Don’t Panic! Treating Newborn Illnesses

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Your newborn will be the most precious thing in your life, and so whenever your child gets sick, it can feel like the end of the world. You will always think that whatever illness strikes your newborn will be worse than it is. Your imagination will run wild with possibilities.

But often, it is never as bad as it first appears. In the case of newborns who are unable to communicate, this can cause a hefty amount of stress for parents. But being able to recognise the difference between severe illness and a minor issue will save you as a parent a lot of grief and heartache.

It is only natural and expected that you want your child to be and remain as healthy as possible. It is also only natural to want to do everything you can to keep him or her healthy – even if it results in your acting like a germaphobe. You probably believe it is better to be safe than sorry, but remaining calm and understanding specific symptoms when your child is ill can help put your mind at ease.


While not strictly an illness, a baby suffering from a fever can be a stressful time. Keeping a check on your child’s temperature can help you discover when a fever strikes and deal with it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

A fever in newborns is considered to be a temperature of 100.4℉ (38℃), and this is typically taken rectally. Anything less, while it may seem high, is nothing to be concerned about. However, it is still wise to stay vigilant in case this temperature continues to rise.

When adults have a fever, it is advised to stay as hydrated as possible. With babies, you need to follow a similar course of action in addition to trying to dress them in cool clothes that will help air out any heat. Further advice states to treat the symptoms as opposed to the fever itself, as the fever could be working to fight infections.


Your newborn having a skin condition is one of the more obvious signs of illness. Skin problems, such as baby acne are usually harmless and, while doctors are unsure of the cause, shouldn’t mean you need to do anything differently.

Other skins problems include eczema, which is a red rash that can affect any part of the child’s body. Eczema can be caused by detergents in fabric softeners or shampoos and can flare up unexpectedly. Suffering from eczema can cause itching and be uncomfortable, but you can find creams that will help soothe any problems while you speak to a doctor.

While much of the time these skin conditions will be harmless, it is still essential that you consult a doctor to ensure that the issues are not contagious to minimise the risk of the illness spreading around your house, and to other children as well.


If you think that your vomiting is bad, you may believe that for newborns it is even worse. But babies do tend to vomit a lot. This is especially true in the early weeks after birth, as they are getting used to feeding.

Typically, a newborn’s vomit will be a bit of milk (formula or breastmilk) and could have been caused by overfeeding. This is nothing to worry about, but if your child is demonstrating other symptoms of illness, such as a cold or fever, then it is wise to consult with a medical professional.

Often, the baby will be sick once, and that is it. However, if this vomiting persists for longer than twelve hours and is particularly rough, then it could be a sign of more significant problems. You may not be able to figure out precisely what is wrong by yourself, and going to the doctor will help you identify what the cause of the vomiting could be.

You want to ensure that your child is as healthy as it possibly can be, but much like yourself and everyone you know, there will be times when it gets ill. When this does occur, understanding what is best to do, and not running to the doctor at every mild ailment, will allow you to better treat your child as best you can.

What is vital is not to panic, illness in newborns who are exposed to different elements every day is only natural and so you need to allow their immune system to develop. For more severe cases, of course, it is smart to contact the doctor, but before, be sure to check the severity and do what you can at home, remain calm, and treat your child as well as possible when it is under the weather.

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