Parents are extremely worried when their little one’s gets sick. Apprehension is manifold higher if you are a first-time parent. But, if you are aware of some common diseases babies get and what you can do to soothe them, won’t it make your life easy? So, let’s delve into some common ailments in infants with their home remedies.
Colic usually is common in babies less than 4 months old. Babies suffering from colic are usually healthy but cry for roughly for three hours and the frequency is roughly more than thrice a week.
Overfeeding can cause discomfort to your baby. Babies sometimes swallow too much air while taking feed resulting in abdominal gas and distension, causing colic.Feeding bottles with big hole in nipple can also allow much air to pass in baby’s stomach. Keeping baby upright while feeding also restricts air swallowing.
Swaddle baby in blanket according to weather and lay them down in quiet and dark room. Try pacifier to soothe them. Gently rub their back area.
Some babies find comfort in warm bath or gentle messaging.
Try taking a stroll with baby or a gentle car ride may drift them to nap.
Smooth humming noises or lullabies also soothe colicky babies.
Hiccups are generally non-threatening, and babies are not much bothered with it. If, they are experiencing hiccups while alert, it means they are full. Do not feed them anymore. Excess swallowing of air can also cause hiccup.
Home remedies: Burp your baby after feed. Hiccups usually go on their own, if they are very persisting, talk to your pediatrician.
COUGHING, VOMITING AND SPITTING MILK:
Sometimes small babies gulp milk suddenly which results in sputtering and initiation of cough reflex. This problem will solve when they learn to drink milk.
Home remedies: Always burp the baby after feed. For burping you should sit straight, holding baby in our arms such as baby’s head is on your shoulder. Pat their back very lightly till they burp. Sometimes, they may not burp but try for a few minutes before putting them down. Burping helps release some air, babies suck while feeding. While feeding, keep baby’s head upright.
Constipation is common after babies are weaned off and new foods are introduced in their diet.Breast fed babies are less constipated than formula fed. Hard stools are very discomforting to the baby.
Give baby leg message and gentle abdominal message. Leg exercises while laying baby on their back are helpful to stimulate bowel movements.
Give them warm bath.
For babies on solid food, introduce fibrous foods like whole grains (oats, whole wheat), apples without peel, broccoli, papaya, peaches, plums, pears etc.
Keep baby well hydrated.
Note: If constipation persists, baby loss appetite or there is blood in stool, see your doctor.
Three or more loose or watery stools in babies is called diarrhea. Stool may contain mucus, blood and baby may have pain, cramps and vomiting too.
Keep baby well hydrated with breast feeding, formula and water.
For breast fed babies, mothers should keep a tab on her diet.
Give bland starchy foods like rice, pasta, cracker, bananas (if baby takes solid)
Note: If diarrhea is not subsiding and baby is having fever, looks lethargic, refuses feed, has dry lips and mouth, little or no urine, no tears while crying see doctor fast.
UMBILICAL CORD INFECTION:
Umbilical cord infections are not very common. They are result of bacterial infections in umbilical stumps. In most babies, umbilical cord stump falls after drying in first few weeks’ time without complications. However, redness, swelling, tenderness (pain on touching), foul smell of surrounding areas of cord are signs of infections.
Keep the stump dry and surrounding area clean. As cord gets dry, color change is noticed from yellow to gray and then it falls off.
Sponge baths are more helpful till cord falls off
Avoid diaper contact with the area.
Note: Umbilical cord infections or Omphalitis is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention.
Teething may start at 6 months for most babies. Symptoms like irritability, disturbed sleep, swollen gums, drooling, decreased appetite, putting everything in mouth, mild fever, loose stools are common at this time.
Rub baby’s gum with very clean finger or give them sterilized teething rings.
You can give boiled carrots, cucumbers thin strips which are slightly cooled to soothe pain.
Fevers are very worrying for parents, but they are very common in babies. Fever is the sign that baby’s body is fighting with harmful germs. Fever is also common post vaccination.
Keep your baby well hydrated.
Rest and light foods are good to support healing.
Give tepid sponging to baby.
Do not over cover your baby.
Red patches on skin at bottom or diaper area of baby are referred as Diaper Rashes.
Keep diaper area dry. Give enough air time
Apply virgin non scented coconut oil to area.
Many newborn babies have yellowish skin after birth which is known as jaundice. Bilirubin built up is responsible for this yellowish tinge. Bilirubin is effectively removed from body by liver which is still immature in newborns, hence the levels built up in blood.
Home remedies:– Expose your baby to the early morning sun for 15 minutes. Mild jaundice subsides on its own however, if bilirubin level is high it needs immediate treatment.
Earache:Babies may suffer from ear pain resulting from middle ear or inner ear infection or foreign objects put in ear.
Home remedies:Warm compress on ear and surrounding area will ease the pain. Sometimes milk may also go in ear while feeding lying down. Always feed baby keeping head upright.
Cold, cough, respiratory distress: Difficulty in breathing in babies needs further assessment. Mostly it can be due to nose blockage. If you notice warning signs like nose flaring, chest retractions, grunting, bluish discoloration of skin or fast breaths consult doctor immediately.
Home remedies: You can put simple saline nasal drops, after consulting with pediatrician. Give lukewarm liquids to soothe sore throat. Carrom seeds roasted and tied in cloth when placed at baby’s pillow side may help them breathe easily.
Homeopathy has very good medicines for childhood illness and they are safe for your babies too. Happy parenting!