What If My Baby... ?
Answers to common questions about “What if my baby . . . . .”
- Won’t stop crying?
When it seems like your baby will never stop crying, 20 minutes feels like 20 hours. The truth is, infants normally cry about one to three hours a day. They cry when they’re hungry, tired, thirsty, lonely or in pain. Or, they may just fuss. Call your doctor if prolonged crying off and on lasts for more than a day despite all your best efforts to comfort. Also call if your baby has other symptoms, such as fever.
- Won’t breastfeed?
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Up to two-thirds of mothers nursing newborns are unable to manage breast feeding for as long as they intended. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding only for the first six months. Your hospital has or can recommend a lactation consultant who will help make the transition easier and save you a great deal of frustration.
- Wants to be carried all the time?
You may feel like you need to take care of other things. However, a study reported in Pediatrics magazine cited that six-week-old infants (a peak time in life for crying) cry and fuss 43 percent less overall when mothers spend additional time carrying them. The decrease in crying is associated with an increase in contentment. No matter how frustrated you may become, please do not shake your baby. About 25 percent of shaken babies die, and about 80 percent suffer lifelong disabilities.
- Ate something he/she shouldn’t have?
Babies and young children put a lot of things in their mouth. If you’re not sure what went in, or if you even just suspect that it may not be good, call poison control.
- Is having trouble breathing?
Breathing issues are nothing to delay about. If your baby has difficulty breathing, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
- Has a suspicious rash?
Rashes are one of the most common reasons parents call a doctor. Most blotches and bumps on babies clear up by themselves. Call your doctor if your baby has fever or other unexplained symptoms, if the rash is red or oozes liquid, if the rash seems worse in the skin creases or if there is no improvement after three days of treating at home.