Previously, we posted about how to care for your baby when she’s sick and in this post, we will go over when to consider calling your baby’s doctor and what kind of information to have readily available when talking to your doctor.
Establishing a good relationship with your baby’s doctor before she gets sick is important so you can have a good understanding of how to communicate with the doctor at a time when you need their attention the most. Most doctors are very busy and have only a little time (if any) to communicate with patients who don’t have an appointment. You can often call the advice nurse at the doctor’s office and she can help guide you about next steps or she will take a message and talk to the doctor when she’s free.
It is also a good idea to get a list from your doctor at a well-baby check up with which sick baby symptoms warrant calling the doctor about. These might include a high fever for several days, non-stop crying, vomiting or loss of appetite. If you have a premature baby, or an infant with other health issues, then your doctor may have a special set of instructions for what to watch out for when your baby has a cold.
Having a sick baby can be stressful and if your baby isn’t sleeping well when she’s sick, then chances are you will be tired as well. Tracking baby’s illness symptoms, temperature and medication when she’s sick will be helpful not only for identifying when there have been significant changes as well as being able to report to the doctor and answer any questions he might have.
Doctors appreciate information such as baby’s current temperature, how much she is eating and drinking and how many wet diapers she has had each day. Fewer wet diapers than usual might indicate baby is not getting enough liquids.
When you do call your doctor, keep the following in mind:
1. Know what questions you want to ask before you call.
2. Be able to provide a concise and explicit list of the symptoms you are concerned about and how long the symptoms have lasted.
3. Don’t expect the doctor to automatically prescribe medication or ask to see your baby in the office. Listen carefully to the doctor’s instructions and ask any additional questions to clarify what the doctor has said.
4. Don’t be afraid to provide feedback. Doctors and nurses can get busy so sometimes it might seem as though they don’t feel your baby’s illness is as serious as you do. It’s okay to gently and tactfully remind them if you feel as though you haven’t got the attention or information that you needed.
You may also be interested in “Sick Baby: How to Care for Your Baby’s Cold, so She Can Get Better Fast!”