by Michele Carelse on June 28th, 2011 at 7:00 am
For any new parent, a sleeping baby is the ultimate cherry on top at the end of a long day! However, colic, cradle cap, teething and nasty diaper rash can make peaceful sleep impossible for a small infant. We investigate healthy treatments for three common conditions.
Natural remedies can provide fast effective relief without any dangers of harsh chemicals or side effects, soothing little ones for a peaceful night’s sleep!
Your beautiful baby is five months old. He or she has been a little angel since birth. But all of a sudden, a little monster emerges that drools, fusses, cries and chews on everything in sight! You’ve noticed bulging gums – and you can actually see the outline of the teeth! Your baby is teething! Beginning around four months of age, your baby may start waking up much more frequently at night – as the pain of teething starts to disrupt sleeping patterns.
So what can be done?
Teething gels are often prescribed to help baby cope. However, the main drawback of these treatments is that over-the-counter gels, pastes, or liquids numb the gums and taste terrible! They may also hamper swallowing ability. It is also very easy to use too much – and baby may swallow too much of it, which is never a good idea.
Tips for dealing with teething problems:
- Massage baby’s gums with your fingers
- Feed your baby cold treats such as chilled pureed fruit, frozen baby bagels or small sizes of vegetables to chew on
- Let your baby suck a cold clean wash cloth to numb the pain and also use it to mop up the drool
- Use liquid-filled teething rings that are chilled for your baby to suck on or hard, baby-friendly plastic rings with bumps to bite on
- Rub a small amount of clove oil or pure vanilla extract on the gums to relieve pain
- If your baby dribbles excessively, give him or her plenty of water or diluted juice to replenish fluids
- For extreme discomfort, give your baby a natural pain reliever
- If your baby has been crying for a long period, you may become frustrated, tense or upset – hand the baby over to someone else, calm yourself down by breathing deeply, listening to soothing music or having a cup of tea
- Soothe baby with soft music, give a baby massage or talk to him or her
- Do not apply alcohol in any form to your baby’s gums!
OralSoothe™ Homeopathic remedy relieves pain, irritability & crankiness in teething babies
2. Diaper Rash
Imagine for a second, trying to sleep with damp underwear on – raw and inflamed skin on the most sensitive of body parts and no relief! Wet diapers often lead to red, inflamed skin and chaffing of sensitive areas of an infant’s skin – it’s no wonder they find it hard to sleep! For all mothers, diaper rash can be a source of great unhappiness and frustration. It is never easy to watch your little one in such pain and discomfort.
Diaper rash occurs when moist urine-soaked diapers are left in contact with skin for a prolonged period. This warm, moist environment then becomes the perfect host for bacteria and skin inflammation. Almost all babies get a rash at some point in their infancy, but unfortunately, diaper rash can be a result of parental neglect – as an un-changed diaper is the most common cause of the condition. Left untreated, diaper rash can quickly result in skin infection – which warrants immediate attention and treatment.
Unfortunately not all treatments are all natural. If your baby has developed a bacterial infection, the doctor may prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic, anti-fungal cream and an oral anti-fungal liquid. Certain cases require low-concentration hydrocortisone cream to be used with care because it may have side effects. A natural approach has a distinct advantage: no side effects! Here are some natural ways to help ease your baby’s discomfort and prevent further flare-ups:
The Do’s and Don’ts of Diaper Rash:
- Change your baby’s diaper as soon as it becomes wet or soiled
- Watch for changes in baby’s stools as a sign of diaper rash
- Wash baby’s bottom with warm water when changing the diaper and dry thoroughly, particularly the creases or folds of the skin
- Allow your baby’s skin to be exposed to as much air as possible
- Change the diaper before putting baby down to sleep or after a feed
- Use natural ointments or creams which act as a barrier against moisture
- Give your baby some diaper free time
- Rinse and dry the skin in the diaper area every time the diaper is changed, using a facecloth with water and allowing air to dry the area, if possible
- Wash the skin with a mild soap once a day
- A warm bath for 10 minutes, three times a day, may relieve a very raw bottom
- Switch to disposable diapers if you suspect that cloth diapers are the cause. Disposable diapers may be more absorbent.
- Rinse cloth diapers twice, using 10 ml of vinegar to a liter of water for the final rinse
- Give the baby more fluids (water or cranberry juice) to drink than you usually do, to dilute the urine
- Use chemical wipes when cleaning the baby’s bottom – they may contain alcohol, which could burn the skin. Wipes could also spread an infection.
- Leave disposable nappies on babies for longer than two hours
- Use harsh detergents or bleach when washing fabric nappies
- Use waterproof pants
- Use zinc on raw or oozing skin
- Use baby powder or cornstarch. It may build up in the skin folds and hold moisture, providing an ideal environment for bacterial growth.
- Bathe the baby before the umbilical cord has fallen off.
- Fasten the diaper too tightly
- Use bulky or multi-layered nappies
- Add new foods to the baby’s diet until the rash has gone
Please note: It is advisable to seek a doctor’s advice if:
- The condition gets worse after two days of home treatment or if there is no improvement after four days of home treatment
- There are white patches inside the mouth that appear red after being wiped with a clean cloth (an indication of thrush or candidiasis)
- The rash is scaly, yellowing and appears not only in the diaper area, but elsewhere, such as behind the ears or under the arms (an indication of seborrhea dermatitis)
- The skin in the diaper area is covered with blisters that leave shallow red sores (an indication of bacterial infection, e.g. impetigo)
- A boy’s penis is swollen and red, if you cannot retract the foreskin, or if there is a greenish discharge from the penis (an indication inflammation between the tip of the glans penis and the foreskin)
- There is an unexplained fever (an indication of an infection)
- Redness, swelling or streaks spread beyond the area of the rash
- There are blisters filled with yellowish fluid that break open, leaving large red areas (an indication of bacterial infection)
Diaper Distress Cream™ Helps keep baby’s bottom beautiful by soothing skin in the diaper area
3. Cradle Cap
Most parents will have seen scaly dry skin on their infants head – while harmless, this unsightly condition can spread to other areas of the body including the eyelids and eyebrows, behind the ears and skin creases, the forehead and around the diaper area. This condition is then called seborrhea dermatitis of infancy. Baby may not feel the effects of , cradle cap at first, but secondary yeast infections can cause itching and a burning sensation – which can be most unpleasant for an infant wanting to get some sleep!
Tips on how to treat and prevent cradle cap:
- Scales may be loosened with a small, soft-bristled brush before washing with shampoo
- Be gentle when washing your baby’s hair – wrap baby in a towel and rest his or her head on your forearm and then lower the head to wash it
- Use about a 10 cent piece amount of shampoo and massage the scalp in gentle, circular motion
- Do not pick at bits of flakes that are attached to the scalp
- Do not rub scalp too hard as this may lead to bleeding and infection
- If patches of cradle cap are large and thick, soften it by rubbing olive or almond oil onto baby’s scalp – and then brush gently and shampoo
- Wash your baby’s hair daily with a mild baby shampoo like a natural tea tree oil shampoo – never use full strength tea tree oil on sensitive skin
- If there is a large portion of skin build-up on the scalp – do not try and remove it all immediately
CradleClear Lotion™ Soothe your baby’s scalp naturally for beautiful skin