Midnight Cry: When to Call the Doctor for Your Baby

Anyone who’s ever raised a newborn knows what it’s like to be woken up in the middle of the night by crying that seems to last an eternity.

midnight cry 300x199 Midnight Cry: When to Call the Doctor for Your Baby Photo

Can it wait until the morning, or do you need to call the doctor right away?

Outside of the usual reasons – needing to be fed, changed, or consoled – there are other reasons your child may cry that aren’t immediately apparent to you. The most common of these are said to be teething, ear infections, upset stomach, colic, insect bites, mouth sores, sore throat, scratched eye, and hair tourniquet – when a long strand of hair gets wrapped around a baby’s toe, cutting off the circulation and causing pain.

Through observing and examining your baby, you should be able to determine which of these nine problems is the cause for her crying (read “Deciphering Baby Illnesses” for more info). Most of these can be taken care of at home or with a scheduled doctor appointment (a scratched eye and hair tourniquet should be examined by a doctor the next morning, however). But how do you know when to call the doctor for your baby right away? When you see the following symptoms:

  • Repeated, projectile vomiting
  • A rigid abdomen
  • Not making eye contact
  • Not responding to your voice or touch
  • Unusual movements or behavior of any kind
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unable to be woken up

If your doctor is unavailable, go to the nearest emergency room. For a trusted pediatrician near you, use the Vitals Doctor Finder (vitals.com).

Sources: askdrsears.com and everydayfamily.com