How to Treat the Most Common Illnesses in Babies

There are common illnesses in babies that occur in their first year of life. That's why it's important for parents to know what to do and how to treat them in the best possible way.
How to Treat the Most Common Illnesses in Babies

Last update: 03 July, 2018

One of the things that worries all mothers the most is knowing how to treat the most common illnesses in babies. However, despite how much you may want to prevent them, it’s almost impossible for babies not to suffer from any of these evils.

In fact, some of these conditions are so common during the first year of life that they are almost part of a baby’s basic care routine.

Although they are very common illnesses in babies, this doesn’t mean they have to experience them all. However, in case any of them appears, there are several ways to relieve the symptoms so that your baby doesn’t feel so uncomfortable.

Here’s how to treat the most common illnesses in babies.

Tips to treat the most common illnesses in babies

1. Constipation

It’s so common that constipation affects 30% of children at any given time. This is quite uncomfortable for them.

Usually, the baby defecates on their own pattern and schedules. Thus, some babies go to the bathroom after each meal while others can go twice a week.

Everything depends on what they eat and drink, as well as how active they are and how long it takes to digest their food. These may be some of the signs that what they are suffering from is constipation:

  • They defecates less than usual.
  • Their stools are dry and hard.
  • In some cases, the stools are more liquid than normal.

How to relieve constipation

If you notice that the baby is having any of these symptoms and has a lot of difficulty going to the bathroom, you can add a little extra water to their bottle to soften their stool and facilitate its movement through the baby’s intestine.

You can also delicately massage their abdomen or help them move their legs from top to bottom to stimulate the expulsion of stool.

How to Treat the Most Common Illnesses in Babies

2. Coughs and Colds

It’s very normal for the baby to catch a cold during the first year of life. Some viruses can cause colds, and because their immune system is in the process of developing, they have more difficulty than an adult when fighting them. 

In addition, it’s very common for babies to explore everything with their hands and mouth, which makes them more prone to viruses entering their bodies. Some of the signs of a cold are:

  • Less energy and a bad mood
  • Nose that doesn’t stop dripping (with clear, yellowish or greenish mucous)
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Slight fever

How to relieve coughs or colds

Although influenza is one of the most common illnesses in babies and you can be prepared to treat milder symptoms such as a small nasal congestion, it’s very important that you consult with the pediatrician about the most correct way to treat the flu and cough when it appears. Especially if it lasts for many days.

“Treating the most common illnesses in babies is not a very complicated task. We just have to be properly informed and prepared for it.”

3. Diaper rash

Diaper rash is one of the most common conditions in children. Almost all babies suffer from diaper rash at some time. In fact, according to statistics, in the United States, about one in four babies suffer from diaper rash during their first month of life.

It’s important to note that any baby with sensitive skin can rub against their diaper, even if their parents change diapers every time. These are some of the signs that indicate that the baby has diaper rash:

  • Swollen and sensitive skin
  • The affected area has small red spots

How to relieve diaper rash

It’s important to change their diaper frequently to keep it clean and wash their intimate areas whenever necessary. It’s also essential to gently dry them with a soft towel and apply a little protective cream to help protect their skin from possible irritation.

4. Diarrhea

It’s very easy to identify when the baby has diarrhea. When children have it, stools tend to be more frequent, liquid and more watery. They may even be accompanied by pain.

Statistics say that 1 in 6 children visit their doctor every year because of an episode of diarrhea. That’s why it’s very important to pay attention to the following signs:

  • Vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Fever.
  • Shaking chills.
  • Muscle pains.
How to Treat the Most Common Illnesses in Babies

How to relieve diarrhea

One of the things most recommended by pediatricians to prevent babies from getting diarrhea is to not give them fruit juice during the first 6 months, and no more than 4 ounces (118 ml) after that age. It’s very important that you go to the pediatrician if you notice any of these signs.

“A child that goes to daycare can get up to 12 colds a year.”

5. Ear infections

Among the most common illnesses in babies are ear infections. The small space behind each eardrum is connected to the back of the throat by a tiny channel called the eustachian tube.

If something interrupts the function of the eustachian tube or blocks its normal drainage from the middle part of the ear, as it can happen due to colds or allergies, the risk of infection increases. These are the signs of an ear infection:

  • Crying and irritability.
  • The baby may rub their ears.
  • Vomiting and sometimes diarrhea.

How to relieve ear infections

During the first year of the baby’s life, ear infections should be treated with an antibiotic. The moment you identify the symptoms of the ear infection, you should immediately go to the pediatrician to find out the most appropriate treatment.

Treating the most common illnesses in babies isn’t a very complicated task. You should be well informed and prepared in case your child suffers from any of them to prevent any complications.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Alonso M, García R. Protocolos de Digestivo. BOL PEDIATR 2006; 46: 180-188. [En línea].
  • Fiebre sin foco. Protocolos diagnóstico-terapéuticos de la AEP: Infectología pediátrica. [En línea].
  • El resfriado común. Notas sobre salud y seguridad. Programa de Salud para el Cuidado de los niños. [En línea].

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.