Caring For Baby When Sick
When parents have the responsibility for a baby or very young child, it is only natural for them to want to protect them as much as possible from sickness and to deal with any signs of sickness quickly. This is perhaps one of the most difficult parts of baby care, as it can be difficult to find the balance between allowing the sickness to take the natural course or rushing to the doctor at every hint of a cold or other minor ailment.
This is a problem especially for first time parents. Having a young baby that is ill can be very distressing, and can become a nightmare if the wrong choice is made when a baby does indeed have a serious illness. By and large, of course, ailments are not a threat, and you should expect a baby to get colds and occasionally fever.
Of course, if you are going to err, it should be on the side of caution. But it is reassuring to know that a baby with a healthy immune system will see off the occasional virus with no difficulty. For that reason, it is important from the baby's birth, and then right through childhood, to care for their immune system. By doing so, you will not only improve their health, and increase their resistance to illness, you will feel more confident that when she starts coughing and sneezing, or has a fever, she will soon get it under control herself. Monitoring progress, though, is essential, and keeping an eye on any fever especially so.
With the blanket advertising on pharmaceutical remedies for baby's and young children, it is easy for parents to be brainwashed into rushing out to buy something, anything even, just to help them feel as they are doing something to help the baby recover quicker.
Baby's have colds, have ear aches, and have fevers, but do not always need a treatment from the pharmacy immediately. Some of the drug company remedies may even do more harm than good and cause a reaction, as I have witnessed in my son when he reacted very badly to an ear treatment that contained a bright colouring.
My son is grown now, but my young daughter Saffron has benefited from a strong immune system each time she has had a cold since birth right up to 23 months (as I write this). She shakes off colds in two days, which is about as good as you can expect, and has no remedies from the pharmacy. She has had vitamin and mineral supplements since birth, a good diet (including the first year on breast milk). If she gets a fever, we give her plain paracetamol and keep a very close eye on her. We live in the tropics, so we do have to be alert for malaria and dengue fever.
It is also worth bearing in mind that, for minor ailments, there may be some home remedies that will help, or at least give you the feeling that you are doing something. The article below by Wendy Jolly offers some useful tips on home remedies, and not just for colds.
New Baby Home Remedy Tips for Caring for the Newborn Baby Arrival
Sometimes we get caught up in all the advertising hype of what we need to purchase to keep baby happy and healthy. We can be blown away by all the different things around to tempt us. What I found confusing was that every different pharmacy or store I went into, told me different things were needed to help my baby get well. I also got carried away with all the mumbo jumbo out there and yet I found that my grandmothers old fashioned home remedies worked just as well, if not better than most of the products in the market place. The best parts about her remedies were that they were so much cheaper and smelt so much nicer.
The first time my baby got a cold with snuffles and runny nose and eyes, I was a long way from a doctor and chemist shop but I did have some camphor and lavender oil on hand. I remembered my grandmother telling me to mix them together with a little warm olive oil and gently rub my baby’s chest with it. I did this and by the next morning his chest sounded a little clearer. I repeated this two times during the day and again last thing at night. Even though it took several days for his cold to clear up, it gave me great satisfaction that I did it naturally.
It is important to keep the fluids up when the baby has a cold and often a little freshly squeezed orange juice or some blackcurrant juice added to their boiled water can help them because of the vitamin C they will get from it.
Another thing my mother told me that I always found extremely useful was to add a drop or two of eucalyptus oil to some hot water and place in a safe place, away from baby’s little hands, but close enough so the aroma surrounds them while they sleep. Not only does this smell lovely but is great for clearing blocked nasal passages. Great to put a few drops on your own hankie if you have a blocked nose. Just breath in the oil whenever you feel you are becoming blocked up again.
If you are worried about the baby or something is telling you that it’s more than just a slight cold you do need to take him/her to a doctor to be checked over by a professional but if you are happy that it is nothing serious it is great to be able to help your baby naturally.
