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If you’re not sure whether to call your baby’s doctor, err on the side of caution, says Gwenn O’Keeffe, M.D. These symptoms should have you on the phone immediately:
Fever: Pediatricians are very cautious with any fever in a baby younger than 8 weeks, especially if his rectal temperature is higher than 100.5 F. They are less alarmed after 8 weeks, but if your baby has a fever, isn’t eating well or just looks “sick,” phone the doctor.
Dry diapers: Your baby should have eight to 12 wet diapers a day; if he doesn’t, he may not be eating enough. (Breastfeeding mothers should be especially attentive during the first few days, when the milk is coming in.)
Poop problems: The consistency and color of poop can vary, so don’t be alarmed if your baby’s bowel movements change from day to day and week to week. But diarrhea can cause dehydration. Call your pediatrician if your baby has watery stools or blood in his diaper.
Vomiting: Spitting up is normal, but if your baby vomits in large amounts or projectile vomits, or if his vomit is yellowish or greenish, his digestive tract could be blocked.
A White Tongue: Babies are susceptible to a fungal infection known as thrush, which causes the tongue to look white. Call your pediatrician if you notice this. Thrush is treated with an oral antifungal medication and usually clears up within a week or two. If you’re nursing and your baby develops thrush, you may develop it on your nipples.
Signs of Umbilical-Cord Infection: These include pus or redness around the stump area.