Baby legs are not straight because they’ve been curled up tight in the uterus. As your baby stands and jumps on his legs, he will strengthen muscles and straighten bones. Special shoes, bars, and casts are rarely needed.
There are many more things that are normal in the newborn period–too many for most lists and books. Your pediatrician doesn’t expect you to learn everything about pediatrics in a few weeks, so call if you have any questions about your new baby.
In the first days, you may notice a brick red tinge to your baby’s urine. Newborn urine is concentrated, and urate crystals cause the red color. Little girls can also have a milky vaginal discharge or some vaginal bleeding–like a mini-period–caused by the hormones of pregnancy.
Whether your baby breast feeds or formula feeds, you can expect up to three months of tummy troubles with gas and straining. You wouldn’t expect your newborn to pick up a pencil and write his name any more than you should expect his digestion to progress flawlessly. Breast-feeding mothers should modify their diets according to the pediatrician’s recommendations. If mothers avoided all the foods that supposedly make babies “fussy,” there would be nothing left to eat! Likewise, consult your pediatrician before changing formulas.
Once feeding is established, a healthy baby can have a bowel movement anywhere from twelve times a day to once a week. As long as your baby’s stool is not hard, little balls, he’s not constipated.
Know the doctor who will care for your newborn at John Muir Medical Center.
Parents may select a private pediatrician who will supervise their newborn baby’s care at John Muir.
Newborns without a private pediatrician will be seen by one of the many rotating hospital doctors.
Selecting Dr. Asta to be your baby’s private pediatrician is as easy as notifying your obstetrician or the nurse when you deliver the baby. You can also make your preference known when you complete your hospital registration. The hospital will then call Dr. Asta.
Please call the office at (925)939-7334 or message us if you have questions or you would like to schedule a complimentary Prenatal appointment.
The umbilical cord can take a week or two to fall off. Let it air dry. If there is drainage, odor or redness, call your pediatrician.
Most babies have dry patches of skin that peel shortly after birth. Peeling is the result of spending nine months in water, and no cream or lotion will speed up the process. Newborns also have a common rash with an uncommon name: erythema toxicum neonatorum. The rash looks like tiny bug bites, and it comes and goes for a few days before fading. By the time the bug bite rash fades, you will start to see baby acne. These little bumps on the face, chest, and back are caused by the pregnancy hormones. Clean your baby’s face with warm water, and by the time the acne fades, she will have enough head control for her first formal photograph.
When your baby yawns or cries, you may notice small, white nodules on his gums or the roof of his mouth. These harmless collections of keratin are called Epstein’s pearls, and they will wear away. Your baby can also have sucking blisters on his lips. These can dry and peel and dry and peel again.
Hiccuping, like sneezing, is a reflex. Your baby may have hiccuped quite a lot before she was even born. Hiccuping spells diminish over time, and it’s often helpful to let the baby nurse when hiccups strike.
Newborn noses are sneezy and stuffy by design. Sneezing is a reflex that clears the nose; it’s not a sign of a cold. Your baby’s tiny nostrils are easily blocked by mucous, and it will take a few months before he learns how to breathe out of his mouth when his nose is clogged. Until then, clean his nose before he nurses or tries to sleep with the bulb syringe from the hospital and salt water drops.
It’s okay if your baby’s eyes cross. Over time, your newborn will develop the fine-tuning he needs to move his eyes together and focus on things. But make no mistake: your baby sees quite well immediately after birth and focuses best on objects that are nine to fifteen inches from his face. Sometimes a blood vessel in the whites of the eyes breaks from all the pushing during labor, and you may notice a patch of red. These subconjunctival hemorrhages are common and resolve completely.
Many babies have eyes that water or accumulate mucus. Rarely, this can be a sign of a serious infection such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. The most common cause of gooey eyes, however, is the small diameter of the tubes at the inside corner of the eyes that drain the tears. These tear ducts grow as your baby grows, and by the first birthday this problem will take care of itself.