Menu   WellSpan Health

Health Library

Health Library

Newborn Warning Signs

What warning signs may indicate a problem with a newborn?

Your newborn baby is going through many changes in getting used to life in the outside world. Almost always this adjustment goes well, however there are certain warning signs you should watch for. Some general warning signs with newborns include:

  • Not  urinating (It may be hard to tell, especially with disposable diapers)

  • No bowel movement for 48 hours

  • A rectal temperature over 100.4° F (38° C) or less than 97.5° F (36.5° C)

  • Breathing fast (for example, over 60 breaths per minute) Or a bluish skin coloring that does not go away. Newborns normally have irregular respirations, so you need to count for a full minute. There should be no pauses longer than about ten seconds between breaths.

  • Retractions, or pulling in of the ribs when taking a breath

  • Wheezing, grunting, or whistling sounds while breathing

  • Odor, drainage, or bleeding from the umbilical cord

  • Worsening jaundice or yellowing of the skin on the chest, arms, or legs, or whites of the eyes

  • Crying or irritability which does not improve with cuddling and comfort

  • A sleepy baby who cannot be awakened enough to nurse or bottle feed

  • Signs of sickness (for example, cough, diarrhea, pale skin color)

  • Poor appetite or weak sucking ability

Every child is different, so trust your knowledge of your child and call your child's doctor if you see signs that are worrisome to you.

Newborn Warning Signs - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, M.Ed.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 2014-10-13T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2014-11-04T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2014-11-04T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

I would like to:

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.