How to Decide If You Should Take Your Baby to the Doctor

Deciding whether your baby needs a trip to the doctor or can be cared for at home can feel overwhelming, especially for new parents. Babies can’t tell us what’s wrong, so it’s up to us to decode their symptoms and behaviors. Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out when to make that call to your pediatrician and when you can keep things cozy at home.

Fever Alert

If your baby is under three months and has a fever above 100.4°F (38°C), call the doctor ASAP. For older babies, a fever over 102°F (39°C) is a signal to reach out to your pediatrician.

Behavior Check

Watch for unusual behavior. If your baby is super irritable, unusually sleepy, or not responding as they normally do, it’s time to get medical advice. Also, if they’re crying non-stop or having trouble breathing, don’t hesitate to seek help.

Physical Symptoms

Look out for any concerning physical signs. An unfamiliar rash, signs of dehydration, or vomiting and diarrhea lasting more than a day all mean a doctor’s visit is in order.

Finally, remember that it’s always okay to call your doctor if you’re unsure. Your baby’s health and your peace of mind are what matters most—worst case scenario, it turns out to be a false alarm.