Babies are not just tiny and delicate, but they are also sensitive to the outside world. It is natural for us as parents to worry about our newborn baby’s health. The first few months of your little one’s life can be very crucial as they need to be protected from harmful microbes. But how can you figure out whether your baby is facing a health problem that can be treated at home or whether you should call a doctor?
Your little one is susceptible to many infections during his initial days. It is important to keep a tab on his health and watch out for any signs of illness. While many of these problems are temporary, go away in a few days, and can be treated using home remedies, some of them could be more serious. How can you understand when to call for a paediatrician? Well, there are a few tell-tale signs for which you should consult a doctor AT ONCE. Your baby could be in need for immediate medical attention.
1. Your baby has fever that doesn’t go down or is accompanied by seizures
It is advised to check your baby’s fever in case your baby is lethargic and has a runny nose. In case your baby has fever for a long time or has a seizure along with the fever, immediately summon the doctor. It could be due to a bacterial infection like ear infection, sinus infection, pneumonia or a urinary tract infection. Till you see the doctor, tuck your baby in a cosy blanket and let him sleep for a while. Try to bring the baby’s fever down by giving him a sponge bath with lukewarm or cool water. Use this guide to get complete information on how to deal with fever in babies.
2. Your baby is crying in an unusual manner
It is normal for your baby to cry more than usual and wail when irritated, tired or hungry. But if he has high fever and is wailing because of it, you should contact your paediatrician without delay. Your baby could be in some discomfort that is not apparent to you. On the other hand, if his crying is weak, or he is not crying at all, and shows signs of lethargy but no signs of illness such as a fever, this is also a warning signal. You must consult a doctor as soon as possible.
3. Your baby is having these problems with feeding
On an average, a newborn baby is breastfed at least 8 to 12 times a day. Your baby’s hunger will vary from day to day. You need to check during the normal course of a day if your baby is feeding properly. Watch out for these warning signals:
- Is he getting easily tired after being fed?
- Does he not feel as hungry as on a normal day?
- Do you feel that your baby is not sucking on your breast or not taking sufficient bottle feed?
- Is he spitting up more than usual and the spit-ups are greenish in colour?
If your baby displays any of these signs, you must take him for a check-up without any delay. Meanwhile, keep a chart to observe the hunger pattern of your baby on a troubled day so you can share this with the doctor to give him a complete picture.
4. Your baby’s poop is too watery or too solid
For babies, it is important to keep track of the pee and poop routine of your infant. Your baby needs to wet his diapers at least six times a day. If you are breastfeeding the baby, he should have a soft or runny bowel movement. If his poop is too watery, he may have diarrhoea. It is also possible that he may have extremely solid poop due to constipation. This is yet another problematic situation. Consult your doctor soon as the condition of diarrhoea in your baby can cause serious dehydration.
5. Your baby seems to be facing breathing problems
If your infant is breathing faster than normal or is facing trouble while breathing, or has a continued dry cough which is severe during the night and morning, he could be suffering from asthma. You should also be warned if your baby faces persistent difficulty in breathing or tightness and shortness of breath in the chest. Seek expert help without delay in these conditions.
The immune system of an infant is weak. While you may not be able to judge the exact problem your baby is facing, just take hints from his body language and call for a doctor immediately if you find any of these signs. Ultimately, trust your instincts as a mother. If you feel that there is some serious health issue with your baby even though the signs are missing, do not wait. Call the doctor home or take the baby to the nearest nursing home without delay.