Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oral Thrush In Infants

Oral thrush is a very common infection in infants that causes irritation in and around a baby's mouth. It is caused by the overgrowth of the yeast (a type of fungus) called Candida albicans.  Candida overgrowth can lead to vaginal (yeast) infections, diaper rashes, or oral thrush.

Most people (including infants) naturally have Candida in their mouths and digestive tracts, which is considered normal growth. The amount is controlled by a healthy immune system and some "good" bacteria. If the immune system is weakened (due to an illness or medicines like chemotherapy), or if the immune system is not fully developed as is the case in infants, the Candida in the digestive tract can overgrow and lead to an infection.

Sometimes Candida overgrowth occurs after a baby has received antibiotics for a bacterial infection, because antibiotics can kill off the "good" bacteria that keep the Candida from growing. Similarly, infection can occur with the steroid use.

Oral thrush can affect anyone, although it's most common in infants younger than 6 months and in older adults. A baby with oral thrush might develop cracked skin in the corners of the mouth or whitish patches on the lips, tongue, or inside the cheeks that look a little like cottage cheese but can't be wiped away. Scraping the white patches off can cause some bleeding.

Many babies don't feel anything at all, but some may be uncomfortable when sucking. Some babies may not feed well because their mouth feels sore.

Babies can have oral thrush and a diaper rash due to the same yeast at the same time.

Although oral thrush is a common infection in infancy, you can help prevent it: If you are formula-feeding your baby or using a pacifier, it's important to thoroughly clean the nipples and pacifiers in hot water or dishwasher after each use. That way, if there's yeast on the bottle nipple or pacifier, your baby doesn't continue to get re-infected. Storing milk and prepared bottles in the refrigerator prevents yeast from growing.

If you are breastfeeding and your nipples are red and sore, there's a chance you may have a yeast infection on your nipples, and that you and the baby are passing it back and forth. If so, you may want to talk to the doctor about using an antifungal ointment on your nipples while the baby is being treated with the antifungal solution.

Changing diapers frequently also prevents the fungal diaper rashes.

See your doctor if you think your baby may have thrush. Some cases go away without medical treatment within a week or two, but the doctor may prescribe an antifungal solution for your baby's mouth. This medication is usually applied by painting it on the inside of the mouth and tongue with a sponge applicator.

And depending on your baby's age, the doctor might suggest adding yogurt with lactobacilli to your child's diet. The lactobacilli are the "good" bacteria that can help eliminate the yeast in your child's mouth.

If your child keeps getting oral thrush, especially if he or she is older than 9 months, talk with your doctor because this might be an indication of another health issue.

Reviewed by: Yamini Durani, MD
The above article was found HERE.


Location – thrush is usually visible on the inside of the cheeks and lips, on the gums, and on the tongue. If present, it will usually spread to 3 or 4 of these places inside the mouth. A thin coating on the tongue only may simply be milk. However, a thick white coating on the tongue is probably thrush.

Does not come and go – thrush will usually hang around for weeks. Milk patches inside the cheeks and lips, on the other hand, will come and go with feedings. A milk coating on the tongue, however, can be more stubborn, often staying there for weeks as well.

Does not easily wipe off – use your finger and try to wipe away the white patch. If it comes off easily, it's probably milk. Thrush is harder to scrape away, and can even bleed slightly when removed.

Associated factors – if either baby or a breastfeeding mom has recently taken antibiotics, or your baby has a stubborn, raised, red diaper rash with outlying red spots (yeast diaper rash), then any suspicious white patches in baby's mouth are much more likely to be thrush.
This was found HERE.  (Dr. Sears)

Also, because mom and baby have such a high chance of passing it back and forth during breastfeeding, make sure you're not only treating Baby.  You can express a little breast milk and spread it around your nipple, letting it air dry.  And I've read several things about using white vinegar after nursing.  (One tsp vinegar to one cup water.)  Pat a little on your nipple and let it air dry.
Make sure to treat your bra too.  Freezing doesn't kill yeast.  But sunlight does.  You can hang your bra out in the sun (exposing your nipples to sun can help too...though there really wouldn't be a lot of chances to do that around my house without having an entire condo of retirees getting a free show).

I'm not a fan of giving my children any kind of antibiotic unless it is absolutely necessary.  And when it comes to infants...I think we all need to think this way.  Doctors are way too quick to prescribe something, when there are many other, MUCH MORE NATURAL ways to cure it.  Thrush is no different.  Here is a link to Natural Mothering.  Lots of fantastic (natural) advice on there.

It's not something that is all that uncommon.  I've heard of it happening a million times.  Just make sure that if it's something that is long-lasting, or re-occurring, that you have your Dr. check your baby for things like diabetes, or other immune system problems.

*Also, just a thought here, I wonder if it's something that happens more often after vaccination?  During that time the body is under attack, the immune system is lowered and more prone to picking up other disease/'d make sense that it could also lower the immune system enough to allow it to be attacked by candida...or to cause it in the first place.

Friday, July 29, 2011

How to Make No-Cook Play Dough Easily

    • I totally stole this from HERE.  It's super easy to make, and is a fraction of the cost of the real stuff.  We've made this a few times, and it's great to know that it's 100% safe if it's's a little salty, though.  Have fun, and enjoy this recipe!

      Making your own play dough is not only fun, it saves you money, by using things you already have in your kitchen cabinets. The best thing about making your play dough the NO-COOK way is because it is safe and easy so your kids can get involved. This is a fun activity to with any child. Encourage them to get their hands dirty and have some fun with it. This is by far the easiest play dough recipe I have ever tried. This recipe will only make a small amount so you can increase your ingredients to make the desired amount. Play dough doesn't last long anyway so it is always best to make small batches and the good thing about this recipe - it only takes 5 minutes!
      Difficulty: Moderately Easy

      Things You'll Need
      Measuring Cups
      1 cup flour
      1/2 cup water
      1/2 cup salt
      Food Coloring
      Cookie Cutters

      Get ready - get set - play dough!

