iriemade Skip to Content

7 Common Problems To Look Out For In Newborns

Most newborn babies are born healthy without any complications. However, some experience health issues and abnormalities. It’s important that you’re able to spot the warning signs of a problem so that you can get treatment for your baby if necessary. Below are just some of the common problems to look out for.

Birth Defects

Sometimes problems can occur in a baby’s development in the womb, which may lead to them being born with defects. Some defects are possible to spot through scans before a baby is born, but this is not always the case.

A few common defects that babies are regularly born with include:

  • Heart defects
  • Hypospadias
  • Cleft lips/palates
  • Clubfoot
  • Neural tube defects
  • Down syndrome

Midwives and nurses will usually be able to identify birth defects straight after the birth if they are physical and external. Mental and internal birth defects are not so easy to detect. Some defects such as cleft lips can be treated with surgery. 

Birth Injuries

During difficult births, babies can sometimes sustain injuries. These can range from scars caused by forceps to broken bones.

Most birth injuries are mild and will heal on their own, however some birth injuries require professional treatment. A midwife or doctor will be able to advise you on the best course of action. In cases where birth injuries were avoidable, you can consider filing a birth injuries lawsuit to get compensation. 


If your baby has yellow skin and eyes, they may be suffering from jaundice. This occurs when your liver stops breaking down bilirubin – a yellow substance that helps to replace old red blood cells. 

About 60% of newborns experience some jaundice, which usually goes away on its own. However, it may persist with other newborns. This can be cause for concern as it could mean that the liver is not functioning properly. A midwife or medical professional will be able to diagnose the exact cause.  

Breathing problems

Some newborns experience NRDS (Newborn Respiratory Distress Syndrome) in which the lungs are not developed properly. Babies with this condition often need help breathing with the aid of a ventilator which can help to restore lung function. 

Another breathing problem to look out for is apnea, in which a baby may stop breathing for several seconds at a time. This often results in a baby’s skin turning slightly blue. Apnea is definitely something you should talk to a doctor about as it could be due to an underlying lung or heart problem that may need immediate treatment.

Skin problems

Newborn babies typically have very sensitive skin making them prone to skin conditions. Cradle cap and diaper rash are two conditions that are very common in newborns. Cradle cap results in flaky skin on the scalp – it usually clears up on its own over several weeks. Diaper rash results in rashes around the bottom groin and is typically caused by leaving a baby in a wet diaper for too long – there are diaper rash creams that you can spread on the rashes to quickly clear them up.

Sometimes newborns can have more serious skin conditions like severe eczema. These conditions should not be ignored – see a doctor for a diagnosis. There will usually be creams that you can apply to ease symptoms. 

Feeding problems

Feeding some newborn babies can be very challenging. They may not take to the breast or bottle, they may not swallow or they may continuously vomit.

Sometimes a little perseverance is needed. In other cases, you may have to simply try different methods of feeding and different positions to find something that works. It’s worth talking to a doctor or midwife if you are seriously struggling to get your little one to feed. You don’t want your newborn to get dehydrated – a medical professional will be able to recommend the best course of action. 


It’s normal for a newborn baby’s poop to look a little weird at first. It tends to be a sticky greenish-black substance for the first couple of days but gradually turns a mustard yellow after this. If you don’t experience this color change, it could be worth talking to a doctor.

Newborn babies should be pooping frequently – ideally multiple times per day. If they seem to constantly have a dirty nappy or nothing is coming out for several days, you may want to seek professional medical advice to find out if there is a digestive problem. Some digestive problems clear up on their own, but this is not always the case, so you need to be careful. 


Pin It on Pinterest