After birth comes the phase of acclimatization – not only for the parents, who have to get used to their little protégé and its peculiarities. There is also a big change for the newborn. So far, it has been supplied with nutrients via the umbilical cord. Now, in addition to breathing independently, it also has to produce body heat and absorb and digest food independently.
It comes into contact with pathogens, the first teeth break through the gums and other small ailments can now keep both parents and toddlers on their toes. In our article, you can find out what you can do to relieve the pain when your baby is experiencing the first typical small ailments.
A common problem is the so-called infant colic or three-month colic. When the abdominal pain begins and how long it lasts varies from person to person. Its cause is still largely unknown. One of the assumptions is an adaptation of the gastrointestinal tract, eg to milk intake. They usually end in the third month but can last up to six months.
It makes sense to avoid foods known to cause gas. Which includes:
- Greasy foods
If children are bottle-fed, it can also be helpful to dissolve the powder with a spoon so that not too much air gets dissolved in the milk.
If your little one suffers from colic despite careful feeding, the following things can also bring relief:
- A clockwise finger massage on the abdomen with ointment or caraway oil
- Sab Simplex or Lefax with meals
- Make sure your baby burps after meals
- caraway suppositories
- Probiotic drops and fennel tea.
By the way, a complete change of diet is only necessary in the case of allergies or intolerances. You should discuss this with your pediatrician beforehand, as well as the use of probiotics or caraway suppositories, as with all medications.
In addition to infant colic, teething is also very uncomfortable for many children. Signs of teething include red and swollen gums, flushed cheeks, and excessive salivation. If your child sucks, bites or rubs their gums, this can also be a sign that the first teeth are coming through.
As well as rubbing the ear on the side of the face where a tooth comes in, increased restlessness and insomnia at night or during the day, as well as decreased appetite, increased temperature and flushed skin. However, every toddler processes teething differently. While some teeth creep in unnoticed, others suffer weeks before the first tooth is visible.
Give your child something chilled or solid to bite (such as a solid silicone or liquid-filled teether). You can also rub the gums with your finger. If your child is older than six months, you can also let them chew on something hard and unsweetened, such as rusks, breadsticks, or bread that has been toasted in the oven.
Tooth gels can also help. They usually contain a local anesthetic and an antiseptic. A small amount of gel applied to the inflamed gums with a clean finger or a cotton swab has an analgesic effect for about 20 minutes. If none of the things mentioned so far help, you can administer paracetamol or ibuprofen (for three months) in the prescribed dose.
(Note the information leaflet, especially the warnings/precautions for use and dosing instructions/method and duration of use.) and be sure to consult your pediatrician beforehand. Also, seek advice on homeopathic remedies such as Chamomilla and Belladonna.
The child’s body temperature will often be slightly elevated during teething. An elevated temperature is an important defense mechanism of the body and does not always have to be lowered. For example, calf wraps help to lower the temperature, but they should only be used if the legs and arms are also warm.
Taking antipyretics is also only advisable at a temperature of 39°C. Children are usually given paracetamol, and ibuprofen is also permitted from the age of 3 months or 6 kg. Viburcol suppositories help with restlessness and fever.
However, if a real fever occurs, an infection is more likely to be to blame. If infants under the age of three months have a fever of more than 38 degrees, you should take your child to the doctor immediately – if necessary also to the emergency service or to the children’s hospital.
Some infants or young children are prone to febrile seizures when their fever rises rapidly. The child trembles may roll its eyes and momentarily lose consciousness. In this case, see a doctor or call an ambulance immediately.
Fever can also occur as part of vaccinations, because here, too, the body has to deal with a new pathogen. As a rule, the fever after vaccinations only occurs in the first 3 days after the vaccination.
Colds are much more common in children than in adults because your immune system is still learning. Eight to ten or twelve colds a year are quite normal in the first few years. In the course of the disease, however, antibodies are formed against this pathogen, which protects the body for the rest of its life.
Signs of a cold are usually always a runny nose, throat and swallowing difficulties, coughing, possibly a headache, possibly also body aches, fever, and general symptoms such as exhaustion. More mucus is also formed, which is tougher than usual and is, therefore, more difficult to remove, triggering the cough protective reflex.
At the beginning of a cold, it is usually still dry, i.e. unproductive. A cold lasts about 7-10 days as there is no drug that fights the virus itself.
However, the symptoms can be alleviated. Home remedies such as hot milk with honey (not less than one year old!) or over-the-counter cough syrups often help against dry cough. Extracts from medicinal plants (available as tea or juice), such as marshmallow root, ivy, thyme, or Icelandic moss, can also have a soothing effect on a dry cough. If the cough contains more mucus, cough suppressants will also help.
In the case of a sore throat, it helps to prevent the mucous membranes from drying out. Hard candies with peppermint or sage stimulate salivation and can have a temporary soothing effect. A high level of humidity in the room and steam inhalations also have a soothing effect, as do neck wraps, for example with boiled potatoes. In general: drink a lot and keep the mucous membranes moist.
Read Also: How to Protect Your Baby’s Skin in the Winter Months
Decongesting the nasal mucous membranes, for example with a saline solution (dissolve 1 gram of table salt in 100 milliliters of water), which you use as nose drops, helps against the breathing difficulties associated with a cold. Commercially available nasal drops or sprays should only be used for short-term use unless otherwise directed.
Wet inhalations with saline solution keep the airways moist. Special oils or ointments for small children, which are dripped onto clothing or rubbed directly onto the chest or back as a balm, can also bring relief.
Must Consult with Doctor!
You should go to the pediatrician at the latest when your child is younger than three months and has a fever or cough if the child has been coughing for more than two weeks if it is hoarse, if it has breathing difficulties or complains of pain, if your child complains of an earache, has a fever for more than three days, is in poor general condition and refuses to eat and drink, the mucus has turned yellowish or appears reddish due to blood.