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Dr Carol Cooper answers your baby health questions

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When Dr Carol Cooper joined us for a Twitter chat, you had loads of questions about baby health – from colic and reflux to colds, rashes and first aid. If you missed the chat, read on for our round-up of the top questions.

My five-month-old son breathes heavily while sleeping and I’m not sure what I should do about it.

If he is growing and well, it may not be serious but always check out breathing problems with your GP, especially in a baby this young.

How can I tell whether my baby has colic or reflux?

This isn’t always easy, but reflux pain usually starts during or soon after a feed and isn’t just during the evening. Find out more about colic

My nine-week-old has a constant snuffle but at our eight-week check the doctor said it was nothing to worry about. Should I be concerned?

New babies are snuffly but quickly grow out of it. If your little one is well he is probably OK, but talk to your GP again if the sniffles persist.

Why are little ones more likely to pick up colds in the autumn?

Viruses are around all year, but cold weather makes it easier for them to invade the nose and back of the throat. Staying indoors also means being closer to other people and their colds.

How can I tell if my baby is too hot in his pramsuit?

Experience is the best guide but try touching the back of his neck. It should be neither cold nor hot and sweaty. Read more about keeping your baby warm

I’m pregnant and I’d like to know more about first aid for babies and toddlers – where can I find out more?

A hands-on course is best even before your baby is born. Ask your midwife what’s available locally or try a video guide if you can’t attend a course.

My seven-month-old has nappy rash. I change her six to eight times a day using only warm water and I’ve tried Sudocrem and Bepanthem but nothing seems to be clearing it. Can you suggest anything else?

Her nappy area may be infected. This usually clears up quickly on treatment so go and see your GP. You can help prevent nappy rash by leaving the nappy off for as long as possible, to let the skin breathe. After gently washing the skin, let it dry before putting the nappy on – and change nappies often. Learn more about nappy rash

I’m expecting my first baby soon and am getting contradictory advice from friends and family. How will I be able to understand my baby’s needs?

True, much of the advice is conflicting. Get all the health information you need and then learn to trust your instincts. Don’t try to be perfect and spend time getting to know your baby. It takes time, but you’ll soon be an expert on your own child. Find out more about bonding ‬‬‬

My mum has advised me not to pick my baby up too much and says this would ‘make a rod for my back.’ Is this right?

Trust yourself. If a baby cries and wants picking up, she needs something. Research shows that babies who are ignored grow up less secure.

My one-year-old had an upset tummy last weekend. She’s better now but refuses meals and will only snack. She used to eat well.

It can take time to recover from a tummy bug but talk to your health visitor if she’s not eating well a week on from being ill.

How can I clean my baby’s first teeth?

Buy a toothbrush and use baby toothpaste. Use gentle movements and let him play with a second toothbrush so that he gets used to it in his mouth. It’s also good to get your baby used to the dentist early on even if the first few times are mostly ‘social’ with your baby on your lap.