Your Newborn's Health

Colic in Babies

Colic is a self-limiting problem of newborn infants. The cause is unknown, but it usually clears before the 3rd or 4th month of life.

The infant with colic may have cramping abdominal pain and may cry for long periods of time, usually starting in the early evenings. The infant will draw up his legs, chew on his fist and act hungry. Infants with colic have a great deal of gas.

Crying may be upsetting to parents, but constant handling will only prolong the period of colic. There is no cure for colic. Some medication or change in feeding may be suggested by your physician to help your infant rest. Make calls concerning this during office hours, please.

Taking Your Baby's Temperature 

The simplest and most accurate way to take a baby’s temperature is rectally.

First, lubricate the bulb of the thermometer with petroleum jelly. Place the baby on his/her tummy. With your thumb and index finger, spread the baby’s buttocks and insert the tip of thermometer with your free hand. Remove the thermometer after one minute, or if using a digital thermometer remove it when it beeps.

We do not recommend the use of an ear scanning type of thermometer for newborns and infants. If your child is 2 months or younger and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 or higher, call the pediatrician immediately (day or night). You may need to notify the doctor if your child is between 2 to 6 months and has a temperature greater than 101, or is older than 6 months and has a temperature greater than 102.5 rectally. An elevated temperature indicates an infection in the body.

Bowel Movements in Babies

Each baby’s stool pattern is different. Your baby may have a stool after each feeding or may not have a stool for several days. Your baby may also strain, turn red in the face, grunt or cry when having a stool. This is all normal as long as the stool is soft. A breast fed baby’s stool is usually very loose and can vary in frequency from once every 3 days to 8 to 10 a day.

P.K.U. Test for Babies 

By state law, every infant in Tennessee must be screened for Phenylketonuria, hypothyroidism, sickle cell disease and Galactosemia. These are rare but treatable conditions which can occur in otherwise normal appearing infants.

With proper early treatment, the serious lifelong problems caused by these illnesses can be controlled. These tests will be done before the baby is discharged from the hospital.

The tests are done at a state lab in Nashville, and negative (or normal) results are mailed to our office in several weeks. If any of these tests are abnormal, either the state lab or we will notify you immediately.