When to Contact Your Doctor

Concern What to do/normals Call provider if...
Fever; baby feels hot or is fussy. Take the baby’s rectal temperature or temperature under the arm Temperature more than 100.4
Feeding poorly; sleeping longer than normal Newborns sleep up to 16 hours a day; take the baby’s temperature You notice behavioral changes, the baby does not appear alert or has no energy to eat
Breathing difficulties Occasional fast or slow breathing is normal Flaring nostrils, labored breathing, wheezing, coughing, lips or tongue are blue or gray
Stuffy nose Sneezing is normal if drainage is minimal or clear Unable to sleep or feed because of stuffiness or colored mucus drainage
Mouth Small, white round spots on the top of the roof of the mouth are normal; they are called Epstein Pearls Redness and/or white patches on the tongue and sides of the mouth can be thrush
Eyes Clear tears or crusty areas. Be sure to wipe the eye from the inner canthus to the outer canthus Swelling, redness, or colored drainage
Frequent dry diapers Newborns have fewer dry or dirty diapers in the first three days Beyond four-five days less than six-eight wet diapers
Diarrhea Newborns have frequent watery stools for six-12 days Stools are all liquid, bloody, contain mucus or have an unusual odor
Vomiting Spitting up is common Baby is projectile vomiting or vomiting continuously
Umbilical cord Keep the cord dry. Clean the base of the cord three-four times a day using a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol on it Swollen, smelly, red, bleeding or if the skin around the cord is red and peeling
Skin rash Babies can have red bumps on their face and body. This is normal and called newborn acne. Babies can have white bumps on their nose and face. This is normal and called milia. If you notice rash spreading or red and inflamed

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Safe Sleeping for Your Baby

Back to sleep

  • Always place babies on their backs when sleeping
  • Always place babies in a safety approved crib with a firm mattress
  • Always remove soft fluffy bedding, stuffed toys, and pillows from the sleep area
  • Always check to see that the baby’s head is not covered during sleeping
  • Always place baby in a light clothing to avoid overheating

Co-sleeping

Co-sleeping is when a baby sleeps with his or her parents for part of or the whole night. Research shows co-sleeping can be a healthy, positive experience for breastfeeding families and should be considered safe when parents are educated with the following guidelines.

If I choose to share my bed with my baby, how can I do it safely?

  • The safest place for your baby to sleep is in your room within arms reach on a firm surface
  • DO place your baby on his/her back to sleep on a firm mattress that fits snug against the headboard and away from the wall. Babies can easily slip between the wall and bed and suffocate.
  • DO keep the baby’s room temperature comfortable and not overheated
  • DO use a thin blanket only to cover the baby
  • DO NOT put your baby to sleep on a waterbed, recliner, futon or sofa
  • DO NOT sleep with your baby if you are overly tired, or excessively overweight
  • DO NOT sleep with your baby if you or your partner smokes
  • DO NOT sleep with your baby if drugs, alcohol or medications causing sleepiness are being used by adults
  • DO NOT use heavy blankets, pillows, comforters or stuffed animals that could cover your baby’s head and face
  • DO NOT leave your baby alone in an adult bed or with an older child in bed

Shaken Baby Syndrome

  • Shaking a baby does not calm her when she is crying
  • Shaking only causes harm

When a baby cries:

  • Take care of basic needs
  • Gently rock
  • Offer pacifier
  • Take the baby for a walk
  • Give the baby a soothing bath

If you get frustrated with the baby crying:

  • Take a deep breath and count to 10
  • Call a friend or relative to help
  • Put the baby in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes
  • Hug a pillow

Shaking results in serious injuries

  • Blindness or eye damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Mental retardation
  • Seizures
  • Developmental problems
  • Paralysis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Broken bones
  • Death

Signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome

  • Constant crying
  • Stiffness
  • Sleeping more than normal
  • Unable to awaken
  • Seizures
  • Dilated pupils
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Trouble breathing
  • Bloody spots in the eyes