      Start by getting everything you need so grab your bowl, all of your ingredients and don't forget your measuring cups.
    • 2
      Make a lot of different colors
      Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, pour in the hot water and any food coloring you are using.
    • 3
      Get your hands dirty!
      If your kids are making this dough with you then this is where the fun starts and they get their hands dirty. Mix it all together and start kneading the mixture around until it forms a pliable dough and then knead it and roll it around in your hands.
    • 4
      Use your imagination
      Another great thing about this play dough recipe is that it is ready to use as soon as it is made, there is no cooling time needed. So grab your cookie cutters, make designs, use your imagination and most of all have fun.
    • 5
      Dont forget to store it
      When your done playing with the no-cook play dough, put it in an air tight container to store it so it will stay fresher longer.

Let's Talk About Labial Adhesions

I know what you're thinking.  What the heck is a "labial adhesion"?!  It's when the labia minora stick (fuse) together.  It's identified by a white line down the center of what looks like a membrane that covers the opening of the child's vaginal opening, and shows that the two sides have adhered to one another.

Labial adhesion occur most commonly in girls who are between 3 months to 6 years of age; these adhesion can persist until puberty. Some children with labial adhesion will have no symptoms, while other girls may have pain in the genital area, difficulty urinating, or frequent urinary tract (bladder) infections.

It's estimated that up to 10 to 20 percent of girls have these labial adhesion at some time in their first six years of life. For most girls, these adhesion resolve on their own in six to twelve months, without any treatment.
I never even knew there was such a thing until my baby girl developed this around 4 months old.  I took her in for a well-baby check-up, and the Dr. noticed it.  He told me that he was going to prescribe a hormone cream to put on it, and that when combined with "gently pulling the two sides apart", this could be "cured" within a few weeks.  He told me that after it separated, I should be putting Vaseline along the folds of her vagina to keep the two sides from fusing again.

My daughter's vagina had almost completely closed up, leaving only a pin-hole size opening at the top.  Urine had still been passing, so I never noticed anything wrong with her.  (I don't look THAT close when I wipe her, so if my Dr. hadn't noticed, I never would have known.)

At the time I was kind of blind-sided, so I just stood there thinking about how every word he said seemed to be exactly what I have heard Dr.'s say about circumcising boys.  "Something needs to be done to prevent a possibility of problems in the future"..."if it fuses back together in the future, it could close right up and require her have her labia cut apart"..."gently pull the two pieces of skin apart, and when it has been done, put Vaseline there to keep it from healing together again".  My inner intactivist was screaming the whole time.

Even in what was very close to a state of shock (How had I not noticed?!  Is there going to be something wrong with this perfect baby too?!), all I could think was that I trusted him with my son's genitals, and he proved to me that he was not to be trusted.  Here I was again, two years later, standing in his office doubting that he knew what he was talking about. 

As we left, I had to tell my husband that he just seemed too eager to have me fiddle with her privates...exactly like when my son was an infant and he told me to "gently retract the foreskin" of his penis.  I listened to him back then.  I wasn't going to make the same mistake again.  So I looked into it further, and asked around. 

Thankfully I found someone who had 3 daughters who all had the same thing occur, and who had it happen to her when she was an infant as well.  She sent me some links that explained that the reason it happens can be anything from irritation from diapers (when they're older) to hormones from mom exiting the baby's body (as I'm sure was the case with my 4 month old), and that it can fix itself without the use of hormone creams.  When girls start making their own hormones, it completely fixes itself on it's own.

"The adhesion will often resolve spontaneously when girls are out of diapers or pull-ups both day and night. When labial adhesion persist, the estrogen surge at puberty will correct the problem."
That was found HERE.

Since hormone creams are made from the urine of pregnant horses, it's probably not a great idea to jump on that wagon unless you have no other choice.  (And I mean for REAL have no other choice.  Not just because your Dr. scared you into believing that it had to be done even though it's not completely closed up.)
"If there are no complications, such as infections or obstruction, the adhesion do not need to be treated.

Never attempt to separate the labia forcefully. This is painful and traumatic. Moreover, it usually results in even worse adhesion than before." 

"If you do use an estrogen cream, you should be aware that some girls will have other transient estrogen effects, including increased breast tissue and darkening of the labia and/or nipples. These resolve when the estrogen applications stop. Stopping the estrogen also sometimes causes a brief 'mini-period,' or vaginal bleeding."

Again, that was found HERE.

So, although there are surely cases that have gone so far that the labia has completely closed up and is blocking the flow of urine and would actually need some intervention, it is a last resort.  We live in a society of cutters, so we need to be educated and informed of the facts BEFORE we're faced with this situation.
My daughter's labia is almost completely separated now, simply by giving it a couple of extra wipes at diaper changes.  It's just hanging on by a tiny thread of skin.  No cream.  No tugging at it.  Just wiping.  So, it can be done.  If it had closed up more, and I had been wrong to question my Dr., I could have used the cream.  But I didn't need to.  And because I am now aware of it, I can keep an eye on it and prevent it from closing back up. 

Sadly, if you want to research this, you're going to have to swim through an ocean of mis-information.  The AAP suggests the Dr. tug the two sides apart, and the parents keep Vaseline on the raw skin to keep it from healing back up.  (No mention that it can cure itself, or that the irritation of it being torn apart causes more irritation which can cause it to fuse again...)

Anyways, that's that.  It's normal.  It happens.  And it is not a big deal unless your child is unable to pass urine. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tell UNAIDS and the WHO that circumcision does NOT prevent AIDS!

Please, take the time to sign the petition!  This is madness!!  There are two ways to prevent AIDS...NO sex, or using a condom!

Follow THIS LINK to sign the petition at Intact America.

Thank you!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Infant Carriers, Slings, etc.

My baby girl in her Mai Tai carrier.
I've seen all types of baby carriers out there.  I don't mean "car seats", which apparently is also something that is called an infant carrier.  I mean things like slings, wraps, and other carriers.

It kind of stresses me out now when I see babies in those "crotch danglers".  I never even knew what that term meant until I ran across a blog that was talking about them.  It's the ones we see everyday, where the baby is in it, legs hanging straight down, being supported by it's crotch.  I don't know about you, but I don't think that could be very comfortable!  That's when I looked into alternatives.  I don't have a whole lot of "extra" money-- who really has "extra" money?! --so when I found this one on Kijiji, I jumped all over it.  I got it for $15. from a mom I'd sold some baby clothes to in the past.  (Which also makes the saying "don't burn any might need to cross them later on", just that much more true!)

