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Q.  How can I prevent diaper rash ?
A – Diaper rash is nearly universal – almost every baby gets it atleast once in the first 3 years of life.

The exact mechanism responsible for nappy rash is not known, but is believed that it probably begins when a baby’s delicate skin becomes irritated by chronic moisture.

The skin is further weakened by friction from a nappy or clothing, or by irritating substances in stool or urine.

It is most common in babies 9 – 12 months old who are teething, starting solid food or taking antibiotics.

The following ways, one can prevent diaper rash:-

1. Change diapers as soon as they are soiled.
2. Cleanse the diaper area with wipes, a wet cloth or gentle cleansing lotion.
3. Pay special attention to creases – make sure they are thoroughly rinsed and dried.
4. Use zinc oxide to create a protective barrier on the skin to   prevent wetness.

Sometimes a rash, which does not go away after treating it for a few days, may mean a yeast or bacterial infection. Check with your pediatrician for proper medical diagnosis and treatment.

Q. Our baby is almost 9 months old, but still does not have a single tooth. What could be the reason ?

A. An average baby gets a first tooth at seven months, the range is from two months to twelve months. late teething is usually hereditary but is no reflection on the babies intelligence or development.There should be no cause of worry as the toothlessness does not interfere with the babies moving on to chunkier foods, as the gums of the babies are strong enough for chewing.

Q. Is grinding of the teeth harmful in any way ?

A. Like head banging or rolling, hair pulling or thumbsucking, teeth grinding is a way some babies discharge tension. To minimize the grinding :

1. Reduce the tension in your babies life when possible and be sure that he has plenty of other outlets for releasing it - such as physical activity and toys.
2. Lots of love and attention before bedtime can also decrease the need for teeth grinding.
3. Tension may not always be the cause, as sometimes the baby accidentally discovers the grinding mannerism when the new teeth erupt  and enjoys the sensation and sound of it.
4. Teeth grinding can also be due to worm infestation and deworming the child will help.

If the baby's teeth grinding does not diminish,then the fear is that he might begin to damage his teeth, then consult a doctor or a pediatric dentist.


Q. My child passes stool after every 3 days and strains very hard while passing stool. What can I do ?
Constipation occurs when a child has stools that are too hard, and it hurts him to have a bowel movement. Every child has its own particular bowel rhythm. A small minority of children will have a single bowel movement every day. The bowel movements may be two motions a day or one every 4 days, which can be considered normal provided the motion passed, is formed and soft enough to pass with ease and comfort.

The cause for constipation in a baby, is
1. Usually diet related food like rice cereal, apples, cheese, bread, pasta cause constipation.
2. One should start reducing these foods and replace them with foods that are high in fibre such as apricots, peaches (atleast two times a day), vegetable, whole wheat bread and salads improve the bowl movement and good for constipation
3. Increase the fluid intake of a baby or child.
4. Make sure that he has plenty of opportunities to exercise.
5. Never resort to laxatives, however a stool softener can be given according to the doctors advice.

Q What is Diarrhoea ?
Diarrhoea is the sudden passing of loose, watery bowel movements, more frequently than usual. Diarrhoea is usually caused by a bacteria or a virus.
1. Bacterial or Viral infection of the intestine, and if accompanied with vomitting (gastro-entritis) will lead to rapid loss of fluid and will require urgent medical help.
2. Other causes of Diarrhoea could be food poisoning
3. Dietary indescretion also can lead to Diarrhoea
4. Emotional upset in a child also leads to Diarrhoea.

When should the doctor be called ?

1. If the Diarrhoea is severe and the child is dehydrated, then a doctor should be called and if required hospitalised.
2. If the child has Diarrhoea which is blood stained, then it requires urgent medical treatment.
3. Loose watery foul smelling motions 1-2 hours, accompanied with vomiting
4. Baby keeps vomitting and refuses to eat or drink
5. Baby has not urinated in the past 8 hours
6. Baby has fever (101 degree F or higher) and appears sick
7. Crying produces no tears and baby's mouth is dry.

Mild Diarrhoea can be treated by :

1. Keeping the baby well hydrated by giving plenty of fluids
2. If the baby is taking solid food, then change the diet, and give constipating foods like applesauce, strained bananas, rice and rice cereal.
3. Do not give baby any fruit juice
4. Breast feed can be continued. Bottle feeds also can be continued but it should be diluted.