2 Newborn Health Tips

Newborn baby sleeps on blue blankets

Newborns might have symptoms that are perfectly normal for their age, but are not previously known by new parents. To help you identify a couple of them, other parents have written what they know from personal experience and their pediatricians:


Not all fussy babies have colic — when a healthy, well-fed and diapered baby cries for several hours a day for no apparent reason. Researchers have studied possible reasons for colic including lactose intolerance, maternal anxiety, allergies and an immature digestive system — but have come to no conclusive findings.

Some indicators of colic:

Predictable crying. Colicky babies often cry at the same time of day, usually late afternoon or evening, for roughly the same amount of time. Crying begins suddenly and for no apparent reason.

Intense, inconsolable crying. Colic elicits sharp cries and screams, and a child typically can’t be comforted.

Body posture. Babies with colic often draw their legs up to their chest, clench their fists, grimace and tense their abdominal muscles.

A bowel movement may signal the end of the colic episode.

There is no treatment for colic. However, it usually subsides when a child is 3 months old.

—Candy Arrington

Cradle Cap

Pediatricians aren’t sure why cradle cap develops — maybe hormones passed from the mother or healthy skin cells growing faster than the old cells falling off. The result is a flaky, white or yellow, scalelike crust on the scalp.

Treatment is often unnecessary but if you decide to treat your baby at home, Evelyn Okoreeh, R.N., recommends following a simple procedure: Every day before bath time, rub a few drops of mineral oil on your baby’s scalp. Wait about 15 minutes. Then gently scrub the area with a soft brush or toothbrush with soft bristles. Don’t pick at the skin; that can cause an infection. Finish by washing your infant’s hair with baby shampoo.

If the condition persists or worsens, talk with your doctor about over-the-counter and prescription creams.

Facts about Cradle Cap

• Is not a sign of allergies or poor hygiene

• Does not cause discomfort

• Is not contagious

• Can be found on skin other than the scalp

• Usually clears within six to 12 months

—Nancy I. Sanders

"Colic" first appeared in Focus On Your Child Early Stages (April 2008). "Cradle Cap" first appeared in Focus On Your Child Early Stages (April 2007). If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. Get it delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount.

The compiled article, “Newborn Health Tips,” first appeared on FocusOnTheFamily.com (2016). "Colic" copyright © 2008 by Candy Arrington. "Cradle Cap" copyright © 2007 by Nancy I. Sanders. Used by permission.

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