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Determining whether or not to call the pediatrician when you have a concern about your baby can be stressful. I hear so many new mamas say things like, "I don't want to bother them," or "I don't want to overreact."

Mama, please hear me: Go ahead and "bother" them! Go ahead and overreact!

In fact, your pediatrician expects this from you. You are a new mama who is concerned about her baby, and they are the person who is there to get you through it. So if you have a worry, please don't ever hesitate to call. Your pediatrician office should have a 24-hour on-call number so you can reach them at any time of the day or night.


Keep in mind that some concerns require more immediate assistance than calling and waiting for a call-back can yield. You don't need permission from your pediatrician to go to an urgent care facility or emergency room—if your baby has an emergency, just go. Or call 911 who will send an ambulance and can provide treatment as they drive you to the emergency room.

I always advise expectant parents to do a little research and make a list of where the nearest urgent cares are emergency rooms are so that in the moment of an emergency, you don't have to stress about Google-ing where to take your baby. When you are researching your options, some factors to note:

  • Location
  • Hours
  • Insurance accepted
  • Conditions treated

If you have access to a pediatric urgent care facility or emergency room (designed specifically for children), and you have time to get to it, opt for that location. But if not, or if the situation requires immediate medical attention, all emergency rooms are equipped to handle children so get to the nearest one.

Here's an example:

When my son had croup and was having difficulty breathing, I called 911, and we went to the absolute closest hospital because time was of the essence. When that same son broke his collarbone a few years later, we drove him to a pediatric emergency room. He needed care right away, but the difference between it taking 10 minutes and 25 minutes to get to a hospital was not as critical, so I chose the pediatric facility.

Here are 11 reasons to call the pediatrician or seek emergency medical care for your baby.

1. If you just feel like something is wrong

Mama, this one goes first for a reason. You are your baby's expert. If something just does not feel right, even if you can't put it into words, call. It is much better to call the pediatrician and have them tell you it's fine than to not and wish you had.

If something is worrying you, call.

2. Trouble breathing

Difficulty breathing is serious and should not be handled lightly. If you are worried about your baby's breathing, immediate medical assistance is needed.

Signs to look out for include:

  • Blue, gray or purple lips and skin
  • Grunting or wheezing
  • Nasal flaring (nostrils getting bigger as the child breathes)
  • Retractions (belly pulls in under the ribcage or breastbone, or skin pulls in at the neck or between the ribs). You can take a look at this video of retractions to see an example.
  • Croupy cough (sounds like a seal barking), especially if the child cannot catch their breath between coughs

Once again, difficulty breathing warrants immediate emergency care so get to the nearest hospital or urgent care. Better yet, call 911 since they will be able to support your child's breathing on the way to the hospital in the ambulance.

3. Projectile vomiting

Spitting up is normal for babies, but if the vomit is projectile—travels or shoots across a distance, often in an arc—it could be a sign of pyloric stenosis, a blockage in the intestines. This is a medical emergency, so seek medical care right away.

4. Fevers

Toddlers and older kids get fevers a lot, and very often, it's fine. But a fever in a newborn (3 months old and younger) can be a sign of an emergency. Simply put, if a tiny baby has a fever, there is a significant chance that there is a more severe infection causing it, which needs prompt attention.

The temperature for a fever is 100.4-degrees Fahrenheit (38-degrees Celsius), though some pediatricians will want to hear from you at 100-degrees Fahrenheit (37.7-degrees Celsius).

The best place to take your baby's temperature is rectally (in their bottom). Insert the thermometer no further than the silver tip, and wait for your reading. Remember, once a rectal thermometer, always a rectal thermometer.

You can check under their armpits, but pediatricians often advise that you add a degree to your reading—if you get 98.2-degrees, it's really 99.2.

In the absence of other symptoms, if your baby has a fever, it's okay to call your pediatrician, but the chances are good that you are going to be on your way to urgent care or an emergency room.

5. Lethargy

If your baby is difficult or impossible to wake up, or their body feels like limp, seek medical attention right away.

6. Changes in their pees + poops

If you notice a decrease in your baby's peeing or pooping frequency, call your child's provider. For example, if your baby usually pees nine to 10 times a day, but today has only peed four times, call.

