Infants face many common issues, some of which can seem overwhelming for new moms. Relieving issues such as constipation take patience and practice but we hope that this guide will make your job a little bit easier. Read on for five common (and completely normal) issues plus tips for coping.
The unfortunate reality is that most newborns won’t sleep through the night. The first few weeks are the hardest but it does get better. Split up sleeping schedules between you and your spouse so you’re able to get some rest. Choose a couple of nights per week for your spouse to be on night duty. Consider inviting a relative to stay over and help out.
A common complaint from moms is that it seems like their newborn is sleepy during the day but wants to stay up all night. Try to make contrasts between day and night. Make sure the house is full of light during the day. Keep it darker and quieter at night. Check out this Baby Sleep Cheat Sheet for info on how much sleep your baby needs by age.
Here are some additional tips to try:
- Try a white noise machine to soothe your newborn. Many moms swear by these!
- Use blackout curtains to create a clear distinction between day and night.
- Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it.
- Rock the baby to sleep on an exercise ball or rocking chair.
Infants can have a hard time letting gas out which leads to a bloated belly and discomfort. The gassiness should subside after a few months. Here are some tips for relieving gas:
- Burp your baby during meals to prevent build up.
- Gently massage your little one’s tummy to get the air moving.
- Get baby moving. Lay your baby on her back and move her legs in a gentle bicycle motion to release trapped air.
Teething starts at around three months and can disrupt baby’s sleep and cause irritability. Luckily, you can help relieve some of the symptoms of teething. Teething toys can help relieve pain and inflammation. We recommend trying the best-selling Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush and Teether. It helps to gently massage sore gums. Rashes caused by excess drool are another common symptom. Try applying a natural rash balm or cream.
Dry scalp or dandruff, also known as “Cradle Cap” is a common skin issue encountered in your baby’s first year. It’s a harmless issue that typically clears up on its own. However, you can take steps to treat areas with dandruff. Wash the areas with warm water and a mild soap or shampoo then rinse thoroughly. Gently massage coconut oil (or another natural plant-based oil) into your baby’s scalp. Leave the oil on for up to 30 minutes then use an infant hairbrush or a soft washcloth to remove dandruff flakes. Repeat as needed.
Have diaper changes become infrequent? Your baby is likely suffering from constipation. Constipation symptoms in infants can include a red face or fussiness when trying to pass a stool. Your baby’s belly may also feel bloated and hard. Usually, constipation can be relieved naturally. However, it’s time to see a doctor if you notice bloody or black stools, inflammation, vomiting or fever.
Common causes of constipation include a change in formula, dehydration, fiber deficiency, or gastrointestinal infection (Mom Junction). Before you start worrying, try some simple changes in diet:
- Increase feeding frequency
- Try a new formula
- Try a warm bath
- Feed baby foods that start with a “P” – prunes, peaches, plums, peas, and apricots (My Little Moppet)
- Massage baby’s belly with coconut oil
For further reading, check out our 9 Tips for Surviving Your First Week Home With a New Baby.