As parents, it's important to keep an eye out for signs that your baby is in pain and are not able to express it.
Every parent learns on the job but sometimes raising children can throw up the weirdest scenarios you've never encountered if you're a newbie parent or a seasoned one. Babies cry and whimper all the time so how do you know if they're in pain or just throwing a hissy fit. Paranoia is nothing new to parents but on most occasions, as we've been told by our parents, the baby is just fine. The nagging feeling that your baby is in pain and unable to express it is every parent's nightmare. Here are some signs to look out for, to accurately separate the two and address the potential pain or fever the baby may be experiencing.
1. The baby is crying harder than usual
You need to pay attention if you're baby is crying more intensely than usual. If you notice a difference from the usual, in the manner they're crying, it is usually pain. Michigan University's Health Department states that intense crying indicates the baby is experiencing pain, It notes that the crying will be "more insistent, higher-pitched, and may last longer than usual." One needs to pay attention even in cases where the baby is whimpering without crying. It probably indicates that the baby is in too much pain to cry.
2. Your baby is rigid or stiff
If your baby looks stiffer than usual or appears limp, it's a sign that your baby is ill. Diane Kohnle, a healthcare industry expert, told Healthy Day that in such cases the baby will experience a "stiffness throughout the body, or flailing and squirming—though very sick or premature babies may appear limp."
3. The baby scrunches up
If your baby is tightening his fists, body, or legs or is red-faced, then it indicates the baby could be having stomach pain. Dr. Katherine O’Connor, a pediatric hospitalist, told The Bump that when a baby has stomach pain, "your baby might pull up his or her legs, clench his or her fists or squirm around like he or she’s uncomfortable." In most cases, it can be colic, and gas pains, which are usually short-lived. The best way to know is to get the baby to burp which often relieves the baby of gas and thus relieving stress immediately.
4. Baby has an irregular sleep pattern
Babies find it harder to sleep when they are in pain. So if you find your baby's sleep pattern irregular, it could be because of some discomfort. "Infants in pain are often fussier and sleepless. Some infants may get listless and only seem to be asleep," said the Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota's Patient and Family Education journal.
5. The baby isn't hungry
A baby that doesn't have an appetite is a sign they're in pain or discomfort, which more often than not is because of a stomach bug. So you can check with your pediatrician if the baby has suddenly lost appetite.
6. Their soft spot is swollen
In some cases, when a baby is in pain, their soft spot at the top of their head can swell. It might look like a small bump but it's a warning sign that your baby is in pain, claims a publication from the University of Toronto's research-intensive hospital.
7. The baby is grimacing
The easiest sign that the baby is in pain is when they are grimacing or contorting their facial features. Michigan University's Health Department noted that babies in pain may "grimace, open their mouth, wrinkle their brow, have deep lines around their nose and squeeze their eyes shut."
8. They're shaking
It is common for babies to fidget around or cough and sneeze, but if they are shaking or coughing longer than usual, it needs to be looked into. Parents need to keep out an eye for the duration of the baby's coughing and sneezing. If they seem more intense and last longer, the baby could be in pain. This is particularly important because the baby might not be able to cry or express themselves as they normally do.
9. Tugging at ears
Babies with ear infections often become sensitive about their ears and could tug at them. Dr. Max M. April, chair of the committee on pediatric otolaryngology told Parents that "a fever above 102 degrees is one of the hallmarks of an ear infection in a nonverbal child." The baby will find increased irritability around the ears. They could also be struggling to sleep as a result.
Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.