How can I tell if my new baby is sick?


Honestly, it can be hard to tell at first. Newborn babies do a lot of things that would be considered abnormal in children or adults. They have sneezing fits. They throw up easily. Their poop is watery and unpredictable. They cry a lot. They breath funny. They feel hot. Their feet turn blue. They shake. And they can't even tell us where it hurts.

So, ask a lot of questions, and make phone calls if you aren't sure. Having someone to call who knows about the peculiarities of newborns is one of the reasons we insist that you choose a doctor for your baby before you leave the hospital.

However, one thing that any parent will easily notice is whether their baby is eating. Babies (ones that are at least a few days old) are hungry &mdash frequently! A young baby who goes six to eight hours without eating is not a well baby. If your baby isn't eating frequently, something is wrong and you need to get her checked right away.

Thanks to Janelle Aby MD, Stanford School Of Medicine, Newborn Nursery, and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital for the use of occasional photographs.