Common Baby Illnesses And How To Tell

There are few things that strike fear into the hearts of parents quite as much as the thought of a sick baby, but the simple reality is that, eventually, your new little one will come down with something. It’s a bit hard to predict what the first illness will be, but this quick guide may be able to help you tell typical illnesses from those that are a bit more serious.


You probably catch at least one cold during the course of each year, so it’s only natural that your baby might too. There are hundreds of different viruses that can cause a cold, and because your baby’s immune system is still immature, he won’t be able to tackle them as easily as you might. Moreover, because he puts almost everything in his mouth, a cold virus has many ways to make it to baby’s system. Colds can easily turn into upper respiratory infections and ear infections in kids.

Deciding whether your little one has a cold or something more serious can be a bit tricky at times. In some cases, you’ll notice a runny nose (sometimes with yellow or even green mucus), sneezing, and a cough. Baby could even run a low fever with a cold. If it’s serious, you’ll notice a drop in energy level, a higher fever, and your baby’s behavior may change as well. A cold may also creep up on baby, while something more serious will blow up quite suddenly.

Diaper Rash

A quarter of all babies in the U.S. develop a diaper rash in the first four weeks of life, and with good reason. Babies have smooth, sensitive skin, and when he or she ends up sitting in a diaper a bit too long, you’re certain to notice a rash in no time. Diaper rash is almost never a serious problem, but if you can’t seem to get it cleared up or it begins to crack and bleed even if you’re treating it with over-the-counter medication, you’ll certainly want to touch base with your pediatrician.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

As frequently as your baby may get colds, vomiting and diarrhea may become a continual issue in your house too. These two problems, like colds, are almost always caused by a virus, and because your baby is consistently introduced to new viruses, this is an issue you’ll see over and over again. In most cases, you don’t need to visit the doctor for this one. If it lasts for more than a day or two, it may be time to check in with your pediatrician.


A temperature of anything over 100.4 is considered to be a fever for your little one, and there are lots of things that can cause a fever. Fortunately, most of them are not serious. If your baby is running a fever, there are a few things you want to consider before calling the doctor. Keep in mind that any fever in babies under the age of three months can be serious. You should also take your baby’s behavior into account. If the fever is keeping your baby from playing or eating normally, it’s absolutely time to call in the doctor.

That means it’s a bit more serious. If your baby is over the age of three months, think about your baby’s behavior and eating patterns. As long as everything appears okay and the fever doesn’t last for more than twenty-four hours, you’re fine. If you see fever for longer than that period of time, baby appears sluggish, or the fever exceeds 104 degrees, contact your doctor immediately.

Pinkchic18 enjoys writing about family and children topics. She also writes regularly for the Parenting & New Baby Advice Blog, where you can find lots of great ideas for unique infant gifts.

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