Faltering growth (Failure to thrive)

Many babies fail to gain weight as expected during the first few days of life. Newborns are expected to loose up-to 10% of their birthweight by Day 5-7 after birth. If they are exclusively breastfed, the breast milk starts to come from Day 2-3 onwards. They then start to gain weight from Day 5-7 and usually regain their birth weight by Day 10.

Most common cause of excessive weight loss is inadequate milk supply in mother, for various reasons. The mother should drink plenty of fluids, eat a healthy diet, try to get adequate rest and put the baby to breast at regular intervals. The technique is also very important and midwives are a great help with that. All these factors help increase breast milk production.

A small percentage of babies may need some top up formula milk or Expressed breast milk if the milk supply does not improve despite the above measures. A health professional should be involved and monitor the weight carefully at regular intervals and ensure that the baby is otherwise well and there is no other factor influencing the feeding and weight.

Allergies in children

Allergies to various substances is getting more and more common for various reasons including ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’ (Google it).  Some families are prone to have allergies and these people are known as ‘ATOPIC’. They are more likely to have allergies, asthma, eczema, hay fever, allergic rhinitis etc. These are all related conditions.

Most children grow out of allergies to food like milk and egg, while some allergies like nut allergy are more likely to stay. Milk allergy usually gets better between 1-2 years of age, egg allergy is variable and so is fish / shrimp. Children have a 20% chance of growing out of nut allergy.The treatment usually involves, avoiding the ‘allergen’, emollients, steroid creams, antihistaminics etc. There have been trials going on for ‘Immunotherapy’, to challenge the body with very small doses to develop ‘Tolerance’. It’s availability is limited at the moment.

Diagnosis of allergies should be done by a specialist and diet modified only after discussion with a dietician. Mothers on dairy free diet should consider taking extra Calcium and Vitamin D. The Cow’s milk free formulas usually have adequate supplements. There are some extremely useful websites for patients and even Health Professionals containing useful videos, leaflets etc. like



ODD shaped heads in babies

It’s called Plagiocephaly in medical terminologyPlagiocephaly is a disorder that affects the skull, making the back or side of a baby’s head appear flattened. It is sometimes called deformational plagiocephaly.

There are no symptoms associated with plagiocephaly other than the flattened appearance of the back of the head – either evenly across the back or more on one side. It does not cause any pressure on the baby’s brain and development will not be affected by it in later life. 

Its importance is entirely cosmetic. Nevertheless, if you are worried about any aspect of a baby’s health and are concerned that it might be connected with their head shape, you should always check with a doctor.