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5 Reasons to call the pediatrician

Kristin Chessman is a freelance writer, editor and mom from Southern California with a passion for travel, fashion, Disney, the beach, Italian food and all-things celebrity. Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinChessman.

Is it time to call?

As a new mom, you’re likely still learning your little one’s behavioral cues. So, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s bothering your newborn, and when his symptoms need expert assistance. We asked pediatricians to weigh in on several important reasons to call the pediatrician. Read on to find out when it’s time to make the call.

Is it time to call?

Change in behavior

Wouldn't it be so much easier if babies could tell you what's bothering them? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. But, according to Southern Californina-based pediatrician and pediatric advisor for The Newborn Channel, Tanya Remer Altmann, MD, FAAP, paying attention to your baby's behavior can clue you in.

"Sometimes the changes are subtle and sometimes more obvious, but any changes from your baby's normal routine may be a tip-off that something may not be right and that you should call your pediatrician," Altmann said.

High temperature

How high is too high when it comes to infant temperatures? Erin Taback, MD, founder of Oak Park Pediatrics in Oak Park, Illinois, advises new parents to call their pediatrician immediately during the newborn period if the baby has a fever of more than 100.4 degrees rectally. "This is considered an emergency," she said.

Frequent vomiting

All of our experts agreed on this reason – if your little one is experiencing frequent vomiting, it's definitely time to call your pediatrician for help.

Difficult breathing

Is your newborn experiencing rapid or difficult breathing? If so, Altmann recommends calling your pediatrician immediately. In addition, Lauren Crosby, MD, FAAP, of La Peer Pediatrics in Beverly Hills, California, advises new parents to watch for a cough, especially one that's constant or doesn't allow baby to rest.

Lack of urination

How often is your baby urinating? According to Crosby, if your newborn isn't urinating at least every six hours, you should call your pediatrician.

For breast-feeding infants, Kenneth Wible, MD, medical director, Pediatric Care Center, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri, advises new parents watch for at least five to six wet diapers daily and at least two stools. If you notice any significant changes to this pattern, give your pediatrician a call.

Trust your instincts

When it comes down to it, mother (even a new mother!) knows best. "Trust your instincts," Altmann advised. "You know your baby's behaviors better than anyone else, so if you feel something doesn't seem right, let your pediatrician know."

Crosby agrees. "I tell parents that if they are extremely worried about something, call. Having a new baby can be challenging and anxiety provoking."

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