Sure, all those books and classes have prepared you for the major things: labor and delivery, the unavoidable sleepless nights and, of course, round-the-clock feedings. But what about the projectile poop and wandering eyes? Before you go running to the phone to call the pediatrician, we’ve got the rundown on all those freaky, but totally normal, things about newborns.
- Cradle cap
There’s no way around it. But they’re also pretty common. How come? Honestly, nobody knows for sure. The good news is any dryness or flakiness will usually disappear within baby’s first few months, though for some, random flare ups could go on for longer. In the meantime, try rubbing baby oil on the patches two or three times a week. According to parenting experts and pediatricians at Orangetown Pediatric Associates in New York, making the baby oil rubbing a routine before baby’s bath and scraping the caps off with a fine-toothed comb works great. For the most part, a cradle cap is quite common on newborns and sometimes even adults. So luckily, there’s not too much worrying you need to do about this one–it’s basically nothing more than a common rash. But if it spreads beyond baby’s scalp or seems to be growing more severe, ask your doctor about getting a prescription ointment.
- Lots and lots of poop
Obviously, babies can’t exactly control themselves at first. The truth is, you haven’t been officially initiated into parenthood until you’ve had to deal with a diaper explosion or two. In other words, you’re not the first mom to clean baby poop off those newly painted nursery walls. For a little schooling on the physics of it all, doctors have broken it down for us: “Newborn poop is mostly liquid with some mustard-seed texture mixed in. As a result, it doesn’t take much power to propel it across a room.”
Thankfully there are tons of great baby products to save you the whole mess on the market today from trusted brands like The Honest Company that have online stores for baby products for the busy mom like yourself. The best part is everything can be ordered and delivered to you by mail to the comfort of your own home. If cleaning up a mess is the most of your worries with your newborn, that’s great news. Worry not! As long as it has color, often ranging from brown to green to yellow, and some seedy particles in it, baby’s poop should be good to go. But if you spot any signs of blood, it’s time to get on the phone with your doctor right away.
- Weird groaning noises
If you expected just a little cooing and occasional crying out of baby, think again. Babies make a racket. There’s grunting, groaning, snorting, and all sorts of other funny sounds that you’ll hear out of him or her. But according to professionals, all those strange noises are caused by baby’s nasal passages being pretty narrow in the newborn stage, leading the mucus that gets trapped in there to create some added sound effects. If you’ve been hearing a symphony of sounds lately, you may just need to spend more time clearing out baby’s nose with a nasal aspirator. Since newborns have yet to learn to speak, a lot of times they will seek attention by making various noises–don’t overthink why they might be groaning. Take note of whether or not your baby grunts with each breath. If so, he or she may be having trouble breathing. In this case, call your pediatrician as soon as possible or go to the emergency.
- Constant sneezing
Don’t forget that baby’s new to this world and everything in it and, as a result, they’re extra-sensitive to lots of things you’re already immune to. So if she’s sneezing up a storm but not actually sick, she’s probably trying to banish any little foreign particles that have made their way into her nasal passages. Looking at the light will also be an adjustment for her, so if you take baby out on a bright sunny day and she starts sneezing, it may actually be the sun–and not allergies–that’s to blame. Other common causes for sneezing could be to get rid of extra mucus or even amniotic fluid from the respiratory airways. Be cautious when it comes to where you take your newborn. For example, refrain from spending time in environments where there is potential of lots of dust particles that baby might be sensitive to. If baby’s sneezes are accompanied by wheezing, have her checked out by your pediatrician to see if she may have allergies or something else that needs treatment. You’ll want to make sure her breathing is kosher, her swallowing is normal, and her lungs are clear, in order to rule out anything serious.