During the early months of the baby’s life, there maybe some touching common baby problems. These concerns can be matters of discomfort to the baby as well as stress and uneasiness to the mother and all concerned. Some of these problems may also become habit forming. Habits forming on the part of the baby.
Some of these common problems and means to overcome them are listed below.
One of the earliest discomfort that a baby may have is that of colic. Colic is characterized by gas or air formation in the abdomen. Most times this happens in the abdomen. Colic is also referred to as “gripe”. Colic may occur as early as two weeks up to five months old.
How May You Suspect That Your Baby is Having Colic?
- The baby demonstrates uncontrollable crying. The baby may cry for more than three hours on and off, at short intervals or non-stop. The baby may sound the alarm (cry) as it awakens from its sleep in distress. The infant may continue crying for hours.
- The baby may be affected for days, especially if the colic goes untreated.
- May recur after treatment.
- The baby may exhibit signs that there is pain in the abdomen, by working its legs vigorously, pulling them up towards the abdomen.
- The baby arches the back while crying at times.
- Sometimes screams and stiffens the legs.
The baby having the colic can be a frightening thing for the mother. Can you imagine a baby having colic and cries through the night? There is also the case of sleepless nights for both baby and mother or care-giver.
Have you ever had an experience with a baby having colic? Do tell me about this.
The gas or air, which is in the abdomen is considered to have been swallowed during feed time. There has been no conclusive cause for colic in babies. It is often believed that colic is more prevalent among bottle-fed babies than breastfed babies. However, some school of thoughts say that both bottle and breast fed babies are equally affected.
How May Colic be Prevented?
- In order to prevent colic, it is important that the baby is burped immediately after feeding. To burp the baby, you must hold the baby up on your shoulder and gently rub or pat the baby’s back. This will cause the baby to belch. The baby will then expel air from its stomach or abdomen. Sometimes doing this more than once, allowing the baby to belch again is good. Get as many burps as possible.
- Burping should be encouraged after each feed so as to prevent colic. Burping the baby is good even after colic has developed. It is important to note that much time should be taken when feeding the baby.
- Exercise patience and relax. It is extremely important that mother should not be hurrying or neither be nervous when feeding the baby. Relax so that the baby will make timely swallows.
- Give baby a warm bath and wrap the baby in warm bed clothing to encourage sleep.
- Give baby a gentle clockwise massage on the abdomen in a direction to encourage and allow the wind out of the abdomen.
It must be pointed out also, that babies may be given gripe preparations bought from the stores to treat the babies gripe or colic. These preparations are called Gripe water. Gripe Water may be preventative as well as curative.
If your baby has colic, I recommend that you click on this link and try this effective mixture.
If you have any other means of treating colic please let me know about this. Remember, iron sharpens iron. We can learn from each other.
Diaper Rash/ Chafing
Diaper rash or chafing may appear as redness, soreness or inflammation of the baby’s skin in the diaper areas.
This may be prevented or relieve the irritation of the baby’s sensitive skin by:
- Changing the baby diapers frequently.
- Washing the diapers with a mild or milder brand of soap suitable for baby’s sensitive skin.
- Choosing suitable diapers which will help to keep baby’s diaper area dry even when the diaper is wet.
- Keeping the baby’s skin clean. Wipe baby’s skin at every diaper change.
- Keeping the baby’s skin oiled as a barrier to wetness
- Keeping baby’s skin powered, this also served as a barrier. The choice of a powder is also of importance. Choose a suitable powder
Heat rash may appear as very small or fine bumps on the baby’s skin. These may appear red in babies of clear complexion. The rash itches and causes much discomfort for the baby.
One may prevent heat rash by:
- Keeping the baby in a cool room.
- Dressing the baby in lighter cooler clothing. Dress the baby in lighter cooler colors. Some colors attract heat. This at times do make a difference.
