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  • 2 simple tricks to ease your baby’s nasal congestion

    The baby boogers.  Of all things that are absolutely adorable when you have a baby, the boogers are not.  They are the first sign of a cold, and usually the last symptom to leave.  Which sometimes means weeks of nasal congestion. Why are babies so boogery? Doesn’t it seem like babies and toddlers produce an inordinate amount of mucus? The main reason babies and toddlers seem to have excessive mucus is because they cannot blow their noses or clear it into their throat effecti...

  • 7 tips to improve your child’s iron status (without supplementation!)

    Iron is an essential nutrient, and one that many parents worry about. Current recommendations are to offer iron-rich foods as early as 4-6 months to ensure that there is enough iron available for the rapid period of growth and development that happens in the first year. Babies who are born full-term (37 weeks+) are born with enough iron from Mom to last until 6 months of age.  Breastfed babies are at increased risk for iron deficiency after 6 months as breastmilk provides only a small amount (0...

  • 7 Types of Baby Cries – How to Tell What Your Baby Needs

    Have you figured out your baby’s cry language? Did you even know your baby had his very own language? Usually by 3 weeks or so most parents have figured out the basic cues from their child.  But with all babies, just as soon as you think you’ve figured them out, something changes.  They go through a growth spurt, they get teeth, they go through a wonder week, they learn how to poop (lol). I hope this guide will help out another Mom or Dad in the middle of the night when you...

  • A naturopathic approach to infant GERD/reflux

    GER(D) is often the first diagnosis a baby receives, which can make it quite scary. What is GERD? GER(D) is gastroesophageal reflux (disease); it’s also called heartburn, reflux, or acid reflux. It occurs when the contents of the stomach reflux up into the esophagus. The pH of the stomach contents is quite low, or very acidic. The acid burns the esophagus, which is built for a much higher pH.  To clarify, a diagnosis of GER means that the symptom of reflux is occurring; a diagnosis of GER...

  • A naturopathic approach to treating respiratory syncytial virus (RSV bronchiolitis)

    What is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)? This mouthful of a name is the most common source of lower lung infections in young children. RSV has the potential to lead to bronchiolitis, which is inflammation of the smallest air passages of the lungs, the bronchioles. What are the symptoms of RSV bronchiolitis? RSV generally starts with mild cold-like symptoms (think congestion and mild cough), but in some children it can cause a more serious lung infection. Often children and babies with bronchio...

  • A Naturopathic Approach to Treating Thrush in Infants and Breastfeeding mothers

    Lisa* brought her 7 week old infant Annabelle* in to see me with concerns about a rash and a thick white coating on the infant’s tongue that wouldn’t go away.  Lisa had a normal, healthy vaginal birth with no complications but did mention that she took Antibiotic medication at 38 weeks of pregnancy.  The white coating on Annabelle’s tongue started when she was about 3 weeks old and hadn’t changed in any way since.    When asked about breastfeeding, Lisa responded...

  • A “Stork Bite” is NOT a sign of MTHFR

    Social media is weird sometimes! Dr. K here.   For the last several years I have seen this picture spread all over social media (Pinterest, Facebook and even IG).  The heading shows “this is a sign of MTHFR” and shows pictures of a “stork bite” in many different locations.  One version also shows a blue vein on the bridge of the nose and says this is also an indicator of MTHFR (this one calls it a Sugar Bug). Sorry folks, this is straight up not true.  What is a ...

  • Allergies, asthma and eczema: The Th1/Th2 story

      It’s spring here in Missoula and you know what that means: hay fever season is just around the corner. If you’re a hay fever sufferer and you feel like the only way to cope is to dress yourself in a hazmat suit then you probably want to read on.  Ditto if you have asthma, eczema or food allergies (the anaphylactic kind). Allergies, asthma and eczema are all interrelated.  In fact, many patients who have one of these symptoms actually have all three. This blog post will expla...

  • Baby wearing safely (and why I don’t like the Baby Bjorn)

    I don’t like the Baby Bjorn.  (I can just hear the cries of all the Bjorn-wearing mothers across the country: “WHAT? How dare you scorn my Bjorn!”)  Here’s why: Hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is simply the abnormal formation of the hip joint.  The hip joint is a ball and socket joint (remember that from your 8th grade health class?), which means the ball of the femur (thigh bone) is held into the hip by a soft tissue capsule and many very strong ligaments.&nb...

  • Can drinking more water make your kid smarter?