I am going to post a few links here to some different carriers.

This one is from "Cheeky Monkey", and it's called "Lulujo Lightly Padded Ring Sling".  It is intended for babies up to 25 lbs., and the patterns you can choose from are pretty neutral.  They cost $69.99, but they are out of stock until the end of July, 2011.  They really are nice, so it's no wonder they're out!  

These ones are "Maya Wrap Baby Ring Slings".  They cost a bit more at $84.98, but come in 12 different colour-patterns, and are good for babies and toddlers 35 lbs. and up.

This one is much more up my alley.  I have never had much success with the typical ring slings, and I don't know if it's because the ones I bought were too big for me, or what, but this one looks fool proof.  It's from "Hotslings Adjustable Baby Slings", and they are
on sale right now for $49.98.  It's suitable for infants to toddlers 30 lbs. and up.

I've always heard lots of talk about the "Ergo Baby Carrier".  They can be worn on the front, back, or side.  These are good for infants (with infant insert...costs extra), all the way up to 40 lbs. or more.  They cost $199.98, but if you follow that link, it's free shipping WITHIN CANADA ONLY.

Wow.  As I go on here, they're getting more expensive!

I found this one.  It's called a "Beco Baby Carrier, Beco Butterfly II".  Yes, they are very nice to look at.  And the baby's legs are in a good position to be carried around.  It's a little rich for my blood though.  They cost $149.98, and do come in a variety of very nice patterns.  They are good to wear on front or back, and are suitable for babies from 7 lbs. up to 45 lbs.

My older daughter in the mai tai.  2 1/2 yrs. old.
Of course, another big name is the "Moby Wrap".  It's suitable for preemie through 35 lbs., at a cost of $63.00.  They come in a variety of colours, and can be worn five different ways.

These are "Freehand Mai Tai" carriers.  They are priced from $79-$99 and are great for infants and toddlers, newborn to 35 lbs. plus.  As soon as I get a chance to sit down for any length of time, I will be making these, and selling them for a fraction of that price!

And then, there are pouches.  I'm not a fan of these for several reasons.  The most important reason I'm not a fan is because of what I was told in the NICU by the nurses there.  Infants have very little tone in the first few months (which is why they aren't crawling or sitting up on their own that early on), and when they are in something that folds them up, their ribs can crunch down into their bellies, and cut off oxygen.  (Much like an accordion.)  At first they may look okay, and as time goes on, they get less and less oxygen.  IMO, they just aren't a great idea, but since I'm trying to post all of the options, I'm simply stating my opinion while still showing what the pouches are.

Here you can see a "Hotslings Classic Pouch".  It is "suitable" for newborns to toddlers (35lbs+).  They are
on sale right now for $30.

Now there are many many varieties of "good" slings and carriers.  I've seen some homemade slings that are nicer than any for sale online, and I'm sure they didn't cost more than a few dollars to make.  If you're crafty, there are tons of YouTube videos that can give you instructions on making your own.

And just as I was about to nag about "Snugli" carriers being crotch danglers, I see they DO have one kind that is called a "Seated Snugli Soft Carrier" that does in fact carry baby by the bum, rather than the crotch.  A great example of a crotch dangler is shown here.  There are many, but here are links to three... the "Front Snugli", the "Front and Back Snugli", and the one I got in a bunch of clothes I bought on Kijiji, the "Snugli Hug".

So, bottom line.  When you're looking for an infant carrier, make sure it supports their bum and hips, and doesn't put all of their weight on their crotch.  Make sure it allows baby (and/or toddler) to be in the position that is natural to them...froggied legs, open to hang onto momma.  Make sure you get one that lasts a long time, and is made from something that isn't going to rip or tear with normal wear.  Our babies crave our touch, and carrying them against our bodies is the most natural way we can do that.  I'm not against using strollers, but I think that there is a time and a place for that, and most of the time, our babies deserve to be carried on our bodies as nature intended.

Here's a little bit more info on "crotch danglers".

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quotes To Live By

"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice" -Peggy O'Mara

"How you treat your child is how she will learn to treat herself.: - Dr. Laura Markham

"Today, you will have many opportunities to either connect with your child, or to disconnect, to either encourage or discourage. Look for these opportunities. Make the best of today. ♥" -Unknown

"Anger cannot be overcome by anger. If someone is angry with you, and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster. On the other hand, if you control your anger and show its opposite.. love, compassion, tolerance and patience... not only will you remain peaceful, but the other person's anger will also diminish." - Dalai Lama

"A torn jacket is soon mended, but hard words bruise the heart of a child." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Being in charge doesn't mean we act like dictators with our children. That's certainly not my definition of leadership. It means we decide what our family culture will be -- respectful and considerate, for instance -- and enforce that. No disrespect, or teasing, or bullying, from anyone, including the parents." - Dr. Laura Markham - again. :)

More quotes will be added to this as time goes on.

New Crib Safety Standards Implemented, and A Circumcision Rant

By Kimberly Mirando

(LEGAFI) -- Consumers looking to buy new baby cribs may notice something different: they will no longer be able to purchase cribs with drop-down side rails.

drop-side crib
After more than 30 infant and toddler deaths and millions of crib recalls in the past decade, the government has outlawed drop-side cribs and implemented new safety standards aimed at preventing child injury or death.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted that as of June 28, 2011, anyone that manufactures or sells baby cribs must meet the new safety standards. Federal mandatory crib standards had not been updated in nearly 30 years and the new rule will usher in a safer generation of cribs. These mandatory standards will:
1) stop the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs;
2) make mattress supports stronger;
3) improve slat strength,
4) make crib hardware more durable; and
5) make safety testing more rigorous.
Only new, safer cribs will be available for consumer purchase, but the Commission has also voted to extend the length of time that short-term crib rental companies have to comply with the new mandatory standards for full-size and non-full-size baby cribs. This extension gives crib rental companies until December 28, 2012 to update their inventory with compliant cribs, which is the same deadline for the public accommodation facilities that these companies serve. Childcare facilities and places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, also have until December 18 to meet the new crib standards.

