Yellowing of the skin and eyes is called jaundice and is due to bilirubin. Bilirubin is a breakdown product of hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. It is normal for newborns to have some jaundice in the first several days of life. Babies will have their blood bilirubin levels checked before leaving the hospital. If the level is too high, your infant may need to be treated with special lights or have the bilirubin checked again. Some babies will need their bilirubin level checked each day for several days. Jaundice usually goes away after the first week of life.