Babies can have a ton of little issues, and we worry ourselves silly over them, though most are no real threat to the baby’s health. Here is a list of the most common little ailments, how to treat them at home, and when to call the doctor.
- Diaper Rash – Diaper rash is caused by the baby’s bottom being constantly exposed to wetness. For most babies, changing their diaper a little more often and applying an over the counter cream is enough to solve the problem. If all your measures don’t work, or if the rash looks different than a typical diaper rash, call the doctor.
- Cradle Cap – Cradle cap is the presence of scales on the baby’s scalp and usually occurs in very young infants. It is actually a form of dermatitis and usually is not bothersome to the child. For most babies, a massage using petroleum jelly followed by a shampoo will take care of the problem. Try this at every bath until the problem stops recurring. Cradle cap is worsened by sweating, so keep your baby’s head cool, avoiding the use of hats. If these measures don’t work, your doctor can prescribe an ointment or shampoo. Babies typically outgrow cradle cap within the first six months of life.
- Mystery Fever – Nearly all babies have this at one time or another. A low-grade fever, with no other accompanying symptoms. If your baby is under two months of age, you should seek medical attention with any fever. Otherwise, as long as the fever doesn’t go above 102°F, you need not treat it unless it is making your baby uncomfortable or unable to sleep. Fever is the body’s way of fighting infection, so don’t rush to treat a fever, if your baby is otherwise healthy. Keep her cool, give her plenty of fluids, watch and wait. Talk to your doctor about his guidelines regarding when to call him concerning a fever. Regardless, any fever which reaches 105° rectally, or fever accompanied by signs of dehydration (infrequent urination, sunken fontanel, dry lips), or a feverish baby who has a stiff neck, is limp or has purple spots on the skin, should be treated immediately.
These are three of the most common minor baby ailments. Though it’s comforting to know how to treat these at home, never hesitate to call your doctor if you think it’s necessary. A Mother’s intuition is a powerful thing. If you think something’s amiss, it probably is, so check it out, even if it’s only to satisfy your own mind.