Your baby is your pride and joy, and every moment you spend with him is exciting and wonderful; except when he is sick. Whether you are a new parent, or an expert in parenting, things could get really scary very quickly when your baby is sick.
It is at this point where your experience becomes useful. You know your baby’s normal behaviors. Children who are sick don’t act like their normal selves.
Your baby may get a fever after his immunization. But, fever is also a symptom commonly caused by an infection. Call the doctor if your infant is less than three months old and has a rectal temperature above 100.4 F.
Dehydration in babies can cause severe kidney, heart and brain damage. And, an infant can easily become dehydrated if he is not eating enough, or is vomiting, or has diarrhea.
According to world health organisation guidelines, Diarrhea is defined as passage of 3 or more liquid stools per day. If your baby has solid/well formed stools more than 3 times a day it is not considered as diarrhea.
Sometimes babies’ bodies just need a little time to work out the whole pooping process. Consequently, bowel movements may vary from one baby to another depending on their age and metabolism. For example, a 3 month old baby may pass a stool once in 2–3 days while another may have 3 or 4 movements a day.
First of all, real vomiting is different from spitting up. It is not unusual for a baby to spit up food after eating. Spitting up (most commonly seen in infants under one year of age) is the easy flow of stomach contents out of the mouth, frequently with a burp. On the other hand, Vomiting is the forceful throwing up of stomach contents through the mouth. Also, vomiting may not be serious if it happens only once or twice.
The common cold is just that; common. There is a good chance that your baby will catch more than one cold within the first year. And, while it can make your baby feel miserable, handling a baby’s cold is usually totally manageable.
If your baby is having trouble breathing, you need to call the doctor and 911 immediately.
Signs of difficulty breathing include:
Your baby is breathing much more rapidly than usual.
At birth, before you leave the hospital, they should have instructed you to rub the umbilical cord with a cottonball soaked in rubbing alcohol to dry the cord out. If you are doing this daily, the cord dries out and falls off on its own in a few weeks.
When the skin on a baby’s bottom, thighs, and diaper area turns red and is sensitive to touch, we say the baby has a diaper rash. The most common cause of diaper rash is contact dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction in the skin.
Of course, all babies cry. But, some babies, up to about three months of age, seem to go through prolonged bouts of inconsolable crying. Colic is not really a disease; it’s the name for a condition that causes babies to draw up their legs, tighten their abdomens, and cry.
It’s a fact of parenting life; all babies cry. But sometimes those wails can seem excessive. One possible reason why your baby cries incessantly could be colic. Another reason is that your baby feels insecure, uncomfortable, in pain or simply needs to be changed.
FINALLY, UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, IF YOU’RE VERY WORRIED THAT YOUR BABY LOOKS REALLY ILL, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS AND CALL THE DOCTOR. WITH OR WITHOUT ANY OF THE SYMPTOMS ABOVE, YOUR GUT WILL TELL YOU IF SOMETHING ISN’T QUITE RIGHT — ESPECIALLY IF YOUR BABY’S ENERGY LEVELS ARE LOWER THAN NORMAL. WHEN IN DOUBT ALWAYS CALL YOUR PEDIATRICIAN.
Once you’re sure it’s not an emergency, it is okay to keep baby at home and do your best to ease his symptoms.