It can be difficult to determine whether your baby is sick or if he is just experiencing colic. Most babies do not get sick during the first few months of life. Babies can be fussy for a variety of reasons including colic and gas. But it is important to be able to recognize when your baby may be sick and need medical care.


According to the Mayo Clinic colic is frequent, prolonged and intense crying or fussiness in a healthy infant. Colic can be particularly frustrating for parents because the baby’s distress occurs for no apparent reason and no amount of consoling seems to bring any relief. Colic often peaks in the evening but can occur throughout the day.

Physical Appearance

Is your baby pale or have a rash on face or body?

Baby’s Behavior

Is your baby acting different? Is she crying more than usual? Crying at times of the day when she’s usually happy? Sleeping more than usual?

Feeding Habits

Is he drinking or eating less? Is he uninterested in breastfeeding or moving his head away from bottle?

Consult your Pediatrician

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions your baby may be sick. Call your baby’s pediatrician and explain what’s going on. They will tell you whether or not to bring your baby in for an evaluation. But trust your inner wisdom–no one knows your baby like you do. If you think something is not right, go with your instincts and take her in to see the pediatrician.

Is your baby overheating?

If your baby feels warm but does not have any of the above symptoms, he is probably not sick. Undress him or take a layer of clothing off and see if he cools down. Feeding him might also help because if your baby is thirsty or a bit dehydrated he may feel warm. If he still feels warm after eating, place a thermometer under his arm and see if he has a fever. If he does, take a rectal temperature to confirm. If your baby has a fever be sure to call your pediatrician for further instructions.

For more helpful baby care tips check out Newborn 101.

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