When should you call the doctor?
All babies need to eat, sleep, urinate and have bowel movements. If your baby can't do one of these things as he normally does, call the doctor. Babies can become dangerously dehydrated, or dried out, very quickly.
You'll also want to call if baby has a fever, seems "floppy" or unresponsive, or has bulging or sunken-in soft spots, convulsions, or trouble breathing. Sharp crying while lying down that stops when she is picked up, or rubbing or pulling at an ear, can be a sign of an ear infection. Hoarse crying and refusal to eat might mean a sore throat. Call the doctor for these, too.
You know your baby best. If baby doesn't seem quite right to you, trust your judgment and call your child's health care provider.
Write down the doctor's advice, and insist he or she repeat anything you don't understand. Don't be afraid to ask questions. When you call the doctor this information may help:
- What is baby's temperature? Specify the type of thermometer used.
- How is baby breathing? Are breaths difficult, fast, slow, coughing or wheezing?
- Is baby in pain? Is he screaming, rolling his head or pulling up his legs?
- Is baby's skin flushed and sweaty or pale? Is there a rash?
- Are baby's eyes and ears producing a discharge? Is baby pulling at or rubbing them?
- How is baby's appetite? No appetite? Very little? Is she vomiting?
- Are baby's bowel movements watery, slimy, or hard and dry?
- What is baby's mood? Too quiet, fussy, or sleepy?