Baby will inevitably get sick; the average is 6-12 times in baby’s first year. Hand washing (for 20 seconds with soap) is the easiest and most effective way to keep germs away, especially before/after diaper change and food preparation. You should also regularly wash baby toys in warm soapy water. Here are five other important things you can do to keep baby healthy and safe:
- Fully immunize baby to avoid life-threatening illnesses.
- Breastfeed as this protects your baby from many illnesses.
- Always practice safe sleeping.
- Check diaper output to be sure baby is getting enough milk.
- Stay calm or step away; we show you ways to calm persistent crying.
When to seek medical attention
When should your baby get urgent care?
Call your baby’s doctor or get to the hospital right away if your baby:
- Has blood in her vomit or stool.
- Has trouble breathing, breathes really fast (more than 60 breaths in a minute), or has a blue tint around the nose, lips, fingernails or skin.
- Has a seizure. When a person has a seizure, his whole body or parts of his body move uncontrollably. Sometimes the person stops breathing.
- Has eaten something like detergent, soap, bleach or bug killer that causes vomiting, diarrhea or trouble breathing.
- Is hard to wake up or is unusually tired.
- Has a rectal temperature above 38C or below 36.5C.
- Is injured and doesn’t stop bleeding.
- Has one or more apnea episodes. Apnea is an interruption of breathing for a short period of time.
- Has yellowish skin or eyes.
When can your baby get care during regular office hours?
Call your baby's health care provider during regular office hours if your baby:
- Is eating less than usual or shows other changes in appetite.
- Is regularly crying, irritable or unable to be comforted.
- Has frequent diarrhea. This can be hard to notice in breastfed babies as they usually have soft stools. Contact baby’s doctor if your baby's stools are especially soft or watery for 6-8 diaper changes.
- Is constipated and doesn't have any stools.
- Vomits (more than just spit up) more than 2-3 times a day.
- Has a cold that doesn't improve or gets worse after a few days.
- Has a rash.
- Has fewer than six wet diapers in 24 hours. This can be a sign of dehydration. Other signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, sunken soft spot (called the fontanel) on the baby's head, or lack of tears when crying.
- Has fluid draining from her ears.
- Has a tender navel or penis. Look for any redness, bleeding or pus in these areas.
- Is paler than usual.
- Is less active than usual.
Sneezing and hiccups occur frequently in the first weeks of a baby’s life. They are not a sign of illness but a normal reflex for babies to clear congestion or airborne particles.
Category: Health and Safety