Sure, all those books and classes have prepped you for the major things: labor and delivery, the unavoidable sleepless nights and, of course, round-the-clock feedings. But what about the projectile poop and wandering eyes? Before you go running to the phone to call the pediatrician, we’ve got the rundown on all the freaky, but totally normal, things you’ll soon discover about newborns.
1. Cradle Cap
What’s the deal? There’s no way around it— cradle caps are pretty gross. But they’re also pretty common. How come? Honestly, nobody knows for sure. The good news is any dryness or flakiness will usually disappear within baby’s first few months (though for some, random flare ups could go on for longer). In the meantime, try rubbing baby oil on the patches two or three times a week. Alanna Levine, MD, a parenting expert and pediatrician at Orangetown Pediatric Associates in New York, suggests making it a routine before baby’s bath and scraping the caps off with a fine-toothed comb.
When to worry: Luckily, there’s not too much worrying you need to do about this one—it’s basically nothing more than a common rash. But if it spreads beyond baby’s scalp or seems to be growing more severe, ask your doctor about getting a prescription ointment.
2. Explosive Poop
What’s the deal? Okay, maybe our use of the word “explosive” was a bit much. But the truth is, you haven’t been officially initiated into parenthood until you’ve had to deal with a diaper blowout or two. In other words, you’re not the first mom to clean baby poop off those newly painted nursery walls. For a little schooling on the physics of it all, Levine breaks it down: “Newborn poop is mostly liquid with some mustard-seed texture mixed in,” she says. “As a result, it doesn’t take much power to propel it across a room.” Grossed out yet? Just wait until you’ve got an “up-the-backer” on your hands!
When to worry: As long as it has color (ranging from brown to green to yellow) and some seedy particles in it, baby’s poop should be good to go. But if you spot any signs of blood, Levine says it’s time to get the pediatrician on the phone.