We continue to answer typical questions about newborns: there are still many things to discuss.
I want to know whether I should try to remove cradle cap.
Cradle cup is also called seborrhea; causes of this medical condition are still unknown (there are theories that it may be caused by yeast or a malfunction of the oil glands). Surely, these slightly yellow scaly patches might seem unappealing; however, they usually do not bother your newborn and are not contagious. Cradle cap causes no harm and often disappears within two or three months.
Your pediatrician should be informed if: your baby suffers such symptoms as an itch or bleeding. These manifestations are untypical of seborrhea and might indicate that there is another skin condition.
I want to know why my baby sneezes a lot.
First, it is normal for newborns to breathe through their noses. Their nasal passages, however, are very narrow so that even a small amount of mucus can block them and make the child’s breathing noisy. As infants can only clear their nasal passages by sneezing, it is natural for them to sneeze many times a day.
If your baby seems happy and sleeps and feeds well, you should not try to remove mucus by suction: this might irritate the nasal passages and actually lead to more congestion. If you can see that the infant is bothered by the excess mucus, use saline drops to make it less thick and then suction mucus out of the nostrils.
It is strongly recommended that you constantly run a humidifier (of ultrasonic type that produces a fine mist) in the room where your baby sleeps. The humidifier should be regularly cleaned to avoid the growth of pathogens on its walls.
Your pediatrician should be informed if: a newborn who has not yet reached the age of two months has a temperature of 100.4 °F or higher. Other important symptoms include: a pale or blue color of the lips, irritability, rapid breathing and an evident lack of appetite.
I want to know the reasons for my newborn’s spitting up.
You should only worry that your baby is spitting up when she is not gaining weight according to norm, or seems to feel pain when eating. Otherwise it is okay for your infant to spit up: all babies do this.
Your pediatrician should be immediately informed if: the baby spits up green or has several consecutive episodes of vomiting.
I want to know why there is a thick green substance that is coming out of my baby’s eyes.
Fortunately, this symptom doesn’t mean that your child has an eye infection. In fact, this green goop is caused by the tear duct being clogged. Tear ducts usually unblock by themselves by the age of nine months. Until then a green or yellow discharge that comes from the corner of the infant’s eye can be frequently observed; affected eyes are often tearing and watery.
Your pediatrician should be informed if: your baby has turned nine months and there is still a green or yellow goop in her eye(s); in this case you will need help from an eye doctor. Also, a green substance that is accompanied by redness of the eyelids or whites of the eyes, swollen eyelids and/or a bump in the eye’s corner may indicate that there is an eye infection: in this case you need to immediately contact your doctor.