Presumably, your baby won't recall events from his life before age 3. Still, these early experiences outline his vision of the world ||Expressing milk should be painless. If it hurts, stop. ||Do not postpone your baby’s vaccines unless he is sick or feverish ||Massaging infants' arms and hands can significantly reduce their pain from needle sticks ||To keep the eye free of infection, massage inner lower corner of the eye twice daily to empty it of old fluids ||It’s never too early to read for your child ||If every feeding is painful or your baby isn't gaining weight, ask a lactation consultant or your baby's doctor for help ||Plan for regular family meals. Enjoy being together as a family and give a chance for everyone to decompress from the day ||Look for early signs of hunger, such as stirring and stretching, sucking motions and lip movements. Fussing and crying are later cues ||Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. It’s not the type of soap that prevents the spread of bacteria and viruses; it’s how you wash your hands. ||
Growing Pains


Growing pains tend to affect both legs and occur at night. In many instances, growing pains will wake a child from sleep. They generally strike during two periods: in early childhood among 3- to 5-year-olds and, later, in 8- to 12-year-olds.

What Causes Them?

The term "growing pains" may be a misnomer because there's no evidence that growth hurts. The most likely causes are the aches and discomforts resulting from the jumping, climbing, and running that active kids do during the day. The pains can occur after a child has had a particularly athletic day.

Signs and Symptoms

Growing pains are felt as intense, cramp-like pain in both legs. They can affect the calves, shins or ankles. The pains come and go (always in the evening or at night; often after active days) and should not affect your child's ability to walk. There are no signs of physical injury or infection. The intensity of the pain varies from child to child, and most kids don't experience the pains every day.

Diagnosing Growing Pains

One symptom that doctors find most helpful in making a diagnosis of growing pains is how the child responds to touch while in pain. Kids who have pain from a serious medical disease don't like to be handled because movement tends to increase the pain. But those with growing pains respond differently — they feel better when they're held, massaged, and cuddled.

Growing pains are what doctors call a diagnosis of exclusion. This means that other conditions should be ruled out before a diagnosis of growing pains is made. A thorough medical history and physical exam by your doctor can usually accomplish this. In rare instances, blood and X-ray studies may be required before a final diagnosis of growing pains is made.

Helping Your Child

Some things that may help alleviate the pain include:

    • massaging the area
    • stretching
    • placing a heating pad on the area
    • giving ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Never give aspirin to a child under 12 due to its association with Reye syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal disease.)

When to Call the Doctor
If any of the following are present, the diagnosis of growing pains is unlikely and you and your doctor should look for other causes.

    • Symptoms of general illness, such as fever or weight loss
    • Pain specific to a single joint
    • Pain worsening with time
    • Pain interfering with usual daytime activities
    • Limping
    • Abnormal joint symptoms, such as restricted motion, redness, swelling, warmth, or tenderness in the related area
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