Is that normal? A sentence that can be heard worldwide from the parents of newborn babies. While second guessing ourselves as parents starts from day one, there are a few common newborn ailments that are perfectly normal for your baby to have.
1) Cradle cap
Cradle cap is basically a form of dandruff that newborns may have. The scalp may look slightly scaly and the dry pieces tend to fall off.
What to do: Cradle cap mostly disappears after a few months. If your child seems to have a more severe case, wash their hair once a day with a gentle no tear shampoo and apply a cradle cap cream or petroleum jelly to the area.
Milia are tiny white dots that can appear on a baby’s nose, chin or forehead. These look like pimples or white heads, but are actually tiny skin flakes trapped underneath the skin.
What to do: Absolutely nothing. These will disappear by themselves. Don’t attempt to remove or squeeze them.
3) Nappy Rash
While nappy rash is not as common in newborns as the other ailments on this list, it can occur. It is a raised red rash that can appear on the baby’s bum and genitals. It can be caused from a wet nappy, their body adjusting to formula or breast milk, or medication.
What to do: Change your baby’s nappy regularly and as soon as you see they have a dirty or wet nappy. Use unscented wipes or cotton wool dipped in clean warm water to wipe the area before applying a nappy rash cream. Temperature permitting, try leave baby without a nappy on for awhile for fresh air. If the rash worsens, is obviously painful or bleeds, your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream.
Newborns often suffer with thrush in their mouths. It appears as white patches on their tongue, cheeks or gums and can look like leftover milk. It is in actual fact a yeast infection which if not treated can hinder their feeding.
What to do: Do not try and wipe the white areas away as this can worsen the thrush and pain for your baby. Thrush can be passed back and forth between baby and breastfeeding mother, so your doctor may prescribe an anti-fungal medication for both you and baby.
5) Umbilical Granuloma
An Umbilical granuloma is a small growth of tissue that can form on your baby’s healed belly button. It looks like a little red lump and can sometimes be covered in pus or discharge.
What to do: While the granuloma itself is not painful or dangerous, it can become infected. Look out for redness around the area, sensitivity or fever. Your doctor will examine your baby’s umbilical cord at each check up and if a granuloma is evident will guide you on what topical solution, like silver nitrate, to use. If you think that the area is infected see a doctor immediately.
* If the reader or any other person has a medical concern for their child, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials.
Toptots Early Learning SA