If your baby becomes unwell

Find out what to do if you think your baby is becoming unwell.

The change in atmosphere, drier heat and more dust at home compared with the unit may make some babies more snuffly. 

Don’t worry, particularly if your baby seems well and is able to feed. 

The snuffling will settle down, but this may take a few weeks. 

Check your baby’s temperature if you think he or she might be unwell; if it is lower or higher than normal, or if your baby is struggling to keep warm, ask your GP or health visitor for advice.

Check whether your baby is becoming unwell

  • Are they more fretful than usual?
  • Do they have a raised or lower temperature?
  • Are they not interested in/reluctant to feed?
  • Have they been vomiting, more than usual?
  • Has there been a change in stools – more frequent, watery or ‘explosive’ than usual?
  • Are they less aware of you (not as responsive, not waking up as easily, more ‘floppy’, breathing more rapid and noisy)?
  • Do they have blotchy skin or a rash that doesn’t become much lighter when a glass tumbler is pressed against it? Are they pausing for a few seconds between breaths and paler than usual? These two options could possibly be serious, and you should get medical advice urgently.

Make sure you have details of the nearest A&E with children’s services.

How can I protect my baby from the risk of infection?

If your baby was ventilated, needed oxygen or was very premature, he or she may be more at risk from infections that affect breathing. It is not possible to completely protect your baby, but there are steps you can take.

If you are worried that your baby is unwell, seek medical advice.

You can find out more about common infectious illnesses.

Common infectious illnesses

All adults, children and babies experience illnesses. We become protected from infections by either catching them or through vaccination. Babies and young children get more colds than adults as their resistance to infections builds up over time. For babies born premature or sick, the risk of complications can be higher.
Read more