How to tell when your baby is ill, when to dial 999, when to call the doctor

It’s a real worry being a new parent. There are so many new things to learn, look for and be aware of very quickly. Your new parental instinct doesn’t come equip with an inbuilt health encyclopedia, but it will develop over time and it will always niggle at you when there is something not quite right with your baby or toddler.

When to dial 999
The following symptoms are signs that a baby needs urgent medical attention:

Not breathing
Pale skin and blue round the lips
unconscious and/or can not be roused
Breathing too fast
Having a fit
Has a fever with temperature higher than 38C and has cold extremities – hands and feet
Limp and floppy
Bulging fontanelle – soft spot on top of the head.

When to contact your doctor urgently

Unusual crying – high-pitched is a symptom of meningitis
Not interested in feeding
Excessively dribbling which is nothing to do with teething
Oddly coloured skin or appears bruised
Not wanting to be touched
Is developing a fever
Vomiting – different to possetting, bringing up a tiny amount of milk feed