Cleft lip repair surgery helps to protect your child from the social issues that he or she may experience as a result of having a different appearance. And since a cleft lip can lead to speech and tooth development problems, making sure that this problem is fixed as soon as possible will ensure hassle-free child development. However, while cleft lip repair surgery isn't complicated and rarely leaves scarring, it is uncomfortable for the child. As your child recovers, he or she may not be able to eat as usual. There is also the risk of the baby disturbing the stitches, something that may then prolong the recovery period.
As a parent, there are things that you can do to help ensure that your child's recovery goes as smooth as possible.
Hold and talk to your child
Surgery is unfamiliar to your child. The pain and discomfort that he or she experiences after the cleft lip surgery is likely to leave him or her scared. To make sure that your child is relaxed, it is advisable that you hold them as frequently as possible. Talking to the child will also help assure them that they are not alone. And if they are at an age that they can understand, you can even try to explain what is going on. This will also encourage them to open up about their experiences and will be a good way to gauge your child's progress -- recovery-wise. Doing this will help put your child in the right mental frame, something that will go a long way towards accelerating their rate of recovery.
Create a familiar environment
Undergoing surgery and the restrictions that come with the recovery stage can be very frustrating. To calm your child down, creating as familiar an environment as they are used to is very important.
One of the things you can do to ensure that your child is in a familiar environment is to give them play toys, blankets, and pillows that they are used to. Familiar music will also help to soothe your child. And if your child can read, giving them books they find interesting or reading to them familiar stories will help to create a good environment for recovery.
In addition to the above, you should also ensure that you follow the doctor's recommendation. This includes making sure that your child wears the arm restraints for as long as is necessary to keep them from disturbing the stitches -- however uncomfortable they may be. Remembering to clean the wound and thereafter apply ointment will also help.
For more information, talk to a doctor at a clinic like Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati.