Author: Dr. Monica Wonnacott


How do I care for the umbilical cord? Caring for your baby’s umbilical cord is quite easy. You don’t have to do anything. It used to be that parents were told to dab rubbing alcohol on it. The new recommendations are to put nothing on it and let it dry up and fall off on its own. If the cord starts to get goopy or smelly, you can use alcohol, you won’t hurt anything. It just isn’t necessary otherwise. When should it fall off? Most cords fall off between 1 and 3 weeks; average is around 2 weeks. If...

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These are the most common questions I field regarding sunscreen. What age can I use sunscreen? The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend the routine use of sunscreen in children younger than 6 months. Prior to 6 months, parents should simply keep a child out of the sun as much as possible (using sun protective clothing, beach umbrellas, etc.). With that said, I always advise my patient’s parents that I would much rather they apply sunscreen to their 4-month-old’s face if adequate shade is not available than risk a sunburn. What is SPF? SPF stands for Sun Protection...

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Thanks M.B.G. from Utah for your question about what is normal baby poop. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t field a question about whether or not a baby’s poop is “normal.” The reality is that baby’s stool is changing constantly, so it’s hard to know what is normal and what to worry about. The Normal Transition When a baby is born, his/her gut isn’t colonized with bacteria. Bacteria are required to digest food. So, the first few stools are sticky, tar-like, and black. As an infant eats breast milk or formula, the gut will get...

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M.F. from Utah asked about her child who, when she cried, would stop breathing, turn blue around her lips, and nearly pass out. The cry or throw a tantrum, don’t breathe, turn blue, and pass out maneuver of children is actually very common. It is called breath-holding. While it can be very scary to witness, it’s generally not something to be overly concerned about. As soon as your child faints, he or she will start breathing normally, and the episode resolves. The key to making the behavior stop is how you react. When your child cries and holds his or...

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How to increase your breast milk supply

Most women at some time during the breastfeeding experience question how to increase or maintain breast milk supply. The short answer is that breastfeeding is a complete “supply and demand” experience. The body is an amazing machine; if you feed a lot (that is, breastfeed a lot), it will make a lot. How else can we explain women that make enough to feed twins or triplets? So to make more, you have to feed more. As simple as that sounds, there are a few tricks to try. Timing The key time to establish a good milk supply is at...

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Dr. Monica Wonnacott

I'm a pediatrician and a mom. is my blog where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.

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