Childhood illnesses such as colds, coughs and fevers are common, but as a parent, looking after a baby who is sick for the first time can be stressful. You may have questions such as: “When should I visit the doctor?” or, “How to bring down baby fever?” - fret not, we’re here to help with five top tips for looking after your baby when they’re unwell.
5 Tips for How to Bring Down Baby Fever
1. Check in with Your Doctor Regularly
If you are at all concerned about any symptoms your child is displaying, then you should call your doctor immediately. If your baby has a fever or is showing signs of being unwell, you should always call your doctor. A temperature reading of 38.0°C (100.4°F)1 or higher would usually suggest that your baby has a fever, but readings can vary depending on the type of thermometer you use, and where you place the thermometer.
For babies over six months and young children, call your doctor when they have a fever with a temperature of 39.0°C (102.2°F)2.
A fever is sometimes the symptom of a common illness such as a cold (infection of the upper respiratory tract). Colds will typically last for around one week (but can last for up to two weeks) and are not typically treated with medication. However, your doctor or pediatrician can recommend suitable baby fever remedies such as over-the-counter medications that may be effective in reducing a fever3. You will usually find that a little extra care, rest and attention is all that your baby needs to make a full recovery within a few days.
As a parent, you will probably be aware of some signs and symptoms of common childhood illnesses, but you’ll no doubt have concerns, such as: How to bring down a baby fever? Or how do I know if something requires further investigation? Your doctor will be able to support and guide you on how to nurse your baby back to health.
2. Keep Your Baby Comfortable
One of the hard parts of looking after a sick baby is that they can’t tell you how they’re feeling or what they need. There are some signs to indicate that your child may be unwell, though of course, these can differ for every child.
Your baby may be restless, cry more, or go off their feeds. In such cases, knowing how to console a sick crying baby can be invaluable. Comfort can come in the form of keeping your baby close to you, or putting them to sleep in a well-ventilated room to regulate their temperature. If your child has diarrhea it can mean changing diapers more regularly, and using a barrier cream on their booty4 to try and ease any soreness that may have been caused by more frequent pooping.
3. Keep Your Baby Hydrated
While a common sign of sickness may be a decrease in appetite, it’s still important to make sure that your baby is getting enough fluids. If your baby has diarrhea, or congestion from a cold, they may be at risk of becoming dehydrated. Contact your doctor if you’re worried, as they will be able to guide you on how to increase your baby’s fluid intake.
Signs of dehydration may include less pee in your baby’s diaper, or dry, pale lips5.
4. Take Care of Yourself and Stay Calm
While how to reduce baby fever will almost certainly be the focus of your attention, it’s really important that you look after yourself. Caring for a baby is exhausting enough – and when sickness is involved, parenting can be even more challenging. Sleepless or broken nights due to your baby’s restlessness, fewer naps in the day and general worry about whether you’re doing the right things will all impact how you feel.
Make sure to make time for you – even if it’s just having a nice bath before bed, or eating a nutritious meal cooked by your partner. Don’t forget to call on extra support from friends and family while your baby’s sick: Ask them to pop to the store for some groceries, or to keep you company and help with some chores around the house. Every pair of extra hands will help to lighten the load!
Of course, if panic sets in because your child seems to be displaying any worrying symptoms, try to stay calm. Make a call to the emergency services, and stay with your child until you’re guided on what to do next.
5. Look for Any Changes
When it comes to how to bring down baby fever, your doctor should be the first person you call if you’re at all in doubt about whether a sign or symptom of illness needs further investigation. If, after you’ve contacted your doctor, your child’s fever continues for several more days, make a follow up call.
Monitoring your baby’s temperature will help you to understand how they’re doing. While there are many ways to use a digital thermometer – from putting it under your baby’s armpit, to inserting it into their rectum – ask for advice from your doctor or healthcare provider as to what is most suitable, and most accurate.
Looking for more tips to care for your child in the toddler years? Join the Enfamama A+ Club today to help you along this precious journey of motherhood and receive related information on toddler nutrition