What To Do For Your Baby’s Fever

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baby at doctor

Last Updated on November 23, 2020 by Creative Parenting

Editor’s note: This post is more about your mindset as a parent. It is not medical advice. If your baby has a fever you should always talk to your doctor.

If you are trying to figure out what to do for your baby’s fever you might relate to this story:

It’ was a beautiful fall day and we’d arrived at the doctor’s office.

But we were feeling nervous because our baby has a fever of 101.

After getting home, we wrote down some ideas for what to do when your baby has a fever.

You see…

It’s VERY stressful when your baby has a fever!

What’s more: 

During the pandemic, it’s easy to worry it’s coronavirus.

After all, there’s still so much that we don’t know about coronavirus. 

The mind quickly races to imagine worst case scenarios.

(Try not to do that).

Anyway, we were feeling pretty nervous recently with the onset of our baby’s fever, until we talked to our pediatrician. 

In that conversation, she reminded us of a few things to know about fever.

And that’s the purpose of this post today.

We share a few insights that we didn’t know as new parents, plus some some we wish we’d known in hindsight.

Save this post as a reminder for when your baby has a fever!

Ok, so first off:

If it happens?

Don’t panic.

Fever is a GOOD thing, they say.

It helps the body fight the virus.

On top of that, once it happens there are a few steps to take to keep your anxiety in check and make sure your baby is OK.

Let’s dive in.

What to do for baby fever? First, get a good reading of your baby’s temperature.

This sounds so simple but it’s easy to forget.

You need to have a very good thermometer on hand.

And you need to be taking the temperature in a way that gets an accurate reading.

For babies, this is actually pretty easy; also this sounds so simple but it’s easy to forget.

For babies this is actually pretty easy Once you get in the habit of taking it the most accurate way.

But if you’re a new parent it and haven’t tried this method it can feel nerve-racking at first.

The method that we’re talking about here is taking the baby’s temperature rectally.

We recommend doing it this way for a few reasons (as does many pediatrics associations).

For one thing, it’s more accurate then taking it on the forehead.

You may be tempted to use a forehead thermometer because it’s more convenient.

But in our experience, the forehead thermometers aren’t accurate enough.

Sure, the doctor’s office uses the thermometers that take the temperature from the forehead.

But they use high-quality, accurate, medical-grade thermometers.

In our experience, the readings from the CVS thermometers will be all over the place.

So that’s why we recommend, as do many others, taking it rectally.

It seems like an odd thing to do the first time, but once you get the hang of it it’s really not that difficult.

Two things that make this easier are:

1. Putting a little aquaphor on it, and

2, realizing that you don’t have to insert it that far to get a good reading.

Once you take an accurate temperature you need to do this next tip.

Write that temperature down.

As soon as you take an accurate temperature write it down.

The reason for this is simple:

If your baby is sick, there’s a good chance you’re not going to be getting much sleep either!

And you probably are already sleep-deprived simply from taking care of your baby.

You’re going to want to reference the temperature and the history of it over the last 24 hours, in case you speak with a doctor.

So write it down either in your cell phone or a piece of paper. 

By doing this you’ll be able to do the next step over a period of time.

This will help you decide if you need to go to the doctor.

And it will give them some context to consider in figuring out what’s going on.

After you’ve written down the temperature, keep an eye out for other things that are going on:

Monitor for symptoms.

Anytime your baby has a fever it’s a bit nerve-racking, because even if you know it’s a good thing you don’t know what’s going on at first.

Plus there’s all sorts of conflicting ideas out there about fever.

Some people say it’s a helpful thing, and other people say you should keep it under control.

And there’s a bit of truth to both.

But what is especially stressful is if there’s a rapid change in temperature.

Plus with a baby’s system the temperature can fluctuate quite a bit, so these sorts of ups and downs can last for a few days.

This can leave you feeling Either OK or very worried depending on how things are progressing.

But since you started writing down the temperature the first time you took it, now you can keep a log over the period of your baby sickness.

This doesn’t have to be anything fancy.

You don’t need a special calendar a special charge or even an app.

The main thing is that over the course of several hours you check the temperature regularly. Then, when you talk to the doctor you can give them a history. 

That’ll help them know if they want to see you and how urgent the situation might be.

For example, If the sea fever has lasted for several days that’s a good sign they’ll want to see you and the baby.

Or, if the fever is super high that’s a sign that the situation is an urgent one.

So if the fever is spiking or is lasting for a long period of time then that could be a sign it’s time to give your Pediatrician a call.

It’s also OK to call your doctor with questions even if you’re worried.

Some parents are more anxious than others.

A phone call is free.

And many Pediatrician offices have after-hours calls.

While no one wants to be silly and call for unnecessary reasons, in this pandemic era we’re living through, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Check in with your pediatrician.

If you meet the criteria above, or just worried it never hurts to check in with your pediatrician.

Especially in this pandemic era,  they can advise you for your city and locality about what’s going on with coronavirus.

For example, they can tell you about where to find information about testing, whether they are testing, signs to look for, and what they’re seeing in the local population.

Usually, Pediatrician offices will have after-hours services or will call you back if you call during the day.

A phone call doesn’t cost anything unlike a doctor’s visit with a co-pay.

So if your baby has been running a fever and you’re either worried or it’s lasted a long time, or a spiked a lot, just pick up the phone and call.

Get it checked out if needed.

If your doctor recommends it either for your own peace of mind or because they want to see your child in person, they’ll ask you to come in.

You’ll have to schedule an appointment. 

Here’s a tip that we didn’t know about when we first became parents:

Usually, Pediatrician offices will hold a number of sick visits for that day.

So if you call first thing in the morning they can often work you in.

It’s a simple visit to the doctor’s office can rule out things like an ear infection, rash, or other illnesses that they can tell by visually looking at them.

Depending on how the baby is presenting with symptoms, they may want to do a blood draw to check their white blood count.

And one thing that we realized with her second child, with a girl, a urinary tract infection UTI it is more common in girls than boys.

They’ll know whether it’s a bacterial infection or viral infection.

If it’s a bacterial infection, like an ear infection, then they may prescribe antibiotics.

It’s a if it’s a viral infection then there’s not really much that they can do.

They’ll recommend the usual things like Tylenol or ibuprofen and staying hydrated (if your baby is old enough to consume some water then water, otherwise milk).

Will also be able to get a sense of whether it’s a bacterial infection or viral infection.

If it’s a bacterial infection, like an ear infection, then they may prescribe antibiotics.

It’s a if it’s a viral infection then there’s not really much that they can do other than recommend the usual things like Tylenol or ibuprofen and staying hydrated.

But that trip to the doctor can at least rule out bacterial infections and things of that nature that might need medication.

How do you manage your own anxiety when your baby is sick?

Creative Parenting

Creative Parenting

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