    Water intake is critical for many body functions, but it’s especially important for optimal brain health. It’s so important that the human body can’t live more than a few days without it. Water makes up to about 60-65% of your child’s total weight (up to 75% for infants). That’s a lot of water! Children are more likely to become dehydrated than adults because they lose more water through their skin. They also lack awareness of how much fluid they need to consume to stay hydrated. On t...

  • Colic – is it reflux, gas or an over-sensitive baby?

    The “C” word in baby circles.  It brings terror to the hearts of parents everywhere.  But what exactly does “colic” mean? Colic is actually defined as excessive crying: an otherwise healthy and well-fed infant who cries more than three hours daily more than three days a week for more than three weeks.  However, the term is thrown around loosely, and often implies tummy aches.  Regardless of the definition, if your baby, or a baby you know, cries even c...

  • Do your kid’s squeezey food packets have mold in them?

    What kid doesn’t love a squeezey packet. My 5 year old still asks for them. And I have to remind her that those are for little children (she is a big girl after all). When I first saw those as a new mom, I thought, oh wow, how fun. And of course I also thought, oh wow, how wasteful. Sometimes I am my own pain in the you know what. The reality of being me is that anytime I evaluate something I would like to add into my life, I need to know how “wasteful” it is and how much damag...

  • Don’t suppress that fever! (and why I don’t like Tylenol)

    Annika, my 9 month old, got her first fever over Christmas. It went up to 105.8° F (on a temporal artery thermometer). I can just hear the other parents now: “Yikes! 105.8? You gave her Tylenol, right?” Nope. No Tylenol, no ibuprofen, nothing but extra cuddles and lots of nursing. Her fever broke on its own a few hours later, and the next morning she was crawling around fast as her little knees could take her. Fevers are not dangerous.  The infection may be! It’s not...

  • Dry What? What you need to know about Dry Drowning

    10 drowning deaths per day. Drowning is a far too common cause of death and disability in children.  The CDC reports than in an average year, over 3,500 children die from drowning.  That works out to 10 drowning deaths a day. Kids who are lucky enough to survive a drowning accident may suffer from brain damage that can lead to severe disabilities.  Furthermore, they may suffer from “dry” or “secondary” drowning, meaning they actually do die from suffocation...

  • Ear Infections and Naturopathic Medicine

    We’ve all known that poor girl who had to have tubes put in her ears.  Or that poor boy who’s taken more rounds of antibiotics than his weary parents can count.   Ear fluid buildup, and ear infections, are all too common for children.   Tubes and antibiotics, though sometimes necessary, are over-prescribed by well-meaning doctors.  Is there a naturopathic solution? (NOTE:  this article addresses middle ear infections, not outer ear infections, or &#...

  • Failure to Thrive in a Breastfed Baby

    If your baby has failure to thrive please read the first part of this blog post at: What to do if your child drops on their growth curve or is diagnosed with Failure to Thrive Contact an IBCLC first If your baby is breastfed and is not gaining appropriately I highly recommend working with a lactation consultant (IBCLC).  Click here to find a lactation consultant near you I also highly recommend checking out kellymom.com which is the internet’s best source for reliable breastfeeding inform...

  • Failure to Thrive in Babies/Toddlers Eating Solid Foods

    If your baby has failure to thrive please read the first part of this blog post at: What to do if your child drops on their growth curve or is diagnosed with Failure to Thrive Is it normal? First I want to say that dips on the growth curve are extremely common in exclusively breastfed babies who are transitioning to solids, especially around the 9-12 month mark.   It isn’t uncommon for babies this age to have some difficulty wrapping their heads (or mouths) around the fact that they need to s...

  • Food Allergies and Breastfeeding: Is my baby reacting to something I’m eating?

    My baby is exclusively breastfed and has never eaten solids, but seems to react to my milk. What could be causing it? Proteins from the foods you eat are passed to your baby through your breastmilk and may be causing an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction. The foods that most commonly cause these reactions in young children are cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, gluten, soy, tree nuts, corn, fish, and shellfish. The allergies show up as digestive issues, skin rashes, and respiratory concerns, and of...

  • Formula Fundamentals for Naturopathic Doctors

    A note from your editor: here at Naturopathic Pediatrics we strongly support breastfeeding as the optimal way to nourish infants.  When breastfeeding is not possible and donor milk is not available we want to give families accurate information to help them choose the right breastmilk substitute.  This article below is a Sponsored Post by Kabrita USA.  Ashley Weber, ND shares some commonly asked questions and corrects some misinformation about formula ingredients.  This article is intended fo...

