How To Notice & What To Do When Your Baby Is Sick

Being a parent is a huge responsibility. You have to make decisions for your kid for a few years and his health and comfort depends on you. Whether you’re a first time parent or have had three or four children by this point in time, noticing when your baby is sick is always going to be a confusing and oftentimes frightening situation.

Babies will frequently get sick, which is why it’s so important to be able to properly notice when your baby is sick and what to do when they are. The following details some of the clear signs and symptoms that your baby is sick.

Changes in Behavior

One of the most readily noticeable signs that your baby is suffering from an illness is if their behavior changes. The baby will likely cry more and start to display changes in how active they are throughout the day. For instance, if your baby is generally irritable and doesn’t move around much throughout the day, this is a clear sign that they need to see a doctor. Crying is normal with a newborn. However, if the crying is combined with any of the aforementioned changes in behavior, your baby is likely sick.

Sleepy Baby

Babies who don’t have much energy will typically sleep for much longer then they normally do and are drowsy when awake. They won’t pay attention to sounds either, but these symptoms of lethargy tend to be gradual in nature, making them difficult to notice.

As a symptom, lethargy could point to any number of illnesses, ranging all the way from mild to severe. Given that lethargy is a common symptom for a wide range of sicknesses that your baby could develop, you’ll want to take them to the doctor immediately upon noticing the symptom, especially if it’s subsisted over a period of days.

Irritability Signs

Along with lethargy, signs of irritability are common among a baby who has become sick recently. This irritability tends to display itself in a couple of different ways. One of these is through a type of constant crying. If your baby cries for hours on end, this could be a sign that they’ve developed a condition known as colic. General irritability and fussiness might just indicate that your baby is sick or slightly injured, suffering from such conditions as an earache, constipation, a viral infection, or abdominal pain. If this continues for longer than a few days, don’t hesitate to take your baby to the doctor for a checkup.

Onset of Fever

Fever is one of the most common and dangerous symptoms of sickness that your baby could suffer from, especially when under three months old. It’s important to understand that fevers are potentially more dangerous for a newborn baby than adolescents or adults, as a common cold can take anywhere from 3-7 days for a baby to recover from. Fevers aren’t always bad for your baby to go through, as they help your child combat infections. If your baby feels hot when touched on the forehead, take their temperature immediately.

Under the age of three months, the baby’s temperature should be taken rectally, with the thermometer being placed around 1-inch into your baby’s bottom. Wait until the thermometer beeps to indicate that it’s ready and check the temperature. If it reads above 100.4 Fahrenheit, a visit to the doctor is necessary. For babies between the ages of 3-6 months old, the same is true when the temperature reading is 101 Fahrenheit or higher. Oral thermometers aren’t recommended for your child until they reach the age of four. Since a fever typically indicates the presence of an infection within a baby, you’ll want to take yours to the doctor as soon as possible.

Other Signs

There are a lot of other signs which indicate that your baby is not feeling good. One of the first symptoms of cold’s precursors, a recent tantrum or allergies are a runny nose. Always check if your kid has a runny nose because you can quickly determine if he is feeling good or not. If he does, then you cannot do much about it. Just use a lot of soft tissues and clear his nose when necessary. Try to be gentle and careful because babies hate tissues as much as you do.

Congestion – If your kid breathes audibly, snores or has trouble drinking bottles, then it is a sign of congestion. If he does, then you have a few limited options. Saline drops before bedtime seem to help but you can also get a aspirator, which will help you suck the snot out of your little one’s nose.

Additional Reasons to See a Doctor

There are plenty of other signs that point towards the development of sickness within your baby, which might mean that it’s time to take them to the doctor. These signs include

  • Convulsions and seizures
  • A pale or flushed face
  • Splotches of purple on the skin, possibly other types or rashes as well
  • The presence of pain at some area of the body
  • Swelling of the fontanel, a soft area at the top of a baby’s head
  • Issues with breathing
  • Crying for no reason
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea or vomiting on a regular basis
  • Issues with swallowing
  • Refusing to drink from the bottle or even breastfeed

If you notice any of these, it’s likely that your baby is sick from some illness or infection and you should take care of right away. Try to talk to your pediatrician, so he can suggest what can you do, based on your situation.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’re aware of how to notice when your baby is sick, don’t hesitate to take them to the doctor whenever any of these signs are present. Doing so will give you a peace of mind that your baby is as healthy as can be and has recovered before the condition worsened.

Disclaimer: You should use at your own risk all the recommendations mentioned in the upper paragraphs. I am not a pediatrician and I wrote this article based on a few articles I found online.

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