When to call your baby's health care provider

When to call your baby's health care provider

Call your baby's health care provider if your baby:

  • breathes too fast or too slow (A newborn breathes between 40 and 60 times a minute.)
  • grunts or whistles while breathing
  • has a change in their skin color: blue around the mouth, pale skin or yellow skin that spreads from the head to chest, hands, legs or feet
  • has a temperature of 100.4 F rectally or higher, or if your baby's temperature is lower than 98 F after being warmed for one hour
  • cries nonstop and can't be comforted
  • has a change in activity level (doesn't wake to feed or is too agitated to sleep)
  • refuses to eat for more than two feedings
  • is throwing up often or with force
  • has more than eight liquid stools a day (formula fed) or 12 liquid stools a day (breastfed)
  • has fewer than four to six wet diapers a day (baby older than three days) or if your baby has no stools or pellet-like stools
  • has a new skin rash
  • has a reddened area of skin around the cord or smelly drainage
  • has bleeding, swelling or smelly drainage from the penis or circumcision site
  • has a cough or cold that won't go away or is getting worse
  • has yellow or green drainage from their nose
  • has any drainage from the eyes (other than tears)
  • is sleepier than usual

Call your baby's health care provider if you have a concern about your baby's health and well-being.

Call 911 or go the nearest hospital emergency department if your baby is having an emergency.

If you call your baby's health care provider because your baby is ill, be ready to answer questions like these:

  • What is your baby's age and approximate weight?
  • Does your baby have a fever? If yes, what?
  • How did you take the temperature?
  • How long has your baby been ill?
  • What are the signs and symptoms?
  • Is there any other important health history?
  • Is your baby allergic to anything? If yes, what?
  • What is your pharmacy phone number?

Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, eighth edition, ob-ah-90026
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/06/2021