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How do I Care for a Baby with Cerebral Palsy?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 23 March 2018
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If you want to give your baby with cerebral palsy the best care possible, the first step involves a proper evaluation from his pediatrician. Finding a specialist who has experience in treating infants with cerebral palsy is vital. Parents of a baby with cerebral palsy will need to find therapists to help their child with his needs. Parents also will have to learn how to manage some complications of their child's cerebral palsy, including nutritional difficulties, seizures, and problems associated with a weakened immune system.

As a baby with cerebral palsy matures, he will most likely require various therapy programs. Physical therapy is one essential component. Speech therapy is another. Some therapists are trained in providing care for several aspects of treatment, but in many cases, your baby may need to see more than one therapist.

Quite often, a pediatric specialist will recommend the baby with cerebral palsy begin a therapy program when he is about eight months to one year old. Some may benefit from beginning therapy sooner. If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a very young age, most likely the disease is a congenital one. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend physical therapy before your baby's first birthday.

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Caring for your baby with severe cerebral palsy will also mean monitoring him to ensure he does not choke during feeding. When he begins to eat solid food, the baby with cerebral palsy may be more prone to difficulties in swallowing, making choking a hazard to watch out for. As he enters the toddler stage, foods with soft textures are often recommended.

Seizures are another common problem for a baby with cerebral palsy. Knowing how to treat the child who is experiencing a seizure and ensuring he is in no danger during an episode is a vital part of care. Your child's doctor can provide the best advice on this matter.

A baby with cerebral palsy will be more susceptible to infection and often have a suppressed immune system. If you notice your baby is frequently contracting colds and other respiratory infections, be sure he has proper nutritional support for his needs. Special vitamin supplements may be highly recommended.

Parents of a baby with cerebral palsy may also seek out help from a support group. There are options available, so if you feel overwhelmed, remember that you do not have to go this alone. Online support groups may provide comfort and advice from others who share your experience. There are various organizations in most large cities that may offer support as well. Doing a bit of research or inquiring from your local hospital may help.

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