6 Common Baby Illnesses Every Parent Should Know

6 Common Baby Illnesses Every Parent Should Know

Illness in babies is a nightmare for all parents. Whether it is a newborn or an infant, since babies cannot communicate properly, you will have difficulty figuring out the baby’s problem. While newborns express their discomfort by crying, a baby around 12 months points to a body part and cry. Whichever the case may be, as a parent, you should use your instinct to figure out the baby’s difficulties. 


Having a good understanding of the various illnesses that affect babies will help you make the correct diagnosis. 


Which Are The Most Common Baby Illnesses? 



  • Common cold



The common cold is a widely seen viral infection that affects babies of all age. It mainly spreads through close contact with an infected person. The main symptoms of the common cold are nasal discharge and congestion in the nose. Some babies may also have sneezing and coughing as symptoms that make them difficult to sleep. 


If your baby has a nasal discharge, you can suck it out using a rubber bulb syringe. In the case of thick nasal mucus, you can use saline nasal drops to loosen the thickness. If the baby develops fever and has difficulty sleeping, the doctor will prescribe ibuprofen or paracetamol to ease the symptoms. 



  • Flu


Just like the common cold, flu is also caused by a viral infection that spreads through contact. The main symptoms of flu include high temperature, body pain, sore throat and fatigue. Flu will make the baby more sick than a common cold. 


You can treat the flu at home by giving antiviral medicine like Tamiflu. The baby should also be given a lot of fluid to flush out the infection. But if the temperature crosses 38 degrees for a newborn or 39 degrees for an infant, you should take them to a doctor without fail. 



  • Ear infection


Ear infection in infants can either be a bacterial or viral infection. This is caused by an infection in the throat or upper respiratory system that slowly spreads to the ear. A baby with an ear infection experience severe pain in the ear followed by fever. You may even notice fluid oozing out from the ear. 


Older babies around 12 months express their discomfort by tugging and pulling at the ear and crying. The baby will also have trouble sleeping and will have less appetite. 


If you suspect an ear infection in your baby, you should take him to the doctor without delay. The doctor will examine the baby and prescribe an antibiotic and pain reliever like paracetamol. 



  • Stomach pain


Stomach pain is caused as a result of an infection in the stomach. When the baby touches unclean surfaces and put the hand in the mouth without washing, he may catch an infection resulting in stomach pain. 


 Apart from pain in the stomach, other symptoms of stomach pain include diarrhoea and vomiting. Some babies may even develop fever and chill. The baby will find it difficult to eat or sleep and will be fussy, and cries a lot. 


If your baby has stomach pain, you should first let the stomach settle. In the case of babies who have just started on solids, you can stay away from it for a few days and continue with breastfeeding. For babies around 12 months, you should keep them hydrated by giving plenty of water and fruit juice. But if the baby cannot tolerate even an ounce of food and throws up everything, you should take him to the doctor without delay. 



  • Wheezing


Wheezing is a high-pitched sound that you hear when the baby exhales. This is caused by an infection in the respiratory system. Air pollution or allergy can cause wheezing in babies. 


If the baby develops wheezing, you should try to relieve the congestion in the nose using a bulb syringe and humidifier. But if the symptom persists, you should take the baby to the doctor. The doctor will examine the baby and prescribe a nebuliser or other medication, depending on the condition. 



  • Constipation


Constipation is a condition when the baby cannot pass bowel. Breatmilk is a natural laxative. Thus, when the baby is exclusively breastfed the chances of constipation is very rare. The problem of consitpation arises when you start feeding solid to the baby. Similalry, when there is change in diet, it can also result in constipation. 


The best home remedy for constipation is a diet change. You should provide a lot of fluid in the form of water and fruit juice. Fruit juices like apple, pear and prune are considered to be very effective for constipation as they are natural laxatives. 


If home remedies do not help, you should take the baby to a doctor. The doctor will examine the baby and prescribe a laxative for easy bowel movement. 

When Should You Consult A Doctor?

If your baby is sick, the first course of treatment should be at home. You should provide plenty of liquid and let the baby take proper rest. But you should take the baby to a doctor under the following circumstance. 


  • The baby has a high temperature that does not subside even after providing paracetamol for three days. High temperature is 38 degrees and more for newborn and 39 degrees and more for infants. 


  • The baby does not eat food for several hours or eat very poorly. Similarly if the baby has less number of wet diapers or less tears while crying, it is a sign of dehydration. 


  • If the baby cannot hold food or water even for a little while and throws up immediately, you should rush the baby to the doctor. 


  • If the baby looks tired and sleep for long and you cannot make out the reason, you should take the baby to the doctor without delay. 


Bottom Line


Faling sick is a part of growing up and there is no need to panic. As parents, you should be able to figure out whether there are any health issues with the baby. If you have a gut feeling that a doctor consultation is required, you should take the baby to the doctor without delay. After all, parents are the best judge when it comes to the baby’s health. 

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