  • Getting baby (and parents!) ready for solids – a case for Baby Led Weaning

    If you’re at all familiar with my practice, you’ll know that I’m a huge advocate of baby led weaning (BLW).  For the several years I’ve been offering workshops in addition to counseling patients and families in my office on the ins and out of BLW for the past several years. My interest in BLW was piqued after we my first daughter was born.  We had such success with it that we subsequently used it to introduce food to our twins who were born in 2010  When as...

  • Healthy Kids Get Sick Sometimes (Really!)

    In my family medicine practice, I make it a point to tell new parents at their baby’s 9-month well visit, “If she hasn’t had a fever yet, there’s a good chance she’ll have one before I see you back for the 12 month checkup.” Although it sounds alarming, getting sick with viral illnesses, colds, and flus is vital to the proper development of a child’s immune system, and it’s usually between the window of 9 and 12 months of age that a baby’s immune system first takes a robust sta...

  • How Did Those Parents Get Their Infant Out of Diapers? The What, When, and How of Elimination Communication

    To help you decide whether Elimination Communication is right for your infant or toddler, this post dissects the what, when, and how of elimination communication....

  • How to do wet wraps for eczema (atopic dermatitis)

    It sounds weird, it feels strange, but of all the options for severe eczema treatment my favorite is wet wraps! Do you know how to do wet wraps for your child with eczema? What is eczema? Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis.  It is a red, scaly rash that is intensely itchy.  Most kids who develop eczema get their first rash under the age of 5. (Often kids get eczema when they are still babies.)  In my office I usually see kids develop eczema somewhere around 4 months of age, w...

  • How To Feed a Newborn (Prepping for Successful Breastfeeding)

      Will breastfeeding come naturally? How do I learn how to breastfeed? Do I need to use formula? My mom and grandmother say it comes naturally and I don’t need to worry about it. But my friends have had trouble. Have I done what I need to do to be ready for breastfeeding? First of all, I can tell you from experience that breast-feeding does NOT (necessarily) come naturally. HOWEVER, I can also tell you from experience that a newborn left to his own devices will (almost certainly) find the...

  • How to find a safe, natural sunscreen for your child

    Is sun exposure safe? While sunlight is wonderful for obtaining Vitamin D, which has many health benefits, the sun also has the potential to cause skin damage.  Right now the research is pretty clear that intermittent, intense sun exposure in childhood and adolescence is linked to melanoma.  Melanoma is the most dangerous of the 3 types of skin cancers.   Occupational or long-term (less intense) exposure to the sun does not appear to be linked to melanoma.  Interestingly, melanoma is less...

  • How to Treat Cradle Cap Naturally

    Whether it’s a few specks or a thick yellow coating, most babies have some cradle cap at some point.  It is a common condition that causes no problems, and eventually (usually) goes away on it’s own, but it can be quite irritating to parents. Facts about cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis: It’s the pediatric version of Seborrheic Dermatitis, and it typically appears in the first month of life.  We don’t really understand why it happens.  It is typically n...

  • Introducing Solid Foods

    This is an exciting event in a new parent’s life, but it can feel overwhelming and produce anxiety. There are different ways to introduce solid foods, and each method has ardent supporters and vehement detractors. Five different sources may give you five different “best” or “only” ways to do it. My goal is to provide clear information based on the latest scientific research. Evidence regarding solid food introduction is evolving as new research takes place. Some information you find is...

  • Iron-rich foods for kids and infants

    Between 9 and 15 months of age most children are screened for iron-deficiency with a toe or finger prick test. Why are they torturing your little one? Well, I promise it’s for a good reason. What is iron deficiency? Iron is an essential mineral necessary for carrying oxygen in the blood.  Deficiency of iron can lead to anemia, a condition where the amount of blood cells is decreased.  Children and adults with anemia can feel fatigued or have a harder time playing or exercising. A...

  • Is Your Child Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals? A Guide to Testing for Nutritional Deficiencies (Part 1 – Vitamin D!)

      Editors note:  A big thanks to Dr. Cori Burke for tackling the incredibly broad topic of nutritional deficiencies in children.  This is a huge topic, and she has wisely split it into multiple sections.  Stay tuned for more in this series! A quick note and comment: Naturopathic Physicians are sometimes criticized for over-diagnosing “nutritional deficiencies,” or for excessively prescribing vitamins and supplements. It is always very important for physicians to have a conve...

  • Let them eat dirt (The Hygiene Hypothesis)

      Have you guys heard of something called the “Hygiene Hypothesis?” The Hygiene Hypothesis states that much of the chronic disease in the First World is due to lack of exposure to dirt and “healthy” microbes.  In our Lysol-friendly American households we come into contact with way less germs than developing nations (or really any other nation for that matter). What’s the consequence?  HUGE healthcare costs for our whole country because of the higher incidence...

