During the first year of a child’s life, new parents must learn not only to take care of a newborn baby, but also to respect new schedules and commitments, hitherto totally unknown. Among these appointments, the most important are certainly the so-called Health Reports (HR), or periodic checks by the paediatrician.

What is an HR ?

HRs are paediatric controls, established by regional health authorities and planned to ensure continuous monitoring. They are used first of all to check the growth and general state of health of the baby, but also to receive useful information and suggestions for parents.

At every paediatric check-up, the doctor should:

  • Perform a general assessment of the newborn;
  • Measure weightheight and head circumference;
  • Verify the psycho-motor development;
  • Check hearing and sight.

In addition, the paediatrician can perform more specific checks to diagnose any disorders or diseases, as well as providing information on child behaviour, nutrition and vaccination calendar.

Fundamental paediatric examinations within the first year of life

The appointments not to be missed during the first 12 months of life of the newborn are:

  • 1 month of life: The first visit must take place no later than 45 days after birth. The paediatrician will have to carry out the first auxological check-up (i.e. the child’s general growth process). He will also take care of controlling the oral cavity, skin, the health of heart, lungs, abdomen and genital apparatus. During this first visit, the Ortolani-Barlow manoeuvreshould be performed, to exclude the possibility of congenital hip dislocation.
    There will also be advice for parents onbreastfeedingsleep-wakerhythms, baby responsiveness and safety systems to be adopted in the car and at home.
  • 2-3 months of life: In this second visit, the paediatrician repeats the auxological check-up and verifies the psycho-motor and sensory development of the newborn. If the growth curve is not optimal, the doctor will be able to consider with the parents whether to supplement breastfeeding with powdered formulas.
  • 4-5 months of life: during the third HR the focus should be on reactions to sensory and vocal stimuli, in addition to the relationship with the mother. The paediatrician will take care of checking the motor progress (ability to sit and grasp objects) and will give the first advice on weaning.
  • 8 months of life: The fourth visit to the paediatrician is dedicated to the Boel Test for the control of sight and hearing, as well as verification of the babbling and mobility of the child. At this point, new solid foods can be added for further weaning.
  • 11-12 months of life: During the last appointment, the paediatrician will check in depth the psycho-motor and sensory development, to verify if the child understands the stimuli and starts talking. It is important to observe how it relates to the environment and the people around it. Parents should be informed at this point about the correct diet to follow, fluoride prophylaxis for teeth and other growth-related measures in general.

Paediatric visits during the first year of life are essential to verify that the newborn is growing in the right way, in terms of both motor and psychic development. In addition to these routine visits, there will also be specialist visits if the paediatrician deems it necessary.

Just when we hoped to have left the winter behind a new Siberian weather disturbance has frozen every little hope of bringing the children to play in the park without having to scream every 2 minutes “cover yourself or you will get a sore throat!” or “do not take your clothes off, you are sweaty and will get ill!”.

Strange as it may seem, it is not the cold that actually causes the much feared sore throat, but rather the temperature changes that alter the mucous membrane and promote the entry and proliferation of viruses and bacteria.
The result of these uncertain periods of time are the famous “season sicknesses” (hoarseness and pharyngitis), with symptoms ranging from lowering of the voice tone to difficulty swallowing, fever and irritation between nose and throat (rhinopharyngitis).

The perfect natural remedies for children

Since 70% of the cases are viral infections and only 30% are bacterial, there is often no real need to resort to medicinal products and antibiotics. When it comes to a simple sore throat, without other more serious associated symptoms, it may be useful to resort to natural remedies that, in most cases, are effective:

  • Honey: its soothing properties can help fight infections and bacteria, clear the airways and alleviate the discomfort caused by sore throats. The fluid texture acts directly on the mucosa and lubricates it to help eliminate mucus quickly. In other words, grandmother’s good old remedy of hot milk and honey before going to bed is always valid.
  • Propolis: in any format (candy, drops, syrup, spray) Propolis is a natural product that can be useful to combat inflammation of the throat. Another lesser-known, but actually equally valid, use is as a disinfectant and healing agent in the case of small canker sores and mild irritation of the oral cavity.
  • Myrrh extract: a little less known than the first two, but equally useful, is found mainly in the form of spray throat. The effectiveness of myrrh extract-containing throat products lies in the fact that they form a local protective barrier on the mucous membranes, reducing contact with external aggressive agents and thus the risk of infection. Not to be underestimated, myrrh is also an effective antioxidant and improves the immune defence mechanisms.

It is therefore better to avoid crowding paediatricians’ studies when a few home-made precautions would be enough to cure a simple sore throat. It is advisable to consult your doctor if there is no improvement after 3-4 days, or in case of high fever, blocked airways and prolonged difficulty in swallowing.

Can sore throats be avoided, or, even better, prevented?

It seems paradoxical, but in reality it is important not to raise the temperature of the heating above 19°-20° to avoid that the passage to the outside is too abrupt – better to wear vests and heavy jumpers! Then get used to the children going out (adequately covered) even if it is cold: in these cases the dry and excessive heat of the closed environments can worsen the symptoms.
Finally, prevent seasonal illnesses with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, to increase the intake of vitamin C. When it is not enough – we know, it is often a challenge to get children to eat fruit and vegetables – evaluate together with the paediatrician the use of a vitamin supplement.

Today we want to accompany you to the discovery of a magical place, both legendary and real: the home of Capricare, the first milk formula based on goats’ milk.

The Capricare family

Capricare was born in 1984, in the Waikato region of New Zealand, in a rich land that still speaks of unspoilt nature and biodiversity. It was born and grew up in a small family, the Dairy Goat Co-operative (DGC), which over the years has expanded more and more and, to date, includes 72 independent farmers. The cooperative is the ideal way to ensure sustainable growth and well-being for small producers in New Zealand, who with dedication are committed to producing controlled goats’ milk of the highest quality.

At this point what is missing is a new house, where to meet and welcome Capricare: here then, in the immediate vicinity of the farms there is an innovative production plant, which allows not only to have a fresh product and really local, but also to minimize processing, to preserve as much as possible the nutritional properties of goats’ milk(Learn more about it).

New Zealand’s nature enclosed in Capricare

These characteristics are the result of the environment in which the animals themselves grow, a land of rare beauty, still virgin in many ways, chosen not by chance to shoot the cinema trilogies of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, adapted from Tolkien’s books.
New Zealand – in the Maori language “Aotearoa”, the “land of the long white cloud” – is composed of two large islands and, thanks to its low population density (16 inhabitants per square kilometer, according to official data of 2014, compared to over 200 in Italy), is completely free from the problems that afflict much of the world, such as pollution. Moreover, it can count on almost unlimited pastures, boasts an extraordinary biodiversity (which the National Government is committed to preserving with particularly restrictive laws) and still lives according to rhythms and customs now unknown to other Western countries.

A more conscious and natural choice for your child

New Zealand remains an uncontaminated eden to all intents and purposes, a guarantee of food products of the highest quality, primarily goats’ milk, which the Dairy Goat Co-operatives collects every day from its farmers to produce artificial milk as per the Capricareformula. Knowing its history and origins helps to understand why Capricare is the best choice, both in terms of nutrition and sustainability, when a mother can no longer breastfeed her child (*). Because, while it is absolutely true that breastmilk is always the best solution for both, it is equally true that compared to cows’ milk, goats’ milk in formula is more similar to breast milk and contains all the nutrients necessary for the growth and development of the baby.



*As the responsible producer of artificial milk, DGC (Dairy Goat Co-operative (N.Z.) Ltd), and its distributor Junia Pharma support the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and unequivocally support breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for infants and young children.