10 Common Infant Issues Not to Worry About

You've been waiting for a long time to bring your little one home, but now that you're alone with them, you worry about everything. Read on to learn more about the 10 most common infant "issues" (and why you shouldn't stress about them at all).

Mother holding her newborn baby
Photo: Tatiana Timofeeva/Stocksy

The moment has finally come: You're baby is ready to leave the hospital, and you are ready to settle into a new routine. You've read all the blogs and books. You've spoken to your doctor, and now, you're ready to fall into a rhythm together. You excited to grow, side by side. But when you get home you may find yourself stressed. (When I arrived home, I was a mess.) Why? Because raising young children can be scary. There are so many unknowns. Childrearing, especially baby rearing, is hard.

So how do you know if your newborn is getting enough during each nursing session? Should you worry about those bumps on your baby's face? Below are 10 common infant "problems," behavoirs and issues, which worry many parents but are (in most cases) not cause for concern.

Touching the Soft Spot On Your Baby's Head

When you touch your baby's soft spots, known as the fontanels, you're not hurting them. But what exactly are you touching? The soft spot is a very thick, protective membrane. It exists because heading down the narrow birth canal isn't exactly easy, which is why your baby's skull is flexible. In fact, your child's doctor will routinely touch it as part of their medical examination, so as long as it's a gentle touch, there's nothing to worry about.

Crossing Their Eyes

As you lovingly gaze back at your little one's face, you may notice they're a bit cross-eyed. But don't fret: It is normal for newborns to be a little cross-eyed. The reason? Their eye muscles haven't fully developed yet. Some babies are even born with extra folds of skin around the eye, giving them a crossed-eyed appearance. That said, if your baby still appears cross-eyed after 3 or 4 months their pediatrician may refer you to an eye doctor—to rule out any issues and make sure everything is a-OK.

Blood in Your Newborn's Diaper

An incredibly unsettling sight is blood in your newborn's diaper, but before you panic, know that estrogen levels increase during pregnancy—and this increase impacts your baby in different ways. Light, minimal spotting may occur. Within the first few days, it's not uncommon for some babies to have a mini period, in which the uterus sheds a little blood. But if there is anything more than just a little spotting or if heavy bleeding begins, contact your provider right away.

Baby Is Sleeping Too Much

Even though it can be a challenge to get your newborn to sleep for long periods of time, when you finally do, you worry that they're sleeping too long. Some babies are sleepier than others, and in the beginning, you may have to gently rouse them to get a feeding in. But as long as your newborn has around six to eight wet diapers a day, they're feeding enough—and you can let them sleep. Plus, babies grow when they sleep!

Constantly Wanting to Nurse

Making sure your baby is well-fed is a worry for parents everywhere. And feeling like your newborn is constantly wanting to nurse (or take the bottle) may leave you feeling like they aren't getting enough. But rest assured: Frequent feeding and/or nursing is normal. Some babies may even want to nurse between 8 to 12 times in a 24 hour period. If you have any concerns, speak with their pediatrician.

Constant Hiccupping

Hiccupping can be annoying to experience as an adult, but is it worrisome when your newborn seems to always have them? "We don't know exactly why, but hiccups may be caused by increased gas in the stomach," pediatrician Kylie Liermann told the Clevland Clinic. Regardless of their cause, hiccups are a harmless part of babyhood. "If your baby doesn't have reflux symptoms, don't stress over hiccups," she adds.

Non-Stop Crying

Sometimes when your newborn cries (and cries) you can go from overwhelmed to worried quite quickly. But newborns cry for a very specific reason: It is how they communicate their needs. So try addressing the basic ones before getting too concerned, i.e. burp them, feed them, change them, hold them, or just rock them to sleep.

If the crying doesn't ease and/or your gut tells you something is wrong, call their doctor. Some babies are considered colicky, for example, while others cry due to milk and/or formula-related allergies.

A Bumpy Facial Rash

Thanks to the influx of hormones still circulating in their body, or even some rough or irritating fabrics, many newborns have acne. This usually begins around 1 or 2 weeks of age, though it can appear anytime in the first couple of months. Regardless of when it begins, however, it's important to note that baby acne is harmless and will usually will go away on its own. Try to avoid putting lotions on the area and/or scrubbing the blemishes. If they last long-term, talk to your provider about a prescription to clear things up.

Swollen Breasts On A Newborn

Those same hormones that cause those mini newborn periods can also cause swelling in the breasts. During pregnancy, your baby experiences all the same changes in hormones that you do so when you see swelling or breast budding on your baby there is no need to be alarmed. Typically, this will happen between a week up to the first six months of your baby's life.

Sneezing All The Time

There is nothing sweeter than your baby's itty-bitty teeny-tiny nose. But when they start sneezing non-stop, should you be worried? A likely reason for this is that your newborn has just emerged from their watery home in your uterus. A little congestion is likely and may cause quite a few sneezes. If their sneezing happens to be accompanied by thick, discolored mucus, it could indicate a cold, so get in touch with your provider. Otherwise, all that adorable sneezing is just a phase.

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