Dr. Erika Schwartz is a leading national expert in wellness, disease prevention, and bioidentical hormone therapies. Dr. Schwartz has written four best-selling books, testified before Congress, hosted her own PBS special on bioidentical hormones, and is a frequent guest on network TV shows.

Tags: sick | baby | crying | fussiness | doctor | ear | fever

Is Baby Sick?

Tuesday, 27 Dec 2011 11:20 AM


Babies can be mysterious. They can't tell us when they are not feeling well so it’s not always easy to know exactly why they might be fussy.
Consider a study published in 2009 in Nutrition Journal that found that infants have a similar tolerance for regular and hypoallergenic formulas. The research, conducted by Mead Johnson, a company that markets various infant formulas, included 335 healthy full-term babies followed for 60 days. The symptoms that prompted parents to switch infants to hypoallergenic formula were “excessive crying and fussiness.” Forty-seven percent of the parents who switched their infants to hypoallergenic formulas did not seek medical advice.
With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to consider the signs and symptoms that your baby may not be feeling well, what might be causing them, and when you should call the doctor.
Fever Infants should not have high fevers. In the first six to 12 weeks of life most infants carry mother’s immune antibodies that protect them from common illnesses. If a newborn has a fever of more than 100.4 F rectally, a doctor should be contacted. If a child has a fever higher than 100.6 F for more than 24 hours, the younger that child is, the quicker a doctor should be contacted. Fever dehydrates children so focus on keeping kids well hydrated.
Cough Infants should not have coughs. Sneezing is normal but coughing is not. Keep in mind that infants don’t move, so secretions will drip to the back of their throats and they have to be removed by caregivers. Call a doctor if an infant has a cough. If an older child has a cough, put him in the bathroom and turn up the shower so the steam can loosen secretions. If the cough produces green or brown phlegm and it sounds like a bark, call a doctor.
Change in appetite Infants and young kids should be hungry and eat well at feeding time. If the baby or young child doesn’t eat, skips meals, or sucks poorly, call a doctor.
Cranky Babies and young children are usually in great moods. They coo and giggle. If you see a change in your baby’s mood, it’s usually a sign she isn’t feeling well. Check to make sure she doesn’t have a fever, belly pain, diarrhea, or constipation. Do not ignore mood changes.
Colic Infants suffer with belly aches and colic routinely. After they eat their little bodies have to digest the food and sometimes the transit through the intestines can prove difficult. If your baby is inconsolable, you may want to consult a physician and discuss the formula or your diet if you are breast feeding.
Vomiting While it isn’t unusual for infants to spit up after they finish a meal, it is unusual for them to vomit. Projectile vomiting — vomiting that shoots out across the room — is associated with digestive problems and congenital narrowing of the digestive tract. If the child projectile vomits or just starts vomiting, call a doctor. Infants get easily dehydrated and dehydration is the most common reason children are hospitalized.
Colds Colds are uncommon in newborns. As I said sneezing is normal, but if the baby starts having a cold that interferes with breathing by creating nasal congestion, call a doctor.
Rash Rashes are unusual in newborns so any rash that covers more than the diaper area should be seen by a physician. Often, formula allergies may cause the rash.
Eye discharge If the baby has a discharge coming out of one or both eyes, you should consult a doctor. While this can happen it is considered rare.
Ear problems If a baby tugs on his ear or rolls his head to one side, cries, and has a fever, you are probably dealing with an ear infection. Take the baby to the doctor.






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Dr-Schwartz
While it is not always easy to recognize when baby is sick, there are signs and symptoms that can provide clues about when to call the doctor.
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2011-20-27
Tuesday, 27 Dec 2011 11:20 AM
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