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Portland Personal Injury Attorney
Baby snuggling in blanket

There is nothing quite like being a new parent. The mix of love, fear, amazement, concern, and pride is a jumble of emotions that takes months to untangle; however, it’s essential to stay alert for health issues while dealing with these feelings. While you are enjoying your new bundle of joy, keep these symptoms in the back of your mind, because they could be signs of severe health issues.

Persistent Crying/Irritability

As you already know, crying is the only way a baby can communicate his or her needs. Therefore, crying is a normal and healthy part of development: to a point. If your baby is crying persistently, it could be a sign of illness.

Every baby is different, so take this with a grain of salt. However, studies indicate that on average, newborns cry for around two hours a day. If a baby cries for more than 3.5 hours a day, then he or she is on the high end of the spectrum. Therefore, if your baby cries for more 3.5 hours, it may be a good idea to get a checkup or contact a medical professional.

If your baby is fussy or crying more than usual, it may be time to take his or her temperature.


Our bodies respond to illnesses in several ways, and fevers are often the first line of defense for those fighting off diseases. For adults, fevers aren’t concerning until they reach higher than 103°F, but for newborns, they are worrisome at much lower temps.

If your infant exhibits the following temperatures, it’s probably time to call a doctor.

Newborn to 3 months old: 100.4°F or higher

3 to 6 months old: 101°F or higher

Older than a year old: If a fever lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours

Fevers can be a symptom for several health issues including:

  • Colds;
  • Croup;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Ear infections;
  • Stomach bugs;
  • Urine infections;
  • Bacterial and viral illnesses.

In some circumstances, a high fever can lead to the following postpartum symptom: lethargy.


Lethargy is when a baby seems to have little to no energy, is drowsy when awake, and is sleeping longer than usual. If he or she has a hard time waking up for feedings and isn’t responding to sounds and visual stimulation, then it’s time to go to a doctor. Lethargy typically stems from low blood sugar or infections.

While lethargy can make it difficult for a baby to eat, a poor appetite on its own is also a cause for concern.

Poor Appetite

Newborns typically eat every three to four hours. Therefore, if a baby refuses to eat and misses several feedings, it could be a sign of illness. However, it’s difficult for parents to determine the root cause of a reduced appetite because several things could cause it.

If a baby refuses to eat and starts to lose weight, it’s time to take him or her to the doctor for a checkup. However, even if a baby is eating, weight loss is possible as a result of diarrhea and/or vomiting.


Every baby spits up, and every baby has liquid stools; however, there is a difference between these things and vomiting and diarrhea. Diarrhea is extra watery and occurs more often than a baby’s usual movements. Vomiting is easily distinguishable from spitting up because it takes over a baby’s body, whereas spit-ups pass easily.

Vomiting can be caused by several medical issues such as:

  • Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis;
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD);
  • Infection.

Excessive diarrhea or vomiting can lead to a dehydrated baby. Therefore, multiple days of diarrhea or vomiting should result in a hospital visit.

Umbilical Cord Infection

An infected umbilical cord can lead to complications later on, so it’s important to take care of it right away. If a baby’s umbilical cord looks irritated and red, take a closer look.

If the wound is oozing pus, it’s probably time to go to the doctor. However, not all infected cords are visibly oozing pus, so if the cord has an unpleasant smell, it may be infected under the surface. Therefore, if the wound smells, it could also be a sign to go to the doctor.


If a newborn shows any signs of distress while urinating, it could be a sign of infection or other urinary tract issues. If there is blood in a newborn’s urine, or if there is a bloody spot on a diaper, call a doctor right away.

Medical Negligence

Any one of these symptoms, if left untreated, could result in severe issues for your child. If your baby is struggling with one of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s crucial to take them to a trusted medical practitioner. The right care today could save you and your child much heartache down the road.

Unfortunately, doctors and nurses aren’t perfect, and they may dismiss your concerns as nothing. If a doctor fails to take your claims seriously or misdiagnoses the problem, and your baby’s health further deteriorates, you may have the right to monetary compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

At Angel Law, we know that one failed diagnosis can result in a lifetime of medical bills and heartache. Our firm is committed to holding medical practitioners accountable for their life-altering mistakes, and we will always protect and defend the best interests of our clients.

If you suspect that a medical practitioner acted negligently, our firm can help! Call (503) 862-8666 now for a free consultation concerning your child’s medical issue.