Infant Problems

Infant Emergency Problems

Newborn infants respond differently and may have subtle symptoms of serious illness. The following signs or symptoms should be reported to our office immediately:

  • Temperature of 101 degrees by rectum during the first 2 months.
  • Repeated forceful vomiting (not just spitting up).
  • Unusual crying – for example: grunting, or whining cry or hoarse cry.
  • Refusal of food, several times in a row.
  • Listlessness.
  • Frequent watery green stools or bloody stools.
  • Redness or pus around navel.
  • Please also see section on Emergencies and After Hour Phone Calls.

Infant Non-Emergency Problems

Bowel Movements

The baby may have as many as one stool with each feeding or may go 48 hours with no bowel movement. This is normal for the individual baby, providing the stool is not too hard and the baby is relatively comfortable. Avoid the use of medication for bowel problems without consulting this office. Please try to make these inquiries during office hours. Breast-fed babies normally have watery stools.


Colic is crying presumably due to pain or cramping of the stomach and intestines, usually from excessive gas and is harmless but annoying. All babies cry a lot, but if your baby cries only once a day for 1-2 hours in the afternoon or evening, this may be normal for him or her. Babies with colic need to be burped well after each ounce of formula. Also, the bottles should be checked to see that they drip one drop at a time when inverted (otherwise the baby has to work too hard or gulp air when swallowing formula). Sometimes the baby can gain relief by being placed with his/her abdomen on a warm water bottle covered in a towel. If your baby seems to have frequent colic in spite of these precautions, call the office. Careful attention to our feeding instructions, especially relative to being relaxed and comfortable may alleviate or prevent colic.

Diaper Rash

Prevention through prompt diaper changes and thorough diaper washing and rinsing of cloth diapers is the best treatment.

A mild detergent and a fabric softener are recommended. Often the use of a diaper service is the most efficient and economical method of preventing problems with various detergents. If a rash does develop, leave off the diaper as much as possible and use a preparation such as Balmex to keep the skin dry.

Nasal Congestion

This is often difficult to evaluate as to seriousness. Often symptoms can be relieved with the use of a bulb syringe. If there is difficulty in feeding and breathing or a fever is present, call the office.

Swollen Eyes

Most of the newborns have swollen eyelids the first week. This will gradually disappear by 7-10 days. If swelling and excessive mucus drainage or redness persists, call for advice.


If white spots on the tongue or inside of the cheeks persist, call the office during office hours.