9 vital points about baby’s health

Keep track of these important baby-health issues for your child to grow up healthy and strong.


Dental hygiene

Even though newborns don’t have any teeth, it’s a good idea to wrap your index finger in some gauze or a dampened face towel and start cleaning his gums. Particularly after the last feed of the day. Also, the exchange of saliva — from mouth kisses — can infect them with cavity-causing bacteria. Start to practise good oral hygiene.


Anyone who has herpes can pass it easily to your newborn through direct contact. So, bubba’s play date or a relative may spread it either from a sore or saliva (kissing or sharing of toys). A life-long disease, herpes can cause severe brain, lung and liver disease in newborns. Symptoms include mouth sores and swollen lymph glands. Call your paediatrician immediately if he develops a rash, or has swollen eyelids or eyes.


Go to the Health Promotion Board website for a checklist of the jabs junior needs, and then talk to your doctor about them. You can track his immunisation records by visiting the National Immunisation Registry website (www.nir. hpb.gov.sg), which maintains the vaccination records of all Singapore residents aged 18 and below.

Knock knees

These are abnormalities of the lower leg — it curves inwards and his knees touch each other, but the ankles don’t. It’s because your baby’s legs were folded inside your womb. Don’t worry, this condition is normal in newborns and will usually start to straighten out by ages 4 or 5.

Muscle tone

Every baby is of a different shape and size because of muscle-tone differences. Smaller babies have tight, conditioned muscles, while plumper babies are, simply put, mushier. The latter tots will lift their heads up, sit up, and walk a little later than those in the former group. Unless your tyke is diagnosed with congenital hypotonia (low muscle tone and delayed milestones), you shouldn’t worry as he’ll develop at his own pace.

Photo: iStock

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