Anyone who fails to meet the new crib safety standards will be likely be subject to consumer class action lawsuits.

Read it yourself HERE.

Now, I posted this for two reasons.  One, to inform you of the law regarding drop-side cribs in the US.  If you want to read the whole story, it's HERE.  (BTW, we had two of these cribs for our twins, and they were horrible.  We DID intend to use it as co-sleeping was something that naturally occurred, not something we'd planned, and we secured the drop side with metal brackets and screws so the side no longer moves what so ever.  Even though they are still legal for use in Canada, our daughter will not be sleeping in it until she is old enough to use it as a daybed...without the drop side on it.)

The second reason I posted this was out of confusion, really.  How is it that in the "last decade" there have been "30 infant and toddler deaths" from the use of these drop-side cribs, and they're being made illegal...BUT, every year, upwards of 200 infants die due to LEGAL routine infant circumcision, and no one bats an eye?  Is it just me, or is that bad math?  It seems to me that children are MORE safe in a drop-side crib than they are when they are circumcised.  And clearly they aren't safe in a drop-side crib.  It just confuses me and makes me wonder where the logic is.  *Banging head on desk*

Starting Baby On Solid Foods

It has come to my attention that everyone is being told different things when it comes to starting babies on solid foods.  We're told not to give babies any milk until a year old, yet are told it's okay to give them ice cream and yogurt at 5 months old?!  I'm confused...are ice cream and yogurt not milk-based?!  Forgive me if I'm wrong, but that just doesn't seem logical to me.  Before a year old, babies don't NEED cow's milk.  (Honestly, I don't think the EVER need it, especially when there are naturally lactose-free options out there like goat's milk, which you can buy in 3% for the fats.)  Anyways, here's a rundown of what the major medical associations have to say about starting solids.

We started our twins on solid foods at 8 1/2 months, because they were born 2 1/2 months early, and developmentally, their bellies were only 6 months old at that time.  With our third child, we are doing BLW (Baby Led Weaning), and allowing her to eat what she can pick up and feed herself.  She HAS gotten some infant cereal, but only what she was able to scoop out of the bowl, and into her own mouth.  She got her first taste of solid foods at 6 1/2 months, and was able to pick up a piece of broccoli herself and put it in her own mouth.  (That's her with her broccoli at the top of the post.)  Since then she has mastered peas and carrots, watermelon, corn on the cob (okay, so she isn't a "master" at corn yet, but she sure is trying!), and loves cut up banana and blueberries.  I've found that if it's in a suction cup bowl, she can pretty much scoop anything into her mouth.  But, like I did with the twins, I'm not rushing "real" food (ie. the meals we're eating).  I prefer to give them a few months of nothing but fruits and twins are three, and still choose fresh fruit and veggies over other snacks!  Peas, carrots, and corn were some of their first "treats", so they still ask for them today.
Our children will eat what we give them, and learn to love whatever it is.  So we've made sure that the foods they love are healthy, and give us the most "bang for our buck".  Nutrition is an important thing to teach them, and it's easiest if it's done from the first time they ever have solids.  
I'm sure that everyone has great intentions when they feed their babies ice least I like to believe that.  But in the end it's not nutritional, it's full of sugar, and it's a dairy product that they shouldn't get until a minimum of a year old.  My twins didn't get anything like that at all until they turned two.  We wanted them to start out their lives learning to love what was good for them.  Even now, at three, the twins get ice cream MAYBE three or four times a year.  I'm happy to make them frozen yogurt, which is a much better alternative!

Anyways, enough chit chat.  Here is the information on starting solids:

"Breast milk is the best food you can offer your new baby. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. At 6 months, your baby will be ready for other foods (see Feeding your baby in the first year). You can continue to breastfeed until your child is 2 years of age and beyond."

solid foods

At 6 months, most babies cannot get everything they need from breast milk or formula alone. Though you can continue to breastfeed until your baby is 2 years and beyond, at 6 months you’ll start to introduce your baby to other foods. Your baby is ready to start other foods when he:

  • Seems hungry earlier than usual.
  • Can sit up without support, and has good control of his neck muscles.
  • Holds food in his mouth without pushing it out on his tongue right away.
  • Shows interest in food when others are eating, and opens his mouth when he sees food coming his way.
  • Can let you know he doesn’t want food by leaning back or turning his head away.

When can you introduce solid foods to your baby?

Babies are ready for solid foods after six months. At that age, they can handle more textures and their digestive system is ready for new foods. They are usually physically able to sit up, eat from a spoon and show interest in solid food.

Is it okay to introduce solids to my baby before 6 months?

Before six months babies don’t need solid foods as breast milk (or formula) provides all the nutrients that babies need. Six months is a good time to start solid foods because that is when babies need more nutrients, like iron, that solid foods provide in addition to breast milk or formula.
From: Eat Right Ontario
Formula-fed babies who start eating solid foods before they are four months old may be more likely to become obese than those who start later, a new study suggests.
See the whole article HERE.

"Recently, there have been changes to the age 
of introduction of solids for infants.  It is 
now recommended that healthy, full term 
infants are exclusively breastfed for the first 
six months of life because breast milk is the 
best food for your baby.  Health 
professionals used to recommend that 
infants could start solids between four and 
six months of age."

"Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life."
"Introduction of complementary feedings before 6 months of age generally does not increase total caloric intake or rate of growth and only substitutes foods that lack the protective components of human milk."
"During the first 6 months of age, even in hot climates, water and juice are unnecessary for breastfed infants and may introduce contaminants or allergens."
"There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer."

What does "complementary feeding" mean?

     Complementary feeding means giving other foods in addition to breast milk. The gradual shift from breast milk to solid foods is a transition period that begins after an infant reaches six months of age and continues until the age of two years or more.

