Sometimes it’s hard to determine if your baby is sick. Babies lack the language skills needed to communicate when they feel unwell. As such, it’s up to parents and caregivers to keep an eye out for any symptoms of illnesses.
As a mom, it can be challenging to know when your baby is just having a bad day or if something more serious is happening. Looking out for signs of illness in babies is especially important since they can’t express themselves verbally, and their bodies are so delicate. Of course, if you’re worried about your baby’s well-being, you should always consult your doctor. However, knowing what to look for can help alleviate stress and uncertainty until then.
That said, here are five warning signs that could indicate that your baby may be sick.
Being a parent means constantly worrying about the health of your baby. Some days it’s hard to tell if your little one is being cranky due to teething or if something more severe is making them uncomfortable.
When it comes to keeping your babies healthy, monitoring their temperature can help alert you if something is wrong. What is baby fever, and when should it be a cause for concern? Fever or high temperature is one of the most common signs that a baby is sick. Fevers can range from mild (100-101 degrees Fahrenheit) to high (102 degrees or higher).
A fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit is usually considered to be within the normal range. But if your baby is three months old or younger, a temperature over 100.4 degrees (or 38 degrees Celsius) taken using a rectal thermometer typically indicates that your baby needs to see a doctor immediately. Similarly, if your little one is 3-6 months old with a fever of 101 degrees or higher, you should also call a doctor. And if your baby is one year and over, take them to see a doctor if the fever persists for more than two days.
2. Irritability Or Changes In Mood
When it comes to illnesses in babies, a crucial indicator that your baby may be unwell is their mood. If your baby has seemed irritable or cranky for multiple days, it might be wise to check on them and book an appointment with their paediatrician.
Occasional fussiness can be expected from babies. But if it continues for more extended periods or if your intuition tells you something’s off, it could mean they’re not feeling quite right. It may be a symptom of an underlying medical issue, such as an infection or gastrointestinal (GI) upset.
Babies cannot explain the origins of their ailments and generally won’t express themselves other than through emotions and feelings. For this reason, you want to pay attention to any change in behaviour. And remember that you know your baby best. If you have any suspicions, don’t hesitate to call the doctor.
3. Lethargy or Excessive Sleepiness
As parents, you want your babies to be healthy and happy. For this reason, it can be distressing if they don’t seem like themselves.
It’s natural for a newborn to take many naps throughout the day. But if you notice your baby is overly lethargic or excessively sleepy, that could be one of the warning signs their health isn’t at its peak. It could mean a cold or flu, a tooth coming out, or something else altogether. But to be sure, it’s always good to check with your doctor.
You may be extra worried during nap times, wondering if your infant is sleeping too much and if this means they’re struggling with an underlying medical issue. Luckily, there are numerous things you can do to determine if anything is wrong. Take their temperature regularly and watch for other common signs of illness, such as fevers, vomiting, diarrhoea, or a sore throat. Seek out your paediatricians advice right away if symptoms persist.
4. Poor Appetite
One of the finest aspects of parenthood is seeing your child develop and grow physically. But if your little one isn’t acting quite like themselves and has a poor appetite, it might be time to check in with their doctor.
Knowing when your baby is sick isn’t always easy. However, there are a few signs you can watch out for that could indicate your little one is feeling out of sorts. One such sign is poor appetite. Suppose your baby isn’t interested in eating as much as usual or seems to be having trouble nursing. In that case, this might mean they’re fighting off something. It’s best to seek medical attention immediately.
5. Vomiting and Diarrhoea
If your baby is vomiting and showing signs of diarrhoea, it could be a sign that they’re feeling unwell. It can also be a sign of a virus or bacterial infection.
Sudden vomiting can happen without apparent reason, and the contents may vary. For instance, if you notice something strange in their vomit, like bile or greenish-yellow urine, this could indicate an infection.
Similarly, diarrhoea can also be severe. Call your doctor immediately if their bowel is yellow or green or looks watery or frothy. Moreover, if your baby isn’t acting themselves or isn’t drinking as much as usual, take extra care to watch out for any other warning signs. Maintain a stock of rehydration fluids in case you need them to prevent dehydration.
While it can be overwhelming to be concerned with your baby’s health, there are warning signs to watch out for that will help you detect if something isn’t quite right, such as a change in behaviour, diet, lethargy, or excessive sleepiness. You can also keep an eye out in monitoring if they’re experiencing high fever, vomiting or diarrhoea. If you notice these tell-tale signs in your baby, don’t hesitate to call their paediatrician for further advice. Remember that early detection and treatment are vital in keeping your baby healthy and happy.
Further reading: Mums, adopt these hygiene habits for better baby care.