What are the 10 Common Problems of Newborns?
Every mother of a newborn and anyone who has ever tried to interact with a newborn is aware of the numerous activities involved. You have to take good care of these amazing little creatures by feeding, changing diapers, bathing, soothing them, and making sounds. Common problems of newborns include colic, jaundice, rashes, and difficulty sleeping, but a little know-how and preparation can help you handle these challenges effectively.
However, the health of newborn babies is always something to pay attention to, not necessarily to worry excessively about. And in this article, we discuss some problems you can spot in your newborn that warrant contacting your pediatrician.
An Uncommon List of Common Problems of Newborns and what to do if you ever spot them
In most cases, we think and assume that babies, especially newborns, have perfect and flawless skin. Others wish to have skin like that of a baby. However, this is not always the case given that one common problem that newborns face is skin rash. Let's look more closely at the skin issues and other common problems of newborns below:
Apart from crying, pooping, and sleeping, one of the most common characteristics of a newborn baby is skin rash. Babies have an uncanny ability to develop skin rash anywhere on their skin. Yes. Anywhere, you name it. face, back, arms, neck, belly, and yes, the big diaper area, the king of them all. Now before you think skin rashes are weird to you and you alone, never mind, the healthcare professionals think so too.
They come in different forms and shapes like
Bumps as bumpy rash
Scaly rash - as patches
Wet wet non- oozing rash
Flat discolored rash
Sand paper (yes, it is a thing) rash
Oozing (some say weeping) rash
Fleshy rash - fleshy-looking
Itchy or pruritic rash
Non-itchy (you guessed right non-pruritic)
As if the wide variety was not enough, rashes can also come in a combo of any two or more forms seen above. Still, we often do not encourage worry. Instead, be proactive. The good news is that most of them are not serious. Hence they should not worry you.
There are, however, scenarios that will require you to act and to act fast, especially considering the tender age of your little one who might not even be up to a full moon (less than a month) just yet. Such would include symptoms like fever, vomiting, refusing to eat, and of course, excessive crying. Also, if the rash appears suddenly, then you should indeed seek medical care immediately.
Anyone with experience caring for newborns, knows that these vulnerable little ones cry a whole lot. Sometimes, for no specific reason at all! However, as a mother or caregiver, this doesn't mean you should neglect them. Rather, ensure you feed your newborn properly. Additionally, you can ensure the baby is burped and stays warm. Moreover, their diapers should be clean, and you may need to change it if it is dirty.
The question then is, what happens when you have done all these and everything is in check, but the baby is still crying, what should you do? Understandably, you might be frustrated since you have done all the necessary things, yet your baby still can't seem to stop crying. In this situation of excessive crying, what should you do? Well, one thing you can do is probably hold your newborn, sing or talk to him or her until he or she stops crying. What a soothing strategy! Remember, this is not the time to spoil your baby with too much attention.
When you have done all those, but your baby still can’t stop crying, you can wrap him or her comfortably in a blanket. The good news is that you will know how to differentiate the various cries over time. Plus, you will know the patterns of crying such that in case something is not right, you may know how to handle things and when to seek the help of a doctor. Once you have mastered your baby’s sleep patterns, you will be able to take note of any strange sounds.
Now, if the cries are prolonged, you may need to be a bit worried as your baby might have serious health conditions. You can hurry and contact your pediatrician so that you are given the necessary advice and help.
This is another problem experienced by many healthy newborns. It is a condition in which a newborn's skin appears yellowish. Also, if the white parts of your newborn's eyes appear yellow, it could be a sign of jaundice.
Moreover, it can also appear on the legs, abdomen, arms, and legs of the newborn in some cases. This condition is normally experienced within a few days after the baby is born. It is estimated that almost half the number of newborns develop this condition in their early days. The good thing is that they experience a mild form of jaundice. On the other hand, if your newborn is a premature baby, this condition might start early and last for a longer time compared to full-term newborns.
Well, you might be wondering about its causes. Jaundice in newborns occurs due to high levels of bilirubin produced by newborns. Bilirubin is produced as a result of the breakdown of red blood cells. Besides, jaundice is common in newborns since their livers are still immature and hence are unable to get rid of the yellowish bilirubin from their bloodstream and also because of increased reuptake from the intestines. Besides, other types of jaundice are a result of infections, breastfeeding problems, as well as a mismatch in the blood type of a baby and the mother.
One thing that can help is to breastfeed your newborn around eight to twelve times daily. This way, enough milk will be produced that will reduce the levels of bilirubin. In most cases, jaundice is observed once the newborn leaves the hospital and is at home. Therefore, if you notice that your newborn has signs of jaundice, you can contact your doctor. This condition is treatable in most cases. However, if it is extreme, it can lead to brain damage. You wouldn’t want such for your newborn, would you?
It is common to see most newborns sleep for very long hours. Most of their time is spent sleeping. But, sleeping is only normal when the baby wakes up after a few hours, eats properly, remains alert for some part of the day, and generally looks content. If such happens, the newborn can just sleep on for the remaining time.
