Babies are intimidating. They’re fragile, foreign, and you’re supposed to naturally know how to help them. Want to know a secret? Good parents don’t just wing it. They ask for advice. And while most of your fellow parents only have experience with a few babies, the team at Children’s Hospital Colorado has seen it all. The following are the most common health questions parents ask about a new baby.
Is my baby crying too much?
Babies start crying seriously after two weeks of age and peak at two months. In fact, it’s totally normal for a baby to cry for 1-3 hours a day, up to 30 minutes in one stretch (although it can feel like much longer). It is also normal to feel frustrated when he or she won’t stop. Sometimes, in that moment, you might feel like you are going to lose control. If nothing works, it is okay to leave the baby in a safe place like a crib or infant seat and take time to calm down.
Learn more about how to calm a crying baby.
Is my baby’s poop normal?
Baby poop comes in a range of colors and consistencies. Most are not a cause for alarm. Here is the basic poopy breakdown:
- Dark tar-like poop = normal for newborns. Gone by day four.
- Yellow mushy poop = breastfeeding is going well.
- Peanut buttery poop = formula-feeding is right on track.
- Dark green poop = iron supplements are in the mix.
- Brown pasty poop = baby started eating solids.
- Watery poop = diarrhea. Call the doc after 3 days.
- Slimy poop = mucus. Potential allergy/infection. Call the doc after 2 days.
- Pebble Poops = constipation. Feed water or prune juice to unclog. Call your doctor if this becomes routine.
- Black poop = dried blood. Likely digestive issue. Call your doctor.
- Red poop = fresh blood. Likely milk allergy. Call your doctor.
- White poop = not enough bile. Likely liver blockage. Call your doctor.
For the full spectrum of poop colors and what they mean, read about unusual stool colors.
What is the safest way for a baby to sleep?
Current research confirms that babies sleep safest in their own crib and on their backs, no blankets, pillows, bumper pads, or stuffed animals in tow. Sure, it’s not as picturesque as a baby surrounded by teddy bears or snuggled in your bed, but it’s the surest way to keep their airways from getting blocked.
What is RSV and should I be worried?
RSV is a common, cold-like infection that hits most kids before they turn two. For most kids, it’s a rite of passage. In infants, preemies, and babies with lung or heart issues, however, it can cause serious complications.
Call your doctor if your child has the following symptoms:
- High fever and ill appearance
- Thick nasal discharge
- Worsening cough
- A couch with discolored mucus
- Signs of dehydration
- Trouble breathing
- Unusual irritability or inactivity
- Refusing to nurse or bottle feed
Is my baby’s rash normal?
Babies have sensitive skin, and sensitive skin is prone to rash. Most baby rashes are caused by the usual suspects: moisture and heat.
If your baby develops a rash around the diaper, or any place with limited air flow and excess heat, it’s probably a heat or diaper rash. Try looser clothing, frequent diaper changes, and cooler temperatures. If the rash improves, breathe easy. If it’s unexplained, gets worse, comes with a fever, and/or doesn’t get pale when you press on it, call your doctor.
Get our full list of common infant skin conditions, including Herpes Simplex for babies, on our Rashes and Birthmarks page.
Prepare for what’s next
The baby stage doesn’t last long. Prepare for toddler time and beyond with more FAQs. And don’t forget to check out those common concerns that affect kids at every age on our Timeless FAQs page.