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Common Health Issues in Babies

During your baby’s first few months right up to when the little one is about a year old, there will be plenty of dramatic moments when you find yourself worried or even panicky over baby’s well-being.

It’s not uncommon for babies to experience ill health every now and then, for their little immune systems are still weak while overall growth and developing is still taking place. The important thing to remember is to keep calm as you take them all in stride as part and parcel of parenting.

Here are seven most common (and naturally alarming) baby health issues new parents might have to deal with.

Baby fever

No parent enjoys the thought of their vulnerable little bundle burning up with fever but like it or not, fevers are part of growing up. Fevers of 102, 103, even 104 degrees F. are common in little children. While a call to the doctor might be in order, there is no cause to panic.

Fever and the symptoms that accompany it, such as congestion or vomiting, are your baby’s way of fighting infection, a fact every new parent should keep in mind. Babies tolerate high fever — 104 degrees plus — a lot better than we do, and the duration of the fever is usually a much better indicator of illness than how high it is.

If the little one’s fever lasts more than a day, and/or if other symptoms interfere with baby’s ability to get rest and eat well, or if your parental instinct tells you something is wrong, then by all means, do take the child to see your doctor. If the child is younger than two months and comes down with a fever, you’ll need to take it more seriously and get him or her to the doctor’s office.

Upper Respiratory Infection

During or after a fever, observe if your baby has a cough, increasing congestion, fussiness, or poor appetite. In the meantime, you can help ease baby’s uncomfortable congestion with a humidifier or a nasal aspirator.

If baby’s fever persists past the third day, or if baby refuses to nurse, it may be indications of a secondary infection such as a sinus infection or bacterial pneumonia which need a doctor’s attention.

Ear Infection

If your baby is already unwell, watch for signs of fussiness, fever, trouble sleeping, or pulling at the ear that lasts for one to three days following congestion. Visit your doctor if your baby is below six months of age, seem to be in pain, or if symptoms last for more than three days. Some doctors prefer to let a baby’s immune system fight an ear infection at first before offering antibiotics.

Constipation

As a baby grows and changes take place inside that little body, even poop patterns might get altered. This is especially so when baby starts to eat solid foods. Issues such as constipation though as worrisome as it may be for parents, are usually no cause for real concern.

Babies will typically go from pooping a few times a day to twice a day or once a day. Some babies might even experience a slowdown in bowel movements to once every few days!

It’s still perfectly fine, as long as it comes out soft and mushy and not difficult to pass.

However, if the little one has difficulty in passing motion and his or her stools seem to resemble hard, round balls, then it may be constipation, in which case a visit to your pediatrician is in order. You might be asked to apply suppositories to help ease baby’s passing of stools.

Spit-ups – to worry or not?

Don’t be fooled by the term spit-up. While it may sound like a few drips of drool, spit-ups may even resemble a little puddle which can get some parents worrying about the well-being of their precious little ones. Spit-ups usually start immediately after birth and ease off after three months or so. With spit-ups, the volume need not be a cause for worry, especially if your baby is steadily gaining weight and seems generally well and happy.

Unless your baby has issues such as acid reflux, or seems to be in pain during or directly before or after spitting up occurs, or if baby is gaining weight too slowly or has recurrent respiratory problems, such as wheezing or pneumonia, there is no real cause for worry. It will stop completely as baby grown and develops.

Constant crying

Babies cry. A lot! So, before anything else, know that at times, inconsolable fussiness at the most ungodliest hours is natural. Many parents have reported that their babies’ crying spells seemed to have started within the first two months, where they heightened between weeks five and eight, and came to pass by the third month.

While episodes of relentless crying are upsetting and inconvenient, they’re entirely normal. Put your baby down for naps throughout the day to avoid overtiredness for it might help. As a last resort, try a walk outside in the fresh air for this has been a trusted method to sooth fussy babies.

Baby keeps waking up at night!

As far as new parents go, sleep deprivation is unavoidable, especially during the first few months of life with a baby. Even the soundest of sleepers will have dozens of sleep setbacks during his or her first year. In between, there may be days or even weeks that go by which fool you into thinking that baby has finally gone into a blissful sleeping pattern and you will no longer be wanting of sleep. Unfortunately, even little disruptions can have a big impact on a little one’s sleep pattern, so expect things such as traveling, being sick, teething, growth spurts, or nearing a developmental milestone to make your baby start waking again during the night. There really isn’t anything much to do other than to keep faithful to bedtime routine and soothe your child with comfort but not over-involvement.

Point to ponder: At about nine months of age, babies start to understand the concept of object permanence, that things still exist even though they can’t see them. This spells a bit of bad news for tired parents, because it means that little ones know that when you’re not in the room, you’re out there somewhere and that they can use their voice to make you come back! So, while you can and should respond, keep the interaction as brief as possible, like a peek into the crib just for a few seconds to let your baby know you’re there but also that it’s time for beddie-bye now.

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