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Common Health Problems for Newborn Infants


  • If any parents come across the Health Problems for Newborn Infants, here is some doctor’s advice on how to handle these situations.

Common Health Problems for Newborn Infants

If any parents come across the following problems, here is some doctor’s advice on how to handle these situations.

1. Spiting up milk.

This is a commonly occurring problem and is caused by the sphincter in the stomach not being strong enough yet. This makes the milk come back up again.

This can be remedied by having the child lay its head at a 30-degree angle for 15-30 minutes after drinking the milk. The symptoms will gradually improve within the first year.

If there is vomiting of bile or blood or no increase in weight, then the child should be taken to see the doctor immediately.

2. Colic crying.

This is when a baby cries for extended periods of time, such as constantly crying for 2-3 hours at almost the same time every day. This tends to occur when the child is at 2-4 weeks old and this will improve by the age of 3-4 months. By this time, the child will show normal traits such as drinking a good amount of milk as well as gaining a good amount of weight.

The way to treat this is to comfort the child in a variety of ways, such as holding the child, rocking the child gently, and sitting the child in a pram. If there is flatulence, the parents can also give the child carminatives.

3. Various rashes

  • Heat rash. This is caused by blockages of the sweat glands. Small blisters will appear on the forehead, neck, back and between the joints. The heat rashes will disappear by themselves. The way to prevent this is to not let the child wear clothes that are too thick.
  • Diaper rash. This is a red rash around the genital areas, thighs, buttocks and abdomen. This is caused by dampness and irritation from contact with urine and feces. The best way to prevent this is to try and keep the skin dry at all times, change the diapers whenever they are spoiled and apply anti-rash cream.
  • Rash and inflammation of the sebaceous glands. This will involve red rashes and yellow scabs on the scalp, eyebrows, ears and face. These can start to be found from the first month and will disappear on their own by the age of 2-3 months. The scabs can be left alone and allowed to fall off by themselves or olive oil can be used to help them come off more easily.

4. Blocked tear ducts.

The child will have tears in the ducts nearly all of the time. This could be in one of the eyes or both. This is caused by a small bit of pulp, which blocks the passage of the tears from flowing to the nasal cavity. Generally, the tear ducts will open naturally within the first year.

The way to remedy this is to use the little finger to massage the eye at the area by the nose in order to open up the tear duct. If there are any complications such as red eyes or any redness and inflammation in the eye area, then the child should be taken to see the doctor immediately.

5. Inflammation of the navel.

After giving birth, the mother should clean the navel with 70% alcohol or triple dye twice a day and make sure that the navel is always kept dry. The navel will fall off naturally once the baby is 2-3 weeks old. If the skin around the navel starts swelling and smells of puss, then the child should be taken to see the doctor immediately.

6. BCG wound.

When a baby is born, they will all be given the BCG vaccine. At first, there will be no sign of it but after 2-4 weeks, a red blister or sometimes a pustule will appear. After that, it will gradually dry and become a scar on its own.

Mothers can help by cleaning the BCG wound. If the pustule gets larger or a lymph node grows in the area of the injection, then a doctor should be consulted.

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Piyarat Lertbunnaphong, M.D. Summary: Pediatrics Pediatrics