Caring for Babies with Down Syndrome

June 11, 2021 3 min read

Caring for Babies with Down Syndrome

A baby born with Down syndrome has an extra chromosome. It’s essential to keep in mind that a child with Down syndrome will require the same affection, love, and care that any child deserves. Additionally, one needs to be more patient and attentive when tending to them.

A child with Down syndrome may have some intellectual and physical disabilities. In most cases, these disabilities are moderate. Your child will need care, and they will want your undivided attention. Let’s learn how to take care of babies with Down syndrome.

 

Your journey to improved development

Children with and without Down syndrome are children above all. Every child will have their emotions and moods. They are innately curious and are eager to learn new things, have fun, and play. The best way to let them be themselves is by allowing them to do all the things that any other child would. Read bedtime stories to them, let them meet other kids, etc. All these will enable them to have positive experiences. 

One important thing to understand is that every child with Down syndrome is somewhat different from the other. As the child starts to grow, your job will be to pay special attention to his or her intellectual and physical development. Some babies with Down syndrome have health issues, which need to be taken care of by an experienced doctor. Some of the health challenges that may occur are feeding issues, heart defects, hearing issues, and vision problems.

 

Growth and development of children with Down syndrome

If you are told that your baby has Down syndrome, you need to work with the doctor so that your child can have a better life. The child will have to go through certain tests to ensure that they do not face health issues. A screening test during the prenatal phase can detect whether a child has Edwards’ syndrome, otherwise known as Down syndrome. This test is available between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. A combined screening test comprising a blood test and ultrasound scan will be done to detect Down syndrome. Please note that the combined test won’t harm your baby, but it is recommended you speak with your doctor before the test. Babies with Down syndrome can be breastfed, but sometimes they might not be able to. In such cases, your doctor will talk to you about any special measure you need to take. 

A few things that you should get your child with Down syndrome involved in are:

  • Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy will allow your child to have better control over his/her muscles and body, letting him/her crawl and walk easily.

  • Occupational therapy: This is required to help them coordinate better and have fine motor skills.

  • Speech and language therapy: In some cases, speech and language therapy needs to be provided for better control over facial muscles required for swallowing, feeding, and speaking.

  • Special education: Special education will help your child with Down syndrome overcome behavioral and social challenges.

 

Things to Consider

A baby born with Down syndrome is as unique as other babies, and there is no need to feel disappointed and disheartened. Raising a child with Down syndrome is as rewarding as raising any other child. Creating a solid support system while raising your child will be prudent. Join community groups to talk to other parents who have kids with Down syndrome and understand what they are doing. Visit your doctor frequently to keep an eye on your child’s health. These measures will help you share your feelings and receive much-needed support.



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