baby has a lot of spots or birth marks some
of which keep changing.
You may notice lots of spots on your baby.
Some of them are permanent and hence birth
marks others are only temporary.
Strawberry haemangiomas (collection
of dilated blood vessels) are soft raised
strawberry red spots, which appear at
birth or immediately after birth. They
slowly fade to pearly grey colour and
disappear completely by the age of 5
– 10 years. They are seen in 1 out of
10 babies. Treatment may be necessary
only in about 1 in 1000 babies and that
too for cosmetic purpose or rarely for
Cavernous haemangiomas are
seen in 0.1% babies. It is similar to
a strawberry haemagiomas, but more lumpy
and diffused. It grows rapidly in 6
months and continuous growing (but slowly)
for next 6 months. It then shrinks and
nearly vanishes by 10 years of age.
‘Stork bites’ are pink coloured
patches on the face and nape of the
neck (by which the stork carried the
baby, hence the name). They become lighter
and generally fade by 2 years.
Port wine stain are purplish
red spots, which appear anywhere on
the body. They are usually flat and
more or less permanent marks.
Café au lait spots are flat
patches ranging from tan – dark brown
colour, hence the name. They are seen
more easily in the fair-skinned babies.
If there are a lot of such spots inform
your doctor, as there may be some other
associated medical condition.
Mongolian spots are blue to
grey spots seen on buttocks or back.
There are more common in Blacks, Orientals
and Indians. They disappear within 1
year of life.
naevi or moles are light brown to
black in colour usually small and rarely
very large. Large ones can be removed
surgically for cosmetic purposes. These
large ones have the potential to become
cancerous later in adult life.
have noticed a few white bumps on my baby’s
gums when he cries. Could he be teething?
The chances of teething are very remote,
though not totally ruled out. Those ‘bumps’
are more likely to be tiny fluid filled
cysts – very common among newborns. They
soon disappear, leaving the gums clear.
Some babies have yellowish white spots on
the roof of their mouths called ‘Epstein’s
pearls’. They are quite insignificant and
baby has a tooth since birth is it normal?
Once in a while a baby may have a tooth
since birth. It is not abnormal. It is usually
removed if it is not firmly embedded as
the child can swallow or choke as loose
tooth. Another reason to remove it would
be to facilitate breastfeeding and prevent
bite marks. Once this tooth is removed the
normal primary teeth come or erupt at the
usual age. Rarely these are primary and
may have to be replaced by dentures till
secondary teeth erupt.
baby’s tongue is coated white and bleeds
while cleaning it. What do I do?
This is called oral ‘thrush’ and is due
to a fungal infection. The best way to tackle
is prevention. Breast should be cleaned
with water before and after feeds. The baby’s
mouth is also wiped clean after very feed.
If ‘thrush’ does come up local application
of an antifungal lotion every 2 – 3 hours
should be done, but only after consulting
is day 3 of my baby’s birth and the baby
is looking yellow. Does it have jaundice?
Yes! All babies normally
show some amount of jaundice after birth.
But this passes off usually within 7 – 10
days and namely 2 weeks. This is called
physiological jaundice and is due to breaking
up of RBC’s. No special care is needed as
long as the bilirutrin levels are within
acceptable limits and the baby is fine.
In some special cases the jaundice may be
due to certain conditions like infection,
blood incompatibility (mother O/Rh-ve and
baby A,AB,B/Rh +ve) or congenital diseases.
This usually starts later than day2 – 3
of life. In these cases the paediatrician
will inform you about it and will start
some specific treatment.
Is it okay if I use a pacifier
to quieten the baby?
During the first 2 – 3 days it is acceptable
to do so as you may be quite exhausted.
This will not be habit forming. But one
has to stop this practice as soon as possible
to prevent habit formation. You must also
be very careful that the pacifier is kept
clean. The best thing to do is to find out
the cause of crying and act accordingly.
The baby may be crying due to hunger, wet
nappy, and colic or may simply be a fussy
baby. Try to find out and act according
to the situation.
baby’s eyes are sticky and sometimes the
baby has difficulty in opening its eyes.
Is that a sign of infection?
Sometimes there might be clean discharge
from the eyes of the newborn. Especially
in the first 24 – 48 hour. This needs nothing
more than a wipe with sterile wet cotton
balls. If this discharge is persistent or
has a ‘pus-like’ quality or if the baby’s
eyes appear reddened, then it is better
to inform your paediatrician and take appropriate
action according to his / her advise.
baby vomits out a yogurt / curd like product
after meals. Is it that he doesn’t like
the taste of my milk?
The baby brings out a curd like vomiting
because of inadequate burping while feeding
along with milk, the baby takes in equal
quantity of air. When the baby is put in
a lying down position immediately after
feeding, this are brought out along with
some quality of fermented milk that is present
in the baby’s stomach.Hence it is important
to burp the baby. To remove the air in the
stomach before it is put to bed.
baby head seem to be soft in the center
and there is not underlying bone, so much
so that when he cries the part bulges out
The baby’s skull is not yet completely formed. The individual
bones are not yet fused together as in adults.
