By TMoM Team Member Suzy Fielders

My second-born daughter, who is now 11 months old, is the happiest little baby. If you saw her you’d never guess this poor kid has had pretty much all the common baby health issues – and some not so common.

I want to lead this blog to say I am in no way a medical professional. Please always check with your pediatrician on any concerning issues regarding your baby! I’m simply sharing our personal experiences with infant medical issues. I hope this helps other mothers who are facing these same issues!

Cradle Cap

This issue, also known as Seborrheic Dermatitis in the medical world, was the easiest of the ones we had to deal with. If you notice crusty like instances on your baby’s scalp, there is a very good chance that it is cradle cap.

It is relatively harmless in most cases so that’s why it was the easiest issue to deal with. Our pediatrician told us when we gave her a bath, we could rub her scalp gently with a soft bristle toothbrush. However, she also said it wouldn’t make it permanently go away. Plus, if it didn’t seem to bother her or seem itchy then it’s probably not necessary. Our daughter never seemed bothered by it, so we left it as is.

The only bad thing about this issue is it can last for a while. It took several months for it to go away on our daughter’s head!

According to Cleveland Clinic, “About 7 out of 10 babies develop cradle cap between two and six weeks of birth.” So, as you can see, it is a very common issue!

Baby Eczema

Another very common issue in infants, Baby Eczema (Atopic dermatitis) is also usually harmless and temporary. However, one thing my pediatrician made me aware of is an infant that has baby eczema has a higher likelihood of developing allergies. This could be food or environmental allergies. Be sure to pay attention to look for any rashes or other allergic reactions.

For our daughter – and most babies – it is most obvious by the fact that the area of skin impacted is rough feeling. It can be red or skin color. Some babies feel irritated by it if it’s itchy. It can be anywhere on the body, but is most commonly found on the face.

Sometimes Baby Eczema goes away on its own and causes no problems at all! Nor does it need any treatment. However, for my daughter we had to start using a hydrocortisone cream to relieve it. This worked quickly and helped get rid of it for her.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, “It affects up to 25% of children, and an estimated 60% of people with eczema develop it during their first year of life.”

Flat Spot on a Baby’s Head

Since pediatricians now recommend babies sleep on their backs to reduce SIDS, more and more babies are developing flat spots on their cute little heads. This issue, known to doctors as positional plagiocephaly.

While it can be left untreated, we opted to do the baby helmet (cranial remolding) to help reshape her head and eliminate the flat spot.

Every child is different, but our daughter was in it for a couple months. After the introduction period, they do have to be in the helmet 23 hours a day. Outside of the adjusting to it while she slept (which didn’t take long), it didn’t bother her at all.

cranial remolding

It was more work for me and my husband! But even that wasn’t bad. We just made sure to take it off in the evenings to wash her head well since she got sweaty in there. You also need to clean it regularly with alcohol spray.

The doctor who handled my daughter’s helmet recently was one of our experts in a Q&A session on our April Facebook event. He provided tons of great information and responses to questions on that thread. If you want to learn more, you can check that out here.

According to research by Geof Tibbs of Tierney Kids, they’ve seen various studies and overall, it appears plagiocephaly is prevalent in 20 to 40 percent of all infants.

cranial remolding


This was the scariest of all the issues my daughter faced. It was crazy to think something as small as a little cut that got infected could cause so much trouble!

On a Sunday evening we noticed our daughter was very fussy (not common for her) and cried so much. We found she had a fever, so we called the after-hours line at our pediatrician. They said to try Tylenol to help with the fever then bring her into the office the next morning.

After a very long night with a not happy baby, we made it to morning. At this point, my husband had gone to work, and I was trying to get the baby ready to get to the doctor’s office. She was so upset during diaper changes and would barely move her legs at this point. It was a huge struggle to get her into the car seat. As other parents can imagine my concern was growing. But my first thought was maybe it was a UTI.

One of The Longest Day of My Life…

Upon arriving at the doctor, they took her vitals (she cried a lot, which again she didn’t normally do). I mentioned about the UTI and the only way to get a urine sample from a baby is a catheter. You can imagine how well that went.

The doctor was concerned about her legs and inability to move them well. So, they gave her some Motrin and wanted to observe her. She took that and even took a nap for about 20 minutes. When she woke up and the pediatrician came back in, the baby was moving her legs a little more. But, I knew in my gut something was still just not right. The doctor asked more questions and asked if I could think of any other symptoms at all. After thinking about it I said the only thing I could think of was I noticed she had what I thought was diaper rash on her right butt check. I was thinking I don’t know how that could cause all this, but the doctor said might as well check it out while here.

Once the doctor looked at the area, she said she was so glad I mentioned this. It was not diaper rash but what appeared to be a very infected abscess. She said I needed to get her to the ER so they could drain it then she’d need antibiotics.

Off to The Emergency Department

After getting to Brenner’s and my husband leaving work to meet me there, then began the LONG wait and even LONGER night ahead. I got there around 2 or 3 in the afternoon and we didn’t get home until about 1 or 2 a.m. the next morning!

ED Visit

The only way to drain an abscess for a baby that young (she had turned 9 months old that day) was to put her to sleep. Everyone at the hospital was great – other than the insane waiting times – and took good care of our baby.

A drain was placed in her right butt cheek – which we had to keep very clean and give her baths twice a day – and then removed at a follow-up a week later. The antibiotic selected was the best to treat skin infections like this but man it caused so much diarrhea. Not just while she was on it either, that lovely side effect lasted for weeks! It certainly helped her start feeling and acting like herself again!

How Does This Happen & What to Look For

At the follow up appointment, I asked the doctor about how it happened. He said they are common in babies as they will often scratch themselves then it gets infected.

Things to look out for – a red area, if that area feels hot to the touch, and if your baby has a fever but no cold symptoms. Plus, as you can see from our experience, the worst cases like our daughter also caused things like inability or hardships in moving limbs.

I hope sharing about these four common medical issues babies experience helps others struggling with these!