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Baby ABC

A is for antioxidants - Antioxidants are substances that are thought to combat free radicals - damaging molecules created in the body.  The damage done by free radicals may be to blame for a variety of conditions, such as cancer and heart disease. So, eating plenty of fruit and veg, as well as nuts, which are high in antioxidants, may help protect children and adults.

C is for colic - Around 1 in 5 young babies develop colic, characterised by uncontrollable crying for several hours at a time. Although the exact cause is unknown, many experts believe it is due to digestive difficulties making them uncomfortable. If you're breastfeeding, certain foods in your diet may be to blame. Cow's milk and dairy products are thought to be common triggers, along with spicy foods, certan vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage), wheat-based foods and caffeine. Cutting them out may help. You can then reintroduce them one by one to pinpoint any culprits. The good news is that most cases of colic tend to pass by the age of 3 months. 

O is for Oxytocin - Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, has various functions. Released when you breastfeed, it helps you relax and promotes that nurturing feeling that strengthens the bond between you  and your baby. It also causes your uterus to contract and return to its normal size.

P is for prebiotics/probiotics - Prebiotics are naturally occurring nutrients that act as food for the healthy bacteria in the digestive system, encouraging it to flourish. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria added to certain foods, especially yogurt, which add to the levels of healthy bacteria in your digestive system. These healthy bacteria are an essential part of your baby's natural defences, helping to fight off potentially harmful bacteria. Found in breastmilk and foods suitable for weaning, such as bananas, onions and leeks, prebiotics help to support your baby's natural immune system while it is still developing.

P is also for posseting - In adults, the ring of muscle at the top of our stomach stops food from coming back up. But in babies, sometimes this muscle isn't up to full strenth and can cause them to regurgitate small amounts of milk. Known as posseting, it isn't anything to worry about and should stop by the time they are around 18 months old or even before.

R is for reflux - Bringing up milk or food after a feed is known as reflux. Caused by the same weak ring of muscle as posseting, reflux involves slightly larger amounts of a feed and can make your baby irritable and unsettled. However, it is very common and doesn't cause any harm. Your baby should grow out of it as their muscle strenghthens over time.

T is for thrush - Common among young babies, oral thrush causes white, creamy or yellow patches in the mouth. It is often attributed to them picking up fungal bacteria from birth canal during labour but it can also be caused by reinfection from your nipples or the teats on your baby's bottles. Your doctor may recommend a nipple cream, such as Nystatin, which will help to stop you passing it back and forth. New teats are the best option if you're bottle feeding. Thrush can cause your baby discomfort and lead to feeding difficulties.  As well as prescribing antifungal drops to tackle the infection, your GPmay recommend giving them paracetamol suspension to relieve the pain and make it easier to feed.
Baby ABC

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