As a mother, your baby's health is at the top of your list of concerns. Here is a list of common infant illnesses and health concerns to keep in mind when caring for your child.
Blocked Tear Ducts
Babies are often born with one or both tear ducts blocked. You may see some mucus around her eyelid. This blockage may lead to infection, so talk to her doctor about how to massage her tear ducts to help the problem clear up.
Many babies get colds before they're three months old. You can help her feel better by using a cool mist humidifier in her room, and a bulb syringe to suck mucus out of her nose. Don't give her any cold medications before consulting with her doctor.
Diarrhea is defined as very loose, watery stools produced more than six or eight times a day. It may be a sign of an infection, so tell her doctor. Soft, mustard-like stools are the normal by-product of breast and formula-feeding and are nothing to worry about.
Once you know your baby's sleep tendencies, you'll also know when she's sleeping more than usual. So let her doctor know.
A rectal temperature of over 100° F is reason for a doctor call. If she's cranky or feels hot, take her temperature.
If she has white patches in her mouth, it may be an easily treated yeast infection called thrush. Redness around her fingernails, toenails or umbilical area could also be an infection. Call her doctor to be sure.
Scaly patches on your baby's scalp are a sign of a temporary condition called cradle cap. Washing her hair and gently brushing away the flakes can help.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the term for babies who die in their sleep. SIDS affects one or two babies out of a thousand in their first few months of life. Some of the important recommendations to help prevent SIDS include:
- Put your baby on her back to sleep instead of her stomach.
- Use a firm mattress, but no thick fluffy padding for the crib.
- Go to www.healthychildcare.org for more important safety rules.
If you notice that your baby stops breathing, even for a few seconds, call your baby's doctor or 911 immediately.