If your baby goes longer than 8 hours without peeing, also call.

Babies should poop at least once per day (when they are newborns). If it's been longer, or if you notice a change in their poop, call. Signs to look out for include:

  • Bloody poop
  • Diarrhea
  • Green frothy poop
  • Hard, rabbit-pellet-like poop
  • Straining or crying with pooping

7. Yellow skin or eyes

While jaundice (higher than normal levels of bilirubin) is usually diagnosed early on through blood work, do keep an eye on your infant's coloring. If you notice that their skin or the whites of their eyes look yellow, call your baby's provider. Often you can see this when you press down on their skin (try their nose, gently)—when you lift up, the skin looks yellow.

8. Umbilical cord concerns

Rarely, the umbilical cord stump and surrounding area can become infected, or the umbilical area can develop a hernia (when tissue or intestine bulge through the abdominal wall). Concerns to look out for include:

  • The area around your baby's belly button looks red
  • Pus or drainage at the umbilical cord insertion site
  • Foul-smelling umbilical cord
  • Bleeding
  • Bump or mass under the skin on your baby's belly

9. Circumcision concerns

If your baby boy is circumcised, call your pediatrician if you notice any of the following:

  • Blood on the diaper or gauze that is larger than a quarter
  • Excessive crying or pain
  • Pus or drainage
  • Redness or swelling
  • Decreased peeing
  • If a plastic ring was placed on his penis, it's okay if it moves off the shaft of the penis, but if it moves down the shaft towards his body, call. Also call is it is still on his penis after two weeks.

10. Injury

Any injury warrants a call, and likely a trip to urgent care or the ER. This might include:

  • Falls
  • Head trauma
  • Cuts and bites
  • Burns (including too-hot bath water)
  • Bleeding
  • Shaken baby syndrome (where the baby has been shaken back and forth)

11. Stiff neck or seizure

If your baby's neck becomes very stiff, or you think they have had a seizure, seek emergency care right away. A seizure might look like:

  • Stiffening limbs, sometimes accompanied by arching back
  • Jerking or twitching motions in limbs (some or all)
  • Eyes rolling back
  • Suddenly limpness and loss of consciousness

12. Rashes

Rashes are tricky—sometimes, it is completely fine, while other times, it can be a sign of a serious illness or concern. If you notice any changes to your baby's skin, call your pediatrician. This might include:

  • Redness
  • Bumps
  • Itching
  • Patches
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When we buy baby gear we expect it to be safe, and while no parent wants to hear that their gear is being recalled we appreciate when those recalls happen as a preventative measure—before a baby gets hurt.

That's the case with the recent recall of Baby Trend's Tango Mini Stroller. No injuries have been reported but the recall was issued because a problem with the hinge joints mean the stroller can collapse with a child in it, which poses a fall risk.

"As part of our rigorous process, we recently identified a potential safety issue. Since we strongly stand by our safety priority, we have decided to voluntarily recall certain models of the Tango Mini Strollers. The recalled models, under excessive pressure, both hinge joints could release, allowing the stroller to collapse and pose a fall hazard to children. Most importantly, Baby Trend has received NO reports of injuries," the company states on its website.


The strollers were sold through Amazon and Target in October and November 2019 and cost between $100 and $120. If you've got one you should stop using it and contact Baby Trend for a refund or replacement.

Four models are impacted by this recall:

  • Quartz Pink (Model Number ST31D09A)
  • Sedona Gray (Model Number ST31D10A)
  • Jet Black (Model Number ST31D11A)
  • Purest Blue (Model Number ST31D03A

"If you determine that you own one of these specific model numbers please stop using the product and contact Baby Trend's customer service at 1-800-328-7363 or via email at," Baby Trend states.


[Editor's note: While Motherly loves seeing and sharing photos of baby Archie and other adorable babies when the images are shared with their parents' consent, we do not publish pictures taken without a parent's consent. Since these pictures were taken without Markle's permission while she was walking her dogs, we're not reposting them.]

