Temperament. Baby has a runny nose and is lethargic vs runny nose and happy.
Unusual Crying. Baby starts crying suddenly and cannot be calmed down. Or if baby’s cry is weak, unusually high pitched, or if baby is lethargic and not crying or difficult to wake up.
Appetite. While baby’s appetites change from day to day, if baby has an unusual lack of appetite, or tires easily from nursing or taking bottle, call the doctor. If baby spits up more than usual or spits up with more effort or is a greenish color, call the doctor.
Abnormal Bowel Movements. Young babies, especially breastfed babies have loose stools. If baby’s stools become extra watery, keep a close eye on him. Make sure baby is breastfeeding or bottle feeding to keep hydrated. Baby should also have a minimum of six wet diapers a day. (The new Pamper diapers are awesome for knowing if baby had a wet diaper or not. A line turns blue to let you know baby tinkled!) On the other hand, if baby has small, hard bowel movements, has blood or mucus in his stools, or a jelly consistency, call the doctor.
Difficult Breathing. If your baby is having a difficult time breathing or if breathing is labored, call the doctor or get help immediately.
Fever. This one is tricky for me because I feel like if a baby has a fever they must be very sick. However, a baby could have a high fever and not super sick, or a low grade fever and very sick. As a general rule, if your baby is under 3 months old and has a temp of 100.4 or higher, call the doctor. If baby is older and has a fever, I generally call the doctor and talk to the nurse to get their best assessment as to whether or not to bring them in.