Common Health Concerns for Your Baby

As a new parent, you will probably obsess over your baby’s health. There are many different problems that can affect babies during their first year of life. Some of these are minor complications and others can be serious causes for concern. Making yourself aware of the various common health concerns for your baby can help put your mind at ease about some of the most commonly seen problems, what they are and how they can be dealt with.

Jaundice

This condition will likely be noticeable within the first few hours of birth and while you and the baby are still in the hospital recovering. Jaundice is a condition that is caused when there is excess billirubin in the blood stream. This substance is created to break down red blood cells that are no longer needed. Babies with jaundice will take on a yellowish appearance in their skin and the whites of their eyes. Normally, this condition is harmless and in light cases is left to go away on its own. The hospital may place your baby under a special light in order to help get rid of the excess billirubin. In rare cases, if there is too much billirubin for too long, it can cause brain damage. This is an extremely rare concern however.

Cradle Cap

Another one of the most prevalent common health concerns for your baby is cradle cap. Many parents become alarmed when they see spots or a substance forming on the top of their child’s head. This is a common problem however and posses no real risk to your baby. This is a thick cakey substance that grows in the baby’s hair. It does not hurt them and will eventually go away on its own. For those who want to get rid of it faster, there are special shampoos that can be used to help get rid of it.

Thrush

Thrush is a yeast infection that occurs in the mouth and will cause white patches to show up on the tongue and gums. Baby’s immune systems are weak when they are first born and are not prepared to deal with a vast amount of yeast and this can often cause the infection. It is important to not try to rub the white patches away, as this can make them painful. Thrush for the most part is not painful, although it can sometimes cause discomfort when swallowing and may also cause a diaper rash at the same time. A simple oral medication like nystatin will usually be used to get rid thrush.

Colic

Colic is one of the most dreaded common health concerns for your baby that many parents will face. It is unknown exactly what causes a baby to be colicky, but babies affected by this problem will usually cry or fuss for hours on end all day long. This problem affects children usually from 3 weeks to 3 months of age. It is worse around 7-8 weeks of age and will usually go away by the time they are four months old. When it begins, many parents mistake its signs, such as tucked in knees and clenched fists as gas or other digestive issues, but colic is not connected with these at all. There are several calming, swaddling and rocking techniques that can be used to soothe a colicky baby, but there are no cures or medications for babies with colic. It is common for parents to become stressed or upset as well, but it is important to maintain a calm tone around the baby as anxiety in their parents will often make the colic worse.

Umbilical Hernias

This can be one of the most alarming common health concerns for your baby, but it is not generally painful and will almost always go away on its own. Sometimes when the baby’s umbilical cord is tied off, they will develop an umbilical hernia that will stick out at times and gets worse when they cry or strain during a bowel movement. When the baby is relaxed, if you push on the belly button lightly, the hernia will usually go back in. These can be scary to look at and can be quite large, but there is no real cause for concern. You can consult a doctor to see if anything more serious is going on, otherwise you will probably be instructed to leave it alone.

Common health concerns for your baby can often put you on edge, but are usually nothing to worry about. Although there are serious problems that can affect new babies, problems like the common ones above are not usually problematic and most of them will go away on their own or require only a simple dose of medicine.