Some ‘innocent’ problems in infancy
Mothers of toddlers tend to get anxious and panic, when they find their children in problems. Interestingly many of these problems are benign and innocent. Proper counseling is the key to overcome such anxiety. Unfortunately sometimes, children are treated with faulty measures, even 'over-treatment' can be seen. Mothers should be aware of some of these 'innocent' problems:
Skin rash in newborn babies: Many of the newborn babies experience tiny red skin rash. Usually it appears on second or third day of life, and rarely persists beyond first week. We call it 'erythema toxicum'. Some others may have associated whitish rash around lips, fingers or hands. If there is no documented fever and no pus containing rash (excess in amount), no medication is required.
Milk-vomiting: Vomiting is very common in neonates. Excess air intake during feed, cough, excessive crying can trigger this condition. The junction between esophagus (muscular tube connecting the throat with the stomach) and stomach is somewhat lax in neonate, which favors expelling ingested milk. If weight gain and developmental parameters are normal, then it's needless to be worried. Your baby will turn well in six to twenty four months of time. But if you think that your baby 'vomits everything' he drinks, or vomits three or more times in an hour, you must seek medical attention.
Stool concern: If your baby is 'exclusively breast fed', weight gain is normal and developmentally appropriate then you are essentially not to be apprehensive with stool habit. Even a normal newborn baby can evacuate tummy twenty to twenty five times a day with little feces, or can pass stool every fourth or fifth days. Both are normal depending upon above mentioned conditions.
Umbilical hernia: You may have seen a protrusion containing internal contents through an umbilicus. It may be increasing in size by days. It is likely to be resolved around first birthday without medication.
His/her chest (or throat) is rumbling: Many mothers complains this problem, the upper part of airway (larynx) is somewhat soft in some babies. It is called 'laryngomalacia'. This soft 'voice-box' gets narrowed during inspiration and creates rumbling sound. Mother suspects that baby snores or has 'cough and cold'. Usually these problems are likely to be healed in one to one and half year. These babies are very prone to be 'maltreated' with unnecessary antibiotics, one after another, while no medication was indicated at all.
Crying and sleeping disquiet: Crying is the only language for a newborn baby. A baby may cry owing to a number of causes. Hunger, annoyance to surroundings, sleep, voiding, changes in environments, urge to mother's company can make your baby cry. 'Baby colic' or 'infantile colic' is a much common experience, where mother complains that the baby has swirling abdominal pain. Some babies are unnecessarily prescribed with simethicone, gripe-water or barbitones like drugs. Some anxious mothers start formula feeding presuming hunger and invite disease. These mothers should be counseled regarding inoffensiveness nature of problems. Passing of urine at least five to six times a day indicates adequate milk intake. Teaching mothers how to burp her babies is often beneficial. Some healthy newborn babies may sleep up to eighteen to twenty hours, while others may have very thin sleep.
Some normal healthy female neonates may experience 'withdrawal bleeding' through her vagina, usually at her first two to three days of life. She doesn't need any medication.
Shivering or trembling limbs due to immaturity of brain are not uncommon in some babies. This should be distinguished from 'convulsion', in which trembling persists despite of holding limbs. The former needs no medication unlike the later.
Physiological jaundice: Mild jaundice in first two to three days of life in a term neonate with normal birth weight, which decrease over next few days, needs no treatment. But associated any sign of infection demands urgent medical attention. Of note, scientists have found no significant beneficial effect of sunlight in declining jaundice level.
Baby measles: Babies from six months to two years sometimes present with transient bright red skin rash at third day of mild viral fever, which tends to fade quickly. If the specialist confirms it baby measles or 'roseolainfantum' s/he may assure mother that it is benign in nature.
In conclusion, assurance to mother is the key in handling a lot of child health problems. The specialist also finds out whether there is any associated conditions are present or not. This article is not aimed to being careless, rather building confidence in mothers. We hope that these 'innocent' problems in babies to be managed rationally.