Five Common Conditions Seen in Newborns
After all that waiting, your baby is finally here. They are your whole heart, and you want nothing more than to keep them safe and healthy. Knowing what to watch out for can help you navigate this very new and exciting time. Here are five of the most common conditions seen in newborns.
Imagine how the rumblings of gas feel to your teeny, tiny newborn. Abdominal distension is common after feeding but should go back to feeling soft. If your baby’s belly appears swollen and hard, if they haven’t had a bowel movement in more than three days or if they are vomiting, call your pediatrician. Chances are, the problem is gas, which can be uncomfortable to a newborn with limited space in their belly. Some solutions for helping reduce gas include feeding them with their heads higher than the rest of their bodies. Throughout the feeding process take a moment to burp them every 10-15 minutes. Place them in the football hold with their chin against your palm and burp them. Lastly, try bicycling their legs to relieve gas. Lay your baby on their back, bend their legs at their knees and move them together in a circle pattern five times one way and five times the other. This should do the trick! If it doesn’t, give us a call for more suggestions.
That sweet, perfect baby bottom can go from healthy to raw in no time! Diaper rash often occurs when wet diapers are left on for too long, which can irritate your baby’s delicate skin when combined with the friction of a diaper. You can help prevent diaper rash by thoroughly cleansing your newborn’s skin when changing their diaper and letting the skin dry thoroughly before putting a new diaper on them. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend using baby powder. Instead, use diaper cream to help protect your baby’s skin. Zinc oxide diaper creams, like Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, work well to help clear up a rash, while petroleum-based products such as Aquaphor help protect against a rash. If your baby gets a diaper rash, it is best to let them have some naked time to dry out a bit. Place several towels or cloth diapers under your baby and if you have a boy, cover their penis loosely to prevent accidents.
One of the hardest things you can experience as a parent is the inability to soothe your newborn. Yet around 20% (1 in 5) of babies have colic. Defined by the Mayo Clinic as frequent, prolonged intense crying by an otherwise healthy child, colic episodes usually occur in the early evening and can last hours. Colic typically peaks around six weeks of age but can begin as early as two weeks of age and usually resolves on its own around 3 to 4 months of age. If your child is experiencing intense and frequent crying, schedule an appointment with their pediatrician to ensure they are not ill. Colic can be extremely stressful for parents, so parents must support one another to ensure breaks are taken as needed.
Most newborn babies will spit up at some point or another. Unlike vomiting, spitting up is not intense but rather an easy release of their stomach’s contents, often with a burp. Most babies stop spitting up around 12 months of age. Some tips to help prevent spitting up include feeding your baby with their head higher than the rest of their body, frequent burping throughout feeding, and keeping them upright for 30 minutes after feeding. Do not overfeed them and consider smaller, more frequent feedings to help eliminate overfill. Thoroughly burp your baby after each feeding and always place your baby to sleep on their back. If you are concerned about your baby, schedule an appointment with their pediatrician. While spitting up is very common, it can sometimes indicate an underlying condition.
About 60% of all full-term babies and 80% of preemies develop a yellowish tint to their skin, called jaundice. Caused by a buildup of bilirubin, jaundice often occurs because the liver hasn’t developed enough to remove the bilirubin from the blood. Jaundice usually appears around two days after birth and is often gone by around day six. Most jaundice cases are mild. However, some can develop into a serious condition requiring light therapy. Jaundice usually first appears on the face, then on the abdomen, and finally on the legs and arms. Most pediatric providers will want to see your baby at four to five days old so that they can check bilirubin levels. However, some will need to be seen sooner.
Having a new baby is an extraordinary thing to experience, but it can also be stressful. Our goal is that this information helps you know what to expect and how to protect your newborn. If you have questions, please give our office a call so we can help you. We are here for you whenever you need us. You’ve got this!