You’ve tried your hardest, but even with your multi-use cover there to keep germy stranger hands away, it’s happened: your littlest family member has the dreaded fever. What now?
For starters, don’t panic. While a fever can be a symptom of a serious infection, in most cases, a fever is a sign that your baby’s body is fighting off a simple cold or a virus. Still, if your thermometer shows a reading of 100.4 or higher, and your baby is less than three months old, you should call your doctor right away.
If your baby is three months or older, you can ask a few questions before deciding to give the doctor a buzz:
- Is my baby lethargic or unresponsive?
- Is my baby having problems eating?
- Is my baby having problems breathing?
- Does my baby have a rash?
- Am I concerned that my baby may be dehydrated (fewer wet diapers than normal, dry tears when crying, dry mouth)?
For older babies, the behavior that accompanies the fever is a lot more important in determining the severity of the situation than just the presence of the fever itself. If you answer yes to any of the above questions, it’s definitely a good idea to give your pediatrician a call.
For older babies, who are behaving normally but running abnormally warm, the following tips and tricks may prove helpful:
- Give your baby a lukewarm bath.
- Be sure to dress your baby in light layers. Copper Pearl’s blanket sets are perfect for situations like this, because they give an infant the swaddling comfort they need during distress, without leading to overheating.
- Encourage baby to drink to avoid potential dehydration. Depending on baby’s age this may mean nursing more frequently, or it could mean offering more water, or even an electrolyte solution. Ask your doctor what is appropriate for your little one.
- With your doctor’s approval, you may wish to give your baby a fever reducing medication. Just remember that infants younger than six months old should not be given any medicines containing ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin.
Always trust your mother’s intuition. You know your little one, and you know in your gut when something is wrong. It never hurts to dial your pediatrician for some advice or, at the very least, some reassurance.