When starting solids after six months, an infant’s:
  • enzyme system and gastrointestinal wall have adequately matured to digest a variety of foods,
  • head and neck muscles are strong enough for head control and the coordination of tongue, lip and swallow,
  • oral reflexes have developed to swallow semi-solid and solid foods, immune system is ready to handle other foods and to protect against pathogens and allergies,
  • kidney system will not be overloaded.
    "Exclusive breastfeeding is all a baby needs for the first six months of life. Breastmilk provides all the nutrition, growth factors, security and protection against illness that a baby needs for growth, development and health."
    "Complementary feeding can be started after six months. When starting solids, breastfeeding can be done as often as before – on cue – and as long as a baby wants. Breast milk remains the most important food."
    "Food interests are developed at an early age and exposing a baby to the taste, texture, appearance and smell of real food during the first years of life helps to establish important lifelong food preferences."
    (So don't add salts or sugars to their diet!)
    Taken from:  INFACT Canada
"Current recommendations indicate that breast milk or formula should be baby’s main source of nutrition until at least 6 months of age.  While many pediatricians recommend starting solid foods sometime between 4 and six months of age, the earlier introduction of solid foods may have certain risk factors; consult your pediatrician. For example, the "Introduction of complementary feedings [solid foods] before 6 months of age generally does not increase total caloric intake or rate of growth and only substitutes foods that lack needed nutrients and the protective components of human milk (and formula)."  AAP Policy Note-194
Taken from:

"Health Canada and the Canadian Pediatric 
Association recommends starting solids at 6 months 
of age. Research has shown that feeding solids too 
early does not help your baby sleep through the 
night, and may lead to food allergies. By 6 months 
your baby’s immune system is ready to handle other 
foods."  Copied from HERE.

"It is well recognized that the period from birth to two years of age is the “critical window” for the promotion of good growth, health, and behavioral development. Therefore, optimal infant and young child feeding is crucial during this period. Optimal infant and young child feeding means that mothers are empowered to initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth, breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and continue to breastfeed for two years or more, together with nutritionally adequate, safe, age appropriate, responsive complementary feeding starting at six months."
According to UNICEF.

"Breast milk is the best and only food or drink your baby needs for the first six months of life. After six months, gradually introduce solid foods -- and continue to breastfeed for two years or more."
From:  Health Canada

You can find more links, and a great post about all of this at

So I think now it's clear that despite being told several different things, we see that in the end, a baby's belly is not ready to digest solid foods before 6 months, and introducing them sooner than that is a great way to cause allergies in the long run.  I honestly think all too often a tired mom gives her infant solid foods, or adds cereal to their bottle in the hopes of getting just a couple extra hours of sleep.  It's dangerous, and babies are designed to wake up every few hours to feed.  It ensures that they get the calories that they need for the rapid growth in the first few months, and it keeps them from going into too deep a sleep...which could prevent SIDS.

Your baby will spend it's entire life eating solid foods.  I know it's fun, and I know it's cute, but we only get ONE chance to do this right.  We only get ONE chance to give them the very best start in life, and that's not done by rushing solids.  Please, give your baby's digestive system the chance to grow and mature before you start giving them ANY types of solids.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Clayton’s Story – Vaccine Reaction

By Deana Latta-Poole

May 2, 2002

Picture of Clayton

What I’m about to write, may shock some readers. However, this is the harsh reality for many families, and our story is offered for public awareness, which I am hoping will be used as an educational tool.

19 years ago my son Clayton was born. His induced birth was difficult, and with the aid of forceps, he was born blue, (cyanotic) unresponsive and needed to be resuscitated. He was brought around, though apgar scores were initially low. Although very alert, no one heard Clayton cry for three days. By the time we left the hospital, Clayton was, in spite of the events surrounding his birth, a normal, extremely alert little guy. He would lift his head and follow the nurses around the room with his gaze. The nurses were very impressed!

In the weeks that followed, my baby was a very happy, easy going little guy, who nursed well, gained weight and slept well. He was alert and never fussy. He was a beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed cherub. He loved the sound of his own voice.

Little did I know, at 19, what we were in for….

Clayton’s first DPT-P shot was administered at 8 weeks. Within hours, I could not hold him, try as I might, for he was arched right over backwards. His screaming was non-stop, at an unnatural, terrifying pitch I had never heard before. I later learned this is called ‘the encephalitic scream.’ I called our family pediatrician at 2 a.m. asking if I should bring Clayton in to the ER. No, I was told, this was normal, and it was suggested to me that I should just let him ‘cry it out.’ I was then told that Clayton would be fine, and that I should leave him be and go get some sleep. This went on for 16 hours! Still another call, with me more and more frantic. Being told to relax, as my hysterics could be exacerbating the problem. I was exhausted and fearful, and once again, asked if I should bring my son to the hospital. Again the answer was no, and again, told to just go to bed. Sleep! Though my mind and body were screaming for just that, sleep was the last thing on my mind. All I could do was sit on the bed and cry; I’d never felt such a keen feeling of helplessness, and isolation in my life. There was no family to call for help – the Dr’s were all I could count on to help us… or so I thought.

Clayton grew very quiet. At this point, I was able to encourage him to nurse weakly for perhaps a minute, before his little body shuddered, and he fell into a deep sleep. His limbs were flaccid and limp as I changed him and placed him into his bassinet.

Too nervous to sleep, I paced the floor, chewing my nails, still unsure as to whether or not Clayton was really okay. Sitting on the edge of the couch, I stared into the bassinet. Not long after he had fallen asleep, his skin turned gray and his lips blue. (again, for the second time in his short life – cyanotic)

As I watched, Clayton stopped breathing. I couldn’t believe this was happening! (SIDS??) I nudged my son, and he gasped and began to breathe again. It happened over and over again. I had been without sleep at this point over 24 hours, and wasn’t sure my judgments were to be trusted. I trusted my pediatrician implicitly, blindly. I called him yet again, this time in total hysterics. I managed to explain to him what had happened. I told him how nudging the baby, seemed to get him breathing. Again, I questioned whether my son should be in the hospital.

