12 answers

Duration of Jaundice

My son had very high levels of billiruben a few days after being born. He spent a couple of days under bili-lights in the hospital. He is doing better now. However he still has traces of jaundice in his mouth and on the white part of his eye. He is now 6 weeks old. I'm wondering how long before it completely goes away and/or is it normal to have traces of it this long.

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So What Happened?™

I took my son to the doctor and she said that his color looked good and that I shouldn't be concerned. The yellow in his eyes and mouth would eventually go away and it has. It took 2 1/2 months for it to all be gone. I hadn't realized that jaundice could take that long to disappear. Thank you all for your replies.

Featured Answers

A great idea is to lay them on a quilt, naked, in front of a window so they get some sun on all their skin.

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I agree with the other posters, take him and have him tested. My daughter's levels got so high at 48 hours old the doctor was talking about a blood transfusion. She was in the hospital for 7 days, lights for 5 days, 2 days of testing and observation. The way it was explained to me was that the older the baby is the higher level he can tolerate. All traces of jaundice were gone within a week of having her home. Please let us know how it goes.

My son went through that after birth... they released him and me from the hospital once they thought the levels went down, but once were were home... I felt in my gut that his jaundice was getting worse again... so I took him to the doctor...we had to keep him under the billi-lights, at home, 24 hours a day, for 1-2 weeks. I could only take him away from the lights to breastfeed. He too had high levels of billiruben.

We also had to get his blood tested every few days, as well as a check up at the doctor's office. It DOES take time for it to go completely away...depending on how severe the levels are.

The doctor should be checking him.... blood tests or in person.

Also, if the yellow color comes back... and you see it progress from his head... then downward to his chest, then legs etc... this means that the levels are increasing. For my son, it would ebb and flow and his coloring sometimes got better, then would increase again. So, I guess every case is different.

You just don't want it to get worse again or untreated, because Jaundice cause brain damage if unchecked.

At first, his Pediatrician said just put him in sunlight.. but my instincts told me otherwise. Thus, I took him back to the doctor, saw a different Doctor, and this Doc was also a Pediatric ER Doctor....she is the one who could "visually" tell that my son had high levels of jaundice. It was then that we were ordered to give him home treatment under the billi-lights and get regular blood tests and check-ups every few days.

If you are not sure... take him back to the Doctor. My son too.. it took awhile for it to completely go away and normalize. This is what I did. The only certain thing is to have a blood-test to measure his billiruben levels.

All the best,

If you are near Upland CA you can go to Healthy Beginnings. Its a breast feeding clinic (free), but they can check for Jaundice also. They generally track it till it's low.


Although my daughter did not have to go under the lights like your son she did have high levels of billirubin enough to monitor it daily. She was over 2 months old before it really went away. I think by the time she was 3 months old she did not have anymore signs of it. I know her pediatrician was not concerned about it after her levels started and continued to go down. It's hard but be patient and before you know it he'll have no traces of it anymore.

M. P

My little one had it too. By 6 weeks your little one should be clear of it. Your peditrician should have been taking blood work weekly on your little one to make sure the levels were low enough for the baby to be off treatment. Call the doctor and see what he/she suggests. If left untreated it can cause problems.

My daughter was admitted for 3-4 days of bili lights and I had to stop breastfeeding for that time to determine if it was because of the breast milk. They tested her blood several times a day and would not release us until her levels were safe. I can't remember the number. The number when we got admitted was 21, which is EXTREMELy high! I would take him back to the Dr. if you're concerned. They can do a blood test to make sure.

Congratulations on being a first time mom! Boys are fun.

all 3 of my sons had high level of jaundice as well. My oldest was in the hospital for 1 week under the light 24/7. I stayed in the room w/him. The nurse would take blood sample by pricking his heels 2x/day. They would track his progress. Once it got to a low enough level, they discharged us home.

My 2nd son was able to do the light blanket 24/7 at home. They had a nurse come 1x/day to take blood sample. He was off the light blanket in about 1 week as well.

My 3rd son tried doing the light blanket at home but after the 2nd blood test, they had us take him to the hospital and he was under the light 24/7 for about 5 days.

You said he still has traces of "yellow tint", take him back right away. Have them do another blood test. Better safe than sorry.

A great idea is to lay them on a quilt, naked, in front of a window so they get some sun on all their skin.

My 3rd full-term healthy son was in the hospital nursery incubator in complete light therapy for 6 days trying to recover from jaundice. His levels just continued to rise each day and scared us to death. On the 6th day, the doctors let us take him home for the first time and his pediatritian kept a close eye on him. He recovered fine, he is now 2, and I do not recall any lingering traces of juandice lasting weeks later, and I think my son had a pretty bad case. I suggest you have your baby's doctor take a good look at your specific concerns and investigate any possible reasons for such symptoms. There could be a variety of reasons; his liver may not be mature yet if he was a preemie, or if breastfeed he needs vitamin D from the sun. When it comes to my 3 children, I believe no "little" thing is too little to be of concern... and most importantly - act upon. Hope he gets all better soon. Enjoy your first!

With my son, they told me sunlight helps. We pushed his basinet into the sunlight coming in through the windows/doors while he slept and it helped. It wasn't a severe case, like you seem to have, but it did help. Of course, maybe they don't recommend that so much because of fear of burning? Because it's summertime, it might help...Good Luck

You should be having his lvls tested on a regular basis to insure they are dropping....They can go back up after treatment with the blue lights is over....Sunlight is also treatment for it we put DD in the sun in the sliding glass doors for several periods a day for about 20 min each...besure to watch their eyes though and they don't need to be in anyting more than a diaper....

It depends on the level he has now, has a nurse been over to check his levels? Also when I brought my daughter home they sent bilirubin lights with her, then after a week of that, the Dr told me to put her in sunlight for a few hrs every day so I put her in the bassinette and propped her right in front of the window for like 3 hrs a day, making sure the light was right on her in only a diaper but I covered her eyes.(It was winter in Illinois, so I could not take her out). Do that it wont hurt your son and it will help it finally go away. I did have a nurse come out every other day for a week checking her levels still and when they fell below 10 she did not come out anymore and she was fine. Her level started at 21.

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