Newborn Baby Health Problems

Newborn baby health problems are often a source of concern for new parents.

This little being so small and fragile and so dependent on you. You have to meet her every need, you have to interpret her wants - it can be scary.

Don't worry - many mothers and fathers have travelled the path before you. You too can be a great parent.

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This page will direct you to information about common baby health problems.

There are 3 main sections on this page:

  1. a little bit about normal things baby's do. Go there now
  2. a number of questions parents commonly ask about baby health problems. This is in alphabetical order (the index). Go there now
  3. information on signs of a serious illness in your baby. Go there now

It is normal for babies to do lots of things that might be new to you. Sometimes parents think that these are baby health problems but they are just normal behavior.

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A newborn baby:

  • sleeps a lot and only seems to wake for feeds in the first few days - that's normal
  • makes little noises while breathing - it's normal
  • wriggles around - it doesn't mean she is in pain or discomfort
  • is a preferential nose breather which means she won't breathe through her mouth until her nose is blocked! - so if her nose is blocked, before anything bad can happen, her internal mechanisms will make her gasp through her mouth and so she'll get air.
  • can have a lot of mucus - that's not surprising as babies swallow secretions during labour but don't worry as eventually the baby's body will get rid of this mucus. So don't be surprised if you see mucus in your baby's vomit or poop (poo).
  • can have a bowel motion (stool,poop, poo) after every feed or only once a week after about 6 weeks of age - that can be normal for her and will depend a bit on how she is being fed. To read more on what is normal for baby poop, click here
  • has frequent spills (vomits) - these usually don't cause dehydration or anything worrying. You can read more about this on the gastroesophageal reflux page
  • crys particularly from about 3 weeks old - we call this fussy behavior. Babies get colic (which is just excessive crying) about this time and as a result cry a lot. You can read more about this on the colic page
  • can have transient rashes that need no treatment
  • can have birthmarks that seem to get bigger in size like the strawberry nevus (hemangioma) - they eventually shrink away

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There are so many questions newborn baby health problems:

Don't panic. Hopefully, you'll find answers to all your questions on this site - click here to search site.

If not, Request Information on baby health problems that concern you.

Or use the search box below to search the worldwide web. 

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The following symptoms and signs are worrying in a newborn baby and may signify baby health problems. You should contact your doctor if your baby:

  • is blue or grey color, especially around the lips
  • is sweaty and breathless with feeding
  • does not ever watch your face
  • is very floppy and doesn't seem to recognize you
  • is cold to touch on the body. Press on the breast-bone with your thumb for 5 seconds so the skin goes white and then release your thumb. Count how long it takes for the color to return - if it takes longer than 3 seconds (1000-1, 1000-2, 1000-3), see your doctor urgently
  • is having difficulty breathing so much so that the ribs become prominent each time she breathes
  • has a bile-stained (bright green) vomit
  • is very irritable and not feeding well

Sometimes, it can be difficult to know how unwell your baby is. An English doctor has devised a scoring system to help parents of unwell babies.

If you want to check your baby's sickness score, go to BabyCheck.


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To read about primitive reflexes seen in newborn babies, click here

To read about normal development in the first 6 months, click here

To go to the main Development page, click here

To read about Newborn Rashes and Birthmarks, click here

To go to the Crying page, click here - read about what causes crying in babies and what you can do about it

To go to the Vomiting page, click here - read about vomiting - links to information on Gastroesophageal Reflux and Pyloric Stenosis

To read about signs of Serious Illness, click here

To go to BabyCheck to score your baby for illness, click here

To go to the top of the Baby Health Problems page, click here

To return to the Home page, click here


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Useful Links for New and Expectant Mothers

Love Your Baby - provides breastfeeding mothers with information and guidance in caring for their babies. In an effort to help mothers prevail over the challenges related to breastfeeding, loveyourbaby.com is now offering Breastfeeding Online Services.

baby-shower-depot - Create a baby shower that everyone will love - Information on planning, decorations, gifts, favors, games etc


Last reviewed on 17 July 2012.

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Dr Maud MD

Dr Maud MD (MBChB, FRACP, FRCPCH), a specialist pediatrician, provides health information and medical advice for parents of babies and toddlers. Read more about Dr Maud.


We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health
information:
verify here.



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