Now, suddenly I’m told I should not go to sleep, in spite of being sleep deprived more than 24 hours. In addition, I should sit nearby and watch Clayton in the event he stopped breathing again. Should it happen, I should continue to nudge him each time. Again, I was told NOT to bring him in, that I was capable of dealing with this on my own. STILL told this was a ‘normal’ reaction. I don’t remember falling asleep, but when I woke up, it was many hours later. I was afraid to look. Clayton was still sleeping, (he would sleep 18 hours) and though some of his color had returned, he was still unresponsive, unable to nurse. I called the Dr once again and told him I was going to bring Clayton to the ER. No need for that I was told. My son’s unresponsiveness was attributed to his exhaustion. Just let the little guy sleep now and you do the same. I was told I was far too uptight. I had never seen anyone close to death before, so I had no way to know if this was the case with my son. I wondered if perhaps I was being hysterical. And a physician who has done this simple procedure to thousands of infants would know, right???

In spite of all he had been through, Clayton survived, though his personality was never the same. He was much quieter, not cooing nearly as much as prior to his immunization, sleeping a lot, and wore a permanent frown.

Weeks later, according to schedule, and although I was hesitant, we were back at the pediatricians office for Claytons next routine DPT-P vaccination. The reaction this time, was different. He stared, and became tired and weak. I felt this was a far cry better than the first time. Within 24 hours, it all changed. Clayton became violently ill with a high fever, projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea. I brought him to the pediatrician who quickly diagnosed an ear infection and prescribed an antibiotic. Still Clayton continued to deteriorate at an alarming rate. I knew enough about dehydration, to bring him to the ER, where we were given a new script as well as assurance that Clayton would improve from hereon… I was also told to relax, and that my nervousness could make the situation worse. I wondered to myself if this wasn’t some sort of standard; pat response for all young single mothers. I sure seemed to hear it a lot.

At home, I started Clayton on the new medication. We were up most of the night. As fast, as I’d get a diaper on him, he would soil it again. To add to my distress, his bottom was literally coming off in layers on the wash cloth. His cries, as I repeatedly had to wash his bottom, mingled with my own. I’m not sure who cried louder. I called the Dr and was advised to give him Pedialyte, a rehydration formula. I was also told to stop with breastfeeding and only give the Pedialyte, which Clayton refused to accept. We resumed nursing. One call later and I had about had it. I was told that something in Clayton’s room or crib was scaring him, making him sick. In my naiveté and frustration, I removed his crib mobile, all the cute little stuffed animals on the dresser nearby, stripped the walls of their decor, and put plain white sheets on his crib. I remember thinking, “What am I doing? This is nuts!!” Still no improvement. My last phone call to the Dr, whereby I was accused of being a hysterical mother and – it was my inexperience that was making my son sick!

Now I’d had enough and I would never, ever, ask if I should bring my son in again. Later, at the hospital I was told Clayton’s illness was a result of a severe candida infection caused by the antibiotics. I would later find out that was only one of the conditions Clayton had. At least he was admitted. Finally!

All day, I’d rock and nurse my son until I left at 11:00 p.m; leaving pumped milk for a 2:00 a.m. feeding. No cot was ever offered for me to be allowed to stay around the clock with my seriously ill baby. Late at night, exhausted, I would walk home to try to get some sleep. Only to return early the next morning to be subjected to cruel comments from nurses. The implications were that I was using the hospital as a babysitting service, so I could go out and party!! One or two kind nurses did encourage me to go home and get some sleep, but once at home I’d fall into bed into a fitful sleep – knowing that my son was not in his room.

I saw little improvement. Clayton still had dark circles under his eyes, his bowels were still far too frequent, and he’d lost too much weight. Finally, after a week I was told he’d made it through the entire night without a bowel movement. I still thought he looked unwell, but they said I could take my son home. We got home, sat in our rocker and Clayton nursed. He fell asleep and I put him to bed. Several minutes later, I heard some strange noises coming from Clay’s room. I went in to peek on him; he lifted his head and smiled weakly at me. Then I noticed the mess. I wrapped him up ‘as is’ and took him right back to the hospital. A new Dr in the ER took one look at my little guy and rushed some tests on him. I was berated for ‘letting it go on for so long,’ and told we were lucky to get there when we did. The Dr was shocked to learn that Clayton was just released an hour earlier!

Test results came back showing a gastrointestinal illness, caused by some kind of bacteria. The Dr. condescendingly asked ME how it got there? I was so relieved to finally have some answers. There was no way for me to qualify that! Or, even comprehend (at the time) what exactly he was getting at. All I knew was that I’d nearly lost my baby, and now I could anticipate his recovery. Not until many years later – while researching vaccine reactions would I come to grips with what this Dr meant by asking me where the bacteria came from. Appalled I was, to learn of the many mothers who, like myself – were accused of such horrors. Although I was not straight out accused of it, I might as well have been, and that question made me feel extremely humiliated and disgusted all those years later.

In spite of my questions and objections, Clayton was kept on a very strict vaccination schedule. Most of the first two years of his life were spent in the ER, or a Drs waiting room. We saw a specialist who inserted tubes in Clayton’s ears. They fell out. Our medicine chest was overflowing with medications to treat Clayton’s constant ear, nose and throat infections, which I was assured – were all part of growing up. Another shot (MMR) at age 2 caused Clayton’s leg to swell so badly the injection site had a lump as big as a baseball and he could not walk for days. When he finally got up off the couch, he would sit and bang his head repeatedly upon the floor. Also present were the usual reactions of fever, ear and throat infections. These are examples of the many ‘normal’ reactions my son had. None were ever classified as vaccine reactions. I was told when I questioned the possibility of them being vaccine reactions, that they were NOT, but only mere coincidence. Later, prior to another routine vaccine when I questioned yet again the reaction factor, I was told that there was nothing in any of his files pertaining to any problems associated with vaccines. I could also safely assume that NONE of my middle of the night calls were ever documented. I assumed that to have a reaction documented, a severe reaction had to take place right in the Drs office. Since I have begun my quest for information, I have discovered that this is not necessarily the case, as I’ve read about infants who collapse into coma (now THAT’S severe!) on the examination table, and the parents are hustled out and told it’s just a faint and that the child will be fine. In most cases I read about, these infants were not fine. Regarding Clayton’s reactions, no explanations were ever offered to us, save to say that I somehow caused his illness by my ineptitude as a parent.

