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Baby refusing pacifier, cranky during late afternoon. Is it due to food eaten by mother?

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Practicing since : 1982
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hi, my 3 and half month baby started getting very cranky three days ago. before feed and after feed. mostly during late afternoon to evening.she refuse pacifier now while this is sufficient to calm her previously. can it be the food taken by the mother as she was being breast feed. my wife had sashimi days before too. also, when does growth spur occur for babies. thanks and appreciate a quick reply. cheers
Posted Tue, 11 Sep 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Taher Kagalwala 4 hours later

Thank you for your query on XXXXXXX First of all, let me congratulate you on bringing up the baby with breastfeeding, the best feed for her. I have seen about 30-40% of babies getting gas-related tummy pain even when they are burped properly. Do try and keep your baby on her mother's lap with the head down (but not suffocated) to see if this helps to calm her down. You (her mother, I mean) might assist the gas expulsion by gently stroking her back from above downwards.

The use of pacifier to keep the baby quiet might lead to a habit-formation which may become more and more difficult to get rid of as the child grows up. My humble suggestion is to not use it unless absolutely necessary, and not to form a habit out of it ... you see, a pacifier not only soothes the baby, but also soothes the parent who then might like it so much that she cannot get rid of it. Also, if the pacifier is not kept absolutely clean, it might cause oral thrush ... a kind of mouth fungus that coats the tongue with white flakes and leads to irritability and crying and improper or painful feeding on the part of the baby. At times, the thrush may also cross-infect the mother's nipple and create problems there as well. Please open the baby's mouth and check for flakes that are white and coat the tongue, the insides of her cheeks and the palate. If such flakes are seen, please take her to the pediatrician for appropriate treatment.

You asked about food taken by the mother and its relation to a fretful baby. Excessive intake of onions, garlic, ginger, cauliflower, cabbage, legumes and pulses etc, may lead to gas problems in the mother as well as the baby. Sushi will generally not cause such a problem.

Finally, your question was about growth spurt in babies. In fact, babies grow fastest during the first three months of life. The gain in weight can be from 20-30 grams each day of life, or up to or even more than 800 grams in a month. By five months, babies would have doubled their birth weight (and tripled it by one year of age). After three months of life, the growth rate continues to be high, but slightly less than before, at about 15-20 grams per day, or about 600 grams per month. As the baby grows, so also the growth rate keeps declining until adolescence, when the next growth spurt will occur (generally by 9-10 years of age in girls).

Hope this helps. Do revert to me if you need further guidance. With best wishes,

- Dr. Taher
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Baby refusing pacifier, cranky during late afternoon. Is it due to food eaten by mother? 51 minutes later
thanks for ur advice. wat worries us the most is we fear we miss somethg that may be worse than just gas. infection, stomache etc. thgs which dun show much signs. any advicr when to wait it out or go to a doc if crying persist.
Answered by Dr. Taher Kagalwala 16 minutes later

Your concern is understandable; the other possibilities that come to mind are earache, a sore throat, a possible urine infection, and an early stomach-virus. Each of these will be accompanied by some other symptom. For example, an earache will cause the crying to come in sudden bursts, and when you press the area of the cheek just in front of the ear, she will scream even if she was quiet earlier; a discharge of a watery or sticky secretion from the affected ear will confirm the diagnosis and also soothe the child as the pain in the middle ear was causing her to cry, and now that the secretions have come out, she will find relief.

In case of sore throat, refusal to feed and fever are seen; if there is a stomach virus, she will vomit and perhaps even have loose stools.

Hence, the obvious thing to state here is that if the child has no other symptoms, you could wait for a few days ... but not more. Urinary infection, for example, can be a serious thing, and may not have any other symptoms, except for crying, irritability and slight to moderate fever. Thus, if she isn't better with my first answer's suggestions, please take her to the pediatrician as early as possible.

Rarer and even more serious possibilities exist in my knowledge, but they all seem unlikely as of now. However, my sincere advice is to take her to see her doctor ... earliest by tomorrow, or on Monday.

Thanks for the query, and as before, best wishes for her speedy recovery.

- Dr Taher
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Baby refusing pacifier, cranky during late afternoon. Is it due to food eaten by mother? 14 hours later
doc, thank u so much for ur prompt reply. My baby has been changing her habits quite a lot these few days. in addition to what were being mentiobed previously, she have a new thg -a sudden loud sharp scream when she was sleeping. a few times for the past 12 hrs wich is afternoon here. please help. tks.
Answered by Dr. Taher Kagalwala 59 minutes later

Unfortunately, I cannot figure this one out ... this could either be earache ... as I said earlier, it can come suddenly with screaming, or it is something else entirely ... could even be related to sleep, or dreaming (no one really knows if babies dream); the other possibility is that the baby's nose or something is getting blocked, and she wakes up and screams ... but this seems to be far-fetched.

I recommend that you go to a pediatrician today evening.

Thank you, and take care.

- Dr. Taher

I would appreciate if you close the query if there are no further questions and take the time to review and rate my answers. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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