Always talk with your pediatrician or take your baby to the emergency room if you are worried about your baby’s health.
Keeping your baby healthy
- Insist on good handwashing by everyone who touches your baby. Newborns have a very immature immune system and are at an increased risk for getting sick.
- Keep your baby away from people who are ill.
- Carry an instant hand sanitizer and request that people use it before touching your baby.
- It is your responsibility as a parent to do everything you can to keep your baby healthy. Do not be afraid to limit visitors and insist on handwashing.
- Avoid crowds whenever possible for the first six weeks. This includes parties, worship services, crowded subways, and even crowded stores or malls. You may need to fly home, which is unavoidable. Even then you can insist on hand-washing and sit away from groups at the airport.
What to watch for:
These are signs that your baby could have a serious illness. Call your pediatrician right away.
- Temperature over 100.4 degrees F- (Thermoscans are not accurate until babies are 6 months)
- Has to be repeatedly awakened to feed or sudden change in feeding behavior
- Crying inconsolably
- Not eating or urinating as well as normal
- Poor feeding –two feedings in a row, no urine in an 8 hour period –or less than 6 wet diapers a day for newborns.
- Other subtle symptoms of illness:
- Decreased activity/less vigorous
- Poor suck or inability to sustain sucking
- Sweating during feeds
- Generalized weakness/ limp body
- Change in color (911 call dad described newborn as “greenish”)
- Usual crying, moaning or grunting
What medicines can I give my baby?
If your baby does get ill and seems uncomfortable, Tylenol (or generic acetaminophen) is one of the few medications that is approved for newborns over 2 months of age. Call your pediatrician or ask someone at the hospital before giving this medicine or if younger than 2 months of age. They will help you make sure no further medical care is necessary and determine the proper dose for your baby’s weight.