As parents, we tend to worry every time we find our babies struggling. Since they are so little, they can’t even communicate what it is that is bothering them. It could be something normal (like teething or a growth spurt) or something serious (like a fever or colic). So how do you know when you really need to rush over to a hospital?
Here is a list of things that happen to little babies that seem scary but are actually completely normal:
1. Bloody spit-up
Any mother would freak out if they see a bit of blood in their baby’s spit up. While it is a reason to be worried, it could also be because your baby may have swallowed some blood from your sore or cracked nipples during breastfeeding and this could be the cause for the blood in the spit up. Another cause would be if there is a small tear in your baby’s esophagus, which is also nothing to worry about, since it would heal pretty quickly with good care.
You should worry about it if there is a lot of blood when they spit up after formula feeding or if they appear ill.
2. Stuffy nose/abnormal breathing
Some newborn babies may seem to have a stuffy nose or face some difficulty breathing, but this would naturally go away after about two months. The stuffiness may be caused due to a hormone called estrogen, which the mother passes to the baby during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Estrogen can stimulate the nasal passages and cause stuffiness. The stuffiness would completely fade off by the time they turn 6 months, as their nasal passages would have doubled in size by this point.
You should contact your doctor if your baby is flaring his/her nostrils, your baby’s skin turns blue or if his/her tummy or chest is going inwards while trying to breathe.
3. Crying for hours together
Parents often worry that their child has colic when their child cries for hours together and this happens for 3 weeks straight. Your baby may cry continuously for hours together during the first 2 months and this is normal. Colicky babies have a more intense version of crying. His/her crying may even become inconsolable between 5-8 weeks. But this should subside by the time they are 3 months old.
Parents tend to panic when they find their baby spasming the way an adult would when they get seizures. Believe it or not, this is a completely harmless phenomenon called myoclonus ,which is what is responsible for the spasms that you would have observed in your partner as well when they are drifting off to sleep. It just seems scary when your baby spasms because his/her nervous system is not fully developed or coordinated yet.
You should consult a doctor about it if the spasms don’t stop or occur continuously for over 5 minutes or if your little one is having difficulty breathing.
Your baby may have frequent stools when they are just born, but in just a few weeks, you would observe a sudden and drastic change. Your baby may have only one bowel movement every week and may seem to struggle as they try to pass the stool. This is because your baby’s intestines are yet to become fully developed and ready for normal and efficient digestion. By the time your baby is 6-8 weeks old, his/her digestive system would be strong enough to be able to digest and poop efficiently. So, don’t fret.
If your baby is struggling too much to pass stool and his/her poop appears to be like hard round pellets, s/he may have constipation and you should take him/her to the doctor.