Learn from Dr. Cohen, pediatrician and author, about what to expect after you’ve addressed baby feeding issues. He also discusses how best to support and encourage the developmental milestones that lay ahead.
Dr. Scott Cohen
Dr. Cohen is a board certified pediatrician who has created a new philosophy in pediatrics called "Common Sense Parenting" where he educates patients and families on how to raise healthy, children in a stress-free manner. This approach is highlighted in his book, Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby's First Year. Dr. Cohen is the co-founder of Beverly Hills Pediatrics and an attending physician and active member of the teaching staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. He has been selected as one of the Best Doctors in America from 2007 through 2013 and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.
(Wording may vary slightly from the video.)
HOST: I'm Natalie, your host for The Inside Track. A series of videos from Enfamil that will help you learn about feeding issues that may be affecting your baby. So what happens when the feeding issue is under control? Surely, lots of questions remain as life gets back to normal. Renowned pediatrician, Dr. Scott Cohen, is with us to help navigate the milestones ahead. Dr. Cohen wrote a book with one of the best titles of all — Eat Sleep Poop.
HOST: So, Dr. Cohen, while I'm sure you have a lot of advice about feeding issues...
DR. COHEN: Yes, that's the Eat part of my book.
HOST: ... you also continue to see moms and babies after their feeding issues are resolved.
DR. COHEN: Successfully solving a feeding problem is one of the greatest rewards for any parent. I know because I'm also a dad and went through some ups and downs feeding my own daughter. If mom chooses formula, choosing the right formula is one of ways to get back to normal.
HOST: And how long should a baby stay on a specialty formula?
DR. COHEN: Some are able to get back on a routine formula, yet many moms feel better keeping their babies on a formula that agrees with them.
HOST: Do most feeding issues just get better as the child gets older?
DR. COHEN: Things do usually improve over time. The baby matures, the gut matures and the formula helps manage the problems. Even babies with cow's milk protein allergies are most likely going to be able to have dairy products by the time they're 3. And it doesn't necessarily mean the child will be allergic to other things — although they sometimes can be.
HOST: So if you stay on the formula to avoid the return of the issue, will the baby miss out on anything?
DR. COHEN: Absolutely not. If your baby stays on a formula like Enfamil® Gentlease® or any of the other formulas tailored for feeding issues, they're patterned after breast milk with the changes necessary to address the feeding issue. These formulas still have the important building blocks of the brain such as DHA, ARA and zinc. Plus choline, a nutrient that helps cells communicate with one another.
HOST: I've heard so much about DHA lately. Why does it stand out among all the other nutrients?
DR. COHEN: First of all, DHA is an important building block of a baby's developing eyes and brain. I'd say it's one of the most important omega-3 fatty acid in a baby's diet. Numerous studies have shown improved visual and cognitive outcomes with DHA supplementation. These are some of the areas pediatricians like me check for most when babies come for regular visits, along with cognitive, social and communication skills. Omega-3 fatty acids also support immune system development and function. And emerging data shows a link between omega-3 fatty acids and respiratory health.
HOST: I'd heard it was good for brain development, but wow — DHA does a lot of important things.
DR. COHEN: And you want to be sure babies get DHA as soon as they're born because the brain grows another 175% in the first year of life.
DR. COHEN: Once a feeding issue is resolved, it's time to get back to thinking about nourishing not only her body but her development, too. The skills that lead to milestones are developing all the time: cognitive, motor, social and communication skills.
HOST: How can moms help with those?
DR. COHEN: At this stage, excellent nutrition — and DHA — is really important. Clinical studies show that DHA improves cognitive skills. Another way to aid in the development of your baby's cognitive, motor, communication and social skills is by helping to stimulate her milestone development through the activities you do together.
Newborns coo, laying the groundwork for the major milestone of talking. If you imitate your baby's sounds, you'll encourage her to vocalize even more. Try and spend some time with other babies, even when yours is very young. This helps build social skills. You might see them look at each other, smile, make sounds and maybe even try to touch each other. From 9 months, you may be surprised to see your baby point out objects. That's another powerful milestone. She'll also roll over, sit unassisted and crawl. Between 10 and 15 months, she will speak her first words so talk back to her regularly. As a toddler, she'll learn to pull herself into a standing position and eventually be able to walk by holding your hand or holding onto furniture. At around 12 months, she'll follow simple instructions so engage her. And soon, she'll take his her first step!
HOST: I can't wait for that!
DR. COHEN: Remember that when it comes to your baby, you're not just a parent, you're a teacher. Nourishment with important nutrients like DHA can help support her in achieving developmental milestones. You can also nourish her development through the most important ingredient of all: your love.
HOST: Ahhhh. Thanks so much, Dr. Cohen. And thanks for joining us at The Inside Track.