Babies & Infants

Dr Bisiwe takes an active interest in all childhood illnesses, but takes a special interest in common non-specific issues affecting infants.

Many infants experience issues that apparently have no cause - issues which can be extremely stressful to new parents. Most of these conditions are quite common, particularly in the evenings. These periods of crankiness may feel like torture, especially if you have other demanding children or work to do, but fortunately they don't last long.

While the causes of some of these conditions are not known, there are steps we can take to make your infant more comfortable and ease their symptoms - so if believe your baby is experiencing any of the following conditions, call Dr Bisiwe’s practice and schedule your appointment.

Crying & Colic:

Crying is a normal practice for newborns - it’s how they communicate their needs to us. It gives your baby a way to call for help when they’re hungry or uncomfortable. It helps shut out sights, sounds, and other sensations that are too intense to and it helps your baby release tension.

Colic can be one of the major stresses in child rearing. The colicky infant usually cries for at least several hours a day, more often in the late afternoon and early evening hours. It begins in the first few weeks of life, peaks in the fourth to sixth week, and then typically resolves by the third or fourth month of life. Your child may display sudden and intense crying which is accompanied by stiffening, drawing up of the legs, and passing of gas.

The cause of colic is unknown. Although many people assume that it is a result of intestinal pain, the cause seems to vary with each infant. Air swallowing, immaturity of the intestinal tract, immaturity of the nervous system, a hypersensitivity to a protein in cow's milk, a sensitivity to environmental stimuli, and low progesterone have all been suggested as possible factors.

Sleeping Problems:

Babies do not have regular sleep cycles until about 6 months of age. While newborns sleep about 16 to 17 hours per day, they may only sleep for 1 or 2 hours at a time. As babies get older, they need less sleep. However, different babies have different sleep needs. It is normal for a 6-month-old to wake up during the night but go back to sleep after a few minutes.

Sleep is very important to your child’s health and well-being. In fact, good sleep habits start from birth. Children who do not get enough sleep may have trouble functioning during the day. At night, they may find it hard to settle.

If you feel that your baby is not getting enough sleep, please do not hesitate to contact us offices and schedule an appointment.

Behavioural Issues:

Many new parents might not know what is considered "normal" newborn behavior. Babies develop at different rates, but they still display many of the same behaviors. Don’t be alarmed if your baby seems a little behind. It is important to know what kind of behaviors to expect from your newborn so that you can tell if there is a problem.

If your baby was born prematurely, don’t compare his or her development to that of full-term newborns. Premature babies are often developmentally behind full-term babies. If your baby was born two months early, then he or she might be two months behind a full-term baby. Your doctor will follow the developmental progress of your premature baby. Contact Dr Bisiwe if you think your baby is developing at an unusually delayed rate.

Feeding:

Infant feeding problems are a common reason for parents to bring their babies to a specialist. Some of the more common feeding problems arising in very young children are cow’s milk allergy, lactose intolerance, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and colic

Keep an eye out for the following symptoms, and be sure to bring your baby to Dr Bisiwe if they present with any of the following:

  • Arches their back or stiffens when feeding
  • Cries or fusses when feeding
  • Falls asleep when feeding
  • Has problems breastfeeding
  • Has trouble breathing while eating and drinking
  • Refuses to eat or drink
  • Eats only certain textures, such as soft food or crunchy food
  • Takes a long time to eat
  • Has problems chewing
  • Coughs or gags during meals
  • Drools a lot or has liquid come out her mouth or nose
  • Gets stuffy during meals
  • Has a gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice during or after meals
  • Spits up or throws up a lot
  • Is not gaining weight or growing

Not every child has every sign listed here. Your child may show a few signs or many of them. Your child may be at risk for:

  • dehydration or poor nutrition
  • food or liquid going into the airway, called aspiration
  • pneumonia or other lung infections

When infants and babies display signs or symptoms of distress, it is very important to schedule an appointment with your practitioner. Dr Bisiwe is an experienced paediatrician, who has spent many years treating babies and infants for a wide range of conditions and illnesses. If you would like to book an appointment with Dr Bisiwe, please do not hesitate to give us a call.