Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Fussy Baby

An interesting article about colic. 
From Parenting.com

"Colic ranks high on the list of medical mysteries, but a new study out of Italy is helping us creep closer to a potential cure. After noting that colicky babies tend to have a lower amount of probiotics (healthy bacteria) in their digestive systems, researchers treated 90 colicky tots with daily drops of either a probiotic known as L. reuteri or simethicone drops (a standard treatment for gas). The result: A whopping 95 percent of the babies receiving the probiotic had fewer colic symptoms after one week, compared to just 7 percent of the infants on simethicone. While some docs in Italy now use this treatment, it's not yet common in the U.S. Still, L. reuteri is a safe probiotic currently found in many yogurts; with further testing, it and other strains of lactobacillus could become the colic treatment of the future here, too."

My theory is that maybe we wash babies, especially newborns, too much and too soon. I read of other cultures making sure they do not wash a newborn's hands. 

Does the vernix (the cheesy white substance that protects a baby's delicate skin from the amniotic fluid) have babcteria that if a newborn was allowed to suck on its "dirty" hands, the bacteria would help jumpstart bacteria growth in the gut? Does the amniotic fluid and/or birth canal also have bacteria that are beneficial? We have all heard of the danger of washing our hands too much with antibacterial soap. It is good to have some bacteria on our hands, on our bodies, in our bodies too.

Regardless, we had a crying baby that had to be walked outside, every night for hours to stop her crying. I am going to give #2 probiotics from the start. 

p.s. I promise not to name the baby #2. 

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