Is My Newborn Normal?
To help prepare you for those first hours, days, and weeks of life, here's a head-to-toe guide to newborn health.
That Adorable Face!
While you may be expecting to behold a cuddly, soft cherub, don't be surprised if your baby is just a tiny bit blue in color -- particularly fingers, toes, hands, and feet.
"Universally parents panic over this, but it's really quite normal, especially if the baby is chilly," says Shelov. It occurs, he says, because the baby doesn't effectively regulate temperature or circulation yet, especially to his organs.
Cuddle your baby close, and the blueness should start to disappear. Blueness in babies could also signify more serious medical problems, particularly if seen in the face, around the lips or tongue (central cyanosis). It is important to discuss this with your doctor.
But blue isn't the only unexpected color you might see after birth. Hirschenfang says to be prepared for a little yellow discoloration or jaundice to appear, especially in the whites of your newborn's eyes. "It occurs in 70% of all babies," he says. It should clear in four to 10 days, he says. But it is important to notify your doctor about it. Some cases of newborn jaundice require special treatment. Many hospitals may also test for the bilirubin level before your baby leaves the hospital to re-assure you that the lab value is within normal limits or if further treatment is needed.
Your baby's eyes can also be a little bloodshot following birth and might reveal a subconjunctival hemorrhage, which is a bright red spot caused by a tiny burst blood vessel that has burst in the white of the eye due to pushing/stress during labor.
Hirschenfang says it's a normal result of the pressures of delivery and usually clears on its own in a few days.
And while you're looking into your baby's eyes, don't be surprised if the color is not what you expected or if the eyes are crossed. Hubbard says all babies are born with dark eyes (they change color during the first year), and crossing may also be present, so don’t be surprised!
"Eyes just don't move in the same direction at the same time until a child is about 3 months of age, so don't worry," says Hubbard.