Skip to main content

Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

When your baby is sick

Even tiny, fully breastfed babies can become unwell. They can get colds, tummy upsets, rashes, and other minor illnesses.

You will soon know what normal behaviour is for your baby. It is normal to be anxious when your baby is unwell. During the day you can seek advice from your Maternal Child Health Nurse or family doctor. The Maternal Child Health Nurse help line is available 24 hours a da​y, 7 days a week on ph 13 22 29.

Signs of serious illness;

  • Baby is more sleepy than usual
  • Baby is pale and floppy
  • Baby feels too hot or too cold (temperature greater than 38 or less than 36.4 degrees)
  • Baby has difficulty breathing – baby’s breathing is more rapid or baby is making grunting sounds
  • Baby has a lump anywhere (larger than 2cm)
  • Baby is not feeding (refuses two feeds or takes less than half of a normal feed)
  • Baby has fewer than four wet nappies in 24 hours, or goes longer than 8 hours without passing urine
  • Baby has unusual vomiting (especially if it is green)
  • Baby passes more than two bowel movements which are watery, runny and smelly.
  • Baby has vomiting and diarrhea
  • Baby has an unusual cry for an hour or more

If your baby is seriously unwell he/she may show several off the symptoms above.

If you are worried and cannot contact your doctor, take your baby to the emergency department at the nearest hospital or call 000.

As a parent, ambulance membership is highly recommended.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 22 March 2017