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! continued...
Cuddle your baby close, and the blueness should start to disappear. Blueness in babies could also signify more serious medical problems, so it is important to discuss it 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.
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 in the white of the eye.
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 not be a surprise too!
"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.
Rashes, Lumps, and Bumps
Newborns are notorious for developing what seem like strange transitory rashes, the most common being erythema toxicum, red spots with a yellow or whitish center that often resemble flea bites.
But before you send Fido packing, Hubbard says take heart; it's probably just a normal newborn rash.
"It can be scary because lesions can pop up, go away, and new ones pop up within hours, and the skin can redden. But it's not serious and usually resolves within seven days or less," says Hubbard.
Slightly less common -- but still normal -- are Mongolian spots. These are bluish patches frequently found on the lower back or buttocks, though they can crop up almost anywhere on your newborn's body. They can look like bruises and usually occur on babies that have darker skin. Hubbard says they usually disappear within the first year of life.
Likewise with those blotchy red patches that occur on the face and neck of up to one-third of all newborns. Charmingly called "stork bites," they may become more noticeable when your baby cries. They spontaneously disappear usually within 18 months.