When to Call the Baby’s Doctor

Knowing when to call your baby’s doctor can be worrisome. More likely than not, whatever you observe happening with your baby is normal, but what happens if it isn’t? There is no need to agonize over the decision to call the doctor. If you are worried about something, make the call.
Here are some common reasons to make the call to your baby’s doctor.

If your baby has not urinated in the first 24 hours

If there is fewer than 6 wet diapers within a 24 hour period

If your baby has not had a bowel movement in the first 48 hours

Diarrhea (This is hard to detect especially with breastfed newborns). Diarrhea usually has a foul odor and can be streaked with mucus and/or blood. If baby’s bowels are watery or looser than normal, or are far more frequent than normal.

Temperature above 100.4 degrees F or below 97.8F, taken rectally

If there is trouble breathing or very rapid breathing (more than 60 breaths per minute)

If there is pulling in of the ribs while breathing

Wheezing, whistling, or grunting sounds when breathing

If baby’s lips or fingernails appear blue

Persistent cough

Refusing several feedings, or is eating poorly

Vomiting (not necessarily spit-up)


Sunken soft spot the your baby’s head

Unusually sleepy, or is very hard to waken (this can be a hard call since most newborns and infants normally require a lot of sleep)

Lethargic, unusual limpness or floppy

If baby seems anxious, jittery

Lengthy crying and very difficult to console

Greenish or yellowish discharge from the eyes

Red skin or pus around the umbilical cord

Yellow color in whites of the eyes

Yellowish skin (jaundice)

Circumcision problems. Bleeding from circumcision area, more than expected. Blood stains on baby’s diaper that are larger than nickel.

If your concern is not on the list, do not let that stop you from contacting your baby’s doctor if you notice something irregular happening.

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