Taking care of a newborn can be scary, they are so small and fragile and anything could go wrong. It is natural for parents, especially moms, to always worry about something bad happening to their babies that is totally out of their control. Every little cough and sneeze can freak us parents out and if you are a first time parent then you probably worry yourself sick not knowing whether what your newborn is doing, is normal. A lot of first time parents fear that they might look like overly paranoid parents because they wind up taking their babies to the doctor constantly worried that something is wrong, and this is because it can be hard to know if your baby needs to be seen by a doctor or not.
There are some symptoms and signs that a newborn shows that are a dead giveaway that something is terribly wrong, and these may be very obvious to some parents out there while they could be surprising to others. Everyone is different and there is definitely no handbook out there to tell you how to properly care for your child, parents should always trust their gut instincts. In this article we will go over fifteen of the most serious symptoms that warrant a call to 911, and what to watch out for when it comes to caring for your newborn baby.
15 Wheezes With Every Breath
If you notice that your baby has a bit of a wheezing or crackling sound when they are inhaling, or breathing in air, then this is a sign that something is obstructing their airway. If they seem to be in distress and struggling along with this noise than all of those things point to your baby not being able to breathe properly. This may seem like a no brainer to most of you, but this is a sign that you need to call 911 right away. The sooner an ambulance gets there the better because you never know how long a newborn has when they are having difficulty breathing, since they are so little. This is another case where a CPR class would come in handy because if you can very easily have the tools to help save your baby in the event of something like this happening, then you would probably want to know how.
14 The Baby Has A Blue Hue
A sure sign that you need to grab your phone and call 911 immediately is if your baby starts to appear bluish. A baby appearing to have a slight blue color to them does not mean that they will look as blue as a smurf (reference being used strictly for comparison purposes) but rather that they will just have a blue tint to their skin. If this happens it is a sure sign that baby is not getting enough oxygen and this is very dangerous. If you ever notice your baby turning blue then you need to call 911 immediately because the odds are that there will be no time to waste. This is also one of the reasons that doctors recommend that all parents take a course in CPR so that they can help if such a situation were to arise. A baby turning blue can happen for many reasons and making sure that first responders get there as fast as possible is very vital.
13 Eyes Dart Back And Forth
You may be wondering just how a newborn’s eyes could signal that something is very wrong, well there is one main reason for this. If a newborn’s eyes begin to dart back and forth or your baby appears to have a very blank stare and is not reacting to anything that this is a pretty good sign that your baby is having a seizure. Seizures in infants are not presented in the same manner that they are in adults, adults tense up and then begin to shake uncontrollably whereas a newborn's symptoms of a seizure are much more subtle and very easily missed. If you notice these things with your newborn, and they become unresponsive then you should be sure to put a call in to 911 because it means the difference between life and death for your little one.
12 The Belly Button Is Pushed Out
There is only one true cause for this next symptom and it can turn dangerous. If your newborn baby has produced a bowel movement in a couple of days and their bellies or belly buttons appear to be pushed out then they are most certainly constipated. This can become dangerous because they can end up with a very bad hernia, or it could be a sign that there is a bowel obstruction, which if not treated soon enough can become fatal. If it is just a case of constipation then this is usually treated by administering an enema, however if there is an obstruction then surgery will likely be needed. This is why it is so important to get your baby help as soon as possible especially if they appear to be in pain and unable to relax.
11 Diapers Are Always Dry
A very serious sign that something could be wrong with your newborn, is if they stop producing wet diapers. A newborn should be having about six to eight wet diapers in a 24-hour period, but if you notice that your baby has not had a wet diaper all day then it could be a sign that his or her kidneys are not functioning properly, and they need to checked out right away because this could very quickly turn into a dangerous situation. Another thing that could cause your newborn to not produce a wet diaper is if they are dehydrated. Newborn babies should never be dehydrated, but if they are vomiting a lot and not taking any breast milk or formula then odds are that they will become dehydrated, which can be fatal for an infant.
10 Yellowing Skin
We have talked about why your baby turning blue is bad, so now let’s discuss why yellowing of the skin can be just as bad. When you are in the hospital after having your baby, the doctors will likely check your newborn’s skin for yellowing and instruct you to keep an eye out for it as well. The yellowing of their skin is also referred to as, jaundice, and it can be a sign that there is an underlying disease causing there to be a high amount of bile in the blood. This is something that needs to addressed immediately, especially in newborns, because it can mean that their liver is not working properly which can become dangerous very fast. If your baby is experiencing other symptoms, along with being jaundiced, and they seem to be in distress then it would be a good idea to call 911 and get them help as fast as possible.
