Symptoms of meningitis can be different in babies than in children and adults. In bacterial meningitis, fever, headache and neck stiffness can come on suddenly and your condition can worsen rapidly. Symptoms of meningitis in children and adults Neck stiffness. Nausea or vomiting. Sensitivity to light (photophobia). Confusion or altered mental state. Lack of energy (lethargy), extreme sleepiness or trouble waking up. Lack of appetite. Small round spots that look like a rash (petechiae). Additional symptoms of amebic meningitis You might experience additional symptoms of amebic meningitis a few days after your initial symptoms: Hallucinations. Loss of balance. Lack of attention or focus. Meningitis signs and symptoms in babies Your baby might not experience the same meningitis symptoms as adults (like headache, neck stiffness and nausea) and it can be hard to tell even if they are. Some signs of meningitis you can look for in babies include: Bulging “soft spot” (fontanelle) on baby’s head. Poor eating. Sleepiness or trouble waking up from sleep. Low energy or slower responses (lethargy).