soothing your baby's pain
Health

Soothing your baby’s pain

It can be very nerve-wracking when babies become sick, but with the right treatment and some TLC, they do tend to recover quickly. But always check your little one’s condition with your doctor.

It doesn’t mattter whether you’ve been through it with seven children already or if it’s your first baby, it’s normal to feel anxious and out of your depth the first time your little one becomes ill. If you think that your baby is unwell, you must decide what to do quickly.

soothing your baby's pain

Be aware of the warning signs of a serious problem and get your baby checked as soon as possible if you have any concerns. Medication should not be given to babies unless it is absolutely necessary, and only under medical advice. Pain relief suspensions can help with teething troubles and fevers, but don’t be tempted to turn to the medicine cabinet every time your baby is cranky, as his immune system must be given a chance to fight the illness first.

If you can’t or don’t want to give your infant medicine there are plenty of drug-free pain relief methods you can try. You can comfort your baby by simply holding, rocking, singing to or nursing him. For teething pain, try rubbing his gums or giving him a cold teething toy or clean face cloth to suck on. A humidifier or vapouriser in his room can relieve some of the nasal congestion associated with a cold.

Breastfeeding can help

Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact are also effective forms of natural pain relief or for settling an upset baby. If you’re breastfeeding, your baby receives antibodies via your breast milk, particularly from the colostrum that makes up his first feeds. Breastfeeding can make it less likely that your baby will get some common infections that cause common baby conditions like earaches, tummy upsets etc, but it won’t protect him completely from illness.

Pain relief guidelines

Learning when to give pain relief and how to identify the medication you should use to address specific symptoms will not only help to soothe your child, but it will also give you confidence in your ability to properly care for your infant. When giving pain or fever relief to babies and children, follow these tips to be safe:

1. Use the right product, strength and dose for the child’s age and weight. Recommended doses, according to the child’s age and weight, are given on the product packaging.

2. Different products, and different forms of a product, may vary in strength, so always read the package carefully for the dosing instructions specific to the product you’re giving.

3. Don’t keep giving the pain relief for more than 48 hours unless specifically advised to by a doctor.

4. Use the measure provided – or if there isn’t one, a metric medicine measure – to pour the dose.

5. safe place out of the reach of children.

soothing your baby's pain

6. Check labels of all medicines, as paracetamol or ibuprofen can appear as an ingredient in a variety of medications (like cough syrup) and you don’t want to double up.

7. If you don’t know how to measure or use a product, or if you don’t understand the label, ask your pharmacist for help.

When should I take my child to the doctor?

While almost all fevers and pain in childhood are due to nonthreatening illnesses that pass in a day or two, you should take your sick child to the doctor if:

  • You are worried.
  • He is under 12 months old and has a fever.
  • He has a fever that continues for more than 48 hours.
  • He has a very high temperature – over 40º C/104ºF.
  • He convulses.
  • He is getting sicker.
  • He is very sleepy or particularly irritable.
  • He has a rash.
  • He shows unusual symptoms including a stiff neck, vomiting, stomach pains, or skin discolouration.
  • He is experiencing ongoing pain, for example, stomach ache, headache or earache.
  • He has an injury and is experiencing pain.
  • He is having trouble breathing due to a cough or wheezing.
  • He is vomiting or isn’t able to drink.
  • He is not feeding properly.

More like this:

Is it an infection or teething?
Guide to baby’s pain relief
Treating your baby’s cold

ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….

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ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….