Expert Paediatrician Answers Your Questions

Posted on Nov 27 2013 - 5:46pm by Charlie

Expert Paediatrician Answers Your QuestionsHowever adorable you find your newborn baby, there will always be little details that may intrigue or unsettle us. Is this normal? We shed a little light… 

They have swollen eyes

Oedema (a type of fluid-retention) in the eyelids will often be accentuated on the side on which your baby usually sleeps. In general, it occurs on their legs, arms and hands. Your baby will get rid of this build-up of serous liquid in the days following birth as they lose weight. Before throwing yourself into a panic, you should know that it usually slowly disappears and the more a baby has oedema, the more it will eventually lose.

They look dishevelled

The ‘Punk’ look is rather characteristic of brunette babies. Why? Not only are they usually born with more hair than fair babies, but also this hair at birth has a very different structure and reacts differently to ‘normal’ hair, which is why we see this little sticky-up, untameable side that can last several weeks.

They’re a bit hairy!

A fine layer of fuzz is covering their shoulders, back, front, forearms and thighs. Not to worry, as this ‘lanugo’ as we call it, has nothing to do with how hairy they will be in the future. Brown-haired and Mediterranean babies have more of it than blonde-haired babies, never mind the fact that, inevitably, it is easier to see! Bald newborn babies are exempt from this. This layer takes a few weeks to form, little by little, without you even noticing.

They have blemishes on their front,

…Eyelids, nose and also on their neck. The latter is what we call “the stork’s clip” as everyone knows that babies are carried by pinching the nape of their neck! These birthmarks, called ‘plan angiomas’can be identified according to their location; a triangle shape on their front, a simple red line on the eyelids, or covering them completely. They can also appear on the top lip, nose, neck and occasionally reach the hairline. They will lighten, and eventually disappear usually towards the age of 9 months (except the stork’s clip, which may continue to show), but it is common that they flare up when the child cries. A light redness will appear shortly afterwards.

They have bowed legs

This slight temporary deformity affects the majority of babies and is caused by the positioning of the foetus in the womb. Growth will naturally relax the legs, and by the age of 2 months, they should be neatly straightened out.

They have one or two teeth

They are only small, mostly still beneath the gum, and these first teeth are always the lower incisors. They will fall out during the following months, pushed out by the teeth that will follow.

They are red all over

All infants are born with a large supply of red blood cells, as their bone marrow does not create any more (newborn babies have an average of 15-18g p/100ml of haemoglobin, whereas adults have around 12-13g p/100ml). A very rosy baby therefore, is a baby with a good supply! Around the age of 3 months, as the supply diminishes, your baby’s skin will develop its permanent colour. They and will start producing their own red blood cells.

They have little white spots on their nose

Almost all babies have these when they are just days old, appearing only on their nose. Milia, or ‘milk spots’ as they are more commonly known, are totally benign, and should not be confused with acne, nor thought to be a sign of oily skin. They diminish as time goes by, and disappear completely over the course of two or three weeks. They do not require any particular treatment; your baby’s facial oil glands are still developing.

This article was written on behalf of, the London based nanny agency work closely with London nannies to provide permanent full-time and live-in nannies as well as maternity nurses.







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