The 7 Most Common Problems Seen In Newborns

The 7 Most Common Problems Seen In Newborns

Last update: 27 February, 2018

There are several common problems that newborns face, and we’ll elaborate on seven of them in this article.

All parents hope for their children to be born healthy. Although they come into the world without diseases, they can suddenly suffer from certain complications.

Since they are so little, complications can be bothersome and sometimes even dangerous.

There are many complications that can interfere with a newborn’s health without leading to a serious illnesses. Sometimes complications can require medical treatment, and in cases like these it is important to attend to all abnormalities.


Jaundice is a very common condition. It is estimated that it occurs in almost 70% of newborns. It can take up to 10 days to clear up.

Jaundice usually appears in the first 3 days of life. It is produced by high levels of bilirubin in the blood and the most visible symptom is that their skin turns yellow.

Jaundice can appear as little as 24 hours after birth. It does not require treatment and in most cases it clears up within 7 days.


This can be a serious problem because a high fever can have dangerous consequences for a newborn. A high fever can also be a symptom of a bigger problem.

However, it is common for newborns to have a rise in temperature due to the change in environmental conditions.

This fever usually appears within the first three days of life. It is due to the baby adapting to the temperature of the environment.

In these cases, the child continues to eat and remains healthy. It is important to keep them hydrated. This condition usually resolves itself without medical intervention.

The 7 Most Common Problems Seen In Newborns

Sleep alterations

The sleep cycles of newborns are quite regular; they spend most of the day with their eyes closed. They fall asleep easily after eating and their tranquility is not easy interrupted.

It is common for them to have difficulty falling asleep during night time. They spend more time active and in total lucidity just when their parents are tired and want to sleep.

This is quite normal because when the newborn was still in their mother’s womb, that is how they spent their time.

During the day, the mother moves around and this causes rocking of amniotic fluid which puts them to sleep. However, when the mother is still, the baby wakes up.

Therefore, during the first days of life, they still have the same time schedule.

It usually takes at least four weeks for newborns to get used to the pattern of being awake by day and asleep at night.


This may alarm first-time mothers, but in fact it is normal in babies. Almost all babies expel some milk after eating. This is caused by the fact that when they suckle, air comes in and when that same air comes out, it is accompanied by food.

In order to prevent this, it is important for you to make your baby expel gas after feeding it. Vomiting is not only caused by air, it can also be a sign of other discomforts or colic.

Difficulty urinating

It is a cause for concern if a baby does not urinate 48 hours after birth. We normally notice when the baby urinates because it cries due to the moisture.

It is normal for them to urinate up to 10 times a day.

If the baby has a narrow flow or produces leaking after urinating it could be a sign of bladder or kidney complications.

Inconsolable crying

It is normal for babies to cry a lot when they are adapting to the new world. Minor discomforts are all it takes to irritate them. Let’s not forget that crying is also their only form of communication.

The newborn will cry when hungry, sleepy or to warn that they need a diaper change. All of this is normal.

However, if the baby presents a sharp and uncontrollable cry, we should suspect an infection or problems urinating or defecating. Consult your doctor in order to have peace of mind.

The 7 Most Common Problems Seen In Newborns

Irregular bowel movements

First-time parents are concerned about the color, texture, regularity and everything else they see in their newborn baby’s stool. It is normal for them to have black or greenish stools in the first 3 days of life.

It is also normal for the texture to be slimy and the frequency can reach up to 8 times a day. Special attention must be made in order to make sure that the child is not constipated. Hard stools and constipation can cause pain and major trauma.

On the other hand, it also isn’t normal for them to constantly have diarrhea if their diet is exclusively based on breastfeeding.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • A quick guide to common childhood diseases. BC Centre for Disease Control. 2009. [Online].
  • E. Saliba, E. Lopez, L. Storme, P. Tourneux, G. Favrais. Fisiología del feto y del recién nacido. Adaptación a la vida extrauterina. EMC – Pediatría, 2018; 53 (2): 1-29. ISSN 1245-1789,
  • Pinto, I. Ictericia. Protocolos diagnóstico-terapéuticos de Urgencias Pediátricas SEUP-AEP. [En línea].

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.