Parenting Lesson 13- Taking care of child's health (Part I)

Topics covered in this lesson-

  1. What to do for gas and abdominal discomfort in children

  2. What to do for constipation in children

  3. What to do for loose motions in children

  4. What is colic and what can i do about it

What to do for gas and abdominal discomfort in children

Move Your Child

• Rock your child gently.

• Move your child's legs as if they were pedaling a bicycle.

Massage Your Child

• Rub your child's stomach lightly.

• Lay them across your lap and pat their back.

Apply Heat

• Place a warm towel or water bottle on your child's tummy.

Adjust Feedings

• Don't overfeed your child.

• Hold them upright.

• Burp your child often.

Things to do later

Review Feeding

If formula-feeding, talk with your pediatrician about switching to a soy-based formula or, if your child is older than 1 year, soy or almond milk. If an older child has gas pain after having milk products, talk to your doctor about lactose intolerance, especially if there is a family history of it.

If you're breastfeeding, you don't need to be concerned about your own diet causing gas pains in your baby. There's no evidence that a mom's diet has an effect on gas in babies.

What to do for constipation in children

• If you're bottle feeding, try a different brand of formula -- after you check with your doctor. Constipation should never be a reason to stop breastfeeding.

• Add a little dark fruit juice, like prune or pear, to your baby's bottle.

• Give them some extra water if they’re older than 4 months -- no more than 1-2 ounces per day. But check with the doctor first.

• If your baby is eating solid foods, try some that are higher in fiber, like pureed prunes or peas, or cereal with barley or whole wheat.

• Try bending your baby’s knees toward their chest. It’s easier to get poop out in a squat posture than lying flat. It may also help to exercise their legs gently in a bicycle motion.

• A warm bath can help your baby’s muscles relax and release poop.

• Gently massage their belly.

• Taking your baby’s temperature with a rectal thermometer may stimulate their bowels.

• Remember that most babies who don’t poop a lot are not truly "constipated" and don’t need anything different from normal.

OTC medications for constipation in babies

If home remedies don’t work, there are some over-the-counter medications you can try. Ask your doctor first.

• Glycerin suppository. This is placed directly in your baby’s anus to stimulate a bowel movement.

• Laxatives. Only use a laxative if your doctor tells you to.

What to do for loose motions in children

Loose motions could happen to a child due to various reasons such as an infection, or due to certain medications. It is important that you keep your child hydrated during this phase. Most of the loose motions or diarrheal episodes are self-limiting (go away in few days) and don’t really need medication.

You could follow below steps as home remedies during a loose motion episode

1. Keep the child with diarrhea hydrated, offer plenty of fluids, such as Water, Broth or soup, Pediatric electrolyte solutions in liquid or freezer pop form, Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade (choose low-sugar varieties)

2. Offer a complete and nutritious diet to the child

3. Give fibre rich food such as banana, oats, apples without skin, beans, etc.

Please consult your paediatrician in case of if your child:

• Is less than 6 months of age

• Has blood in the stool

• Shows signs of dehydration (low urine output, no tears, no spit in the mouth, excessive sleepiness or low activity level)

• Is vomiting

• Has a high fever that does not improve with fever medication

• Has abdominal distention (swelling or enlargement)

• Has a history of abdominal surgeries

• Shows symptoms lasting longer than 2-3 days

What is colic and what can i do about it

Colic is when a healthy baby cries a lot for a longer time than most babies. Colic doesn't mean a baby has any health problems. With time, colic goes away on its own.

During a colic spell, a baby:

• has high-pitched crying or screaming

• is very hard to soothe

• can have a red face or pale skin around the mouth

• may pull in the legs, stiffen the arms, arch the back, or clench fists

There's no treatment to make colic go away. But there are ways you can help:

• Make sure your baby isn't hungry.

• Make sure your baby has a clean diaper.

• Try burping your baby more often during feedings.

• If you bottle-feed, try other bottles to see if they help your baby swallow less air.

• Ask your doctor if changing formula could help.

• Some nursing moms find that cutting caffeine, dairy, soy, egg, or wheat from their diet helps. Talk to your doctor before doing this and stop only one thing at a time.

• Rock or walk with the baby.

• Sing or talk to your baby.

• Offer the baby a pacifier.

• Take the baby for a ride in a stroller.

• Hold your baby close against your body and take calm, slow breaths.

• Give the baby a warm bath.

• Pat or rub the baby's back.

• Place your baby across your lap on his or her belly and rub your baby's back.

• Put your baby in a swing or vibrating seat. The motion may be soothing.

• Put your baby in an infant car seat in the back of the car and go for a ride. Often, the movement of the car is calming.

• Play music — some babies calm down with sound as well as movement.