Thursday, January 3, 2008

How to Care for a Crying Baby

Crying is a physiological process in the life of a baby. All normal babies cry from birth onwards. Since they cannot express their feelings in words, crying is one of the best ways for them to communicate.

The crying habit varies from baby to baby. Some babies can be calmed easily but some are difficult to sooth. Many times, the baby is quieted simply by giving breast milk or by carrying with gentle rocking. At other times, the crying becomes distressing for the mother and home nurse. The causes of crying extend from simple reasons to life threatening conditions. Hence, the crying of a baby should not be ignored.

The reason of crying should be identified and managed accordingly. Listed below are some points to be considered while dealing with crying babies.

1. If the baby is hungry, he will cry until he gets his milk. Here the old saying comes true 'The crying baby gets the milk'.

2. If the nappy is wet by urination or defecation, the baby will cry until his parts are cleaned and made dry.

3. If the baby feels he is alone, he will cry. Pat his back or stroke his head slowly and let him hear your soothing sound. Take a musical toy and let him, listen.

4. When the baby is tired and unable to sleep, he cries. Rock him gently in your arms and walk slowly in the room. Or put him on the cradle and rock gently.

5. If the child feels too hot or too cold, he becomes restless and cries. If the room is hot, turn on the fan or open the windows. If the climate is cold, clothe him appropriately.

6. Tight clothes especially during warm climates are intolerable for kids. Tight elastic of the dress can also produce soreness in the hip region.

7. Some babies cry without any real cause and the parents end up in agony. Here are some suggestions: change her position; walk outdoors with him; or ask somebody to carry the baby.

If after all these things have been considered and the baby goes on crying, check for the following signs. The probable cause is given after each sign.

1. Press her abdomen gently, she may twist or resist you: Colic. It may be associated with rumbling and distention of abdomen. The child often feels better when lying on abdomen.

2. Pull her ear gently, she may become worse or push your hands away: Earache.

3. Feel her temperature with the back of your hands: Fever due to any infection.

4. Examine the skin from head to foot: Eruptive disease, nappy rash, measles, vesicles, allergy, mosquito bites, etc

5. See the nose for any discharge: Coryza.

6. Move the head gently to feel any neck stiffness: Meningitis, head injury etc.

7. Keep your ear near his chest to hear any rattling sound: Increased mucus in wind pipes (pneumonia, bronchiolitis, asthmatic bronchitis, etc).

8. Examine the anal orifice: Anal erosion, rectal polyp, crawling of worms.

9. Examine the genitalia: Any discharge or erosion.

10. In male baby, see the testicles which may be swollen or tender: Orchitis, torsion of testes.

11. Notice the body movements and see for any convulsions, rigors, vomiting, cough, labored breathing etc.

If you see the above signs or any other abnormal signs, consult your doctor for proper treatment.

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