Nighttime feedings, endless diaper changes, and constant worrying. All of these things describe the life of a new mom. You’ll be faced with countless decisions including choosing a pediatrician for your child, whether to breast or bottle feed, and if you’ll buy or make your own baby food. As your baby grows and their immune system changes, they’re bound to get sick. This is especially true if your little one attends childcare and is exposed to outside germs. There are some common illnesses that babies under the age of 12 months suffer from. This article will cover some of those illnesses and how to treat them.
1. RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
RSV is one of the more serious illnesses that is common during early infancy. What makes RSV so dangerous is that the symptoms are similar to that of a common cold, making it difficult for parents to decipher between the two. These symptoms include a runny nose, cough, and fever. As the condition worsens, you may hear your child wheezing or struggling to breathe. This is common when there’s an infection in the bronchial passages. If this infection spreads to a child’s lungs, it can cause viral pneumonia. If left untreated, RSV can lead to hospitalization.
If you suspect that your child is suffering from RSV, be sure to give them clear liquids throughout the day. If your little one is suffering from a fever, administer the proper dose of acetaminophen or another fever reducing medication found at your local or online pharmacy. A cool-mist humidifier will help keep the air in your home moist and improve your child’s breathing. If it appears that your infant is struggling to breathe or the cold symptoms and fever last longer than one week, you should seek medical attention. Preventing RSV is difficult, especially if your child is in a daycare setting. Help cut down on the spread of germs by washing yours and your baby’s hands, sanitizing all materials, and preventing your baby’s exposure to cigarette smoke.
2. GER (Gastroesophageal reflux)
GER for infants is similar to heartburn in adults. Infants suffering from GER often cry in pain and discomfort when acid from the stomach regurgitates back into the esophagus. Because baby’s organs and internal systems are still developing, the muscle that separates the stomach and the esophagus is not fully developed in infancy. This allows for stomach contents to more easily regurgitate back into the baby’s esophagus. Aside from crying in discomfort, signs of GER also include vomiting, frequently spitting up, arched back, and wet burps.
There are several things you can easily do at home to cut down on your baby’s GER symptoms. These include offering them smaller feedings more frequently. This prevents them from filling with too much milk or formula at once, reducing the chances of GER. More frequent feedings also helps in the production of saliva, coating the baby’s esophagus and neutralizing stomach acid. If these at-home techniques don’t work or your baby is still uncomfortable, call your pediatrician. They can prescribe a medication to help block the production of excess stomach acid.
These stomach issues are at two ends of the spectrum. Sometimes, your little one may have trouble producing a bowel movement, while other times, they can’t seem to stop. If your baby is constipated, or unable to create a normal bowel movement without pain and discomfort, there are certain things you can do to help move things along. Constipation usually sets in after your infant begins eating solid foods. Signs that your infant is constipated include less than one bowel movement a day and hard stools. If you see a little blood in your baby’s diaper don’t be alarmed. This could be caused by a small tear in the rectal wall due to a hard passing stool and will heal itself once the constipation is relieved. Avoid feeding your child foods that bind their stool. These include bananas and rice cereal. Instead, offer foods high in fiber and fruit purees such as prunes and pears.
If your child is suffering from the opposite condition and appears to have diarrhea, your treatment plan will look much different. Diarrhea is defined as bowel movements that are loose or watery and happen too frequently throughout the day. Left untreated, diarrhea can cause dehydration. The causes of diarrhea vary from an infection to a reaction to a certain food or milk or even a certain medication your infant is taking. Access their diet and medication list to determine if this is the cause. Try introducing bananas or rice cereal to your infant’s diet and avoid high-fiber foods and fruits. If your baby is losing weight, vomiting, seems dehydrated or lethargic, it’s important to contact your pediatrician.
It’s difficult to determine exactly what’s bothering your little one, especially when they are non-verbal. But when you’re armed with knowledge and motherly instincts, you can easily give your infant exactly what they need to recover and return to a normal, healthy state.
Article Submitted By Community Writer