Meghan Markle is a trendsetter for sure. When she wears something the world notices, and this week she was photographed wearing her son Archie in a baby carrier. The important thing to know about the photos is that they show the Duchess out for a walk with her two dogs while wearing Archie in a blue Ergo. She's not hands-free baby wearing, but rather wearing an Ergo while also supporting Archie with her arm, as the carrier isn't completely tight.


When British tabloids published the pictures many babywearing devotees and internet commenters offered opinions on how Markle is holding her son in the photo, but as baby gear guru Jamie Grayson notes, "it is none of our business."

In a post to his Facebook page, Grayson (noted NYC baby gear expert) explained that in the last day or so he has been inundated with hundreds of messages about how Markle is wearing the carrier, and that while he's sure many who messaged with concerns had good intentions he hopes to inject some empathy into the conversation.

As Grayson points out, these are paparazzi photos, so it was a private moment not meant for world-wide consumption. "This woman has the entire world watching her every move and action, especially now that she and Harry are leaving the umbrella of the royal family, and I honestly hope they are able to find some privacy and peace. So let's give her space," he explains, adding that "while those pictures show something that is less than ideal, it's going to be okay. I promise. It's not like she's wearing the baby upside down."

He's right, Archie was safe and not in danger and who knows why the straps on Markle's carrier were loose (maybe she realized people were about to take pictures and so she switched Archie from forward-facing, or maybe the strap just slipped.)

Grayson continues: "When you are bringing up how a parent is misusing a product (either in-person or online) please consider your words. Because tone of voice is missing in text, it is important to choose your words carefully because ANYTHING can be misconstrued. Your good intentions can easily be considered as shaming someone."

Grayson's suggestions injected some much-needed empathy into this discourse and reminded many that new parents are human beings who are just trying to do their best with responsibilities (and baby gear) that isn't familiar to them.

Babywearing has a ton of benefits for parents and the baby, but it can take some getting used to. New parents can research safety recommendations so they feel confident. In Canada, where the pictures in question were snapped, the government recommends parents follow these safety guidelines when wearing infants in carriers:

  • Choose a product that fits you and your baby properly.
  • Be very careful putting a baby into—or pulling them out of—a carrier or sling. Ask for help if you need it.
  • When wearing a carrier or sling, do not zip up your coat around the baby because it increases the risk of overheating and suffocation.
  • Be particularly careful when using a sling or carrier with babies under 4 months because their airways are still developing.
  • Do not use a carrier or sling during activities that could lead to injury such as cooking, running, cycling, or drinking hot beverages.

Health Canada also recommends parents "remember to keep your baby visible and kissable at all times" and offers the following tips to ensure kissability.

"Keep the baby's face in view. Keep the baby in an upright position. Make sure the baby's face is not pressed into the fabric of the carrier or sling, your body, or clothing. Make sure the baby's chin is not pressed into their chest. Make sure the baby's legs are not bunched up against their stomach, as this can also restrict breathing. Wear the baby snug enough to support their back and hold onto the baby when bending over so they don't fall out of the carrier or sling. Check your baby often."

Meghan Markle is a new mom who was caught off guard during a moment she didn't expect her baby to be photographed. Every parent (no matter how famous) has a right to privacy for their child and the right to compassion from other parents. If we want people to learn how to safely babywear we can't shame them for trying.

Mama, if you've been shamed for wearing your baby "wrong" don't feel like you need to stop. Follow the tips above or check in with local baby-wearing groups to get advice and help. You've got this.


At one of the most important nights of their career, celebrities made sure their hairstyles stayed put at the 26th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. As a collective, the hairstyles were beautiful—french twists, bobs, pin curls and killer cuts filled the red carpet on the night to remember.

And surprisingly, the secret wasn't just the stylist team, mama. For many of the celebs, much of the look can be attributed to a $5 hairspray—yes, you read that correctly.

Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray was one of the top stylist picks for celebs for a lightweight, flexible finishing spray, leaving tons of body and bounce. Unlike most hairsprays that can take several minutes (even a half hour) to set the look, this extra-hold one contains a fast-drying, water-free formula that helps protect your hair from frizz in minutes. As a result, celebrities were able to hold the shape of their styles with mega volume.

