Babies are sources of wonder and delight. They do, however, have some unpleasant habits that take a bit of getting used to. Mom may be prepared for the sleepless nights and persistent crying, even the exhaustion and the lack of time to do anything else.
What Mom might not be prepared for are the explosive diapers, the endless cycle of burping to produce ear splitting burps, or the lumps and bumps that appear on babies as they adjust to life in the world.
Newborn babies are still full of hormones and water and bits of them can be swollen and react to the hormones in their bodies. Many a mom has thought their baby was the only one to deal with certain things. Midwives and doctors will reassure them that this is completely normal and will go away.
The effort of breastfeeding or persuading a baby to take an ounce of milk can seem like a fruitless exercise when most of it seems to reappear. Having a lot of wind in the tummy is an occupational hazard of being a baby, and a lot of time and effort is taken to expel it. All these weird and wonderful discoveries are part of the journey of parenthood.
20 A Mini Aunt Flo For Girls
Extra water in the baby’s system when they are born means they have slightly swollen genitals. This can be a bit disconcerting for new parents, but it is completely normal and will shrink down in a few days.
Baby girls have some of their mother’s hormones in their systems from being in the womb, and they may leak a little white discharge in the early days. They may even have a little mini period because of the hormones. This is quite normal, but should be flagged if it goes on for a number of weeks according to Baby Centre.
19 Green #2
Baby poop is a bit of a surprise to parents who are not used to it. The first diapers will be full of a tarry, sticky substance called meconium, which is the expulsion of what the baby had in its system while in the womb. It has a slightly green tinge to it and there can be quite a lot of it!
After the meconium has been passed, babies will poop in different colors and consistencies depending on how they are fed. Breastfed babies will have a grainy, mustard colored substance and formula fed babies will have a firmer, browner consistency of #2.
18 Expect Showers
During those early diaper changes, many parents have fallen victim to the shower of pee from baby boys. As the diaper is removed and the baby’s skin is exposed to cooler air, it can cause a reflex in liquid form! There are little covers that can be bought to avoid the area being exposed, but keeping it slightly covered and making a quick change will do the job just as well.
The only remedy is to stand out of the firing line as best you can and mop up the mess and the soggy baby afterwards. After all, boys will be boys!
17 Spit Up
Newborn babies are learning as much as you are. They need to get used to feeding just as much as you need to get used to providing the food. They may swallow too much air with the milk and some milk may find its way back up again as they expel the air. They can also easily overload their tiny tummies, resulting in some milk finding its way back into the open.
Over half of new babies spit up regularly, so as long as they do not seem overly distressed, keep a handy supply of muslin squares (cloth cotton diapers are great), and mop up any excess.
Some babies need burping more than others. Some are super-efficient at expelling the excess air they swallow when feeding. Some need lots of cajoling and back rubbing to ease the wind out.
However, when that troublesome wind does make its way to the surface, it can come up with an almighty noise. The sound of the burp from a newborn is alarmingly loud sometimes! If a baby is struggling with wind, it is best to burp them after each feed and if necessary in the middle of the feed as well, to give the baby more room to take the remainder of the milk.
Wind needs to be expelled from both ends in a baby’s body and this can lead to peculiar noises and unpleasant smells! It is comical to watch a baby playing or feeding happily and then to hear an explosion of wind from the nether regions!
Babies swallow wind when they feed and cry, so they need to get rid of it somehow. It’s far better if a baby is efficient at expelling the wind themselves as it can cause them pain if it gets trapped. If this happens, try a bath or a gentle massage on baby’s tummy to see if it shifts.
14 Leaky Diapers
Newborn babies seem to have a lot of #2 and liquid to mop off from their diapers. Sometimes the diaper is unable to cope with the volume or direction! If this happens repeatedly it might be worth trying another brand of diapers. Some store’s own brand do the trick better than well-known names.
It might take a bit of trial and error to avoid leaky diapers, and there will be the odd one here and there whatever brand you use, but one that suits your baby’s shape best will hopefully reduce the number of leaks and washing!
13 A Runny Diaper
Babies who are breastfed tend to have runnier #2 than formula fed babies. This is because breastmilk is more easily digested, so there is less solid waste to be expelled. This poop can be very runny and grainy or curdled in texture.
If it is very runny, coming frequently and there are explosive sounds each time it comes out, it might be worth checking that the baby does not have a tummy bug and that the runny #2 is not diarrhea. It can be serious in a newborn as they can get dehydrated very quickly and they may need hospital attention.
12 Store Milk In Folds Of Skin
When babies feed, some of the milk doesn’t quite make it into the mouth. However much mopping up you do, some of this milk ends up in all sorts of strange places on the baby’s body.
If you are feeding your baby without many clothes on, the milk can get caught in folds of the neck, under the arms or even in little folds in the legs! If it is left for a few hours, it can get a bit smelly and sometimes cause redness. When changing the baby’s diaper, have a little wipe around the folds and check for hidden deposits. Treat any redness with a medicated baby cream.
11 Sticky Eyes
Newborn babies can get clogged tear ducts that leads to a sticky substance leaking out of the eyes. This becomes crusty if left. This is normal and should rectify itself in the first weeks. Occasionally a duct remains clogged and surgery is necessary, but this is very rare, suggests Cloud Mom.
