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Jaundice is the yellow color seen in the skin of many newborns. It happens when a chemical called bilirubin builds up in the baby’s blood. Jaundice can occur in babies of any race or color. About 50 percent of full-term infants develop jaundice. If your baby is premature, the chances are even higher – about 80 percent – that jaundice will develop during the first week of life. It's important to have your baby checked for jaundice by a doctor or nurse at three to five days of age. Learn more about jaundice from the American Academy of Pediatrics >

Call your baby’s doctor if:

  • Your baby’s skin turns more yellow.
  • Your baby’s abdomen, arms or legs are yellow.
  • The whites of your baby’s eyes are yellow.
  • Your baby is jaundiced and is hard to wake, fussy, or not nursing or taking formula well.