Babies at birth may not look as you might have imagined. Their head shape may look odd. There skin may have some sticky substance. Eyes may be puffy. It may have some red marks as well. Don’t be dismayed. These are normal for the baby. And with time, these will change to the expected features.
As your baby grows during the initial weeks, you will find many events, which may seem alarming and cause lot of anxiety. But, most of these are normal and with passage of time disappear and require no treatment. Some of the events are:
May look little elongated. This due to birth pressure and should look normal in two weeks. There could be soft boggy swelling ,over the head, which pits on pressure. It is due to compression around the presenting part of the head, during the delivery. Called ‘ Caput’ it usually disappears in 2- 3 days.
At times, swelling over the head may be due to leaking of blood, under the outer covering of the skull bone. Its well defined ,soft and mostly on one side of the head, over one of the skull bone. Called ‘Cephalhematoma’ usually disappears in 6-8 weeks.
There is a soft spot, on the top of the head called ‘fontanel’, here bones of the head have not joined yet. Its size is variable and it pulsates with heart beat. It takes about 12 to 18 months to fill this spot. One must consult doctor, if it closes before six months or remains open after 2 years of life.
Eyelids are puffy [swollen] at birth due to pressure of birth. This swelling will disappear in couple of days.
Watery discharge from one or both eyes is normal during initial months. This is due to blockage of duct responsible for drainage of secretions from the eye. Consult your doctor if secretion turns yellowish, which could be due to infection.
Red spot in the eyes, over white portion is due to leaking of small amount of blood. It may look alarming, but is totally harmless and will disappear in 4 to 6 weeks.
Red colored spots and rashes appearing on second or third day are very common. Starting from face they may spread and involve whole of the body. No treatment is required and they disappear in next couple of days. Scaling and peeling of skin especially on the hand and feet is common and clears in few days.
Blue colored spots over lower back and extremities are virtually seen an all babies. Termed as ‘ Mongolian spots’ are of no significance they usually disappear between 12- 18 months.
Red colored birthmarks called stork bites seen over eyelids, forehead and back of the neck; take about one year to go.
Strawberry like birthmarks, tend to increase initially but eventually disappear by the child is five.
Milia are white or yellow pinhead spots seen on the nose are due to retention of secretions; disappear spontaneously.
One or both breasts may become swollen around 4th day. Little milk may also come out. Perfectly normal condition. Swelling disappears in about 2 weeks. Never try to squeeze or massage.
In baby girl, bleeding from vagina, may occur third day onwards; usually disappears by 7th day.
In baby boys, skin around the tip of the penis is adherent and non-retractable, which may persist for 2 to 3 years. Do not try to retract it forcibly.
A newborn baby should pass stool within first 24 hrs.
After that stools for first two days are dark green and sticky called meconium. 3rd day onward color becomes yellowish, semisolid to watery in consistency and there is a tendency to pass stool after every feed. They may pass stools upto 15-20 times a day. This is quite normal and termed as transitional stool. No treatment is required.
On the other hand, some babies do not pass daily, some may even pass at the interval of 5 or 6 days. As long as baby is active , accepting feeds regularly, passing urine frequently and his abdomen is not unduly distended there is nothing to worry.
Most babies pass urine within 48 hours of birth.
After about a week, urine frequency increases, it may go upto 20 times a day, but it should not be less than 6 times in 24 hours.
Babies usually look uncomfortable or cry just before passing urine. This is a normal reaction from feeling of distended bladder.
Watch out – if baby dribbles, has thin stream of urine or has excessive cry during urination. It could be due to some obstruction. Consult your pediatrician.
Most newborn babies sneeze , they do it in all kind of weathers. Sneezing is not a sign of cold. They do it to clear respiratory passage of mucus and secretions. It’s a sign of good health so one should not worry.
Regurgitation of milk (vomiting)
Most newborns have a tendency to throw out small amount of fresh or curdled milk especially after the feeds. This occurs due to a condition called aerophagia where babies swallow air while taking feeds. When this air comes out it brings some milk with it. Condition is aggravated, when baby is on bottle feeds and size of bottle teat is too small or too large.
As long as baby is active, accepting feeds well, passing urine adequately and gaining weight properly there nothing to worry.
Proper burping after each feed is the best remedy to prevent excessive vomiting. To burp one should hold baby in lap or against the shoulder and tap her back gently for about 5 minutes. If he doesn’t burp don’t try too hard , baby may not require it. After burping, place baby in right lateral posture with head slightly above the body.
Vomiting could be indication of serious underlying problem if; Vomiting is forceful Is associated with abdominal distention Vomitus is of green color
Yellowish discoloration of eyes and body. Starts on 2nd or 3rd day of the life. Increases till 5th to 7th day and than gradually subside by 11th to 14th day of the life. Mostly It’s a harmless condition called “physiological jaundice”. Occurs due to elevation of a substance in blood called bilirubin.
Usually no treatment is required, but consult your pediatrician. No role of sun exposure. Its not caused by eating yellow colored foodstuffs like papaya or mango. It has no relation to wearing yellow clothes. No need to keep the household tube lights on. But jaundice could be dangerous if: