What are the common health problems in babies?

Here is a list of some common health issues faced by newborns and infants, and the ways you can tackle these problems to a considerable extent.


If you are a new mum, you are most likely to panic often about your newborn’s slightest health problems. Here is a list of some common health issues faced by newborns, and the ways in which you can tackle these problems to a considerable extent:

Abdominal distension

Newborn babies usually have protruding, bloated bellies. While most of the times abdominal distention occurs due to gas or constipation in the baby, if her belly feels abnormally swollen (especially during feeding), it could be an indicator of a more serious gastrointestinal issue, and it would be wise to visit a doctor.

Solution: To relieve distention, after feeding, always burp your baby by laying her across your lap. If this does not work and she continues crying, try a warm bath.


Colic refers to persistent, uncontrollable crying of the infant (for at least two-three hours without a break, and may get worse during the evening times).

Solution: Try soothing your baby with a gentle massage while rocking on a swing, or wrap her back with a blanket or cloth, or take her out for a short walk.

Blue skin

Apart from blue hands and feet, blueness is sometimes noticed around the mouth and lips of the baby. This may happen as the blood circulation system is not very well developed in newborns. However, if your baby is not getting her pink skin back as the surrounding temperature increases, there is a reason to worry as it may lead to apnea and other cardiovascular issues.

Solution: If you notice a blue spell in your baby, raise her knees to touch the chest area and hold firmly for a few seconds. If the problem persists and starts repeating frequently, do seek medical attention; the doctor may recommend chest x-ray and other tests.

Cradle cap

Cradle cap is usually a harmless skin problem with red, oily skin that forms scaly patches (taking shape of a cap-like structure) on the baby’s scalp.

Solution: Apply a layer of oil to the baby’s scalp, leave oil to soak in for about 15 minutes, and then thoroughly wash the baby’s hair with shampoo. Slowly brush the affected area of the scalp once a day to loosen the flakes.

(The author is chairperson,
International Fertility Centre)

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What are the common health problems in babies?


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