Baby Health: Coping with Common Baby Illnesses

April 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby

Nothing can probably stress a mom (or dad) more than the sound of her baby crying because of a tummy ache or a stuffy nose. While most baby illnesses should not be a cause for worry, there is nothing more painful than looking at your little one all red and puffy from a fever or a rash. Since a baby can do nothing more than cry, many parents are left confused and panicky. Here are some common illnesses in babies and the ways on how to prepare for them.

Common Cold. Statistics show that babies and small children can get an average of six bouts with the common cold every year. This means that it is pretty normal for your little one to get the sniffles once every few months.

The best thing to do in these situations is to make baby as comfortable as possible. There is nothing much that medication can do for common colds in babies. In fact, recent studies show that many cold medicine preparations for infants may have dangerous side effects. Often, common colds go away in a two to three days with nothing but mom’s warm hugs and plenty of fluids as cure. However, when a cold is accompanied by fever or coughing, it is best to consult a doctor as this can be an indication of infection that will require more aggressive medical intervention.

Tummy Aches and Constipation. Many babies suffer from bouts of tummy aches especially when they are weaning and trying new food. This is usually no cause for alarm except when there is diarrhea that lasts for several hours and the baby is not feeding well, in which case he will have to be checked by a doctor to avoid dehydration.

Babies can also suffer from constipation. Babies on formula are more prone to constipation so doctors generally advise breast-feeding for young infants. Babies can pass stool as frequently as three times a day or as infrequent as every other day. The range for normal is quiet wide in infants but when a baby is frequently constipated it is best to consult a doctor as he may recommend changing the baby’s milk or using medications to help your baby.

Ear Infections. Babies are very prone to ear infections because of their tiny eustachian tubes connecting from the middle ear to the back of the throat. Fluid can easily build up and put pressure on the eardrum causing terrible earaches. Often an ear infection is accompanied by fever. Look for telltale signs like baby rubbing his ears or fluid draining from the ears. Ear infections require medication with antibiotics so always consult a doctor when you see these telltale signs.

These are the common illnesses that babies face in the first years of their lives. Knowing these illnesses and the ways to combat them beforehand saves you from worrying too much.