Newborns Conditions

Parents wait nine long months for their baby to arrive and often spend much of that time hoping for a healthy infant. Thus, it’s no surprise that many parents (especially first-time parents) obsess when they see something out of the ordinary on their little bundle of joy.

There are a number of conditions that can alarm a parent: pimples on the baby’s face, crossed eyes, baby breasts and more. Luckily, however, these conditions are quite common in newborn babies and generally pose no harm to the infant’s health.

Baby Conditions

Here’s some information on some of the more common conditions seen in infants:

  • Baby Acne: If you thought acne was just for teenagers, think again. People of all ages can get acne, including infants. Baby acne often appears on newborns three to four weeks after birth, although it can be present at birth. The acne can cover a majority of the baby’s face and can make the skin very red.

    While baby acne might look serious, it’s completely normal and harmless and will generally go away on its own. The condition results when hormones stimulate the oil glands in the infant’s skin.

    While many parents want to use special soaps or astringents on the newborn’s face, the best thing is to let the acne clear on its own. Using anything other than a mild soap once a day to gently cleanse the baby’s face can cause irritation.

  • Baby Breasts: New moms expect their breasts to get larger after giving birth, but what if your infant’s breasts are big too? Baby breasts are quite common in both baby girls and baby boys and are caused by hormones the baby was exposed to while en utero. The breasts generally go away after a few weeks.
  • Cradle Cap: Cradle cap is a condition marked by thick, scaly patches of skin on your baby’s scalp. It’s caused when the oil produced by the scalp’s oil glands prevent old skin cells from falling off of the baby’s head.

    Cradle cap is common in the first three months of life and generally subsides after an infant reaches 12 months. In general, cradle cap doesn’t need to be treated. If, however, your infant’s scalp is itchy or irritated, talk to your doctor about treatment options. He might suggest applying baby oil or an over-the-counter cortisone cream to the scalp.

  • Crossed Eyes: During the first six weeks of life, many newborns will cross their eyes. Crossed eyes, known in the medical community as strabismus, often occurs because babies have not yet learned to focus their vision. As your baby learns to focus, he should stop crossing his eyes. If you still see him crossing his eyes after six weeks, talk to your pediatrician.
  • Third Nipple: Third nipples are extremely common and require no treatment. Often, they appear below one of the infant’s nipples and are generally small and incompletely formed. Third nipples will not develop into breasts later in life.
  • Umbilical Hernia: An umbilical hernia occurs when a portion of the intestines protrude through a weak area in the abdomen. It can cause your infant’s belly button to protrude when she cries, coughs or strains. The condition is usually painless and will generally resolve on its own by the time the child is 2 years old.

If you notice one of these conditions in your newborn, there is generally no cause for alarm. If, however, the condition concerns you, schedule an appointment with your baby’s pediatrician. He will likely be more than happy to discuss the condition and can provide you with peace of mind.

Resources

BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board (updated September 2006). Baby acne. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from the BabyCenter Web site: http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby- acne_72.bc.

Cohen, Elizabeth (n.d.). 5 weird things about newborns. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from the CNN Web site: http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/family/11/08/ep.baby.weirdness/index.html.

Dr.Greene.com (2007). Cradle Cap. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from the Dr.Greene.com Web site: http://www.drgreene.com/21_1062.html.

Mayo Clinic Staff (March 23, 3006). Umbilical hernia. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/umbilical-hernia/DS00655.

theparentreport.com (n.d.). Newborn Vision. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from theparentreport.com Web site: http://www.theparentreport.com/resources/ages/newborn/health/58.html.