8 Worrying (But Absolutely Normal) Baby Problems No-One Warns You About

It’s good to be concerned about your baby’s health. However, not every blemish is worth fretting over. Many parents can find themselves in a panic over abnormalities that turn out to be commonplace amongst babies. Here are some of those common baby problems that no-one tells you about, how to treat them and when to actually show concern.


Jaundice makes the skin appear yellowish and is common amongst newborn babies. Those with liver problems generally get it – when it comes to newborns it may simply be a sign that the liver is developing a little slowly, which may not necessarily be dangerous. Jaundice usually fades within time – a midwife will usually tell you if it’s a concern. If it continues to persist or gets worse, it’s worth seeing a doctor to see if it is a serious condition.

Dry skin

Baby’s skin is traditionally always smooth and some new parents can freak out when their newborn starts peeling profusely. However, this is perfectly natural – especially for newborns born after their due date. It can also be the result of exposure to cold weather in winter or too many baths. In most cases, it’s nothing to worry about and can be easily treated with some baby lotion. If this dry skin is accompanied by rashes, this could be a sign of an allergic reaction – this may be a good time to consult a doctor. Some babies can get peeling skin solely on their heads, but this too is perfectly natural. Again, only show concern if rashes start to appear.

Diaper rash

Many babies get painful-looking rashes appearing in their groin area. This is called diaper rash and is caused by bacteria from their pee and poop and rubbing of the diaper. Regularly changing their diaper can prevent this rash from taking hold. To treat the rash, try using diaper rash cream or coconut oil. Be careful using wipes as they can sting. Diaper rash can be painful for your baby and may cause them to cry at night. Only go to the doctor if the rash spreads or there is pus in the region as this may suggest a more serious infection.

Milk spots

Is your newborn getting spots? Don’t worry, it’s not an early case of teenage acne. These spots are known as ‘milk spots’ and have nothing to do with milk. In fact, scientists aren’t entirely sure why babies get them. They’re best left alone – cleaning your baby's face with cool water can help to get rid of them in some cases. Milk spots are only a concern if they start to flare up, in which case they could be a sign of a milk allergy. Impetigo is also common in children, usually taking the form of a scabby infection around the lips – this could be worth consulting your doctor about.  


Many babies develop a cough. Some newborns may cough up milk if they drink it too fast. In other cases, it could be signs of a cold. Babies have low immune systems and are very susceptible to winter colds. You’ll most likely spot a cold if they bunged up and are wheezing or producing lots of mucus. Whooping cough can be dangerous in babies and has even been linked to death – if your baby is incessantly coughing it could be worth taking a trip to the doctors.


Colic is the bane of many new parents. In fact, it’s thought to affect 1 in 5 babies. It results in constant crying that has been linked to gastro-intestinal discomfort. Whilst colic can be extremely frustrating for the poor parents, it does go away eventually. Waiting it out is the only scientifically proven method of treating colic, although there are other popularly adopted methods such a gripe water. Episodes of colic most commonly happen in the evening lasting up to three hours. Crying may occasionally be the result of other problems – you may want to go to the doctors if there seems to be abnormal weight gain, oddly-colored vomit, a high temperature, diarrhea or constipation.  

Ear infections

Babies can often develop ear infections. Whilst some of these may be easily identifiable, others may be in the inner ear. Usually, a baby with an ear infection will tug constantly on their ear and seem overly distressed. It may even be accompanied by a fever. Ear infections can occasionally clear up themselves, although some may need a dose of antibiotics to help get rid of them. It pays no harm to visit your doctor, who can assess whether antibiotics are needed.

Oral thrush

Little white spots, or legions, inside the mouth could be a sign of oral thrush. This is very common in babies due to their weakened immune system, usually caused by bacteria. Oral thrush may cause your baby to have trouble feeding due to discomfort in the mouth. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s possible that it may spread to your nipple – on top of the white legions, you’ll know it’s spread as the area will be itchy. Nystatin is the most common medication for treating oral thrush and is available in many pharmacies. A doctor may also prescribe a painkiller for your baby to help ease the discomfort and make feeding easier. Be wary that thrush is extremely infectious and could spread to any area of skin it touches. A baby with a nappy rash and oral thrush may develop a yeast infection within the rash. It’s worth seeing your doctor if this happens.

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