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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #039
December 01, 2009

New Questions and Answers

Question:My baby boy is 4 months old. About a month ago I noticed a soft lump near the top of his back about the size if a nickle. It has since grown to the size of an egg, sticking out about 1 cm. The village doctor said it is not a big worry and he could cut it out when he is a few months older, but I am getting quite concerned

Answer: You haven't said that the lump is any particular colour so I'm assuming it is skin coloured. If the lump is soft, then is likely to be a lipoma or fat collection. There are no medical issues with these but large ones can cause embarrassment and that would be the reason to remove it. These do not have to be removed until children are older and if it is this, I would wait until your son is at school or just about to start before I let anyone try cutting it out.

If the lump is bluish in colour, then it is likely to be a haemangioma. Often they look like a strawberry growing on the body but if they are under the skin, they can just look bluish. They do get bigger over the first year of life but then start naturally shrinking in size and most are gone by the time children are about 5 years old. See the Birthmark page for more information on this (look under "strawberry nevus or hemangioma"). Don't let anybody cut this out.

Question: When holding my daughter facing outward and holding her legs inward toward her stomach her right leg feels like it flutters or vibrates. Is this something to worry about she is 3 months old.

Answer: It sounds as if what you are feeling is muscle twitches that happen when the muscle is stretched to a certain point - the natural muscle reflexes cause a fluttering of the muscle as it stretches and then contracts again. Usually if you move the leg slightly this phenomenon will stop. You may be aware yourself of times when you get a flutter of a muscle.

If your baby is well in every other way and she has normal movement of her right leg, I wouldn't worry. If you have any other concerns, so if she is not herself or if she doesn't move her right side the same as her left, then see your doctor.

Question: My baby's tongue is covered with a white substance that goes away while wiped, but keeps coming back again.

Answer: If the white substance wipes away, it is most likely just a coating of milk and so is nothing to worry about. This is commonly seen in young babies.

If the white substance doesnot wipe off easily, then your baby probably has thrush - see the Thrush page.

All the best with your new baby.

Question: From the time of birth how many months does the baby have to be safe for air travel. The baby is healthy and 2 months old.

Answer: There is no restriction on babies flying so your 2 month old is fine to travel by air. Newborn babies can fly.

Have a good trip.

News and Updates

A Great Idea for a Gift during the Festive Season

I have just read an inspiring book called "What You Wish For" by Paul Blacklow who died from motor neurone disease in 2007. It is described as "One Man's Guide to Life, Death and Alternative Therapies" - it is an uplifting story. A must if you are interested in alternative therapy, or if you just want to be inspired by immense human courage.

The book is published by Paul's family and proceeds go to the Educational Fund set up for his children.

You can order a copy by sending a cheque for $35.00 NZD (that's less than $30 USD) made to "The Blacklow Education Trust" to Julianne Blacklow, PO Box 27-145, Christchurch, New Zealand. Alternatively, email:

Baby Medical Questions and Answers Wishes you and your family a Happy Holiday Season

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