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Newborn Warning Signs

Newborn Warning Signs

What warning signs may indicate a problem with a newborn?

Your newborn baby is going through many changes in getting used to life in the outside world. Almost always this adjustment goes well, however there are certain warning signs you should watch for. Some general warning signs with newborns include:

  • Not  urinating (It may be hard to tell, especially with disposable diapers)

  • No bowel movement for 48 hours

  • A rectal temperature over 100.4° F (38° C) or less than 97.5° F (36.5° C)

  • Breathing fast (for example, over 60 breaths per minute) Or a bluish skin coloring that does not go away. Newborns normally have irregular respirations, so you need to count for a full minute. There should be no pauses longer than about ten seconds between breaths.

  • Retractions, or pulling in of the ribs when taking a breath

  • Wheezing, grunting, or whistling sounds while breathing

  • Odor, drainage, or bleeding from the umbilical cord

  • Worsening jaundice or yellowing of the skin on the chest, arms, or legs, or whites of the eyes

  • Crying or irritability which does not improve with cuddling and comfort

  • A sleepy baby who cannot be awakened enough to nurse or bottle feed

  • Signs of sickness (for example, cough, diarrhea, pale skin color)

  • Poor appetite or weak sucking ability

Every child is different, so trust your knowledge of your child and call your child's doctor if you see signs that are worrisome to you.

Reviewed Date: 10-13-2014

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Dr. M Gary Karlowicz
Dr. Edward Karotkin
Dr. Jamil Khan
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Diseases & Conditions
Anatomy of the Newborn Skull
Assessments for Newborn Babies
Baby's Care After Birth
Breast Milk Collection and Storage
Breastfeeding and Delayed Milk Production
Breastfeeding at Work
Breastfeeding Difficulties - Baby
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Breastfeeding: Getting Started
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Care of the Baby in the Delivery Room
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Clubfoot
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Congenital Heart Disease Index
Digestive Disorders in Children
Fever in A Newborn
Getting Ready at Home
Getting to Know Your New Baby
Hearing Loss in Babies
Hearing Screening Tests for Newborns
Heart Disorders
High-Risk Newborn Blood Disorders
Infant Feeding Guide
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Infant Play
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Inguinal Hernia in Children
Latching On or Sucking
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Normal Newborn Behaviors and Activities
Online Resources - Normal Newborn
Physical Exam of the Newborn
Preparing for Your New Baby
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Substance Exposure
Taking Your Baby Home
The Growing Child: Newborn
The Respiratory System in Babies
Thrush
Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn
Umbilical Cord Care
Vision and Hearing
Vision Overview
Warmth and Temperature Regulation
When to Call Your Physician

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.