Common Infant Problems
- Constipation: defined as the passage of hard, pellet-like stools that cause pain or bleeding (groaning or straining is normal) and not so much by how often your baby has a bowel movement (some breastfed babies only have one BM each week). Initial treatment is by giving 2-4 ounces of water or diluted prune juice once or twice a day or by changing to a soy based formula.
- Stuffy Nose/Sneezing: very common and usually caused by irritation from dry air, smoke, or dust. Try to eliminate common irritants. You can try using a humidifier or salt water nose drops.
- Thrush: white patches that coat the inside of the cheeks and tongue and cannot be easily wiped off. It is caused by a very mild yeast infection and is easily cleared up with a prescription medicine called Nystatin or Fluconazole.
- Rashes: very common in infants and includes baby acne, drooling rashes, and flaky skin that will usually clear up on their own without treatment.
- Dry Skin: use a mild soap and a moisturizer once or twice a day.
- Spitting Up: many babies spit up (reflux) after eating due to overfeeding or because the valve that closes the upper part of the stomach is immature. It is usually not a concern as long as your baby is gaining weight and it is not causing him to cough or choke. Some steps to take to improve this problem are feeding smaller amounts, more frequent burping during feeds, avoiding pressure on his belly or vigorous activity after eating. It improves with age, usually without treatment.
- Watery Eyes: this is usually caused by a blocked tear duct and is not a concern unless the eyes become infected (let your Pediatrician know so that they can prescribe antibiotic eye drops). It usually clears up on its own before your baby is 12 months old.
- Diaper Rashes: very common and usually clear up in 3-4 days with a diaper rash cream. If it is not clearing up or is bright red and surrounded by red dots, your baby may have a yeast infection and will need an antifungal cream to help clear it up. Diaper rashes can be prevented by frequent diaper changes, increasing air exposure by keeping the diaper off as much as possible, and using a mild soap only after bowel movements (rinse with just warm water at other times).
- Upper Respiratory Infections: these are very common and include symptoms of a clear or green runny nose and cough and are usually caused by cold viruses. The best treatment is to use salt water nasal drops and a bulb suctioner to keep their nose clear. Call your Pediatrician if your child has high fever, difficulty breathing or is not improving in 7-10 days
For more information:
More Topics for Your Six Month Old
Ages and Stages Index
The Your Child At... articles are adapted from the Your Child newsletter and series of articles from keepkidshealthy.com and are used with the permission of Keep Kids Healthy, LLC.