9 bizarre (but totally normal) things about your Newborn

People’s suggestions, books and classes might have prepared you for the major things like labour and delivery, sleepless nights and, of course, round-the-clock feedings. But are you ready for the projectile poop and wandering eyes? Wait wait!!! before you go running to the phone to call the pediatrician, browse through our list of things that might freak you out but are totally normal:

Endless sneezing

What’s the matter!!

Remember that the baby is too new to this world and his/her surroundings, as a result, he/she is extra-sensitive to lots of things that you are immune to. The baby might sneeze constantly without actually being sick. He/she might just be clearing his/her nasal passage off any foreign particles. Looking at the light will also be a new thing for the baby, so if you take baby out on a bright sunny day and he/she starts sneezing, it may actually be the sun and not allergies that is to be blamed. Few other common causes for sneezing could be to get rid of extra mucus or even amniotic fluid from the respiratory airways.

When to worry

If the newborn’s sneezes are accompanied by breathlessness, have him/her checked out by your paediatrician. You will want to make sure baby’s breathing is proper, swallowing is normal, and lungs are clear.

Cradle cap

What’s the matter

Cradle caps are pretty gross. But they are also pretty common. Nobody knows for sure the reason behind cradle caps. But the good news is any dryness or flakiness will usually disappear within baby’s first few months. Try rubbing baby oil on the patches twice or thrice a week. Pediatricians suggest to make it a routine before baby’s bath and scraping the caps off with a fine-toothed comb.

When to worry

Fortunately, there is not much to worry about. But if it spreads beyond the newborn’s scalp or appears to be growing more severely, consult the doctor and get a prescribed ointment.

Poop eruption

What’s the matter?

‘Eruption’ might sound a little too much. But the truth is, you have not been officially inducted into parenthood until you have had to deal with a diaper blowout or two. Newborn poop is mostly liquid with some mustard-seed texture mixed in as a result, it does not take much power to push it across a room.

When to worry

As long as it has colour (ranging from brown to green to yellow) and some seedy particles in it, your baby’s poop should be good to go. But if you spot any signs of blood, consult your pediatrician at once.

Baby boobage

What’s the matter?

How can you forget the crazy hormones that troubled you during your pregnancy? Well, they did affect your baby too. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of staying in your belly for nine months can also be- large breasts. Baby’s exposure to your hormones can often result in breast tissue to develop, since it takes a while for the hormones to wear off. But don’t worry, it should go away in some time.

When to worry

Look out for any redness around baby’s breast. And if the redness is accompanied by a fever, these symptoms may be a sign of something serious, you should get baby checked out as soon as possible.

Strange grunting noises

What’s the matter?

If you are expecting just an occasional crying out of baby, think again. There is grunting, snorting and all sorts of other funny sounds that you will hear out of him/ her. All these weird noises are caused by baby’s nasal passage being pretty narrow in the newborn stage, and the mucus that gets trapped in there to create some added funny sound effects. So if you have been hearing these sounds lately, you may just need to clear your baby’s nose with a nasal aspirator.

When to worry

Closely observe whether or not baby grunts with each breath. If so, he or she may be having trouble breathing. In this case, call your pediatrician ASAP.

Random jerky movements

What’s the matter?

Your newborn will be dealing with a lot of developmental changes, one of which includes improving his or her startle reflex (or Moro reflex). Maybe you will see it happening randomly or maybe after baby hears a loud noise, but either way that reflex will start to settle down around 3rd or 4th month. Until then you might want to put your wrapping skills to good use: Babies often startle themselves awake, and wrapping will help baby sleep more soundly.

When to worry

You should actually worry if the baby isn’t exhibiting any jerkiness or spastic movements. Absence of these movements could mean something is not quite right. So if the baby isn’t showing any of these signs, speak with your doctor.

Oddly-shaped heads

What’s the matter?

Giving birth definitely is a tough job, period! But remember, it is not just you doing all the work down there. Your baby is equally working to get down that birth canal. And after that bumpy ride (pun intended), it’s no wonder he/she came out all purple and swollen-looking. Since baby’s little head is soft and supple in the beginning, squeaking past your pelvic bone can definitely cause some flattening to his/her head’s surface. If it does not happen during delivery, baby could also get some flat spots later on from lying too much on his/her back. If that is the case, try holding the baby in your arms more, or increase the tummy time.

When to worry

If you have tried everything and newborn’s head still looks flat in some places, talk to your pediatrician. He/she might have to wear a temporary helmet to correct the shape of his or her head. Helmets are mostly effective if worn as early as 4 to 6 months, so do not wait too long to talk to your doctor.

Swollen genitals

What’s the matter?

There is no subtle way to say this. If you have just given birth to a baby boy, you may notice his little man parts are significantly larger than you had probably expect. Specially, the testicles. What does that mean? Baby might be affected by hormone exposure in your belly just before birth. Or, there could be extra fluid in the sac around his testicles. But don’t worry, he will flush it out with his pee in a few days. Same goes for the baby girl, who may have swollen labia for a few days after delivery. Either way, the puffiness should go down within few days.

Here’s a fun fact for you: Your baby will shed so much fluid in the first few days of life that he or she will actually lose 10 percent of their original body weight.

When to worry

If the swelling does not go down within a few days after delivery, you should probably get it checked, particularly if you have got a baby boy. Boys can develop a condition called hydrocele, which might take up to a year to correct on its own. A hydrocele is a painless build-up of watery fluid around one or both testicles that causes the scrotum or groin area to swell

Crossed eyes

What’s the matter?

Newborn’s still trying to figure out all of his/her newfound abilities, including his/her sense of sight. It will take some time to gain a little muscle control and improving those focusing techniques. But believe it or not, sometimes even when baby’s eyes may look like they are crossed, they may not be. This might be due to the broad bridge of the nose, extra skin folds that can mask some of the white parts of baby’s eyes. This can result in pseudoesotropia, a sort of optical illusion. So take a closer look: Are baby’s pupils actually lined up and moving together? It may be all in your head after all!

When to worry

If the baby is still showing signs of crossed eyes by 6 months, you should take an appointment to check if something is seriously wrong with the baby. If baby’s eyes are frequently moving in two different directions, he/she may have strabismus and if the problem is just with one eye, it may be amblyopia, or lazy eye.