"Dove hairspray works well by holding curls in place with maximum hold and ultra shine, while still maintaining soft, touchable texture that is easy to brush out," says Dennis Gots for Dove Hair, who styled Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the SAG Awards. Translation: It's great for on-the-go mamas who want a shiny hold that lasts, but doesn't feel sticky.

Here are a few awesome hairstyles that were finished with the drugstore Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray at the SAG awards:

Lili Reinhart's French twist

"I sprayed Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray all over Lili's hair to lock in the shape and boost the shine factor, making the whole look really sleek," says stylist Renato Campora who was inspired to create the look by Reinhart's romantic gown. "Lili's look is sleek and sharp with a romantic twist."

Cynthia Erivo's finger waves

"This look is classic Cynthia! I knew I wanted to keep it simple, but it's actually quite detailed and intricate up close," says stylist Coree Moreno. "While the hair was still wet (yes—I needed to work fast!) I generously spritzed on the hairspray for all night hold without flaking. The hair continued to air dry perfectly while she finished up makeup."

Nathalie Emmanuel's curly high pony

"Nathalie wanted a retro Hollywood glam for the SAG Awards, so I used her natural texture and created a high pony with loose tendrils framing her face and neckline," says stylist, Neeko. "I finessed the look with the hairspray to lock in the style while keeping her hair looking and feeling touchable."

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's slicked back bob

"I used duckbill clips on different areas of her hair to keep the shape and curl while the hair air dried. Air drying the hair allowed for maximum shine and then I sprayed lots of hairspray all over to truly lock in the sleek shape and enhance the shine," says stylist Dennis Gots, who was inspired by a 90s vibe for Waller-Bridge's look.

Dove Style+Care Micro Mist Extra Hold Hairspray

Dove Style+Care Micro Mist Extra Hold Hairspray

Who doesn't want a hairspray that makes your hair feel as good as it looks? Dove Style+Care Extra Hold Hairspray holds body, volume and enhances shine. It gives your hair touchable hold while fighting frizz, even in damp or humid conditions.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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We often think of the unequal gender division of unpaid labor as a personal issue, but a new report by Oxfam proves that it is a global issue—and that a handful of men are becoming incredibly wealthy while women and girls bear the burden of unpaid work and poverty.

According to Oxfam, the unpaid care work done by women and girls has an economic value of $10.8 trillion per year and benefits the global economy three times more than the entire technology industry.

"Women are supporting the market economy with cheap and free labor and they are also supporting the state by providing care that should be provided by the public sector," the report notes.


The unpaid work of hundreds of millions of women is generating massive wealth for a couple of thousand (predominantly male) billionaires. "What is clear is that this unpaid work is fueling a sexist economic system that takes from the many and puts money in the pockets of the few," the report states.

Max Lawson is Oxfam International's Head of Inequality Policy. In an interview with Vatican News, he explained that "the foundation of unpaid work done by the poorest women generates enormous wealth for the economy," and that women do billions of hours of unpaid care work (caring for children, the sick, the elderly and cooking, cleaning) for which they see no financial reward but which creates financial rewards for billionaires.

Indeed, the report finds that globally 42% of women can't work for money because of their unpaid care responsibilities.

In the United States, women spend 37% more time doing unpaid care work than men, Oxfam America notes in a second report released in cooperation with the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

"It's an economy that is built on the backs of women and of poor women and their labour, whether it's poorly paid labour or even unpaid labour, it is a sexist economy and it's a broken economy, and you can only fix the gap between the rich and the poor if at the same time you fix the gap between women and men," Lawson explains.

According to Lawson, you can't fight economic inequality without fighting gender equality, and he says 2020 is the year to do both. Now is a great time to start, because as Motherly has previously reported, no country in the world is on track to eliminate gender inequality by 2030 (one of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 United Nations member countries back in 2015) and no country will until the unpaid labor of women and girls is addressed.

"Governments around the world can, and must, build a human economy that is feminist and benefits the 99%, not only the 1%," the Oxfam report concludes.

The research suggests that paid leave, investments in childcare and the care of older adults and people with disabilities as well as utilizing technology to make working more flexible would help America close the gap.

(For more information on how you can fight for paid leave, affordable childcare and more this year check out

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