Minor Issues and Care
Bringing a new baby home is a joyful experience. However, there are times when you may feel overwhelmed, worried, and stressed. Stress can be greatly reduced if you have the proper information on hand when it comes to care and minor issues associated with the well-being of your child. Below, I have listed information pertaining to caring for the health and well-being of your baby. The following information includes umbilical cord care, diaper rash prevention and treatment, circumcision care, and colic.
The end of the cord will fall off in a couple of weeks after birth. Until it falls off, keep the umbilical cord and the surrounding clean and dry. One trick to keeping the area clean and dry is to dab the area with a cotton swab dampened with alcohol. The alcohol will kill any bacteria in the area and will also aid in drying the cord. Clean the area with a new cotton ball each time up to 3 times. Another way to ensure the health of the cord is by making sure to keep the top of the diaper below the cord to avoid irritation or infection. Ensure that clothing or other items aren’t rubbing the umbilical cord as well.
- Keep the umbilical cord clean and dry.
- Dab the area with a alcohol dampened cotton ball up to 3 times a day.
- Keep the diaper under the cord.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your baby’s health care provider if …
- the area appears red or irritated.
- You notice blood in the area.
- Pus is present on or around the cord.
- A foul smell is coming from the area.
Circumcision is a relatively common surgical procedure where, the hood of skin that covers the penis, known as the foreskin is removed. If you choose to have your baby boy circumcised the procedure usually will take place two to three days after birth. The healing time frame for a routine circumcision is 7-10 days.
After circumcision the penis is covered with gauze. The gauze should be changed during every diaper change on the first day after surgery. Every subsequent day after the surgery the gauze are no longer necessary. To avoid irritation you can apply a lubricant via cotton swab to the tip of the penis during each diaper change.
Cleaning the penis is essential but be sure to avoid using diaper wipes and soap as they may cause a painful stinging sensation. Wipe the area with warm water on a cotton ball a few times a day. Be sure to be gentle as the babies penis will most likely be tender.
- Change gauze with each diaper change on the first day.
- Apply a lubricant such a petroleum jelly to the wound.
- Clean the wound a few times a day with a cotton ball dampened with water.
When to Call the Doctor
Call you child’s pediatrician if…
- Your baby has not urinated in 24 hours.
- Redness an swelling won’t go down after a few days.
- The area is bleeding more than normal.
- If discoloration occurs.
- If pus is present.
- If a foul smell starts coming from the wound.
Preventing Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is inflammation of the skin that appears in pink to bright red color splotches on a babies buttocks, thighs and genitals. Diaper rash is usually related to skin sensitivity, wet, soiled, or infrequently changed diapers, and chaffing. It is something that is commonly seen in infants and usually goes away in a few days with the help of home treatments. However, there are steps you can take to help prevent the occurrence of diaper rashes.
- Change diapers often to prevent urine and feces from irritating the skin.
- Thoroughly clean babies bottom with each diaper change.
- Use baby powder to help the area stay dry between changes.
Treating Diaper Rash
Sometimes a diaper rash is ineveitable. If your baby develops a rash don’t be alarmed. There are a few things you can do at home to treat the rash.
- Allow baby to be without a diaper for an hour or two during the day. This will help to dry the area. Place a few towels or an incontinence pad under your baby to prevent urine or feces from getting onto your furniture.
- Wash the area daily with soap and water and apply a diaper rash cream to the area.
When to Call your Doctor
Call your child’s Pediatrician if the area isn’t showing signs of healing after a couple of days. Sometimes, a prescription medication is needed to heal the diaper rash.
Colic is defined as frequent, prolonged, and intense crying and fussiness in a healthy infant. In general, colic is defined as crying spells for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks. Colic can be a frustrating experience for many parents because it can start with no apparent reason and any type of consoling doesn’t help. Symptoms of colic generally start around 6 weeks of age and simmer down after 2-3 months.
The cause of colic is largely unknown but there are many possible contributing factors.
Possible Contributing Factors
- Overfeeding, underfeeding or infrequent burping resulting in gas and other digestive issues.
- Food allergies or intolerance.
- Stress or anxiety.
- Acid reflux.
It may be hard to care for and bond with an infant experiencing colic. Most attempts to soothe your baby may seem futile. However there are ways you can help lessen the severity and occurrence of episodes.
- Make sure that your baby is not crying for reasons associated with wet diaper, hunger, tight clothing, loneliness, etc.
- Use an anti-colic bottle.
- Do not overfeed the baby.
- Make sure the baby is burped post-feeding.
When to Call the Doctor
Sometimes colic can be an indication of an underlying condition. Schedule an appointment with your pediatrician if your baby begins exerting symptoms of colic.
Related: Baby Sleep Solutions
Additional Times to Call the Doctor
Call the babies Pediatrician immediately or take your child to the closest emergency room if your baby experiences any of the following symptoms…
- A fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Experiences breathing difficulties.
- Vomits (more than the occasional spit up)
- Has diarrhea more than 2–3 times in a day.
- Passes blood or blood clots with urine or bowel movement.
- Refuses to feed.
- Is not alert or seems extremely fatigued.
Medical Disclaimer: Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. Read our full medical disclaimer here.