- Covering babies with thinner blankets when the time is warm. You may choose to use cotton covering in places where the temperature is at a high.
- Powder baby to keep skin cool.
After feeding, the baby may spit up some of the feed. This happens in most, if not all babies, especially the newborns. As the baby gets older, regurgitation tempers down. However, some babies spit up more excessively than others.. This usually happens up to six months old. However, some may continue up to an older age.
Regurgitation may be prevented by:
- Burping the baby immediately after feeding
- Handling the baby gently while nursing
- Desist from shaking the baby after a meal.
Please note that if your baby is spitting up (regurgitating), do put the baby on its abdomen, even when sleeping. This will prevent choking and it will also prevent that which the baby is regurgitated to get into the nose and cause an adverse effect to your baby.
Baby Crying Excessively
Most babies will cry at times. The baby has no other thing to do but, sleep, eat and cry. Babies are very sensitive persons. They are so sensitive, that in a short time after birth they are able to develop the knowledge that their mother is not around as usual. Their talks are to cry.
Most time crying indicates, one or more of the following:
- Needs attention
- Feeling of pain
- Feeling ill, yet not necessarily feeling pain, but some measure of discomfort.
- Feel ill
- Feeling cold or hot
- Maybe be teething
- Has an overfull stomach (over-fed)
- Has an empty stomach (hungry)
If the baby is crying excessively and in your wisdom you are unable to diagnose what is happening or you do not have a solution. Then do seek the advice of the paediatrician. Seek his wisdom immediately.
The Sucking of the Thumb or Finger(s)
A large number of babies do suck their thumbs Some will suck their thumbs even beyond three years while others will do it for a short time without any intervention.
It must be remembered that the baby was born with an urge to suck. I strongly believe that that, is one of the things that nature puts in place to prepare the newborn of getting its early food.
The sucking of the thumbs or fingers can cause malformation of the teeth. This also may cause speech defects or impediments
A baby has the tendency to suck its finger for the following reasons:
- For comfort
- Needing of attention. Sounds funny, but in its own feeling finds a companion in its finger
- Feeling of hunger
- Needing to do something.
Can you comment on any other reasons why the baby may suck its fingers?
There are some simple means of intervention, in order to prevent thumb or finger sucking.
- This is my best one. Each time the baby puts the thumb or finger in. Take it out and replace it with the breast. that is if it is a breast feeding baby.
- Some persons replace the finger with a soother
- There is also the putting on of mittens.
The sucking of thumb or fingers may be very habit forming
If the child is having loose stools, this may be caused by feeding or overfeeding the baby with a formula that is too concentrated with formula. On the other hand feeding the baby with a formula that is too watery. It is not properly made.
Diarrhoea may also be caused by an infection (See Diarrhoeal Illnesses in Babies) or allergy. It is always best to consult the Paediatrician as early as possible.
This is difficulty passing stool or faeces. This too can be caused by over-concentrated formula. If the baby is bottle-fed, (See The Bottle versus the Breast). It may also be caused by limited intake of water.
Advice Regarding Constipation
If the baby is about five months old it can be given a small thin amount of blended prune to bring relief to the situation.
- Ensure that the baby is given an adequate amount of safe drinking water.
- Paediatric suppositories may also be used. This is inserted in the baby’s anus.
- It is advisable to make constipation a thing of the past before the child is to be toilet trained. Constipation will cause the child to be afraid to empty its bowels.
- Again, it is always good to consult the Paediatrician.
These common early baby problems have at times cause much hardship for baby and caregivers. They have also caused economic distress since the babies have to have visits to the paediatricians. However, some of these common baby problems are transient while others such as thumb sucking and constipation may go on to become habit forming. These habit-forming concerns do have their consequences if they are not attended to. These effects may be simple while, with some babies, the experience may have far-reaching effects as in the case of constipation and thumb sucking.
If you do have alternatives for treating any of the above problems, please let me hear from you by way of commenting on site.