Five signs your newborn is in good health
Dr Federica Vagnarelli Specialist, Paediatric and Neonatology at Danat Al Emarat Women & Children’s Hospital discusses five ways to tell if your newborn is in good health
- Healthy appearance and position. Your baby will pull their arms and legs towards their body when they are awake and do not appear limp, especially when they are carried.
- The baby’s breathing pattern is regular and skin is pink. Seek your paediatrician’s advice if baby looks pale, blue or is breathing quickly or with difficulty. Your baby may develop jaundice (yellow colour of the skin or eyes). This is common and usually safe, however, your paediatrician should check as sometimes tests or treatment may be required.
- Baby cries only when hungry and sleeps regularly. At first, your newborn’s cries may seem like a foreign language, but you will quickly learn how to recognise crying for hunger from other reasons for crying (pain, colic, discomfort). Babies generally settle soon after feeds, but in case of excessive crying, your paediatrician can help rule out any illness.
- After the first 3-4 days of life, the baby is wetting a minimum of 5-6 diapers per day. If you are breastfeeding and worried that your baby is growing slowly, check that latching happens correctly and offer both breasts at each feed. If in doubt, seek advice from a lactation consultant.
If formula-feeding, make sure to prepare feeds correctly. If you add too much water and baby may not get the nutrition they need, if you add too little and they may not get enough fluids. Stool should change colour from dark to yellow.
- Baby is making eye contact at close range (during feeds). A newborn baby has limited vision, but is able to see a mother’s face and facial expressions during feeds. A consistent, positive relationship helps build healthy brains and protects from the negative effects of stress.