rash:

• Change nappies more frequently. Wash and rinse the area well with water only, and then dry thoroughly, by holding a clean cotton face cloth, a small towel or muslin to the area.

• Prevention is better than cure. Use either of the nappy care products available at 100% Nature on a daily basis to avoid and heal nappy rash.  The 'Lavera Baby & Kinder Diaper Cream' is particularly effective at healing the skin - see Skincare for Babies & Children.

• Use natural washing liquids or powders to clean washable nappies - see Home Care.

• Spraying the area with 'Colloidal Silver' at each change, leaving it damp and putting on the new nappy  - see Colloidal Minerals. For more information on Colloidal Silver read 'The Colloidal Silver Report' - see Books.

• Allow your baby to kick on a waterproof mat without a nappy on to expose the area to fresh air.

Cut out all fruit juice for a while as this can make the urine more acidic which will then sting - give water instead.

Homeopathy- homeopathy works extremely well with babies and children. Give Calendula 30c (one pill every two hours) for nappy rash - see Homeopathy. See the Homeopathic Kits for sets containing a range of different remedies.

NB. It is important to touch the pills as little as possible, ideally tipping them into the lid and then directly into the mouth, and also to avoid eating and drinking at the same time as taking the remedy.

If you are unsure or if this remedy is not working, contact a professional homeopath.

SPOTS IN BABIES

Many newborn babies become spotty and although this can be upsetting because what was beautiful new skin now looks red and inflamed, it is perfectly normal and there is rarely any need for antibiotics.

The most common is known as 'neonatal urticaria' which can be anything from a few reddish spots which clear quickly, to quite severe-looking 'acne' that can spread to the body and can take a while to clear and heal. It is possible that this is the baby's way of getting rid of toxins after the birth and Cranial Osteopathy has been found to be effective at helping the body to do this effectively.

The other type is often referred to as a 'milk rash' or 'milk spots' and these are tiny white spots over the nose and sometimes the cheeks. These can last a lot longer but are not as apparent and usually heal on their own.

For both types of newborn spots:

• Wash your baby's face with water only.

• Apply 'Colloidal Silver' to the skin with a cotton wool ball, or spray if appropriate, two or three times a day - see Colloidal Minerals. For more information on Colloidal Silver read 'The Colloidal Silver Report' - see Books.

• To calm and soothe inflamed skin use only a simple cream such as 'Calendula Cream' which is suitable for newborn babies - see Creams & Lotions in the Family Pharmacy.

Homeopathy - this works extremely well with babies. Give Silica 30c for milk spots; Sulphur 30c for red, acne-type spots; or Carbo Veg 30c if your baby is windy too - see Homeopathy for these remedies. See the Homeopathic Kits for sets containing a range of different remedies.

If the spots are severe and appear very quickly give one pill every two hours. If the problem is more established and has been present for a while give one pill twice a day.

NB. It is important to touch the pills as little as possible, ideally tipping them into the lid and then directly into the mouth, and also to avoid eating and drinking at the same time as taking the remedy.

If you are unsure or if any of these remedies are not working, contact a professional homeopath.

STICKY EYE

Sticky eye is an eye infection which many newborn babies get due to coming in contact with bacteria in the birth canal. Conjunctivitis or pink eye is an inflammation of the delicate lining that covers the eyeball and occurs as a result of an allergy or infection. The eye can become very swollen and red and the eyes tend to stick together when sleeping. Conjunctivitis can be viral (discharge will be clear) or bacterial (discharge will be yellow/green) and is very common in children.  Both conditions are very contagious but can be treated in the same way and normally can be cleared up without the need for medication.

see EYE SUPPORT KIT for all ages

Bathe and clean the eye three times a day using a solution of 150ml of cooled boiled water and half a teaspoon of rock salt. Pour some solution into two different clean or sterile containers, one for each eye and ensure you are clear which is for which eye.

• Always use a different piece of cotton wool for each eye, wipe from the inner eye to the outer eye and make sure your hands are always scrupulously clean to avoid cross-infection.

• If the eye is irritating and itchy use 'AllerClear Eye Drops' in between using Colloidal Silver.  They contain Euphrasia (Eyebright) which is traditionally used to treat irritated eyes - see Eye Care.

• If your child rubs the eye with their hands make sure you clean their hands well afterwards to avoid re-contamination.

• The following homeopathic remedies can help; Apis 30c for burning, stinging eye pain, better for cool applications, worse for warmth, possibly with swelling of the eyelids; Argent nit 30c for swollen red eyes and lids, with thick pus-like creamy discharge and better for cool applications; Arsenicum 30c for burning inflammation which is better for warm applications; Belladonna 30c for a sudden intense onset, with very red bloodshot eyes which are sensitive to light; Euphrasia 30c for red eyes with burning, acrid tears and a sensation of sand or grit in the eyes; Pulsatilla 30c if there is thick, bland yellow-green discharge and symptoms are better for open air and cool applications (child is often weepy and needing attention); and Rhus tox 30c if the eyes stick together at night with sensitivity to light and general restlessness - see Homeopathy.

