My three-month-old son suffers so badly with colic and reflux that he gave himself a hernia. Someone told me I should consult a chiropractor. Is this true and how could it help?
Dr Pamela Leader is a senior chiropractor and managing director at Chiropractic Dubai - Emirates European Medical Centre, (04-3481166). She says:
"All babies cry - it is their way of letting us know they need something, or that something is wrong. It is estimated 22 per cent of babies suffer from colic. Chiropractors can help treat babies with colic as pain in spinal joints is often mistaken for abdominal pain. Also, in many cases, a digestive problem is started by pain from the spinal joints when pain in the spine causes reflexes, which change the way the intestines work, causing gastrointestinal pain. The reverse can also happen, whereby indigestion can cause spinal muscles and joints to tighten, causing pain. Chiropractic correction of the spinal problem can bring relief to a colicky baby.
"The treatment is very gentle and works in a few sessions. In my experience, almost all babies treated have shown very significant improvement in improved sleep pattern, calmed behaviour and much less crying, within three sessions."
My two year old is about to start nursery for the first time. Although he seemed quite happy when we stopped by for a visit, I think being left there will be a different situation. How can I help him settle?
Debbie Edmondson is operations manager at British Orchard Nursery(www.britishorchardnursery.com). She says:
"I believe the fundamental factor is to ensure the parents are truly prepared. Before you start, read some picture books about school to your child to build excitement. Take your child along to the nursery to see some of the activities and talk about it afterwards. Let your child choose items, such as a school bag.
"On the first day, explain where you're going and keep your mood cheerful even if they are not. When you drop your child, do not linger - you're only prolonging the inevitable anxiety. Do not ask your child's permission to leave, with questions like ‘Mummy has to go to work now, OK?' It's too much responsibility for him - he will reply, ‘No it's not OK!' Smile and say, ‘OK, I'm going now.' No matter what your child's day has been like, keep it positive, keep it light and start all over the following day. Also, be realistic - some children settle more quickly than others."
My three-year-old son is a total carb fiend. He eats well at mealtimes, and eats fruit and vegetables, but loves big plates of bread, mashed potato, chips, rice and pasta. Should I limit his carbohydrate intake?
Sarah Queen is a nutritionist and director of Nutrition Matters Arabia (www.nutritionmattersarabia.com). She says:
"First of all, congratulations that your son eats well. If your son is not overweight, he's probably been eating the right amount of calories for his age, body shape and rate of growth.
"Starchy carbohydrates should be providing at least half of our daily calorie intake. The problem with these foods is how they are eaten - chips absorb fat, mashed potato is often buttery. Limit chip intake to once every two weeks and try plain yoghurt in mashed potato. Also, try other carbohydrates, such as oats, couscous, sweet potato and a variety of breads.
"Introduce mid-morning and mid-afternoon carb snacks to keep energy levels stable. For example a portion of fruit (the size of the palm of his hand); a couple of rice cakes, an oatcake or half a slice of wholegrain toast with peanut butter or tahini; or two spoons of plain yoghurt mixed with a half a portion of fresh or dried fruit."
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