When a baby enters the world, it is an adjustment. A few mild symptoms may occur and, especially if this is your first baby, they may worry you. Some newborn care and normal conditions of the newborn period are described below.

Nasal Congestion

During the first two to three months of life, most newborn babies have some nasal mucus that can cause sneezing and noisy breathing. To lessen this, use the nasal bulb you were given at the hospital or a Nose Frida along with nasal saline from the pharmacy to clean the nasal passages.  Leave one to two drops on each side of the nose for ten seconds and then suction the nose. A cool mist vaporizer in your baby’s room may also help. Elevation of the head of the bed can also provide comfort during times of severe congestion.

Umbilical Cord Care

Your baby’s umbilical cord will fall off by itself in one to four weeks. You may notice a yellow base underneath your child’s umbilical cord. This is called granulation tissue and is considered normal. As needed, clean the secretions around the base of the umbilical cord with a wet wash cloth to keep it from smelling bad. An extra cleaning might be in order if water, urine, or stool gets on the cord.  In general, the more the cord is cleaned, the longer it will take to come off.  If the navel oozes spots of blood or a clear moist fluid for a while after the cord drops off, don’t worry; this is natural. However, if the oozing persists for more than two days, the discharge smells particularly bad, the skin around the cord gets red, or your baby develops a fever, notify us.


From the American Academy of Pediatrics (updated 8/27/12):

Circumcision is a surgical procedure in which the skin covering the end of the penis is removed.  Scientific studies show a number of medical benefits of circumcision.  Parents may also want their sons circumcised for religious, social, or cultural reasons.  Because circumcision is not essential to a child’s health, parents should choose what is best for their child by looking at the benefits and risks.  The following are answer to common questions about circumcision.

Medical benefits include:

  • A markedly lower risk of acquiring HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
  • A significantly lower risk of acquiring a number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including genital herpes (HSV), human papilloma virus (HPV), and syphilis.
  • A lower risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). A circumcised infant boy has about a 1 in 1,000 chance of developing a UTI in the first year of life; an uncircumcised infant boy has about a 1 in 100 chance of developing a UTI in the first year of life.
  • A lower risk of getting cancer of the penis. However, this type of cancer is very rare in all males.
  • Prevention of foreskin infections.
  • Prevention of phimosis, a condition in uncircumcised males that makes foreskin retraction impossible.
  • Easier genital hygiene.