  • My child has a cough – when do I call 911?

    “My child has a cough – when do I call 911?”  This guide should help answer this question!  These are general recommendations based on the best-practice guidelines in 2015 and could change – so always follow your physician’s advice first.  Your doctor should give you detailed instructions on when it is appropriate to seek medical attention for your child given their specific health needs. When to seek immediate medical attention: My child is coughing AND&#823...

  • Natural Home Treatments for Croup

    What is Croup? Croup is known for its loud, barking cough and inflammation of the throat, which can cause severe issues with breathing. It is seen almost exclusively in children, the smaller the child the more severe the illness can be. Croup usually starts as a cold or upper respiratory infection and often presents at night as a gasping/barking cough. Most of the time croup can be easily treated at home, but it can sometimes be life threatening. It is usually seen in younger children aged 0 to ...

  • Naturopathic Treatment for Infant Eczema

    Eczema (aka Atopic Dermatitis)  is very common, and it frequently first pops up infancy affecting anywhere from 5-20% of children.  I’ve seen many babies, some as young as 3-4 weeks with whole body eczema.  By the time I see them, Mom and Dad have often already tried everything – new detergent, more bathing, less bathing and every over the counter cream money can buy.  And, understandably they are hesitant to rely on hydrocortisone cream. What Causes Eczema We know that eczema te...

  • Preventing caries (cavities) in fluoride-free families

    In previous blog posts I have talked about fluoride supplementation.  This week I would like to talk about ways to prevent cavities in families who decide to decline fluoride supplementation. So first I want to say that there really is no excuse for having poor oral hygiene habits  – especially if you decide to go fluoride-free.  I hate to say it, but I have seen several families who have decided against fluoride but then neglected brushing and flossing and ended up wit...

  • Raising Kids Naturally Podcast

    Dr. Erika Krumbeck, the founder of naturopathicpediatrics.com was recently on a new podcast by EcoParent called Raising Kids Naturally. Hosted by Leslie Solomonian, ND. Leslie Solomonian is a naturopathic doctor in Toronto with an interest in pediatrics and family medicine. She is a professor and clinician at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine where she teaches clinical medicine, pediatrics and philosophy. More information about the Raising Kids Naturally Podcast: One of the greatest ...

  • Skip the Centrum! (A guide to a good multivitamin)

    I’m not a “supplements” doctor. I know many naturopathic patients who have had the experience of coming home from a visit with a bagful of pills and potions.  I really try not to do that. My long-term goal as a physician is always to treat the underlying cause so we can permanently restore health.  When that happens my patients no longer need to be on a supplement regime, they can use diet and lifestyle to maintain their health. (With maybe an occasional multivitamin and probiotic &#821...

  • The “ABC’s” of Babywearing – How and WHY to wear your baby correctly!

    Before becoming a mother, I thought people exaggerated just how much babies can cry. Ha! I know now that a minute of infant crying feels like an hour, especially when you’re a new parent. When my son was an infant, babywearing was the only thing that would calm him during what felt like never-ending crying spells. Just as his Dad was getting home from a long day, he would often cry inconsolably unless we held and rocked him continuously. He was well-fed with a clean diaper and wasn’t in any ...

  • The hidden dangers of toxic scented products. (And how to keep your kids safe!)

    There are literally thousands of household products that contain fragrances.  Common household products that contain fragrances include laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, air fresheners, cleaning supplies, perfumes, lotions, hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, perfumes, colognes, bodycare products, and scented candles. Many of my patients are surprised to learn that the body absorbs the chemicals in fragrances when they’re applied to the skin.  When you smell a fragr...

  • Thyroid Health for Moms-to-Be, Moms, and Babies

    I’ve helped many women become pregnant after they’ve “failed” several rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF). It didn’t take any fancy equipment, painful procedures, or expensive medications. It just took looking at these women like they were more than ovaries and uteruses. Many of these women had undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Once we discovered and corrected for this, they were quickly able to become pregnant – and stay pregnant. Optimizing thyroid health is also important for minimiz...

  • Vaccines Demystified webinar available for sale.

    You asked for unbiased information regarding vaccines.  Well, you got it! This recorded lecture includes all the latest research regarding vaccines, vaccine adverse events and immunology.  Written and recorded by Dr. Erika Krumbeck, naturopathic physician (and worried Mom) who specializes in pediatrics and vaccine safety. Also included is an e-book workbook filled with the data included in the lecture and a blank vaccine worksheet. This is not a “pro-vaccine” or an “anti-vaccine” webin...

