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How can I tell if my baby is sick?


Parents are the best at knowing when their baby just doesn't seem to be acting the same. Some NICU graduates are more prone to colds or respiratory infections, especially if they have spent time on a ventilator. You should call your doctor for the following signs:

  • The baby has an underarm (axillary) temperature of less than 97 degrees or above 100 degrees.
  • Change in your baby's general color (pale, bluish, gray or yellow)
  • Change in your baby's breathing pattern or difficulty in breathing
  • Has a persistent cough
  • Excessive crying or irritability
  • Change in eating pattern
  • Difficult to wake up or not as active as usual
  • Vomiting all or most of his feedings
  • Frequently liquid stools within a short period of time (6-8 hours)
  • Not as many wet diapers as usual and urine is a darker color
  • Has an unusual drainage or discharge, a wound that won't heal, a lump, or unusual rash
  • Has pain (baby's cry increases or baby draws away when you touch a specific area)
  • Parental instinct that something is wrong. If you "sense" something is wrong or your baby just "doesn't seem to feel good" or "looks sick," call your doctor. You know your baby and his normal patterns of behavior. 
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