Allergy suffers are always the first to know when spring has arrived. The itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, all around crappy feeling of seasonal allergies is never fun. But most especially not fun for babies and toddlers who suffer from dreaded seasonal allergies. As parents we want to make our little ones feel better. We want to do something to make the runny nose, itchy eyes and all around yucky feeling go away, but when you have a child that suffers from seasonal allergies that isn’t always easy to do.
For the most part seasonal allergies (hay fever) do not set in for kids until they are 3 years old or older, however, some toddlers and even some babies will begin exhibiting signs of suffering from seasonal allergies much earlier than that. A lot of the time parents don’t know if their child has allergies or is just sick with the common cold since the symptoms are so similar. There are a few ways to tell if the stuffy, runny nose your child seems to continuously have is caused from the pollen in the air or just a common cold bug.
It is likely allergies IF:
- The mucus is thin and clear and doesn’t change to a thicker, more yellow colored mucus.
- The stuffy, runny nose last more than a week or so.
- There is no fever associated with the symptoms.
- Your child has itchy, watery eyes.
- The symptoms are worse in the early morning hours or after an extend stint of playing outside.
- Your child has dark circles under their eyes even when fully rested.
- Your child is wiping at his or her eyes and nose frequently.
If you suspect that your child may be suffering seasonal allergies you should make an appointment with their doctor to get them checked out, tested and on the path to relief. The doctor will either do the allergy testing themselves or refer you to an allergist for full testing. The testing will determine what allergens trigger your child’s symptoms and from there the doctor can recommend a course of action to give your child some relief.
Common treatment for seasonal allergies in children include:
- Avoiding outside play during peak pollen time, the early morning hours of about 5am – 10am.
- Washing your child’s clothes, blankets, etc frequently.
- Keeping your home well dusted.
- Using the air conditioner instead of opening windows whenever pollen counts are high.
- Getting rid of any offending plants or trees from your own yard if possible.
- Use of an antihistamine, either over the counter or prescription, as recommended by your child’s doctor.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s symptoms be sure to contact your child’s doctor to discuss those concerns and determine if your child is indeed suffering from seasonal allergies.
When our children are babies we worry a lot about poop. Are they going often enough? Is it the right color and consistency? Do they have diarrhea? Your child’s pediatrician will ask a lot of questions about poop that first year or so. A lot about a child’s health and eating habits can be gleaned from observing what is coming out in their diapers. Once your baby becomes a toddler there is much less focus on poopy diapers. Most toddlers settle into a nice easy, once a day cycle that we don’t give much thought to. We change the diapers, give them some prunes or prune juice if things seem to be getting a bit backed up and that is about it.
However, toddlers can have their own challenges in the poop department. One of those being toddler diarrhea. Toddler diarrhea is pretty much an otherwise unexplainable bout of diarrhea. There is no real cause or underlying medical condition for toddler diarrhea, but many things can trigger it. In most cases parents and doctors won’t know exactly what caused the diarrhea and things will eventually return to normal on their own.
There are a few things that are thought to set off toddler diarrhea including a change in diet or eating happens, an unrelated illness like a cold (especially if it caused changes in appetite and eating habits), or too much fruit or fruit juice. Most toddlers will seem unfazed by the diarrhea and will continue to eat normally and gain weight normally. For the most part there is no real treatment for toddler diarrhea other than a few diet changes. Most doctors recommend keep their diet fairly bland, eliminating dairy (except for yogurt, which can help with digestive issues) and using a probiotic to help get things back on track.
My daughter is just getting over a case of toddler diarrhea. She had a cold last week and by the end of the week had pretty bad diarrhea. We took her to the doctor because she wanted to make sure she didn’t have an ear infection or anything. Other than a little bit of nasal irritation from her cold the doctor found nothing. She was diagnosed with unexplained diarrhea (or toddler diarrhea) and off we went with a recommendation to stick with a bland diet for a while and a week’s worth of probiotic samples. 4 days later and (knock on wood) she seems to be over her diarrhea.
If your toddler has diarrhea and no other symptoms to indicate they are ill you may find that they just have a bout of toddler diarrhea. Call your child’s doctor to determine if he or she wants to see your child and to find out what they recommend for treating toddler diarrhea. If the diarrhea continues or your child appears to be dehydrated call your doctor right away. Dehydration is common with diarrhea and can be dangerous if it goes untreated.
From the moment my daughter started eating solids at 6 months old she was incredibly picky. She hated all baby cereal, no matter what you mixed in with it. She hated most vegetables, especially green beans (she could smell those things coming a mile away). And, it was pretty hit and miss on the fruit too. Can you believe she didn’t like applesauce, what baby doesn’t like applesauce? The few things I could consistently get her to eat were prunes, peas and this creamy wheat and peaches breakfast by Beech-Nut.
Things did improve slightly when we were able to introduce finger foods. Fruit was a big hit, peaches and grapes being way up there on the favorite list. She loved apples too (who knew since applesauce was such a bust). Anything from the bread group was a big hit too. Veggies were still a big miss, except those peas. No go on any diary either, the kid hated yogurt, she wouldn’t even open her mouth for yogurt.
When Maya was around a year old I knew things had to change. Meal times were becoming daily battles and I didn’t want to start a war over food, I knew that just couldn’t end well. So, I did a few things to see if I couldn’t transform her eating habits.
I did 5 things that really worked to transform my picky-eater. They may not work for you, but if you have a picky-eater yourself you know they’re worth a shot.
- I eliminated a few nursing sessions so that she wasn’t eating close too meal time. I figured she was more likely to try something if she was hungry.
- I let her take control of her eating. Instead of feeding her I let her feed herself. I just put the bowl or plate in front of her and let her have at it. This worked wonders.
- I stopped stressing about how much she was eating. I figured if she was hungry she would eat. This was a lot easier to do since I had given her control of her food.
- I made sure that every meal consisted of at least 1-2 things that she really loves. I found she was more likely to try the other things on her plate when they were next to a favorite.
- I started introducing new foods slowly and stopped getting upset when she refused to eat them. I just put them in front of her, if she tries them great, if not maybe next time.
Although she doesn’t have a huge repertoire of food she loves, she does pretty well. Her meals are pretty balanced and she will eat from every food group, every day. She still loves her peas but has added carrots, tomatoes and sweet potatoes to the list of favorite veggies. If given the chance she would eat fruit and bread for every meal, except breakfast which is all about Raisin Bran cereal. Yogurt is her new favorite morning snack. Cheese and chicken have become big hits, as well as cheese stuffed pasta and turkey cold cuts.
It felt good to have her go from refusing to open her mouth to most foods to looking like this after a meal!!
The biggest thing I did was take the stress out of meal time. I found that as soon as I stopped worrying so much about it and let her control her eating at mealtimes things became so much easier.