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 parents.
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 guidelines for diagnosis.
To provide parents with reassurance and 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. 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 the Baby Symptom Checker?
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 gastro-intestinal disorders (FGIDS) like colic, constipation, reflux and regurgitation, as well as cows’ milk allergy and lactose intolerance. The tool is based on relevant scientific literature including the Rome IV criteria for FGIDs and the MAP and NICE guidelines to support healthcare professionals with diagnosis.
This Baby Symptom Checker is intended to provide additional reassurance and support to parents, and to capture common symptoms in a succinct and presentable way; it is not intended to replace professional expertise or provide diagnosis.
How does the Baby Symptom Checker 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 MAP 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.
How will the Baby Symptom Checker help parents?
The Baby Symptom Checker is designed to offer parents
- Reassurance that symptoms like colic, constipation and reflux are relatively common
- Practical advice that can be tried at home to alleviate their baby’s symptoms
- A summary of their baby’s symptoms to share with their pharmacists, health visitor or GP
If the answers indicate cows’ milk allergy or lactose intolerance the tool prompts the parent to go see their GP immediately.
How will the Baby Symptom Checker help healthcare professionals?
The Baby Symptom Checker was developed as a support tool in conjunction with healthcare professionals
- To provide parents with reassurance and practical tips they can try at home ahead of their appointment
- 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
- A summary of symptoms based on recognised scientific diagnosis criteria that may help healthcare professionals make a quicker and more informed diagnosis
What is the Symptom Summary?
Once parents have entered their baby’s symptoms and any additional information about treatments and remedies they’ve already tried, they’ll be able to download or email themselves a PDF summary of all the information they’ve entered, to show their healthcare professional.
Click here to download an example of a symptom summary.
Where can I find the Baby Symptom Checker?
The Baby Symptom Checker is available on both our Aptaclub and C&G Baby Club websites. Other than visual appearance, the functionality of the tool is identical on both sites. Please note there is no mention of any products or links to products within the tool.