Clayton’s night terrors began at the age of 6 months. Shrill animalistic screaming at all hours of the night. He’d seem to panic, and each time the screaming would continue for about 20-30 seconds and stop abruptly, as he’d go back to sleep…Only to have another episode within an hour or so. Sometimes he would frantically crawl from one end of the bed to the other, as he screamed, then would collapse. It could happen anywhere from 7-10 times per night. No explanation (surprise!) from our Dr’s on this either, or the constant twitching of his nose, clicking in the back of his throat, or the stretching open of his mouth, so wide you could hear his jaw crack, and he always had split lips. He was/ is very obsessive compulsive, always tapping something rhythmically, repetitiously. In school, he was constantly in trouble for these things, as well as repeatedly throwing himself on the floor. I understood too late – that he was unaware of throwing himself on the floor. We had no idea, until after we placed him in foster care, and many years later that Clayton had Tourette’s Syndrome and that night terrors are usually the first sign. It’s very strange to me today, to listen to my grown son scream out in his sleep. We also learned that he has severe ADD/HD/SLD, (severe learning disabilities) OCD’s and Raynaud’s, which is a circulatory disorder. Worse than any of these is the fact that he is also Oppositional Defiant. Sometimes, depending on his Tourette’s, he may require up to 20 hours sleep. This is because of his night terrors. He is exhausted. Even aside from the screaming, he never sleeps peacefully, and thrashes around in his sleep a lot. Drug treatments do not work for Clayton. Treating one disorder is cause for another to worsen, and there are no drugs to treat all of his disorders. We could get no answers from the medical profession, until we were forced to put him in foster care. I have also learned, through my research that Tourette’s is encephalitic in origin, caused by swelling of the brain. Now, when did that happen?

Very early on, Clayton started stealing from schoolmates. Whatever anyone else had, be it food or toys, appealed more to him than anything he had. He had all the latest toys, and I knocked myself out trying to accommodate his food allergies. Nothing worked in that respect for very long. I could not put a sign on his forehead telling people not to feed him. Food dyes and preservatives had horrible effects on him, to the point of violence – punching or kicking walls, and breaking things. He once bit deep into his sisters back after a teacher gave him candy. Ordinarily he was not violent towards his sisters, though he’d often tease them mercilessly. He had no friends and no self worth, no matter what we did to help him fit in. He lacked enough focus to follow rules in organized sports, though he was not aggressive towards other children. Just different. He did his own thing and found excitement, (at twelve years old) in sniffing gas, stealing and breaking into schools and homes. Our family life was suffering terribly – despite our repeated attempts in family counseling. I was married and had a third child by this time. My husband tried desperately to bond with Clayton as the son he never had. Fishing trips, basketball, bug hunting. He did Clayton’s will and tried to make up for what Clayton lacked not having friends. Once in foster care, people jumped and bent over backwards to diagnose my son. They needed to have clear-cut explanations as to why our child was being placed, and this I can understand. Many times after Clayton reached age 12, we’ve had no clue as to whether or not he was still alive… he would disappear for days at a time, with police and ourselves out searching everywhere to find him. He would turn up – seemingly unaware of the distress caused by his disappearances. It was gut wrenching for me as a parent, having a child who was so much of a risk-taker. He could not understand why I would get so upset when he’d climb out his second story bedroom window. He was absolutely fearless.

I learned – quite by accident (too little too late) that Clayton is vaccine reactive, just after his fifth birthday. The risk runs rampant in my family, whereas we have seizure disorders, insulin diabetes, thyroid illness, and autism. My brother was vaccine-damaged as an infant, and was autistic. He developed encephalitis shortly after his kindergarten MMR vaccine. My parents were told it was from a mosquito bite – in mid October, (cold where we lived) and not in a third world country.

As an infant my brother wore out a Lazy boy rocking chair. I recall clearly, how he’d sit on the floor and roll a battery back and forth – while he rocked rhythmically for hours! He could speak only one word at the time – Volkswagen… Strangely enough, the farther away from his shots, the more normal he became. The autistic label was eventually removed, however he is still somewhat disabled, though functional.

Picture of Claytonand brother Stefen

My second child, Stephanie has severe milk allergies. We had moved out West and our new GP insisted on giving her the measles vaccine. Within a few days time, she developed Roseola. (which, as far as I am concerned IS measles!) She also came down with the same gastro type of illness that Clayton had. I knew there was grave significance with her illness, and although I still had not figured out a way to avoid any more shots, put them off, I did! It turned out those were the only shots she had before my getting educated. Children with milk allergies are at a far greater risk of vaccine reactions. My daughter was very fortunate and suffered no long-term effects. A bright, gifted artist and she does very well in school. She aspires to be a French teacher someday.

My third child – a daughter, Breanne, has never been vaccinated. This child has been blessed with robust health, which we attribute to her being non-vaccinated. An honor roll student and she is in a class for gifted children. She is also a very talented artist, having won several awards and having her art displayed in our community. Breanne has aspirations to be a veterinarian, as well as a children’s book illustrator. We have had her to a Dr only once in her life, to verify that she existed – after being born at home with midwives. As for the immunity of Breanne, she was very healthy and strong; breastfed for a long time. Entering school was a shock to her immune system & she was absent at least a third of the school year for the first two years. Me being a stay at home mom, I was not bothered by her attendance in school. She was above average, and never got behind in her work. We did take her to a chiropractor, who stimulated her immunity, and by the first grade our daughter’s absences were down to only two or three days per year. This is still the case and she is in the sixth grade now. Still going strong, still very healthy. I am sure that her immune system did EXACTLY as it was supposed to… I believe this would likely be the case for all children if they weren’t being artificially stimulated with countless vaccines, which don’t appear to be doing the trick anyhow…., All I need do is take a look around Breanne’s grade six class, and see the pallor amongst her classmates, see the empty desks – some for weeks at a time, and I know I am doing the right thing!

Myself, I suffered a severe reaction to a Tetanus vaccine. Within one week after the shot, I became violently ill with a severe gastric flu. I became so weak I could only crawl to feed my children. Shortly thereafter, I developed shingles. For 2 years following my tetanus shot, I could barely get out of bed. In the mornings I would get up, feed my children, collapse on the couch and go back to sleep. As a single parent at the time, although I kept an ear on the situation, I feel that my children were robbed of me during this time. I have suffered ever since, from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and because of various mysterious symptoms, I am looking into the possibility of Fibromyalgia and thyroid disorder.

