Today I want to share on common baby problems that may be encountered at birth to three months after birth and how to deal with them. Those common problems are:
Jaundice in newborns
Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin due to the build up of bilirubin in the blood when the liver is unable to break it down .It is critical to look for signs within 3 to 5 days after birth. Some times it is difficult to detect in darked skin infants and special test including blood test can be done to detect this.
Jaundice identification can be done in the hospital before discharge. This condition is more likely to happen in boys,babies who have loss a lot of weight just after birth, mothers who are diabetic or if there was an induced labor. Also premature infant because the liver is not properly developed can also show signs of jaundice. There are different causes of jaundice .One could be the normal course of events of child birth(physiological) at it can be a disease(pathological) for example hepatitis, infection or liver dysfunction. Jaundice can be treated by placing the infant under ultraviolet lamp(bililight) or if not severe the infant can be allowed to leave the hospital with the parents exposing the infant to mild sunlight for a few minutes. If yellowing of the skin occurs two or more months after birth then it would be best to take the infant for a check up.
Colic is a painful episode that newborns go through which is characterize by excessive crying and passing gas. This starts usually between two weeks and last up to about five months.
There is no know cause of colic and can affect any baby healthy or not and is not gender specific. It is said that a few factors may contribute to colic. These are
1.The digestive system may still be developing or adapting to the outside and it is baby’s way of communicating.
2.Food allergies some infants may be sensitive to the milk given if bottle fed or even breast fed.
3.Gas in the digestive system.
4.Overstimulation which occurs later in the day where baby is trying to process every thing or smoky environment.
Ways to reduce colic include
- As much skin to skin contact for reassurance so that baby does not cry for attention. This is not spoiling folks.
2.Holding baby in upright position when breast or bottle feeding to reduce the gulping of air. For bottle fed babies using the right nipple is key. It is best to use size one nipples and a bent bottle to reduce gas whether it is rubber or plastic nipple depends on baby preference use both to see which one is best suited for your baby.
3. Assisting the infant to burp after every feed to reduce gas .This is done by placing the infant against your chest and gently patting the back.
4.Feed when the infant is hungry .I know it will take some getting use to for first time parents but you need to know your baby. For the
first three months the average infant feeds every 2 hours with at least 10 minutes on each breast or 2 to 3 ounces every 3 to 4 hours for bottle-fed babies.
Coping with Colic
Speaking from the heart,colic is no joke I remember when my first child got colic ,he was crying for what seems like hours , flaying his arms and legs around stretching out and the list goes on. I was in tears on the verge of going to the hospital because I tried everything and nothing was helping just then his father walked through the door took him rom me and right away the crying stopped. I really felt inadequate as a mom and a little jealous but here are a few things I learnt that day.
I learnt that in raising a baby it takes more than one person so if you are a single parent get help from another relative when you feel overwhelm. Know that you are doing your best even though you may feel as if you are not. There are several ways to calm a baby from putting baby across the shoulder, across the knees, in a rocker , walking around making soothing sounds, playing soft music ,going for a drive, giving medicine for gas and so on .Try different things and see what works for baby.
Fever may have different causes.It is usually a response to a bacterial or viral infection.Any temperature over 100.4 fahrenheit is considered a fever for a newborn.So the first thing mothers must always have at home is a thermometer and Paracetamol liquid because you never know when the temperature will go up.
One thing to note is that the body temperature go up naturally in the evening to around 11 PM naturally.So it is important to be observant.
Is it too many clothes? Sometimes when the place is hot and baby is wrapped up, this can cause a elevated body heat so when needed ensure that baby wear light clothing to reduce the temperature that is appropriate in the different seasons.
when to be concerned
1.When baby is fussy and cranky
2. Not eating or sleeping well
3. Few tears and less wet diapers
4. Has difficulty breathing
Younger infants who develop a fever should seek medical attention.
for older infants six months and older some measures that can be implemented at home are
1. Bathing infant in luke warm water
2. Giving paracetamol or Ibuprofen following the appropriate dosage for the age
3. Ensure that the infant is well hydrated by giving water, electrolytes or breast milk
Every parent horror is to discover a rash on your little one precious bottom. Where did I go wrong? you may wonder.
There are several reasons why an infant may have a diaper rash.
Firstly, a fungal infection may be the culprit. Because the area is moist and fungus thrive in this environment it is likely that a fungal infection may develop. what to do?
Check and change frequently to ensure less moisture build up. Allow air on baby’s bum just for a few minutes before putting a fresh diaper. Use an antifungal cream which the doctor can prescribe after confirming that it is indeed a fungal infection.
Secondly, because of the different ingredients in powdered milk or even beast milk and prolong contact on skin ,it may become irritated. Therefore it using a diaper rash cream as a base to protect the skin from irritation after each change is advisable. using a zinc oxide cream or A and D cream or ointment or similar products available in your country.
Thirdly, using highly scented products can trigger a rash. Avoid scented products as some babies are prone to eczema. Products such as Cetaphil, Dove, and Aqueous cream are a few examples.
Finally, some brands of diaper may not agree with the skin of the infant .Try the different brands and stick to the one that does not trigger a rash.
It is said that a diaper rash and oral thrush go hand in hand. That may not be the case at all times but if oral thrush is not treated properly then it can lead to a diaper rash.
Thrush is a build up of Candia albicans. Normally candida in the mouth is present in normal amounts. But sometimes because of immature immune system, the use of antibiotics, fungal infection on the nipples of the mother of food left in the mouth of infant who feel asleep a rise in candida can develop. Treatment range depends on early diagnosis.
Symptoms include white patches in the mouth which do not go away with wiping and may actually bleed if an attempt is made to remove it.
Early diagnosis is needed and treatment will can be a written prescription for and antifungal gel or liquid some old time remedy of using gention violet may also help.
One of the most distressing things to happen is for your baby under three months to develop a cold so many questions race though the mind. How did this happen? What can I give to such a young baby?Should I go to the doctor?
Thre are several signs of the common cold which can be mild to severe,also there may be flu like symptoms as well.
Some of these include
blocked nose/trouble falling asleep
vomiting /lack of appetite
diarrhea/or dry diaper
Because there are so many angles to cover when it comes to cold/flu like symptoms the best thing to do is to check with the doctor when these symptoms arises to ensure that there is no infection, asthma, bronchitis ,croup, pneumonia or any thing serious.
I would love to hear your thoughts . Feel free to let me know if there is anything you want to add to this discussion.