Common Concerns During Infancy: Parental Concerns and Problems

Parental Concerns and Problems Related to Normal Infant Development


  • Instruct the parents that infants may be resistant to chewing for a day because of teething.
  • Educate the parents that the following manifestations are not normal during toot eruption and any of these symptoms signifies an underlying infection or disease process requiring evaluation.
  1. High fever
  2. Seizures
  3. Vomiting
  4. Diarrhea
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications sold for teething should be discouraged if they contain benzocaine. Benzocaine is a topical anesthetic that once applied in the throat can interfere with the gag reflex.
  • For pain relief of teething, Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 10 to 15 mg/kg every 4 hours can be used.
  • Encourage parents to always check their infant’s health with a health care provider before administering OTC drugs.
  • To provide soothing coolness against tender gums teething rings can be placed in the refrigerator.
  • Check articles within baby’s reach to be sure that they are safe to chew or edible as teething infants tend to place almost any object in the mouth.

Thumb Sucking

  • Parents should be educated that thumb sucking is normal and does not cause any jaw malformations on the jaw line as long as it stops by school age period.
  • Thumb sucking peaks at about 18 months where it may begin as early as 3 months of age.
  • Educate the parents that making an out of thumb sucking does not cause a child to stop the habit. It usually intensifies and prolongs the habit of thumb sucking. The best approach is to be certain an infant has adequate sucking pleasure and then ignore thumb sucking.

Head Banging

  • Educate parents that head banging is a normal mechanism of relief of infants for tension.
  • Head banging begins during the second half of the first year of life and continuing through to the preschool period. It is associated with naptime or bedtime which lasts for about 15 minutes. This habit is normal as children use this measure to relax and fall asleep.
  • Investigate stress factors in the house.
  • Advise parents to pad the crib rails so that infants cannot hurt themselves.
  • Excessive head banging suggests a pathologic condition and children with this condition needs counseling and further evaluation.

Sleep Problems

  • Educate mother that breast-fed infants tend to wake up more often than formula fed infants because breast milk is easily digested thus, infants fed in breast milk gets hungry sooner.
  • Remaining awake for long periods of time and waking at night is common during the late infancy period.
  • To eliminate night waking or cope with this situation the following should be done:
  1. Delaying bed time for 1 hour.
  2. Shortening the afternoon sleep period.
  3. Do not responding immediately to infants so that they can have time to sleep on their own.
  4. Providing soft toys and music to allow infant to play quietly alone.

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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