Taking Care of a New Baby Article

Common Baby Health Issues

A good reference manual for baby care will provide solid information on health issues presented by infants. A brief review of basic issues is as follows:

Colic is a term generally applied to babies who cry a lot, as in "she is colicky" or "he has colic". Its cause may be due to an immature digestive system, or an immature nervous system, or perhaps something else.

New theories develop and every now and then someone claims to have a cure. There is little you can do other than have your doctor check him out, try to make him comfortable and endure it.

The good news is that colic typically goes away by three months. The bad news is that it can seem like an eternity, as your baby, obviously in pain, will cry and scream for hours on end.

Umbilical Cord
The remains of the umbilical cord usually fall off within two weeks afterbirth. The best way to help it heal is to keep the area clean and dry. Give your baby sponge baths and generally avoid getting the cord stump wet.

Don't cover the area with a diaper that will rub against it and irritate. The more you can expose the stump to the air, the faster it will heal.

The stump can get pretty awful looking, and may even bleed a little just before it falls off. This is normal. Let it fall off by itself, and afterwards keep the area clean and dry.

You can begin to give tub baths, but make sure to gently and carefully pat dry the belly button afterward. Consult with your doctor if the skin around the cord becomes red or swollen.

Diaper Rash
Almost all babies will develop some irritation or rash during their first months. It's not a serious problem, and the best way to treat it is to change your baby's diaper as soon as it gets wet.

Clean him carefully with baby wipes or warm water, making sure not to rub or scrub which will make the irritation worse.

Exposing the area to air for awhile will help, followed by applying a soothing ointment to the spot before putting on the diaper. If the rash doesn't clear up, or if it seems to have definite edges, ask your doctor about it.

Baby Sun Burn
Their skin is delicate and easily subject to sunburn. Even if it's a cloudy day, protect your baby from the elements. Cover him up with light clothing, and keep him out of direct sunlight and wind. Use sunscreen; a complete sun block is best.

Most baby sunscreens have a UV factor of at least 30 (be careful when applying around eye areas). Use a sunhat and make sure your stroller has a good sunshade.


Take our website home with Crash Course for Dads-To-Be.

Have something you want to tell us? Let us know.