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Common Infant Ailments

Common Infant Ailments

Most of the ailments your infant may experience are relatively minor, and just a normal part of growing up. In rare cases, it can be the sign of something more serious, but usually, it can be treated easily at home or by your pediatrician. Here are some common infant ailments that many new babies are susceptible to.

Constipation is a common concern for parents, but it's usually nothing to worry about. Babies often cry when they're constipated, so press on your baby's tummy to see if it's causing discomfort. A stool softener can provide relief to a constipated baby. As long as your baby is still having bowel movements the longer a baby goes without one, the larger the stool should be fairly regularly it's probably just gas or abdominal upset.

Colic is one of the most common infant ailments, and causes both parents and child distress. Colicky babies cry frequently, and are fussy for long periods of time. Colic usually starts at about six weeks, and can continue until the baby is around four months old. A colicky baby experiences discomfort that causes the body to become tense, a distended abdomen, and a look of extreme pain. Physicians still aren't sure what exactly causes colic, although it's been linked to allergies, too much milk, or even too small a hole in a bottle nipple. Unfortunately, there's no cure for colic. Parents just have to get through the few months of colic with their baby and cuddling or walking the baby might help.

Another infant ailment that affects a number of babies is jaundice. Jaundice is easily recognizable as the baby's skin and even eyes turn yellow. Although this can be alarming for new parents, jaundice is a very minor condition that will disappear after a few days of breastfeeding. Jaundice is caused by a yellow pigment called bilirubin, which the baby's liver can't filter out. Breastfeeding is the best treatment for jaundice, although in rare cases it may need to be treated with a special light therapy.

If your new baby suddenly refuses to breastfeed, it could be due to physical or emotional factors. When the baby refuses your breast, he or she is trying to tell you something. This is called a 'nursing strike' and could be caused by a change to the feeding schedule, teething, or even a new lotion or deodorant you're wearing. If someone yelled or made a loud noise while your baby was breastfeeding, he or she could associate breastfeeding with fear. Offer your baby lots of support and love during the nursing strike, and it should resolve in a day or two.

Your baby will experience a range of ailments during infancy, and the majority of them are perfectly normal, minor adjustments to a growing body. While it can be frustrating and scary for new parents with a colicky, constipated or fussy baby, it's a natural part of a baby's first months.


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