In Ontario, unvaccinated children can attend school, although parents are required to submit a legal, notarized form that allows exemptions for reasons of conscience, religion, and in rare cases, medical. It is called a form 2 and is available on-line.

The form is also available at the Health Unit, and requires a legal stamp from a lawyer or paralegal at a minimal cost.

Despite our legal right to exemptions, the first few years for us – were a nightmare; we were constantly harassed by the school board. Time after time they demanded us to produce proof of immunization, or the exemption papers. I’m sure they must have six copies by now! The last few times they contacted us, we told them to stop harassing us and look in their files, for they surely had more copies than we did. They have not bothered us about it for years.

Occasionally the topic comes up – and I speak about the nature of our exemptions. I’ve actually had other parents tell me that my children are a threat to their children’s health… if only they knew… I’m treated adversely – as though I were against them personally for some reason. I’m really not even that outspoken on the matter. However, don’t get me going…

Repeatedly I read articles stating that many parents are making uninformed decisions, and not vaccinating their children. Over the years, I’ve met with many families, who have come to the same conclusions as I. They have also put in their fair share of time investigating the controversial issue of vaccines. I resent very much – being called uninformed. Myself, I am very driven on this matter. I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide not to vaccinate my children. I have spent thousands of hours reading, looking, probing, and digging for answers. I had a conversation with a vaccine expert, who informed me that she had visited with a class of medical school graduates. She posed the question to them on how much time they spent in class learning the theory of vaccines. I was pretty shocked to learn that it was under 10 hours, and anything else they happen to learn – is on their own time – if they wish. Really, they know little more on the theory of vaccines than the average person does. To me, this is scary. We are putting our children’s lives in their hands.

From our earliest recollection, we are told that we must get our shots or we will get very sick. This mis/information is repeated from one generation to the next. The indoctrination is embedded deep into our psyche, and it is extremely difficult to break free of it. Parents must educate themselves, not just rely on information that is provided by the pharmaceutical companies – whose motives are purely profit-driven. Much time and money seems to be spent researching why vaccines are a good idea. Precious little time and money seems to be spent researching the negative effects and long term ramifications. Why not spend as much either way?

For our children’s sake – don’t just read about the benefits of vaccination, also read how the risks far outweigh the benefits. Many excellent books have been written on the subject, and are available at local libraries and bookstores. We must not allow ourselves to succumb to bullying scare tactics used by so many doctors today. Remember there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.


What will become of Clayton?? What sort of aspirations might he have? He has been incarcerated for his involvement in an armed robbery at age 13, car theft and petty theft. He has not regularly attended school since grade 7, and is now is attempting to qualify for a permanent disability benefit from our government. Social Services have requested that Clayton visit a specialist and be re-diagnosed with his disorders. There are no Dr’s available to do this – not even in neighbouring cities. They claim they will give him money to take a bus to another city to see a one. Clayton will be frustrated and confused by what is being asked of him. The social worker I spoke with tells me that it is inevitable that Clayton will have to fill out a job search, in spite of barely having the ability to print his own name. She admitted that she could see that he has an obvious disability, by his application for assistance. (it was a mess!) She then informed me that Clayton will eventually be cut off any assistance unless he is able to see a specialist to be re-diagnosed. I advised the woman to contact his old specialists here, rather than put the onus on Clayton to prove his worthiness to a disability claim. I can now understand why there are so many homeless. Our government needs to understand that by partaking in this billion-dollar industry today, they will be paying for it in some way shape or form tomorrow. The cost of paying for long term disabilities, health care and prison, most of which is absorbed by the taxpayers of this country.

Clayton has a very loving nature at heart, and – like most people is looking to be loved and accepted. He spent months taking care of his ailing natural father. He has no steady girlfriend, never went to a school dance, will never drive, at least not (!!??) legally, and cannot hold a job. Upon first meeting Clayton, he seems polite and well mannered. One of the life skills we were able to teach him. He’s also strikingly handsome with a great build. Young women tell me he’s very pleasing to the eyes. Shortly thereafter though, it is apparent that this young man is different; by the clicking in his throat, the rhythmic roll of his eyes, and the steady, tap, tap, tapping of whatever he manages to get his hands on. Clayton’s main goals these days are to stay out of prison, for he has been in all three phases of incarceration. Adult prison was the worst, he says, and he never wants to go back there. He’s lasted exactly a year. We tell him we believe in him… and to ourselves we only hope he can make it longer.

The most difficult aspect of parenting this young man, for me, is to step back – to allow my higher power to take over. My husband and I pray daily for Clayton’s safety. I pray for a miracle. I’ve also prayed that this nightmare to end – that I’ll awaken and know it’s all just been a bad dream after all. That really, all those years ago, I took a stand for my son and refused to allow the assaults on my son to continue… And years later my handsome boy will walk through the door, girlfriend in tow, telling me about the courses he’s taking in college, how he’s fixing up his car, his hopes and dreams for a decent future… All the WHAT IFS AND IF ONLY’S??? Believe me, prior to Clayton’s leaving us the last time, (we have taken him back home several times, since his being in foster care, and in between jail time) we had exhausted all agencies in our area trying to get help. There is simply nothing left. And at 6 foot 3, 170 pounds, we can no longer sit on him to make him do anything. His life is in his hands now as well as our Creator. Someday, perhaps – maybe simply staying out of prison won’t be enough for Clayton… He’ll demand more from life, and somehow find the strength to give it all he’s got. I hope this is true.

Prisons everywhere are full of Claytons. So are the streets. This story had to be told. People need to know why.

As I read over what I have written here, a huge lump forms in my throat, and I hang my head and cry. My son called two weeks ago – collect. No one was here to accept the call. I’m not sure what that means, but I am unable to reach him, for he has no telephone. I don’t know if he called from prison, a hospital or just calling to say hello, as he will do on occasion. No parent should have to suffer these nightmares.

End of story… Or is it?

**Read this and other vaccine related articles at