It’s natural for new parents to be concerned about the health of their newborn. Because newborn’s immune systems are still developing, they are more susceptible to catching common illnesses than the adults who care for them. It doesn’t help that newborns love to put their hands and feet in their mouth! Here are some signs of common newborn conditions, and how to tell whether it’s time to call or visit the pediatrician
It is normal for infants to cough a bit more than adults, but if their coughing seems to be excessive, or to cause them distress or pain, it may indicate something more serious. While a likely source of this symptom is a simple common cold, it is a good idea to bring infants to a pediatrician if their coughing persists long term, as it may indicate problems with the lungs or digestive tracts that need attention.
A high amount of a chemical known as bilirubin in infants’ blood can lead to a common condition known as jaundice, which results in a yellow tint to their skin and the whites of the eyes. Although jaundice is easily treatable, if the infant is not taken to the pediatrician urgently, it can lead to permanent nervous system or brain damage.
It’s important not to be alarmed if infants often wake throughout the night and to take frequent naps throughout the day, as this is a standard part of development. However, if newborns sleep almost exclusively and do not wake even for their feedings, it can be a sign that their body is attempting to fight off an illness.
“Baby fat” is not only innocuous but is also a critical phase in an infant’s development. However, if an infant’s stomach protrudes or feels swollen and hard, it could be a sign of digestive issues such as indigestion, gas, or constipation. These symptoms can indicate intestinal problems, so it’s important to call or visit Touchpoint Pediatrics as soon as possible.
Feeding Your Newborn
A newborn should feed every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day and night. Babies need to have 5 to 6 wet diapers per day to show that they are getting sufficient breast milk/formula. If your baby is not feeding well or if you are having breastfeeding or formula concerns, you should call Touchpoint Pediatrics to discuss.
If your infant has a rectal temperature of 100.4◦ or more, please call Touchpoint Pediatrics to discuss immediately. Other types of thermometers available to the consumer for taking the temperature of a newborn may not be as accurate as a rectal thermometer.
Touchpoint Pediatrics is available to you 24/7 including weekends and holidays. If you have any concerns regarding your child, please call us. We are always here to help.