  • VIDEO – Successfully treating earaches with homeopathy and other natural medicine

    This video is a special one-hour webinar done for the National Center of Homeopathy by Dr. Amy Rothenberg.  The video includes slides on diagnosing and treating otitis media (ear infections) with homeopathy and natural medicine. This is an awesome freebie video – check it out! Enjoy!  ...

  • What is Molluscum and What Can Be Done About It?

    Molluscum contagiosum, usually just referred to as Molluscum by your family doctor, is a viral infection of the skin. It is usually seen in school aged children and looks like pearly/skin colored bumps with small indents (known as umbilication) in their centers. Location: They show up seemingly ‘out of the blue’ in all sorts of areas but usually they stick to places where two skin areas rub together such as elbow creases or fingers. In my practice I often see them on legs as well. ...

  • What kind of Diaper Rash is that?

    Many first-time expectant moms are already prepared with creams and ointments to fight diaper rash before baby is even born. Diaper rash, or diaper dermatitis, is a common ailment that affects most babies and can range from fleeting to severe. It can be a real challenge to treat if not properly identified. The following information will help you tell the difference between the top three causes of diaper rash, many of which can be easily treated at home: Irritant dermatitis: The most common cause...

  • What to do if your child drops in their growth curve or is diagnosed with Failure To Thrive

    One of the main purposes of well child visits is to make sure that babies and young children are gaining weight, height and head circumference appropriately.  Babies who do not gain enough are diagnosed with Failure to Thrive.  The Failure to Thrive diagnosis may be made when a baby or child drops below the 2nd percentile more than once, or when their growth drops over more than 2 major percentile lines (90th, 75th, 50th, 25th, 10th, 5th).  For example, a baby that goes from 75th ...

  • What to do when the GAPS diet fails

    A decade ago Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride published her now-famous book titled Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia. A few years ago I started noticing a huge trend in parents trying the GAPS diet on their own, either after reading the book or getting advice from friends or other health or mom bloggers.  I have recommended the GAPS diet (or more commonly, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) to some families as w...

  • What to expect at your newborn’s well-visit with a naturopathic doctor

    I love to see newborns in my practice and to be a part of this special time in a family’s life! As a naturopathic doctor, my newborn visits (and other well-child visits) are similar to any standard pediatrician, except my visits are typically longer. I spend a whole 45 minutes face-to-face with families, which allows me ample time to answer questions and concerns, as well as to review preventative care techniques for newborns or children. When should newborns go to the doctor? The timeline for...

  • What You Need to Know About Lead Exposure in Children

    Lead is a naturally occurring toxic metal that can be found in a variety of sources. Lead exposure is often associated with lead paint or high levels of lead found in drinking water in cities like Flint, Michigan. Both children and adults are exposed to lead, but children are particularly sensitive because their brains and nervous system are still developing. Lead sources beyond paint: Rates of lead poisoning in children have decreased as lead has been removed from paint and gasoline in the Unit...

  • When this naturopathic doctor recommends topical steroids for eczema (!) – The case of baby Benjamin

    Benjamin* is the baby who was always scratching himself. This little guy had to wear baby mittens because otherwise he would scratch his skin until it bled. Poor little guy! I diagnosed him with eczema around 4 months of age during one of his well-visits. His eczema was relatively mild at that point, but he went through a few eczema flares as we tried many therapies to heal his skin. (*Benjamin is not his real name, and this is not a real photo of him, to protect his privacy.)  What is ecze...

  • Where does Autism Come from, Anyway?

    Currently the causes of Autism are all theoretical in nature. It is appears that many causes come together to ‘flip on the switch’ for Autism. There is no ‘one cause’ for Autism. (Some of the) Theories for Autism causes: Genetics: One of the latest studies coming out has found that Autism may begin before birth, which lends to the theory that Autism is in part caused by the genetics of the child. The study found patches of disorganized neurons in the brains of Autistic children and these...

  • Why this naturopathic doctor recommends introducing solid foods at FOUR months.

    First of all, I want to say I am SO excited to get back to blogging. I’ve spent the last year working on my Vaccines Demystified course, and then the My Infant Health Binder, plus seeing patients (my real job!), plus editing Naturopathic Pediatrics.  All this to say – I had to take a major break from blogging.  Not to mention last year at this time I was still pretty heavily sleep deprived (I was never blessed with good sleepers). So now that my kids are (gulp!) six and two...