As a new mum or dad, some of the fussing (AKA being watchful and protective over your baby, newborn or infant) will be coming from you! Especially these days when you have other potential health hazards to think about, it’s completely natural to want to do all you can to keep your baby safe. Try as you might to keep their environment clean, safe, and secure, little ones may still face several health issues throughout their development.
While the list of issues below aren’t usually anything to be terribly concerned about, it is always an excellent idea to be kept informed so that you know the symptoms of what you are encountering from the get-go. (Consider this the infant version of things you might not know about, but wish you had during pregnancy!)
One of the most common issues faced by infants is constipation. If you notice that they are straining when trying to pass stool, a reduced appetite, anal fissures or they are constantly irritable and crying, then it could be because of constipation. To help relieve this, your doctor may recommend you to try stool softener for kids. Available in the form of oral drops, it can help to make it easier for them to go to the toilet. I also like to use essential oils and there is an excellent one by Plant Therapy called PoopEase that may also help with this.
- Cradle Cap
This is often very distressing to parents, especially because it affects baby’s appearance so drastically. Producing yellow scales or flaky skin, cradle cap is an issue that is faced by a large number of babies. Although it doesn’t particularly bother babies, there are methods that you can try in order to help heal it.
Though it will go away on its own naturally, for faster results and temporary improvement, you can try and massage baby oil into the skin and then use a soft brush to remove the dry skin. If it’s more persistent, then ask your paediatrician about available medicated shampoos safe for infants. Also talk to your paediatrician if the skin is particularly irritable or if you have any further concerns about it.
Jaundice is another common health issue among newborn babies that parents might unexpectedly encounter. I’ve had personal experience with this –I remember being shocked and anxious. Caused by high bilirubin levels, it’s an issue that will most likely resolve itself over time, as it did for me. However, for peace of mind, you might want to ask your paediatrician about it and how you might be able to aid in the recovery process.
If your baby is constantly crying, colic might be the culprit. Babies with colic are otherwise specimens of health and don’t show other signs of discomfort. Most prevalent in newborns up to 3 months, there are methods that you can use to help with it – such as gently rocking your baby when they are placed on your shoulder and giving them warm baths to relax them before you put them down. I also like to try diffusing lavender essential oil to help with calming and relaxation.
It’s important to keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal for a baby to cough when you are feeding them – this is just a result of the milk coming in too quickly. But if they are experiencing a persistent cough, perhaps looking into whooping cough or an issue with their digestive system might be the answer. Absolutely seek medical advice to make sure that there is nothing more serious underlying, and to help you and baby get the comfort and rest you both keenly deserve.
**With essential oils, seek advice from your paediatrician and a certified aromatherapist on what oils are safe to use around or on infants.