Baby Care: Do You Need to Call the Pediatrician?

Health & Medical Blog

When you have a new baby in the house, it can a stressful experience. You want your baby to be healthy and are tempted to call your pediatrician every time anything even slightly abnormal happens. While you don't need to call your baby's doctor every time her temperature spikes by a degree, there are some things you should keep an eye out for.

Call Your Pediatrician Right Now

The first thing you should know is when you should call your pediatrician immediately. This means calling them at any time of the day or night. They likely gave you a 24-hour number where you can talk to the pediatrician or someone else on call. If any of the following is happening, don't delay and call the doctor immediately:

  • Your baby refuses to wake up but is still breathing
  • She or he is crying hysterically
  • She or he has a yellowish tint to her skin
  • She or he has a high temperature
  • Your baby looks to be having seizures
  • She or he doesn't seem to be conscious

When the Phone Call Can Wait

There are also some times when you should call and make an appointment with the pediatrician, but it is not an urgent matter. This means calling in the morning if it is currently the evening, or waiting until after the weekend is over. If you are really concerned, you can call a nurse's line to ask for their opinion, but for the most part, the following can wait:

  • When you have problems feeding your baby
  • If he or she has a slight fever, but it is not high
  • If he or she is pulling on her ears
  • There is vaginal discharge with odor
  • His or her behavior or development is worrisome
  • There is nasal drainage that is discolored

Emergency Situations

The following situations are emergencies. Do not call your pediatrician until you have first called 911 or brought your baby to the emergency room. Call 911 if any of the following happens:

  • Your baby is having problems breathing
  • She or he is unresponsive
  • Her or his lips and nails are a blue or pale color
  • She or he is bleeding a lot

If you are not sure when to call the pediatrician, it is better to call than not. If your baby's doctor, one like Mundelein Pediatrics, has a nurse's line, that is a good place to start. The nurse on staff will ask you a series of questions and then give you advice on how best to proceed.


1 May 2015

Help Others Make Health Decisions when They Cannot

One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.