Six month exam
Diet: Beginning or advancing solids. Breast milk or formula.
Carotenemia (“Yellow Noses”): When children begin to eat yellow vegetables, the yellow pigment, carotene, is often retained in their skin, particularly the face, giving it a slightly yellow appearance. This is harmless, so keep feeding as usual. It will fade in a few months
Night wakings: Predictable in healthy children between the ages of 6 – 10 months, even in the best sleepers. Why they occur may be a combination of factors including teething, sleeping lightly, dreaming, and the beginning of manipulation of parents. Comfort your child with the first waking, but be progressively firmer with subsequent wakings so that baby doesn’t get the idea that you ENJOY getting up in the middle of the night to tend to him. Unless he is sick and feverish, treat otherwise as in “teething”. Once the child gets revved up, letting him “cry it out” rarely works. You pretty much have to go into his room and settle him down. (See Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, by Dr. Richard Ferber, or the No-Cry Sleep Solution, by Elizabeth Pantley, in recommended books, below.)
Blue nose vein: A small blue vein often appears across the bridge of a baby’s nose. The cause of this is unknown, but the vein will disappear in about a year.
Risk Prevention: Anticipate your child’s next stage, which is increased mobility, by childproofing. Child lock your cabinets, cover your electrical sockets and secure dangling lines, avoid table cloths. Place breakable keepsakes out of reach. They won’t be safe for at least ten years, if then.
• A playpen is a useful purchase to keep your exploring, increasingly mobile baby safe when you must momentarily leave a room. It can also serve as a portable crib.
• Never leave your baby alone with a household pet, not even a Golden Retriever.
• Walkers: Walkers are a big risk for active, exploring infants. They’re obsolete. Don’t use them.
Teething: Some sail through it unscathed, others are not as lucky. The average age for the first teeth to erupt) is 7 months. A few babies don’t begin teething until after age 1. It seems that most of teething-pain is deeply rooted in the jaw and not helped by local anesthetics rubbed on the gums. The pain may radiate to the ears, causing infants to tug on them, simulating an ear problem. Teething irritation can be relieved in part by teething toys and foods, which include stale or frozen rolls or bagels, french bread, heels of bakery bread, meat bones, or special teething toys. Acetaminophen, in a dose appropriate for weight may be helpful.
Teething may be associated with copious drooling and mild diarrhea, but probably does not cause fever. In 90% of infants, the first teeth to come in are the lower central incisors. Often babies have little bumps, or “pearls,” of cartilage on other parts of the gums, but these are not teeth, and eventually disappear.