Weird Baby Symptoms

Your baby may have a lot of weird symptoms in the first few months. We'll tell you whether you need to worry about any of them.

Many new parents can't help getting anxious about every little change in their infant's health or behavior. From weird eye goop to strange blisters and even poop strikes, your baby might throw a few curve balls and leave you wondering if you should call the doctor.

Babies tend to have odd symptoms during their first six months. "In most cases, they're perfectly normal," says Loraine Stern, M.D., clinical professor of pediatrics at UCLA School of Medicine. Check out these quirks that you don't need to worry about.

Eye Discharge

A newborn's tear ducts are very narrow and susceptible to clogging, which causes white or yellowish gunk to collect. The discharge may look like pus, but it's not a sign of infection unless the white of the eye starts to turn red, says Dr. Stern.

How to treat eye discharge

Starting from the inner corner of the eye, gently wipe away the discharge with a wet cotton ball or a warm washcloth. You can also try to open the duct by using the tip of your clean pinky finger to lightly massage the space between your baby's eye and nose. Note: This is one of those times when short nails are a big plus.

Baby rubbing its eyes
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Spitting Up

All babies spit up after meals sometimes, and they usually don't require reflux medication. "An infant's involuntary muscles are still getting stronger, including the ones that hold milk in his stomach," says Katherine O'Connor, M.D., a pediatrician at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, New York City.

Formula-fed babies may spit up more often because formula takes longer to leave the stomach than breast milk. Bottle-fed babies can also overeat because they'll continue to suck (and drink more) even after they're full.

Most infants stop spitting up once they can sit upright without assistance. You needn't be concerned if your child is happy and gaining weight. But if they seem distressed when they spit up, talk to your pediatrician about the next step.


These spasms of the diaphragm are a nuisance for adults, but hiccups are no big deal to newborns, who often have several bouts per day and barely seem to notice. You shouldn't try to stop them by feeding your child. They'll stop⁠—and start again⁠—on their own.

Crossed Eyes

From time to time almost all babies have episodes when one eye looks in a different direction from the other. While this may appear a little goofy to you, it doesn't mean your child will have vision problems. "In the first few months, the eye muscles are still developing, and your baby is learning how to use them," says Dr. O'Connor. If her eyes aren't aligned by 6 months, ask your doctor about seeing a pediatric ophthalmologist.

Poop Strike

Although your baby's diet (whether breast milk, formula, or a combination) may not change during the first four to six months, don't be surprised if the frequency of their bowel movements fluctuates. "Bowel habits adjust because stool begins to move through the intestines more slowly," says Dr. Stern.

If your child changes from pooping after every meal to not going for several days, it doesn't necessarily mean they're backed up. You can relax if your baby is eating well, has a soft belly (rather than a firm, distended one), and has mushy poops.

Don't be concerned if your baby grunts or makes strange facial expressions while filling up their diaper. That's how your baby works to push out a bowel movement. If they're truly constipated, they'll have small, hard stools that might be streaked with blood⁠—in which case, you should call your pediatrician immediately.

Lip Blister

For adults, this is usually a painful and annoying cold sore. But when your nursing newborn develops a tiny blister on their upper lip, chances are they're not bothered by it. However, it is a sign that you need to correct your breastfeeding technique.

"Your child isn't latching on as deeply as he should be, so his sucking is creating too much friction on his lips, and that causes the blister to form," says Sara Chana Silverstein, a certified lactation consultant in Brooklyn, New York. Solving this problem is relatively simple. Try positioning your nipple at least an inch inside your baby's mouth. The blister should disappear within a few days.


Who can blame you for being alarmed when your smooth, soft newborn seems to sprout pimples or whiteheads overnight? Fortunately, there's no reason to be concerned about infant acne. It's common around the 2- to 3-week mark, and your hormones⁠—which are still circulating in your baby's bloodstream and stimulating their sweat glands⁠—are to blame.

Your baby's skin should clear up within a few weeks; unlike adolescent acne, this kind doesn't leave any scars. It's fine to wash their face gently with water (no soap), but there's probably no need for any other remedy. "Leave it alone, and it will probably go away," says Dr. O'Connor. In those rare cases when it doesn't clear up within about 21 days, ask your baby's doctor if they recommend a mild topical medication.

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