However, you may worry a bit if your newborn isn't awake for some parts of the day, doesn't wake up on his or her own to eat, looks very tired, and isn't interested in breastfeeding. The baby may not be safe at all if he or she sleeps too much. So, you should tell your child's doctor so you can see what can be done. Importantly, if you notice such a sudden change in their sleep pattern, you need to take quick action as it could be a pointer to some serious illness, of which the excessive sleeping could just be one of many symptoms.
This is also a common problem experienced by newborns. Although, newborns should be able to establish regular breathing patterns immediately after birth, it is not uncommon for them to experience some periods of irregularities in their pattern of breathing.
However, when you notice that your baby’s breathing is unusual, the nasal passages are probably blocked. How can you fix this problem? You can use saline nasal drops. Then you can then use a bulb syringe to fix the issue. However, there are certain scenarios that call for concern, if you notice them in your newborn, and should have you ready to inform your pediatrician immediately. They include:
- Increased rate of breathing, usually over 60 breaths per minute. However, you should also know that babies breathe faster than adults.
- You notice that with each breath your newborn takes, he or she sucks in the muscles between the ribs. This causes the ribs to stick out.
- The baby grunts when breathing
- Unending blue coloring on the body parts of the baby.
Therefore, you need to always be aware of how your newborn breathes so that you can easily notice a change in breathing. When it is abnormal breathing with any symptoms highlighted above, you should inform your doctor immediately. Do not waste time.
You probably enjoy giving your baby some food. When you are done feeding your newborn, especially when it is heavy feeding, you may notice that the belly has stuck out. Have you ever noticed swelling or bloating in the belly of your newborn? That probably stressed you out with worry. However, if you notice that the belly of your newborn is quite soft when you are still feeding him or her, you should not be worried. On the other hand, if your newborn experiences any of the following, you should consult a pediatrician;
- Swollen and hard abdomen of a newborn
- Lack of bowel movement for more than one or two days.
In most cases, abdominal distention is a problem as a result of excess gas or constipation. Sadly, the condition can be a sign of a major intestinal problem. This means that it is important for a new parent to always be in the know, so that can help you help solve the situation.
Blue Baby Syndrome
This is a condition where the skin of a baby turns blue. It is a result of less oxygen in the baby's blood. Some babies are born with the condition while others develop it in their early lives. If you have noticed your newborn's hands and feet appear mildly blue, you should not be overly concerned. In some cases, the hands and feet can turn blue due to cold.
In these scenarios, they will later return to pink immediately they are warm. Additionally, if your newborn cries hard, the lips, face, and tongue may turn blue. This should also not worry you. When your baby is calm again, the normal pink color will resume. Therefore, in these occasional scenarios, there can be some blue coloration on the mentioned parts of your newborn's body but, most times, the initial color of the baby's skin will return once the conditions go back to normal. However, you should be concerned if you notice that the blue color remains persistent.
Moreover, if the newborn experiences breathing problems as well, with difficulty in feeding, the problem can be serious. Probably the lungs and the hearts are not functioning properly. When your baby's lungs or heart are not operating well, he is not getting enough blood and this can be very serious. Therefore, when you see all these, you can inform your doctor immediately so your newborn can receive medical attention from a professional.
Injuries at Birth
Most expectant mothers hope and wish for safe births, with no injury or complication to either them or the babies. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you thought that babies couldn't get hurt when they were born, you were wrong. If the labor is long and hard, or if the baby is too big, the mother could get hurt.
So, it is true that babies can be hurt at this very important time. The good news is that they can recover very quickly from some of these injuries. However, some go on for way longer and they recover much later. You are probably wondering about the kinds of injuries that newborns can have at birth. A newborn can have a broken arm collarbone. If the arm is left motionless for a while, it is easier for the baby to heal fast. Also, you might notice a lump forming at the position of the fracture a few weeks later. This is all but a sign that there is the formation of a new bone.
Another injury that newborns can have at birth is muscle weakness. Sometimes, one side of the baby's face, shoulder, or arm are weaker. This could be relieved after some time depending on the cause and how severe the condition is. However, in other cases, the weakness may be caused by a more serious condition, so you should reach out to your pediatrician for help. As your baby's wounds heal, you can ask your pediatrician to explain and show you how to hold and nurse the baby in a way that will help the healing process.
Babies are wonderful little beings. They need more care and attention with kindness and love. But there are problems that they have when they are very young. Some of them are common, so you don't need to worry about them.
On the other hand, some problems are so bad that someone needs to help the baby right away before things get worse. If you have doubts about any condition or any symptom your baby has, you can always contact your doctor. Help your baby live a healthy life by addressing any of the conditions that can interfere with their health.
If you are located in Roswell, Georgia, consider visiting after hour pediatrics for your newborn's medical needs. They accept Peach State Health Plan and Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance, so be sure to check if you are covered. In any case of concern, it is always best to consult with a pediatrician for proper evaluation and treatment.