When to Call a Doctor After Taking Your Newborn Home from the NICU

In this Article

Once home, call your baby's doctor if your baby has any of the following:

  • Unstable or abnormal temperature — a baby’s normal temperature (armpit) is 97.7° F (36.5° C) to 99.5° F (37.5° C)
  • Decreased temperature where baby does not warm up with swaddling and holding
  • Sunken fontanels (fontanels are the “soft spots” on a baby’s skull)
  • Listlessness or weakness, and baby not very responsive
  • Jitteriness or shakiness
  • Extreme irritability or inability to be calmed for long periods
  • Decrease in appetite
  • More than one dry diaper in a row (in about six hours)
  • Significantly fewer messy diapers than usual
  • Diarrhea, or stool that’s watery, green, foul-smelling, or contains mucus or blood
  • Increase in respiratory effort (breathing fast, wheezing, coughing, or having any difficulty breathing)
  • Increase in apnea (temporary pauses in breathing) and bradycardia (slow heart rate)
  • Bad choking episode
  • Vomiting more than occasionally or vomit that is green or bloody
  • Increased oxygen needs
  • Discoloration of the skin, especially blue, gray, or yellow discoloration
  • Thrush (white spots in mouth that look like formula but won’t come off with your finger)

Emergency Care

Get emergency care in the following cases:

  • Bluish lips or skin
  • Excessive sleepiness, floppiness, or difficulty rousing
  • Poisoning or suspected poisoning — call Poison Control Center first 1-800-222-1222
  • Trouble breathing or chest sinking in with breathing

Locations Near You

If this is an emergency please dial 911

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