10 Newborn Worries (Not to Fret About)

There are plenty of things to pay attention to after your baby is born. Here are some things you don’t need to put on that list.

1. Touching the soft spots on Baby’s head.

Despite cautions to the contrary, you shouldn’t be stressed if you happen to touch these areas of your little one’s head. When you touch your baby’s soft spots, known as the fontanels, you’re not touching her brain but a thick protective membrane. These soft spots exist so your baby can safely negotiate the narrow birth canal. Since her skull is flexible, your little one’s downy head has already survived a pretty rough ride with no harm done.

2. Seeing Baby’s pulse in his fontanels.

What you’re seeing are the normal workings of your baby’s circulatory system. Because the fontanels cover areas of the skull that have not yet fused together, they’re soft, making veins and arteries visible.

3. Blood in your newborn girl’s diaper.

During pregnancy, a surge in maternal estrogen levels can stimulate a female baby’s uterus. Within the first week of life, it’s not uncommon for baby girls to have a mini period in which the uterus sheds a little blood.

4. A small hollow in Baby’s chest.

Relax—this isn’t a heart problem. The indentation you see is likely the bottom portion of the breastbone, angling backward. As your baby grows, his chest and belly muscles will pull it straight. Before then, layers of baby fat will cover up this very normal bit of newborn anatomy.

5. Soft, squishy poops after every feeding.

Breastfed babies may poop after each feeding because breast milk is so quickly digested. (Formula-fed babies may have less-frequent bowel movements.) Most newborn poops are soft because babies are on an all-liquid diet.

6. Constant hiccupping.

Experts aren’t sure why young babies hiccup so much; some say it’s due to a miscommunication between the brain and the diaphragm (the abdominal muscle that controls breathing). Regardless of their cause, hiccups are a harmless part of babyhood.

7. Crying.

Newborns have an immature nervous system and startle easily, which helps explain why they shed so many tears. Crying is a baby’s only way of communicating his needs. Simply put, he’s wired to cry a lot, so though he may look pained, he’s not harming himself.

8. A pimply facial rash.

Thanks to maternal hormones still circulating in their body, many newborns have acne that appears between 2 weeks and 2 months of age. It’s harmless and simply requires gentle cleansing with water.

9. Swollen breasts on a newborn girl … or boy!

Those same hormones that may cause baby girls to have a mini period can also swell the breasts of babies of both genders. Surprising? Yes. Temporary? Absolutely. Worrisome? Not at all.

10. Sneezing all the time.

Babies have tiny noses and just a small bit of mucus will make them sneeze. Because your newborn has just emerged from his watery home in your uterus, he’s likely to have at least a little congestion, which may cause quite a few sneezes. Unless sneezing is accompanied by thick, yellow mucus (which indicates a cold), all that sneezing is just a phase he’ll outgrow.

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.