If your baby has sticky eyes, particularly when they wake up, just wipe away the discharge using a sterile pad soaked in warm water and wipe gently until the goo disappears. Don’t be tempted to use your fingers; nails may scratch the baby and fingers may pass on little bugs and cause infection.
10 Snotty Noses
Babies can deal with a bit of a blocked-up nose, which is caused by swelling in the nasal cavity. Once you have cleared the mucus, it is safe to use saline drops in the nose to ease congestion.
It is quite normal for newborn babies to have some nasal congestion, and it is not a sign of a cold unless the mucus comes out of the nose, according to Villagepedi. Babies may also sneeze quite a lot in the first month, as they try to expel the mucus themselves. It might be unexpected, but it is nothing to worry about unless accompanied by other symptoms.
9 Smelly Feet
Baby feet are adorable, there is no doubt about it. Even if they are a little curled and monkey-like when the baby is first born, most parents marvel at the tiny, perfect little toes. However, babies do have a habit of developing smelly feet, even if when they are bathed regularly.
Smelly feet are caused by sweat, so if your baby is snuggled up in socks or wears sleep suits with built-in feet, try and give the feet a little breathing space each day. If feet do smell a bit, just give them a wash with mild baby soap and avoid using lotions that might block pores and make the problem worse.
8 Lots of Stale Milk Coming Up
When a baby has to expel excess milk because it has overfed or is getting rid of wind, the milk can smell quite odd as it has been mixed with stomach juices and saliva and started to break down.
It can be curdled and quite lumpy when it comes up and smells like stale milk. It is not something to worry about, it’s just a bit unpleasant to have the yogurt-like substance reappearing, and it is heartbreaking if there is a substantial amount of it if you have struggled to get it down! Make sure the baby is winded mid feed to give them more room in the tummy to take the milk.
As babies grow, they produce more saliva than they can swallow, and it must go somewhere. It tends to come out, dribbling down the chin and settling in the neck folds! This is normal and just needs mopping up so that it doesn’t settle and cause red, sore patches.
As the baby develops, they will drool more as they grow teeth and produce more saliva as a result. Newborn dribbling doesn’t necessarily mean they are teething, just that they haven’t learned to swallow enough saliva to prevent it dribbling out. Sucking produces saliva as well and babies love to suck to relax and of course, to feed.
6 Crusty Umbilical Cord
The umbilical cord is cut and clamped when the baby is born. This stump will remain for a few days after the baby is born. It might look a little crusty, as it is essentially dried tissue. If it looks oozy or has a strange smell, check it out with your doctor in case there is any infection present.
Try and keep the cord stump dry and let it fall off naturally. If it gets wet, just pat it dry carefully. When the stump does fall off, it may bleed a little, but this is also normal. The stump is essentially a scab, so it is normal for a little bleeding, which should stop quickly.
5 Milk Spots
Little white spots or milia often form on a newborn baby’s face. They typically appear round the eyes and on the nose and are not itchy or troublesome to the baby at all. Their name is deceptive, they have nothing to do with milk.
They have nothing to do with an allergy or a milk intolerance, their name simply comes from their color. The spots are really nothing to worry about and will appear on around half of newborn babies and disappear in a few weeks. Don’t be tempted to pick at them.
New parents can be taken aback by the amount of noise a baby makes when they sleep. They go through irregular breathing patterns as their respiratory system is so immature. This can lead to snuffling, snoring and sighing, and is usually nothing to be concerned about. The snuffling and snorting is caused because the baby breathes through its nose to allow it to feed at the same time.
A baby will snore more when it has a blocked-up nose. If this is the case, you could consider a humidifier in the baby’s room to help ease the congestion or raise the baby’s head a little as he sleeps.
3 Sticking Tongues Out
Sticking the tongue out or tongue protrusion is a completely typical symptom in a newborn baby, reassures Noah’s Dad. Tongue protrusion is part of the baby’s sucking reflex and will usually correct itself within the first six months.
Babies also stick out their tongues if they have nasal congestion that forces them to breathe through their mouths, so check the nose for blockages. It could be that the baby has a large tongue or a small mouth, and if you are concerned about either of these, seek a pediatrician’s advice.
2 Pulsing Fontanelle
The fontanelle is the opening between bones in the head that allows the baby to squeeze through the birth canal. It remains open after the baby is born and parents need to be careful not to press it or touch it unnecessarily. Sometimes called a ‘soft spot’ it is only present for a short period of time.
As the blood vessels to the brain are not covered by bone while the fontanelle is open, you may see some pulsating in that area. It is completely normal and does not mean anything has wrong. It will soon stop once the bones have fused together.
1 A Leaky Chest
It can be quite disconcerting for a parent to see their new born baby girl with a leaky chest. Sometimes enough liquid escapes to soak through the clothing. This is usually a completely normal reaction to the hormones in her bloodstream from being in the womb and if relevant, from breastmilk.
In some cases, it can be an abscess, so if the baby seems distressed and the area is lumpy and swollen, it is worth referring her to a doctor. The area does swell a little in some newborn babies, so it should be nothing to be concerned about.
Sources: Parents, Healthday, Happiestbaby, Netmums, Huggies