9 The Body Seems Limp
Newborn babies do not do a lot in terms of moving around, they will however bring their hands to their mouths and kicks their feet. If you notice that your baby's arms and legs have become weak, and they are unable to move them themselves then you need to call 911 right away. If they are both limp and unresponsive then this is a very serious sign, and they need to be evaluated immediately. This could happen from so many things, but should always be treated as a medical emergency in order for your baby to get possibly life saving care as soon as possible. Some more serious concerns here are, muscle weakness, seizures, or an obstruction of their airway, which is why it is so important to get your baby the proper help.
8 Nothing Will Stay Down
Vomiting can be totally harmless, and a lot of times when we think our newborn is vomiting they are actually just spitting up. It is, however, important to know the difference for the safety of our babies. You may wonder how something as simple as vomiting could warrant a call to 911, but there have been certain situations where a call to 911 about a baby vomiting has saved a baby’s life in the past. If you notice that your baby is vomiting uncontrollably, is not able to keep anything down, and just will not stop vomiting then you may need to make a call to 911. Things can get very dangerous for newborn who becomes dehydrated since they are still so little and fragile. Another sign that 911 needs to be called for a vomiting baby is when the vomiting has become so bad that they are unable to breathe because of it.
7 Twitching Hands, Arms, Or Legs
We talked about how a newborn’s eyes darting back and forth or blank staring can signal a seizure, but another slightly more noticeable sign that your baby could be having a seizure is if they are twitching. This is usually some light twitching of either the hands, arms, or legs, and it may seem scary when you first it. When you do notice it, you should take note of what time it is and take note of how long it lasts so that you can tell the first responders when they arrive, so that they better know how to treat your baby. As I have mentioned before, signs of a seizure in a baby are a lot more subtle than in an adult, so if anything seems off or you suspect something could wrong, it is probably a good idea to make that phone call, just to be safe.
6 Refuses To Eat
As babies get older they start feeding less often, but in larger quantities. As a mother, you will likely know whether your baby is feeding more or less than normal. Missing one or two bottles throughout the day is most likely not an issue and could be normal, but if your baby has not eaten all day long and shows no interest in eating then this is a very serious sign. If they have lost their appetite all together and now refuse to eat then they need to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible to avoid dehydration among many other things that could go wrong when a baby stops eating. This is one of those things that you really just have to trust your motherly instincts with, if you feel that something is off then you are probably right.
5 Won't Stop Sleeping
A newborn sleeping for a long period may seem nice at first, you get a break from all the feedings and crying, but it could be a sign that something is wrong. So, you should always be sure to try to wake your baby (even though nobody wants to wake a sleeping baby), if you think that they have been sleeping for an unusual amount of time just to be sure that they are still OK. If your baby does not wake up for you, no matter how hard you try, then they have become unresponsive. This is something that you will want to call 911 for immediately, the dispatchers will probably ask you to check if your baby is breathing, and they will likely instruct you on how to perform CPR if you do not already know.
4 A High Fever
A fever is most certainly something to watch out for in newborns and the doctors and nurses should make you aware of this before discharging you from the hospital. Fever in newborn babies tends to be a sign of something much more serious than things like the flu or a cold, and their temperatures do not have to be as high as ours does to be considered a fever. In fact, newborns are considered to have a dangerously high temperature if it reaches just 100.4 degrees. If you notice that your baby feels hot, and their temperature is at or above that, and they seem to be in distress then you should make that call to ensure their safety. After All, the health of your precious newborn baby is not something that you want to mess with.
3 Non-Stop Crying
All babies cry, so this might seem like a bit of a reach, but it can actually be a very serious sign. When a newborn cries it is always for one of three reasons, they want to be held, they need a diaper change, or they are hungry. That being said, if your baby is crying so much that they are unable to calm down with any of those three things then this is a sign that something is very wrong. If your baby in unconsolable, and they seem to be very uncomfortable then it is probably best that they be taken to the ER to get assessed by a Dr, who can better determine why your baby is so upset and fix any problems that your baby might be having.
2 A Bad Rash That Won't Kick
A rash may seem like something simple yet worrisome that we would usually just put in a call to the pediatrician for, but there are certain cases where a rash can signal something life threatening. So how do you know if your baby just has something as simple as a heat rash, or is actually experiencing something much worse? Typically, with a heat rash your baby will not seem uncomfortable, and there are a ton of charts online that show you what the different types of rashes look like. If your child begins to develop a rash that spreads over their entire body, begins to look swollen, does not blanch, and seems to make them uncomfortable or itchy, then you might want to put in a call to 911 as they could be experiencing a serious allergic reaction to something and when this happens there is no time to waste.
1 No Tears
If your baby has not cried in a while then this may seem like a blessing in disguise because you finally get some peace and are able to rest a little, but this is not necessarily true. If your baby has not cried all day long then you may want to check their temperature, make sure they are eating OK, and make sure that they are responding to you as they normally would. If they have not cried all day, and they now seem to be unresponsive, or not eating, or like they just aren't quite there like they are usually, then you should definitely call 911 and have your baby taken to the hospital to be evaluated because it sounds like something might be very wrong and it could be a lot of things.