We will look today at 3 common baby issues which affect most new parents:
- Hiccups: What are they are how do you deal with them?
- Tongue Cleaning: What’s the safest way to clean your baby’s delicate tongue?
- Using Nosefrida: How to relieve nasal problems in your baby?
What Are Hiccups?
A hiccup is a caused by a sudden irritation of the diaphragm, too much air in the stomach, muscle stimulation or sometimes even anxiety and nervousness.
Whatever the cause is, it is rarely serious.
Hiccups don’t last too long. A spell of hiccups rarely exceeds 5 minutes.
A baby who is experiencing hiccups sounds so cute and adorable and it’s nothing to be worried about. Although it stops on its own most of the time, it needs to be remedied with some simple actions.
How To Stop Baby Hiccups?
- The best remedy to stop any hiccups is to drink water. So, if your baby who is having hiccups is old enough to drink, just give him water and the job should be done.
- For infants and newborns, try to breastfeed them a little to remove the blockage at the diaphragm.
- Sometimes, hiccups also occur while breastfeeding. This is due to prolonged feeding without pausing. Sucking, as we all know, can incorporate some swallowed air that can cause what we mentioned above, namely irritations in the diaphragm.
- In such cases, it is always advisable to take a few minutes break while nursing the baby. Or, better still, make the baby burp in every break by carrying them in an upright position while tapping their back. Burping will stop the hiccups caused by swallowed air brought on by feeding.
Important Note: Gently tap the baby’s back while making him burp.
Contrary to what parents fear, hiccups don’t cause trouble in a sleeping baby’s breathing. It is a way to release gas in their tummy accumulated through feeding. This is especially true for bottle-fed babies when the nipple doesn’t suit the mouth.
- Lay your baby on your arm in a slight upright position while bottle-feeding to prevent air from being swallowed while nursing him.
- Always make sure that your nipple and the bottle nipple are both latched on to the baby’s mouth to avoid air entering the tummy that can result in hiccups.
One popular belief in Asia is that when all else fails, the last resort is to startle the baby. It might sound funny but it works in the vast majority of cases.
One quick fix that is very effective in case hiccups don’t stop after all the above cures is to inhale and hold the breath for 10 seconds then exhale. Repeat this twice. The rationale here is that the diaphragm isn’t the cause but the heart just needs more oxygen thus the holding of breath. But that style won’t be great for a baby as they cannot yet do those things. It’s a bonus tip for you, the parent!
When Should You Call A Doctor?
- Normal hiccups usually last between a few seconds and five minutes. They seldom happen at all. If your baby’s hiccups are uncontrollable and persistent after he reaches his first birthday, that is the time you should be concerned and check with your pediatrician.
- Prolonged and chronic hiccups can be a sign of serious medical conditions so it is best to notify a doctor about this.
How To Clean A Newborn’s Tongue
Tongue cleaning is not just for kids and adults it starts at the time people are born. Newborns feed through sucking milk either from their mother’s breasts or bottled milk.
And milk leaves a white residue on a baby’s tongue. It doesn’t only look unpleasant but it is also very unhygienic and poses risks on a baby’s health.
Milk has germs and bacteria and having its residue on the tongue especially for long can cause infections to babies because their immunity isn’t yet that strong and well developed.
Ways To Clean A Baby’s Tongue
The best and easiest way is the same as how we adults clean our tongues, by using a toothbrush.
This, though, is not the regular toothbrush that kids and adults use.
There is a special soft bristled infant toothbrush designed to clean a baby’s tongue in a way that won’t harm their sensitive and very soft tongue. Ask your pediatrician about this.
- Gently rub the bristles on the baby’s tongue in a circular motion taking care not to extend the toothbrush near the back of the tongue as this can cause babies to vomit.
- You may also use baby gum cleaners to effectively clean not just the tongue but also the whole oral cavity itself.
The next way to clean the tongue is with a baby ear bud. Be sure to use the softest one and be careful not to rub hard as the handle might break inside the baby’s mouth. This can cause accidental choking in the child and may even be swallowed.
Another method is to use a clean, smooth and soft cloth by wrapping it onto your finger before rubbing and scraping particles from the baby’s tongue. Be sure to soak it first in lukewarm water.
Be very gentle in cleaning the tongue using your own finger as the baby might choke because it is bigger than the toothbrush and ear buds.
Sterilized gauze can also be used in the same manner by wrapping it onto your finger.
- A Note of caution though: Newborn babies are the most delicate and sensitive things. Their immunity is weak so always make it a habit to wash your hands with water and soap as well as sterilizing any of the objects that you will put inside their mouths.
Clean the tongue while the baby is up and playing and never after feeding because babies tend to sleep after drinking.
If you notice white patches that won’t disappear even after cleaning, it is recommended to consult your doctor about this, especially if the baby develops a fever. This could be a sign of a medical condition.
How To Use Nosefrida
Nosefrida, known as the “SnotSucker”, is a nasal aspirator used to suction the mucus accumulation inside the nose of babies when they are suffering from colds. During our parents’ time, mothers sucked their infants’ clogged noses using their own mouths.
What a very touching gesture from moms who would set aside their disgust of such things just for the welfare and comfort of their baby who couldn’t breathe much because of colds. Not to mention letting themselves be exposed to bacteria directly.
Science has since invented a modern way to sidestep that sucking issue and to make life easier for parents too with a nasal suction like Nosefrida to do the job.
- Start by mixing salt in a cup of warm water to make a nasal saline solution then use a dropper to put 2 drops on your baby’s nostrils. Make sure the baby is tilted and not lying down. This can loosen up the mucus that clogs the nose.
- The saline solution can ease the congestion and make your baby breathe better but it is best to de-clog all blockage first to ensure optimum breathing for your child.
- Then hold your baby and keep him secured in between your legs for ease of suction and prevention of further movements. Very gently position the tip of the Nosefrida syringe in the base of your baby’s nostrils.
- Lightly suck the tube with your mouth until you see mucus getting inside the syringe. Continue until the baby’s nose is empty of secretions. Mucus will be held inside the container but it is blocked by a filter from ever reaching you.
- Wipe your baby’s nose after.
- Clean the Nosefrida nasal aspirator with soap and warm water. Throw the hygiene filter away. Store in a safe place away from kids. Replace with a new filter before any use.
Hygiene filters block direct entry of germs into your mouth which you may get through sucking even if you’re using a tube to do it.
We hope you’ve found these tips useful.