Maeville Pediatrics





As a part of your ‘village’ we have gathered information on common symptoms, illnesses and over the counter medications along with reliable web sites and recommended reading to empower you.  We hope you find this mini-library an efficient way to get pertinent information among the myriad of options available online.

At Maeville Pediatrics, we support our families in all aspects of helping their littlest members grow.  If breastfeeding is a part of your journey, we are here to support you. Dr. Sissa is currently working towards her board certification in lactation medicine and has a robust network of lactation consultants that she collaborates with to encourage and support mama and baby. We especially love the Stanford University breastfeeding website for it’s very informative videos. This link which discusses a perfect latch is very helpful if you are not able to have a one on one consultation. There are many myths surrounding food and drink for the lactating mother. Generally speaking there are very few absolutes here. Most important is that mom consumes a wide variety of healthful foods and stays hydrated. In fact, caffeine and alcohol, in moderation, are acceptable for breastfeeding moms. Most medications are also compatible with breastfeeding. The infant risk center at Texas Tech University is actually one of the leading authorities on medication safety in breastfeeding. You are able to search their website or even call to get personalized guidance.

Knowing when and where to seek care for your little one in time of illness is very important for your child’s health and for your peace of mind.  Depending on the severity of your child’s illness and the time of day, you may actually need to make an ER visit rather than seeing us in the office.  Conversely, there are many conditions we handle in the office that can save you a trip to the ER.  As a rule of thumb, head straight to the ER if your child is less than 6 weeks old and has a fever (defined as a temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees celsius) or higher, you suspect a broken bone and there is visible swelling (which is a sign that the broken bone is misaligned), your child hits his head and appears to pass out, your child has a seizure, your child has heavy, fast breathing or is gasping for air, has gaping cuts on the face with active bleeding, your child has any headache associated with blurry vision and vomiting or if your child has ingested a foreign body and has drooling or difficulty breathing.  Of course this is not an exhaustive list, and we are here to help you during emergencies.

In the early days at home with your infant we recommend ‘on-demand’ feeding (disclaimer: this is for full term infants that do not have any extenuating medical conditions, your premie will need to stick to scheduled feedings and always follow your doctors specific orders). Learning your baby’s hunger cues can be a steep learning curve, but paying attention to them will allow you to feed them the right amount of either breast milk or formula, and avoid under or over-feeding. It is important to realize, however, that every time your baby cries or sucks it is not necessarily because he or she is hungry. Babies suck not only for hunger, but also for comfort; it can be hard at first for parents to tell the difference. Sometimes, your baby just needs to be cuddled or changed. Hang in there, you will get it! For specific breastfeeding advice please see the ‘breastfeeding’ section.

There is really no magic right time or way to potty train.  As a rule of thumb, you want to start potty training when your child shows readiness signs and in accordance with your own beliefs and values.  Most children develop bowel and bladder control at 18 months, which is a necessary skill to physically learn to use the toilet.  However, how ready a child is emotionally to learn to use the potty depends on the individual child.  This is the area with the most variation.  Some children are ready at 19 months and others not until 3 or even closer to 4.  ‘Readiness signs’ include staying dry for at least two hours at a time or after naps, recognizing that he or she is urinating or having a bowel movement (some toddlers will go to the corner of a room or go under the table), being able to pull pants up and down and get onto and off of the potty, and being able follow simple instructions.  The most important readiness sign is that your child wants to use the potty (look carefully for this sign, not wanting to sit in a poopy diaper really can mean ‘I want to use the potty’). 

It is not a good idea to start potty training during a time of particular stress or transition. Also if your child clearly is not showing any readiness signs then take a short break.  Developmentally, toddlers have a natural and healthy desire for control and this can lead to power struggles.  If your toddler feels a lot of pressure to potty train, they will quickly figure out that one way to feel ‘in charge’ and win the power struggle is to refuse to potty train.  Also, DON’T COMPARE.  Children all develop at different speeds and in different areas.  It’s important to approach potty training calmly and not without a lot of emotion.

If your child is preschool age and still not interested in potty training then reach out to us so we can evaluate for any physical issues or developmental delay.  The gut is a tricky organ and your child may also need help with diet change or medications to help with constipation so please know there is not a ‘one size fits all’ way to potty training.  Most importantly, know that you are not alone in this and we are here to help.

Introducing solid foods is a joyous (and messy!) time for your little one.  Most importantly, have fun! Some changes have occurred over time with recommendations on what and how to introduce solids to infants. For example, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), supports the early introduction of peanut-based foods to infants to prevent peanut allergies.
Each child’s readiness for solids really is dependent on their individual development.  Specifically, they should be able to hold their head up, open their mouth when food comes their way, and move food from a spoon into their throat rather than gagging it out.  Generally, most infants are ready at 6 months.  You can feed your baby with the traditional puree approach or the increasingly popular ‘baby-led weaning’ approach.  There are pros and cons to each method, just decide which one suits your specific baby.  The introduction of solids is gradual and does not take the place of breastmilk or formula in the very beginning. Around nine months your infant will start taking less breastmilk or formula and you should be feeding three meals a day with healthy snacks throughout the day. This is the optimal age to feed table food if you started with the puree approach.  Read further in the attached handout for detailed information.
Normalizing the conversation around mental health is a goal of ours at Maeville Pediatrics.  Now, more than ever, having a pediatrician that constantly surveys the mental health of your child and family is of utmost importance.  The challenges of the past few years have impacted our children, and we as a village are here to help. While we do not have a therapist ‘in-house’, we have a network of mental-health professionals that are equipped to serve your child and family. We also aim to you help your child develop emotional resilience, as you will find articles and suggested reading linked below.  Dr. Sissa reading recommendations:      
We believe healthy adults start as healthy kids, especially when it comes to nutrition. Training your child to enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods begins as early as infancy. Fresh foods can be started as early as 4-6 months and should be a part of most meals of the day. Colorful fresh unprocessed foods have disease preventive powers and are integral to your child and families health.  Encourage family meals! When you can, the whole family should eat together. Research suggests that having dinner together, as a family, on a regular basis has positive effects on the development of children. The attached link discusses the various nutrients that are important when planning your families meals.  

Traveling with your child as a family requires extra planning but can be so fulfilling. We always recommend your child is up to date on current vaccines and is not overdue on checkups prior to travel. The CDC website is a great resource to look for location specific information to plan for long trips.

Traveling with children
At your child’s well check we discuss growth and development and will sometimes administer screening questionnaires before the visit to help ensure your child’s health and uncover any developmental delay. Please see attached handouts for more details information and take home points.

View: Well-Child Parent Handouts

Bright Futures Parent Handout: First Week Visit (3 to 5 Days) English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 1 Month Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 2 Month Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 4 Month Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 6 Month Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 9 Month Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 12 Month Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 15 Month Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 18 Month Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 2 Year Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 2.5 Year Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 3 Year Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 4 Year Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 5-6 Year Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 7-8 Year Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 9-10 Year Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 11-14 Year Download English PDF

Bright Futures Parent Handout: 15-17 Year Download English PDF
Vaccines save lives and vaccines are safe. For kids big and small, our office follows the vaccine schedule outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Attached is a fantastic article outlining the importance of childhood vaccination. It features Dr. David Kimberlin, who is an infectious disease specialist in Birmingham, Alabama and the editor of the American Association of Pediatrics Red Book. He was a professor and mentor to Dr. Sissa during her pediatric residency training.
The following links offer everything you want to know about all of the vaccines recommended for your child.