Give one dose every three hours for four to six doses.  Stop the remedy when the eye starts to get better and repeat it if improvement slows or ceases.

NB. It is important to touch the pills as little as possible, ideally tipping them into the lid and then directly into the mouth, and also to avoid eating and drinking at the same time as taking the remedy.

• If the problem hasn't significantly improved or does not clear up after three days of bathing as above seek professional help.

TEETHING

This tends to start at around five to six months and can be a painful and traumatic time for babies. Some babies produce teeth without any problems, but on the whole it can make babies irritable and upset. Gums can become very swollen, red and sore, and can bleed easily. Teething can also be associated with colds, coughs, earache, diarrhoea, sleeplessness and facial rashes.

Try New Era Teething Pains formula it is 100% natural homeopathic tissue salts and comes in the form of small soft tasteless dissolving tablets

• Teething rings can be kept in the fridge and help to relieve the pain. A slice of cold cucumber or carrot can also help, but take care your baby does not choke.

• If teething causes a rash on the face use 'Calendula Cream' to soothe it - see Creams & Lotions in the Family Pharmacy.

• The immune system is often compromised during teething which is why colds, coughs and earache can occur at the same time - see Immune Support for steps you can take to support your child and strengthen the immune system.

Homeopathy - this works extremely well with babies and children and can help to ease the pain of teething, and help to push through teeth that are having trouble erupting. If you feel that your baby is showing symptoms of more than one of the remedies below, Chamomilla and Pulsatilla for example, it is fine to alternate the two. Give one pill every 3-4 hours, or a total of four doses a day. For extreme symptoms give one dose every ten to fifteen minutes or every half an hour until you see an improvement.

Use Aconite 30c for red, hot cheeks, with symptoms of a fever and restless sleeping; Chamomilla 30c for red, swollen gums that bleed easily and are sensitive to touch, and or the presence of diarrhoea, earache or general upset (inconsolable and angry); Belladonna 30c for painful teething, cheeks hot, red and swollen cheeks (throbbing pain) and restlessness; Pulsatilla 30c for painful teething, better for cold water and fresh air, worse for warm food or drinks - babies are clingy, whiney, weepy and wanting to be carried; Calc carb 30c encourages delayed and difficult teeth to come through - give twice a day for up to six doses; and Mag phos 30c which helps to ease pain. This remedy is best given in warm water. Dissolve one pill in a teaspoon of water - see Homeopathy for all these remedies. See the Homeopathic Kits for sets containing a range of different remedies.

NB. It is important to touch the pills as little as possible, ideally tipping them into the lid and then directly into the mouth, and also to avoid eating and drinking at the same time as taking the remedy.

The stronger the symptoms the stronger the potency required, so if you are unsure, if any of these remedies are not working, or you need a higher potency to deal with the pain and upset and to avoid the use of medication contact a professional homeopath.

THRUSH IN BABIES  

Thrush is quite common in young babies and can be present in the mouth, as white patches on the tongue or the inside of the cheek, and around the bottom, as a rash (not to be confused with Nappy Rash).

It is caused by an overgrowth of the yeast candida albicans which normally resides harmlessly in the mouth and the intestines. Yeast infections such as thrush are a clear indication of an imbalance of good bacteria in the body i.e the 'good bacteria' have been outnumbered by 'bad bacteria' or in this case fungi. 

Oral thrush in babies can cause pain when feeding for both mother and baby, and both the nipple area and the inside of the babies mouth can be infected, and can re-infect each other. Thrush around the nappy area causes the bottom to be very shiny and red, and spots can radiate outwards from the anus. Thrush may spread above the tummy button whereas nappy rash won't. If you are in any doubt as to what you are dealing with, see your health visitor.

If you have had a candida infection yourself, if you are breastfeeding and have had antibiotics, or if your baby has had antibiotics, this can increase the risk of getting thrush.  This is because antibiotics kill our good bacteria and so levels become depleted.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Probiotics deliver good bacteria to the gut and are important to help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria. Probiotics also strengthen the action of the gut and are vital for a healthy immune system. 'Bifidobacterium infantis' is suitable from birth to six months, and 'ProbioStart' is suitable for infants over six months and for breastfeeding mothers - see Probiotics for Babies & Children. If you are breastfeeding take a good probiotic yourself - see Probiotics.

• Expose your baby's bottom to fresh air for as long as possible by allowing them to kick on a waterproof mat without a nappy.

• Add half a cup of 'Organic Apple Cider Vinegar' to bathwater (it is anti-fungal) - see Functional Foods.

• Use natural cleaning products to wash nappies and towels to avoid chemicals, which can aggravate the problem - see Home Care.

For oral thrush give a probiotic as above; if you are breastfeeding keep your nipples very clean; don't use breast pads as they may spread the infection; if bottle-feeding sterilise everything very carefully; use a very soft teat; if your baby is eating solids give bland liquidised foods (soups, bio yoghurt etc); serve food cold or cool; avoid strong flavours, acidic food (fruit and fruit juices).

Avoid giving foods that contain yeast, sugar or refined carbohydrates until the infection has cleared - fungi thr

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