As a new parent, you want your baby to be safe, healthy, and happy. That means educating yourself about the health issues that arise as you welcome your little one into the world in 2023. From learning how to define toxic stress to learning how to cure a baby’s upset tummy, part of becoming a new parent is preparation. Learning what challenges your baby may face now helps to ensure their health in the future.
Skin Issues: Diaper Rash & Cradle Cap
Two of the most common ailments that babies develop are diaper rash and cradle cap. Diaper rash is a common type of dermatitis that creates patches of inflammation on your child’s bottom. Although it is more common in babies that have not been changed frequently enough, it can also happen in babies that have sensitive skin. Signs of a diaper rash include inflammation around the buttocks and genitals, sores, itchy skin, and discomfort and fussiness, especially during diaper changes.
Cradle cap is another common ailment in babies. It develops as an oily or crusty scales on a baby’s scalp. While it’s not painful for itchy, the scales can become thick and discolored and are not easy to remove. Luckily, the ailment will usually clear up on its own within a few weeks or months. However, washing your baby’s hair in mild shampoo or using something from the new baby bundle may help to loosen and remove the scales.
Gut & Digestive Issues
Babies are new to the world of eating and digesting food, and sometimes their bodies don’t handle it well. Many develop gastrointestinal issues for at least some period of time. Those issues may present as vomiting, reflux, diarrhea, or colic. While vomiting, reflux, and diarrhea often fix themselves within a few days, colic can be more problematic.
Colic most commonly affects babies that are 3-4 weeks old and is at its wost around 6 weeks. The ailment is stressful for the babies and parents alike. Colic presents itself as excessive and prolonged crying and can sometimes be hard to diagnose since the child seems healthy other than the crying.
Nobody knows for sure what causes colic and research shows that changing formulas is not effective. However, many parents swear by organic gripe water for newborns. An herbal supplement thought to ease symptoms of gas, hiccups, and colic, gripe water is made of ginger root and fennel seed.
One big thing that parents need to watch out for in 2023 is respiratory syncytial virus, most commonly known as RSV. While most kids catch the virus by the time they’re two and only deal with mild symptoms, it can be much more serious in young infants. In infants, the virus can lead to trouble breathing and and dehydration, and may even turn into pneumonia or bronchiolitis. This year, there is an unprecedented rise in cases of RSV, leaving many children’s hospitals overwhelmed. You can lessen the chances of catching it by teaching kids to cough into their elbows, washing hands frequently, and sanitizing surfaces often.
Above all else, remember that no parent is perfect and that children will inevitably fall ill from time to time. Do what you can to protect your little one but don’t beat yourself up if you do find yourself at the pediatrician’s. It’s all a part of life.