The first stool passed after birth is thick & black & ''tarry''. This is the Meconium. The frequency and appearance of the stool thereafter may vary from newborn to newborn and may change with changes in diet.

The Breast fed child usually has soft ''grainy'' stools ------looks like mustard seeds or finely scrambled eggs. (sorry about the analogy).

Strangely, some breast-fed kids may have 6,7,8 stools per day, while some may go 6,7,8 days without a stool!!

Stool appearance or frequency becomes important when there is a change from the norm without a corresponding change in diet, or when it is associated with other symptoms such as regurgitation of feed, fever, lethargy, reduction in appetite.

 

Some females develop a small PV blood-stained discharge shortly after birth. This is often due to hormonal withdrawal once they have been separated from mum.

[a mini-version of a period].

 

Many kids ''Puke'' a bit now and again. The mucous which is seen is Not indicative of a cold but represents that which is normally produced by the lining of the stomach as part of the digestive juices. Mucous which is seen post coughing is ''a whole different kettle of fish''.

If this is excessive, see your Paediatrician who may need to offer advice re feeds or feeding techniques to reduce the severity of the problem.

 

Gripes----Newborn colic----3 month colic-----one of the most frequent complaints of new mothers. The newborn wriggles and wriths a bit, showing some signs of discomfort, and sometimes fusses and cries, and sometimes screams [depending on the level of discomfort]. Sometimes he/she pases flatus or even a little stool during the episodes.

Some ''newborn gripers'' do so throughout the day, some do so more towards late- evening, and there are some by whom you can set your watch!----they flare-up at a particular time each day. Most cases are mild and disappear by about age 3 months or so----- some are more severe and worrying to the parents. Before you [the parents] go crazy, sit down and speak with your Paediatrician.

A walk through any Pharmacy will show many different medications which allegedly cure gripes. 

Controlled medical trials may dictate otherwise--------''speak wid yuh Docta''

 

This is usually due to a Congenital Umbilical Hernia and is extremely common. It is caused by a failure of the muscles in the wall of the abdomen to ''fuse'' completely before the child is born. As a result a bit of the bowel may protrude, and this becomes more obvious when crying or straining. Most umbilical hernias close by age 4-5 years. If this does not happen, surgery is required.

DO NOT ''band down the navel'' NOR should we tape it down with the ''old-time willie-penny''-------This can have serious ill-effects.

 

These are blue-grey marks which are sometimes seen on the trunk, buttocks, limbs of kids. The name (mongolian) is a badly chosen one, as this condition has nothing to do with Mongolism (Down's Syndrome).

The spots are collections of pigment under the skin, and they usually disappear on their own by about 2 years of age.

 

We very commonly hear complaints of children having a ''head cold'' from the time of their birth------In many cases, this is due to a Vasomotor Rhinitis or an Allergic Rhinitis.

One of the functions of the nostril is to warm the incoming air to the lungs. This is done by the blood vessels under the lining of the nostrils expanding, so as to bring the warm blood into contact with the colder air. The lining of the nostril therefore becomes swollen, and the nasal passage becomes narrower, hence the stuffy sound.

This condition may therefore be more noticeable at nights when the environmental temperature falls. In the case of allergies, when the kid has an allergic tendency, inhalation of dust, pollens, powder, smoke, fumes from paint etc may irritate the lining of the nostrils which then become swollen, and which then produce mucous-----hence the sniffles.

Home remedy-----normal saline drops may be bought over the counter or made [1 level teaspoon of salt to 2 measuring cups of water].

 

The all-too-frequent complaint of a ''head cold'' is often associated with that of a ''chest cold'' in the very young child. In a lot of cases, there is no genuine ''cold'' [Respiratory Infection] but what is heard is what we refer to as ''transmitted sounds''. These are sounds/vibrations in which air from secretions rattling around in the back of the throat or other upper parts of the airway. In these cases, ''cold medicine'' is of no use whatsoever.