Baby Health

Caring for your infant's health

Children's health is a major concern to any parent, but the health radar goes into overdrive when your child is still a baby. How do you know everything is okay when your child can't yet tell you?

From feeding and burping to holding their head up, everything in a baby's first few years is measured with scientific markers, or milestones. These milestones are guidelines provided by doctors to help parents ensure their child is developing on schedule - how scientific!

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The problem is, parenting isn't always a science, and for most parents, these markers can cause even more confusion, and sometimes panic. But the trick is to remember that every child is different, and that each will develop at their own pace. The markers, as well thought out as they are, are there to be used as guidelines only.

In our baby section, our goal is to give you a feel for these guidelines and all things related to your baby's health and to get you prepared for what you can expect - but also to help you understand that parenting is about learning as you go and using your instincts. Pay attention to your baby's health and development, make frequent doctor's visits and follow your heart, and you can rest assured that your child's health is in good hands.

Tips for Your Baby's Health Care

As a parent, you should be aware of weight targets for your infant and, as your child gets a little older, growth targets. Some of the earliest warning signs that there may be an underlying health problem are related to underweight children and children who aren't growing at a healthy rate.

Many other infant health problems are related to eating habits. If you have a particularly hard time getting your baby to eat, there may be a digestive or metabolic condition that needs to be checked out. Lengthy crying fits that are difficult to soothe can also signal pain and should be checked out by your pediatrician.

Of course, regular medical care is essential for the first couple years of life. You should take your baby in to see a doctor every three to six months, just to make sure everything is all right. If you have some reason to suspect your baby may be ill or has a medical condition that was undetected at birth, make an appointment right away. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can make a major difference.