If there’s one thing I know about raising kids, it is this: There are still a lot of things I don’t know. What was true yesterday may not be as relevant today. For instance, I used walkers on all my four children. Now, it turns out that those contraptions are actually not good for kids. It can be quite confusing. So we’ve gathered a hodge-podge of questions from fellow moms and dads, and asked our pool of experts for much-needed enlightenment.
1. Is it advisable to have my newborn’s ears pierced right away? What’s the best age to do this? Ear piercing has become a practice of sorts at some hospitals. Stella Guerrero-Manalo, M.D., pediatrician at The Medical City and fellow of the Philippine Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, says, “There’s no contraindication to that.” However, a couple of factors must be considered for safety purposes, she says. Have your infant’s hearing checked.The popping sound of the piercing equipment may affect your child’s auditory system. Also, consider that her ear lobe is still soft and not yet fully formed. You might have to do it all over again later when her ear has developed. And though the equipment is sterile, Dr. Guerrero-Manalo says that your baby has not had any anti-tetanus shots. It might be safer to delay this procedure until the baby’s fifth or sixth month when she has gone through a battery of immunization, including the anti-tetanus vaccine.
Lastly, think about the type of earring you’ll use. Babies tend to scratch their ears and a loosely fitted pair might just come off; there is thus the danger of that tiny thing being swallowed by your baby. Want to play it real safe? Wait until she’s three (at this time, she’ll know enough not to swallow stuff)
2. My baby has a hard time pooping. Is there any way I can make it easier for him? A child’s abdominal muscles are not fully developed until the age of one. So before then, expect him to have a harder time pushing, explains Dr. Guerrero-Manalo. In the meantime, you have to be conscious of his poop schedule. “It takes some babies every two or three days to poop. Each child has his own schedule. If this is his growth spurt time, he will consume almost everything he eats. Breastfed babies absorb breast milk completely.”
If your child is still having a hard time, Dr. Guerrero-Manalo suggests gently giving him an abdominal massage on his left side, where the large intestines are. You may also try using a glycerin suppository to tickle his anus. This will create a reflex, causing your baby to push.