National Association Of Physicians

Infant Depression

If you think depression is only a problem faced by adults, you are in for a surprise. A new born child is as much prone to depression as adults are. Babies can be depressed and the reason for depression can be several. Infant depression is not a common phenomenon but it can certainly be found in some children. Infant depressions are not under the control of parents. The reasons for infant depression can be traumatic birth, subsequent hospitalization and medications or it can be the home environment where the baby lives. If the baby’s cries are neglected, baby becomes distressed and develops depression. Even changing patterns of sleep or changing patterns in feeding can make the baby disturbed and irritable. Babies show their depression by consequently crying following severe vomiting, fever and increased heart rate. Baby also experiences loneliness if left alone in bed or cradle. If these are neglected baby undergoes a series of stressful events leading to increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Not only that, these baby depressions can become an emotional issue later in life and lead to a long term depression from which a comeback is difficult.

One way to avoid the development of emotional issues is to keep the baby always happy. Playing with the baby, talking with her and changing the environment will keep the baby always energetic. Do not leave the baby alone in cradle or bed for long periods of time. Babies enjoy to be tightly hugged in their loved ones arms. If the baby shows uncontrolled emotions such as crying or sleeplessness then divert the baby’s mind by playing music or singing. If the baby does not get the proper food from breast feeding, the baby tends to gets irritated and hence breast feeding regularly. It provides comfort and stimulates emotionally.

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