Written by Olivia Arrow

When a new baby comes into the world, it’s an incredibly joyful and overwhelming time. Every coo, every gurgle, every tiny finger feels like a miracle. But among all the happiness, it’s important to stay alert. Newborns are completely dependent on their parents to let them know when something isn’t right.

Recognising the potential warning signs in your newborn, so you can act quickly and make sure they get the best possible care is not as hard as it may seem.  Here we will look into the warning signs that parents should look out for.

Physical Signs To Look Out For:


If they’re having trouble breathing, gasping for air, breathing really fast or shallow, making grunting noises, their lips or fingertips look blue, purple or grey, or they stop breathing for a bit also known as apnea, you should take your baby to the a doctor or ER right away.


Refusing to eat, vomiting after eating, problems with sucking or swallowing, or losing weight are all big red flags.


Their temperature should stay stable. If it goes above 38°C (fever) or below 36.3, it could mean there’s an issue.


Look for pale, blue, or yellow skin, rashes, peeling skin, dry skin, and bruising. These can all be signs of problems.


Bloodshot, cloudy, or swollen eyes could mean an infection.

Soft Spots On The Head

The soft spots on your baby’s head (fontanels) should feel flat. If they’re bulging or sunken, it’s important to see a doctor.

Bowel Movements And Urine

Keep an eye on how often they go and what it looks like. Too much or too little, or if it looks different than usual, can be signs of an issue.


If they seem limp, stiff, not moving one or more limbs well, or if they’re trembling, it could be a sign of a neurological problem.

If you notice any of these things, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or seek medical attention right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your baby’s health.

Behavioral Signs To Watch Out For:


A baby who’s really sleepy, not as responsive as usual, or super hard to wake up.


Excessive crying or fussiness, especially when you try to calm them down.

Poor Feeding

When a baby’s not eating well, they might be constantly sucking or losing weight.


Projectile vomiting, where milk comes out forcefully or it’s tinged with bile, can be a sign that something’s not right.

Yellowing Of The Skin And Eyes 

In most cases this is known as jaundice which affects the skin colour and white of the eyes. It can indicate that there is something wrong with your baby’s liver.

When To Get Urgent Medical Help

  • If they’re struggling to breathe, like they are wheezing, gasping, or their skin looks really pale or blue, get them to a doctor or emergency room.
  • A high fever in a baby, especially if they’re a newborn, is never a good sign. If their temperature hits 38°C or higher, it’s time to call the doctor.
  • Seizures, when they start having those jerky movements or they suddenly lose control of their muscles or they pass out, it can be scary and dangerous. Don’t wait, get them to the ER.
  • If they start vomiting forcefully, like projectile vomiting, where they’re shooting milk or other stuff out of their mouth, or if the vomit has that greenish-yellow colour and smells really bad, that could mean there’s a blockage or something else serious going on.
  • Blood in their poop isn’t normal and can point to a bigger issue with their digestive system.
  • If they’re not peeing as much as usual, or if what they do pee is really pale or smelly, that might mean they have a UTI (urinary tract infection).
  • If they’re suddenly sleeping way more or way less than usual, it’s not normal and you should see their doctor.
  • And if they seem really tired, irritable, or just not like themselves, even if it’s not sudden, it’s always good to mention it to their doctor just to be on the safe side.

While every parent feels anxious sometimes, knowing the common warning signs can really help you act fast and confidently. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! So if you have any concerns about your little one’s health, just reach out to your doctor or call 911 if it’s an emergency.

Some extra tips to keep in mind:

Stay On Top Of Checkups

Regular visits to the GP or paediatrician are important for keeping an eye on how your baby is growing and developing.

Trust Your Gut

If you think something is off, don’t ignore it. You know your baby better than anyone.

Educate Yourself

Learn about common newborn health issues and their warning signs.

Be Proactive

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, look for answers, and advocate for your child’s health when you need to.

Remember, being a parent to a newborn is both amazing and can be stressful. But by knowing these warning signs, you’re doing your best to keep your little one safe and healthy. Stay vigilant and informed, and trust your instincts! It’ll all be worth it in the end.