This is necessary so that the skull
can accommodate the growing brain of the
child. This opening / defect in the center
of the head usually closes latest by 1 ˝
think my baby has a squint !
Don’t be alarmed if you see that your baby is cross-eyed
(i.e. ‘looking London – going Tokyo!’ as
commonly called). This is because the eye
muscles need to be developed and the focussing
mechanism of eye also needs to be developed.
Slowly but surely the baby will gain control
and stop being cross eyed.
these months we were longing to hear our
baby’s 1st cry but now sometimes
it does cumbersome when it cries often.
When the initial novelty wears off, the truth of the situations
dawns on you. Your baby is, as mentioned
earlier a bundle of joy to behold but also
a great responsibility. The
only language the newborn knows is crying.
Crying for all its physical and emotional
needs and sometimes may be just for the
heck of it. Especially for the new mother,
at times, crying of the baby may be quite
irksome. If this happens to you, do not
be alarmed! This happens to all mothers.
Check why the baby is crying: hunger / wet
diapers / flatulence / colic, etc. and act
accordingly. Your husband can definitely
help you take care of the crying baby some
of the times.
I see red streaks or coffee brown particles
in the baby’s spit up !
you see such a red streak or coffee brown
particulate matter in the baby’s vomit don’t
Before you panic, check if it is your own blood! Check your
nipples to see if they are cracked and bleeding.
If yes, you know where the blood comes from.
The acid normally present in the stomach
denatures the blood to dark brown colour.
If you don’t find any crack in your nipples
contact your paediatrician and if nipples
are cracked call your doctor / gynaecologist
so that necessary treatment for cracked
can be given.
my baby need any Vitamin supplements? My
paediatrician has not prescribed anything
but my neighbour’s son is receiving some
health tonics prescribed by her paediatrician.
Paediatricians (child specialist) are divided in their opinion
and prescription for newborn. There is no
rule, which says that your baby needs vitamin
supplement. So don’t worry if your paediatrician
has not prescribed any.You can always pose
this query to your paediatrician and act
according to his suggestion.
How do I know of
my baby is a Colic baby? He seems to cry
It is estimated that 1 in 5 babies has crying spells that
last for hours and are severe enough to
be labelled ‘colic’. Colic differs from
ordinary crying in that the baby seems to
be crying, rather screaming inconsolably
for 2 – 3 hours, sometimes much longer.
begins during the 2nd or 3rd
week of life, and is at its worst by 6 weeks.
It usually starts waning by 12 weeks and
the baby appears to be cured by the 3rd
month. However, there is no clear definition
of what exactly colic is, or how it differs
from other types of problem crying. Many
theories have been put forth ranging from
heredity, complications during pregnancy
and childbirth to gastric discomfort. Almost
all these theories have been completely
or partially rejected.
A colicky baby may turn out to be more then a handful. You
may feel exhausted and frustrated. There
may be times when you momentarily nurture
negative feelings towards your child only
to be ashamed of yourself later! This is
natural and happens to many a parent of
colicky kids. The
‘rightest’ thing you can do is to try and
cope with your baby’s crying as calmly as
possible. The important thing is to realise
that colic in a baby is not the fault of
It has been shown that babies who are carried in the arms
or in a baby carrier, for at least 3 hours
cried much less than those carried less.
Carrying gives the baby a sense of physical
closeness to the mother (akin to life in
utero). It also helps the mother get better
attached to the baby’s needs.
(ii) Comforting the crying baby:
There are many ways suggested to comfort a crying baby, not,
all of which may be always effective. One
must be careful to give each method a fair
trial before switching to another.
The following steps may be tried:
either in your arms, a carriage or a
cradle. You can test your baby’s response
to different types of rocking to see
what calms it the best i.e. whether
fast rocking or slow whether side to
side rocking or up and down, etc.
A ride in a pram,
stroller or family car.
Walking around with
the baby often works, though it can
be quite tiring.
Swaddling the baby
tightly is very comforting to some infants.
Cuddling the baby
in your arms gives him a sense of security
and often calms it. Hold the baby pressed
close to your chest encircled snugly
by your arms.
A warm water bath
can do the trick, but only if your baby
likes the bath.
Singing: your baby
may be soothed by music, either by soft
lullabies, fast tunes or sprightly rhymes.
If you find a tune your baby likes,
don’t hesitate to sing it over and over
most babies love repetition.
lying across an adult lap, tummy down,
back being patted often makes colicky
babies more comfortable.
Colic carry: some
colicky babies are soothed by the pressure
applied to their abdomen when they are
carried in this position.
Some babies appreciate
your help in getting their thumb to their
mouth for their sucking enjoyment. Others
find pleasure in a pacifier. But remember
to resort to this measure after all possible
causes of crying have been eliminated.