Another of my grandmother’s remedies that I found great was when the baby is teething or even as they grow older and get a toothache; you can help to alleviate the pain with a little help with Oil of Cloves. This can be found in all health food stores and is a great product to keep around the home as it has lots of great uses.
It the baby or child is teething or getting a toothache, rub a tiny amount of oil of cloves on the outside area of the face where the tooth or swollen gum is. Never rub it inside their mouths. This will definitely help to ease the pain caused and once again is a completely natural way of helping your baby.
If your toddler becomes constipated then another great way to help them is to get some prunes into them. You will probably find that they don’t like them so a great way to get them to take it is to buy prune juice which tastes yummy and is easy to add to their bottled water or even with their cereal. Even adding just 1 drop of Chamomile Oil to some gentle oil blend and massaging on the baby’s tummy can help ease constipation. Make sure you get them onto weetbix or a similar breakfast cereal as soon as they are of the age recommended to take solids. Another great fruit juice for them is grape juice as this also great taste and they usually love it. Always give them as much fruit in their diet as recommended at the various stages of growth. I found that mine loved pureed apple with a little home made egg custard or yoghurt. Often the commercial baby foods that you buy not only are very expensive but they don’t have the same taste or texture as what you make yourself. Babies also need good fibre in their diet to make sure they don’t get constipated so make sure you help your baby by ensuring that they get it naturally.
If your baby gets diarrhoea then 1 drop of Mandarin Essential Oil added to a massage blend can be gently massaged on baby’s tummy to help. This is only recommended if it is a mild form of diarrhoea. I would recommend that you consult your family doctor if diarrhoea continues as a baby can dehydrate very quickly and so you would need to have a professional check it out.
Not Sleeping or Unsettled:
If you find that your baby is not sleeping properly at night time there are several things that you may like to do before you resort to any form of medication. I found that the new baby needs to be settled into a routine as soon as you come home from the hospital. They have been cocooned for the last nine months in a very safe, warm and snug place and have suddenly been wrenched from this and placed in a completely different environment. You need to get them back to that snug, warm and safe place as quickly as you can. If you continually keep picking the baby up and moving it around all the time then it will soon become very unsettled and restless. If you do this you will find a very happy and contented baby will emerge. Always check to make sure that the baby has nothing wrong to make it cry or not sleep. If it has been fed, is dry and not suffering any obvious pain then try this .Make the baby a lovely warm bath, scented with a drop or two of pure essential Lavender or Mandarin Oil. These oils are not only calming but they also have a slight sedative effect. Alternatively you can add a drop of either to a good massage base and gently massage the baby all over. Not only will the baby love the massage each night but it will definitely help the baby sleep soundly.
A lot of people will tell you to use oil on the baby’s head if it gets cradle cap. I found that my grandmother’s remedy much easier and quicker to get rid of it. Mix some Bi carb soda with a small amount of warm water to make a soft paste. Rub this over the area but avoiding the eyes and leave it to dry. Just wash off with a soft cloth or cotton wool and you will find the cradle cap comes off very easily.
A great way to remove chewing gum from your toddler’s hair or from their clothes is to rub it with eucalyptus oil. My mum taught me about using this when I was a child and I can still remember her running to get out the good old eucalyptus oil whenever one of us either trod on or got chewing gum in our hair. It is just the easiest and best thing to use. This is not only a lot cheaper than all the expensive goo removers in the marketplace but it sure smells nicer. You will find that if you check the labels on the products available in the shops for this that most of them list the main ingredient as eucalyptus oil anyway.
Wendy Jolly provides the Baby Information Center website, which can help new first time mothers to be, with sound experience and advice along with a free online resource of baby information including, how to prepare for a new baby arrival, looking for a new baby name, selecting finding a top baby name from the Top 100 baby name list, baby name definition, hints on looking after a newborn baby, selecting toy and baby gifts, personalized baby gift, or baby shower gift and advise on getting any other other children involved in the newborn baby.
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