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8 Common Newborn Ailments

silhouette photo of a mother carrying her baby at beach during golden hour

One of the most joyous experiences a parent can have is taking their newborn child home from the hospital. It can also be highly stressful, especially for first-time parents. You can feel confident that your baby is most likely in excellent health.

It’s important to remember, though, that your infant may be affected by some common medical issues. Although concerning for new parents, some of these are perfectly normal and something many newborns will experience within their first days or weeks of life.

The following are common conditions with information on their causes, symptoms to check for, and possible treatment options available to you. The majority of them will not be serious, but being aware of what to expect will help you assess whether or not your infant needs medical attention.


The term “physiologic jaundice” refers to a baby’s blood having an abnormally high level of bilirubin, a substance created naturally as old red blood cells break down. Even though everyone’s blood contains some bilirubin, infants often have higher levels because their immature immune systems take longer to absorb the additional red blood cells present at birth.

Press gently on your child’s skin if you notice it has a yellow tinge. Typically newborn jaundice clears up on its own after a few days but if you are worried and feel it is worsening, consult your doctor, who can do a test to determine if phototherapy is required.

Baby Acne and Skin Rashes

Baby acne or pimples that appear on the face during the fourth or fifth week of a baby’s life are completely normal and safe. Doctors believe that pregnancy hormones are responsible for acne by activating the oil glands in the skin.

There are other skin conditions that you might notice, too, such as heat rashes if the weather is hot or your home is too hot for the baby. You can quickly look online for advice on Baby Heat Rash: How To Treat And Prevent It, so you know what to look for.

Keep an eye for eczema too. Mainly prevalent in babies with allergies, but dry flaking skin can be an indicator something is wrong. Dry skin can be caused by washing your baby too frequently and drying out their skin. Babies don’t need to be cleaned as often as adults and doing so can upset their skin’s pH balance.


Colic is extremely common in infants, but this does not make it easier for parents to deal with it. A baby may be suffering from colic if he cries nonstop for no apparent reason, especially in the evening. The exact cause of colic is unknown, but some theories suggest that it could be caused by gas, hormones that cause stomach pain, overstimulation by light or sound, or a developing digestive system in the infant.

Colic begins to appear in full-term infants at two weeks and should be entirely gone by the time the baby is three months old. On the other hand, if this condition persists, it could be due to an intolerance to milk formula or another underlying condition. It is best to see a doctor have the condition properly diagnosed.


Occasionally, babies vomit or spit up the milk that they are fed – this is a fairly common occurrence. For this reason, parents often tend to burp their babies to keep them from vomiting. If, however, your baby vomits up the milk after being fed and you notice a greenish tint to the vomit, and they continue to vomit, this could indicate a severe medical problem. Infants can become dehydrated very quickly, necessitating the need for medical assistance and treatment. As with lactose intolerance, breast milk intolerance is a fairly common problem that requires medical intervention and monitoring. It is possible that an underlying infection or digestive issues cause frequent vomiting and spitting up of milk.


Fever is a sign that the body is attempting to combat infection by producing heat. If your child has a high fever, you must take them to the doctor and have them prescribed the appropriate medication. High and persistent fever above 101 degrees in newborns and infants, on the other hand, can result in seizures and permanent brain damage.

Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is a skin condition caused by excessive oil production by skin glands surrounding hair follicles in the newborn baby’s scalp. The most noticeable symptom of the cradle cap is the presence of scales on the scalp. If you want to loosen up and remove the scales from your baby’s scalp, you can wash his hair with a mild shampoo daily. If it does not resolve within a few months, consult with your baby’s pediatrician.

Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a yeast infection that affects the mouths of infants and young children. This infection, which is also known as oral candidiasis, is widespread in infants. It causes white lesions on the tongue and the inside of the cheeks to appear. If your baby has oral thrush, consult with your doctor to determine whether the condition is severe enough to warrant the administration of antifungal medication.


A cold or the flu affects almost all infants and newborns as they learn to cope with the outside world for the first time. A cold and flu may appear insignificant, but they should not be dismissed because they can develop into pneumonia and other severe diseases in newborns and infants if left untreated.

In conclusion

The majority of health problems and diseases that affect newborns and infants resolve on their own over time as the babies grow stronger and build up their immune systems. Parents, on the other hand, should be careful when their baby becomes sick.

Not every cough or sneeze is life-threatening! Take your baby to the pediatrician for regular checkups, keep them clean, and, most importantly, try not to worry too much and relax! If your baby appears to be in discomfort, please consult your doctor immediately. In the meantime, take pleasure in your baby’s arrival and enjoy this time getting to know each other.

Heather Brummett

I am Heather Brummett . I'm just a real mom, sharing my real life experiences with the world. Thank you for being a part of my world. Here you will find recipes, crafts, fun ideas for the kids, how to work at home, encouragement, inspiration, and the latest news in and around Houston. To be featured or for information on freelance work contact me at [email protected]

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