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Have you heard about the Baby Symptom Checker?

Up to 50% of all babies in the UK experience feeding-related problems in their first year — these usually appear within the early weeks of a baby’s life and can be exhausting and stressful for new parents¹.

However, whilst parents recognise symptoms like continuous crying, milk regurgitation or a skin rash, they often have no idea what condition this might indicate, or what practical advice they can follow to alleviate their baby’s symptoms.

We appreciate these situations can be extremely concerning and stressful for parents, and it is often difficult for healthcare professionals to have a calm and informed conversation that generates the information required to follow the right guidelines for diagnosis.

To provide parents with practical advice, and to support a more informed conversation with their healthcare professionals, Nutricia Early Life Nutrition has worked with GPs, health visitors and paediatric dietitians to develop the Baby Symptom Checker. This online tool is available on our UK baby club websites, Aptaclub and C&G Baby Club, as well as the Nutricia Early Life Nutrition website.

Whilst it’s not designed to provide parents with diagnosis or replace medical advice, it can help support the journey to diagnosis for both parents and healthcare professionals.

What is it?

The Baby Symptom Checker is an online tool that helps parents get more support with their baby’s feeding problems, and provide healthcare professionals with useful information to aid diagnosis. It is designed for babies under 12 months old, and covers functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDS) like colic, constipation, reflux and regurgitation, as well as cows’ milk allergy and lactose intolerance.

The Baby Symptom Checker works by taking parents through a series of multiple choice questions about their baby’s symptoms.

How does it work?

The Baby Symptom Checker works by taking parents through a series of multiple choice questions about their baby’s symptoms — the type of symptom, the frequency and the duration, as well as any other relevant information. The questions are based on recognised criteria for diagnosis such as Rome IV and iMAP guidelines. Once completed, it delivers practical advice, guidance for parents on recommended next steps and a summary of the answers to assist parent-healthcare professional conversations.

What is its role for HCPs?

The Baby Symptom Checker was developed to help healthcare professionals help parents in three core ways.

  1. To provide parents with reassurance and practical tips they can try at home ahead of their appointment.
  2. To provide a summary of the baby’s symptoms which parents capture at home without time pressure so they can provide their healthcare professional with all the details.
  3. A summary of symptoms based on recognised scientific diagnosis criteria that may help healthcare professionals make a quicker and more informed diagnosis.

Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone who understands what it’s like to be on the frontline of healthcare, you can call our designated careline for healthcare professionals. Our free healthcare professional careline is open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. Just phone 0800 996 1234 for expert advice on infant feeding and nutrition, including common infant feeding problems such as cows’ milk allergy, colic, constipation and reflux.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Breastfeeding is best for babies. Infant formula is suitable from birth when babies are not breastfed. Follow-on milk is only for babies over 6 months, as part of a mixed diet and should not be used as a breastmilk substitute before 6 months. We advise that all formula milks including the decision to start weaning should be made on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian, pharmacist or other professional responsible for maternal and child care. Foods for special medical purposes should only be used under medical supervision. May be suitable for use as the sole source of nutrition for infants from birth, and/or as part of a balanced diet from 6–12 months. Refer to label for details.