Congratulations on the birth of your new baby. There is no one factor to determine what is normal. What works for you, may not work for the parents of another child. At APC Pediatrics we care only about the health and well-being of your baby. We hope the following information will be useful to you. When all else fails, trust your instincts. Soon you will know your baby better than anyone else, and that includes grandmother and your pediatrician.
Most parent have mental image of their baby before birth. Often they are disappointed when, instead of the smiling, playful baby picture in the baby food advertisement (which actually is about 4 to 5 months old), they are presented with a wrinkle baby with a funny shaped head, not at all like the baby in their imagination!
There are several findings on normal babies that may cause concern to parents. For one, they often have "cone head." As they pass through the birth canal, the head is molded to conform to its shape. This is especially true if the labor has lasted several hours. After a week or so, the head returns to a normal shape. Cesarean-section babies do not normally have this since they don't pass through the birth canal often have extremely round heads immediately after birth. Babies' heads are lumpy or have ridges cause by the separations between plates of bone in the skull.
In addition, newborns often have red marks over their eyelids. Usually there are red marks on the back of the neck. These normally fade over the first year. Sometimes the ones on the back often remain, but eventually are covered by hair.
Newborns usually have white dots on their noses called milia; these fade with time. Many overdue babies have dry, peeling skin. Again, this this will resolve without treatment. Many parents don't like the look of this, and if like, you may apply a lubricating cream to the skin after baths, especially while skin is still moist. We suggest non-perfumed, hypoallergenic cream (avoid lotions). Brown eyes at birth usually stay that way.
Blue eyes may stay that way or darken over the first year. As a result of exposure to maternal hormones, many babies have enlarged breast, and some infant girls produce vaginal lubrication.
All babies hiccup and sneeze. They can't blow their noses so they sneeze to remove mucus. Don't be surprised if your baby seems to have frequent nasal congestion. Their nostrils are so narrow that the smallest amount of mucus causes a partial obstruction, or their nostrils may be so small that they seem congested, even without mucus. You may clean out mucus with a bulb syringe by placing a few drops of saline in the nostril then aspirate the mucus out.
Most babies grunt and strain with their stools. They are not constipated unless the stools are hard or very well formed. Babies' body movements are initially jerky. Some startle easily.