At LTD’s one year doctor’s visit, the Pediatrician asked us if we had any questions or concerns. The Mommy and I looked at each other and then at the doctor saying, ‘yeah, what’s with his belly button?” We had noticed a few weeks before our visit that sometimes it looked like LTD had an outie belly button and other times it looked inward. Turns out the little guy has what is known as an umbilical hernia. The doc wasn’t concerned at all, he told us that when LTD has just eaten it would pop out. Also, if he was very angry and crying a lot it would really pop out Hulk style. He informed us that the hernia’s usually close up on their own and if they don’t, they wouldn’t do anything about it until the little guy was between four and five years old. He explained they never put a child under anesthesia unless absolutely necessary and the umbilical hernia in most cases goes away on it’s own. However, he did mention that if whenever we press on it, it was hard and he screamed then we should bring him in to have a look. So far LTD doesn’t seem to be bothered with it, so we aren’t either. In fact, I use it like a mood ring, when it pops out I know the kid is not happy.
The Official winter season is soon upon us and the combination of the cold air outside and the hot air inside is doing a number on LTD’s fair skin. Thanks to The Mommy’s Scandinavian heritage, the little guy has the skin of a blonde haired blue eyed Swedish architect. His dry skin has led to a rash, which is basically Eczema. In some patches it’s pretty rough, but in others it just looks dry and red, thankfully it’s only on his torso and back. The doctor gave us some very helpful advice. She told us to use only cotton clothes on the lads skin and that we should limit the frequency of his bathes.
In terms of treatment, the doctor told us to coat him in Vaseline or Aquaphor and leave it on to air dry for five minutes. We started using Aquaphor because it is a little less greasy than Vaseline. When the time is up, we coat him in a layer of baby lotion, our choice is calendula cream by California Baby. She told us that we could use hydrocortisone on the really rough patches, but never on his face because it could lighten his skin and that would be very uncool. Lastly, she mentioned that if it stayed that bad for the next four or five days we should see her again to get a stronger and possibly prescription lotion, ointment or salve. Of course, thanks to The Mommy’s hard work providing the spa treatments, his skin mostly cleared up and I think we shall all survive the harsh winter ahead.
Last week, LTD had his four-month check up with our pediatrician. It went well despite the fact that LTD spent the entire visit screaming his little head off due to the fact that he didn’t want to be naked on that butcher paper and I can’t really blame him. We learned some good information about teething, solid foods and as always pooping. It turns out that it is perfectly normal for exclusively breast feed babies to poo every 7 to 10 days. Ouch. Not one to draw unwanted attention LTD is comfortable in that day range going about every 8 days. When a baby goes that long without going poo the outcome when he finally does is exactly what you would expect. The Mommy and I have been stocking up on lots of laundry detergent. The pediatrician next turned to the more polite subjects of food and the teeth to eat with. Basically, LTD could be teething now and we think he might be, but an actual tooth could not appear for three months or more. However, the fun part is that it is possible that a tooth could pop out tomorrow. Yippee, dentists bills. As for solids, the doctor said that it was up to us and that everyone has a different philosophy about when to start and what to start with, but he added that no matter what we do, LTD should be eating solids at least by month 6. When we begin, he felt you couldn’t go wrong with rice cereal and to try a little once a day and that it would be an supplement to his daily milk intake, which would stay at the same level. Our questions answered, we finished off the visit with some shots strategically placed in LTD’s fat thighs. He took them like a champ and so far has had no side effects. The total band-aid count was three with two Daffy Ducks and one Bugs Bunny. Personally, I hope for more Bugs than Daffy at our 6-month visit.
Picture this. The Mommy and I have been parents for all of 30 minutes when the hospital pediatrician examines our new baby and tells us that he looks fine, but…and you know when new parents hear the word ‘but’ they begin to freak out. The doctor said LTD had a Sacral Dimple, to which we responded in nervous tones, “what pray tell is a Sacral Dimple?” He directed us to look at our newborn’s butt crack and said check out the line above it. I’ll give him that it did (and still does) look like a dimple in the area around his tailbone. The doctor said that they would do a neonatal ultrasound in order to confirm that everything was good. With that, we basically put the thought out of our minds as sleep depredation took over. The next day the Tech came and wheeled the little guy off to get scanned. This was one of those situations were you really have no idea what is going on, so you have conversations with your spouse that begin, “I’m sure everything will be fine.” or “The Doctor said it was routine, let’s not worry.” But of course that is all bull plop because when your kid is one day old and they take him away to be scanned, you do everything but not worry. However, after what seemed like an eternity they finally came in with the test results and told us that everything down there was indeed normal and no cause for concern. Later, when The Mommy’s OB/GYN came in to visit and see the baby, she told us that what they were scanning for was to make sure there was no spinal defect or development problem in the region. She added that she understood why we were freaked and wished they would have taken a more measured approach with us, but since it’s a busy big city hospital she wasn’t going to hold her breath for a behavioral change anytime soon. Four months later, LTD’s dimple is still going strong and I can’t wait to tell him, when he asks about it, that it looks like that, “cause that is where the doctor cut off your tail.”
A reader wrote in and asked for additional thoughts on the subject of germs and babies. It is no secret that hospitals are the best places to pick up germs. If you ever need proof of this, watch how long a doctor will actually stay in the hospital when they have to have an operation. However, it’s not like you can avoid going to the doctor’s office and in this case the benefits outweigh the risks. For babies, germs present the biggest challenge during the first two months of life. Our pediatrician warned us that a fever at that age was very serious. He said that during the first two months dealing with a baby that has a fever was basically veterinary medicine. There is no way for the baby to indicate or show what is wrong, so the medical staff, in some cases, will admit the baby to the hospital and conduct a battery of blood tests. As the baby gets older, it becomes easier to diagnosis what is causing them distress, for instance a baby may pull on his ear when she has an earache.
The other big no-no during the first few months is taking the baby out in crowded places. Baby shouldn’t go to the mall or supermarket. A new parent should embrace this restriction because when you are on no sleep the last place you should be is the mall parking lot. When people visit a new baby they should avoid kissing or touching his face and always use lots of Purell. Another trick I learned for when young children want to see the baby is to let them play with the baby’s feet. We were fortunate that LTD never had a fever during the first few months especially since finding a good thermometer is not even a little bit easy, but alas that is a tale for another time.