Being a mom is such a happy and fulfilling role, but at the same time it’s never easy. Especially for first-time moms who are not so experienced in taking care of babies, treating young infants’ common colds and sicknesses poses to be a problem. In this article, we will discuss tips on what to do when fever strikes and hopefully help first-time moms stay guided.
When is “fever” considered a fever? The American Academy of Pediatrics states that a newborn to three months old babies should have a normal body temperature of about 36 to 38 degrees Celsius. When the body temperature becomes lower or higher than this range, parents should be concerned.
1. Check for Symptoms
Sometimes you are not aware when the baby has fever so it’s good to watch out for signs of sicknesses regularly. The most common ones are when the baby cries, is not urinating enough, losing appetite, or is not acting normally even after pampering him and keeping him comfy. Trust your instincts and also check the body temperature using a sanitized thermometer. For babies, be careful not to use a mercury-filled thermometer. The most accurate of checking is the rectal way or measure the temperature under the armpit.
2. Give Him a Bath
Giving your baby a nice bath with lukewarm water will help. Allowing the water evaporate off his skin will help to cool him down. This is to decrease the body temperature a bit and make him feel more refreshed and comfortable. Do not use hot water or ice cold water because the blood vessels under the skin become narrower when the skin touches water that is too cold or too hot. It is not also advisable to mix alcohol to the water, as this can trap heat in deeper parts of the body.
3. Keep Him Hydrated
Like adults, babies need to be hydrated all the time. Make sure he drinks enough water to ease hot body temperature and treat fever. If you are a breast-feeding mom, you can continue breast-feeding because the breast milk for babies is even better than other fluids. Breast milk contains colostrums that are very vital to make your baby’s immune system stronger. For the rest of the day, try giving him water every half an hour until he is okay.
4. Call for Medical Help
If you are panicking and just do not what to do, always take caution and don’t hesitate to call your mom or anyone you trust knows how to handle the situation. In other cases, calling the pediatrician would be best. Having about 39 to 40 degrees Celsius of body temperature or higher is no joke for a baby, particularly if your baby is in infantry stage. Any increase over the normal body temperature in his first months is very critical as this could indicate an infection that requires significant attention. Be prepared to jot down instructions and notice the improvements so you can apply them next time.
5. Give Paracetamol or Ibuprofen
If your baby is about three years old, it will be safe for him to take Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. These are medicine for headache and fever that should be stored in your first aid kit at home to immediately treat your baby. Read the medicine packet carefully for the dosage suggested according to the age. You can also buy them in liquid form to make the medicine more children-friendly. Note that Paracetamol and Ibuprofen should not be taken at the same time.
6. Take Clothes Off
Having several layers of clothing might keep your baby warm but this may be one of the causes of discomfort when fever strikes as well. When this happens, it’s best to keep the room temperature cool and remove some clothes of the child. Do not wrap him under thick blankets or warmers as this will only aggravate the heat he’s already feeling. What’s worse is to make his shiver inside or make the body overheat.
7. Treat the Infection
Commonly, having fever is usually the result of infections such as colds and stomach pains for babies. These infections are effects of the body responding and fighting against the viruses. When the baby has strong immune system, these viruses should be cured without treatment. Infections that require the intake of antibiotics are those affecting the ears, kidney or bladder. There is also the infection of the bloodstream that is quite life-threatening, but this rarely happens. You can treat the infection through getting the baby vaccinated on time. Get the recommended vaccines from the doctor to reduce the risks of these illnesses and prevent fever itself. It will also help if you can keep him from infected people.
8. Give Him Love
Studies suggest that the difference between a healthy and a sickly baby depends not only on the genes but also on the love and affection given by the parents. So regardless when you are a working and career-oriented mother or a stay-at-home mom, realize that your baby is a precious gift that should be given with love, care and attention as much as possible. When he is sick, take time and commit resources to give your baby the best baby care possible. Babies are delicate beings that are quite easy to get sick. When if you are armed with preparation and prevention, you can have the expertise to give what he needs.
Fever happens all the time. However, this should not be overlooked. The health of your child is critically important, especially when young. Fever is a medical condition that is linked to many other things and sometimes this leads to serious conditions. Try doing these tips on your own at home with the help of other family members. When the condition becomes worse or when if the fever does not go down within the day, seeking help from the baby’s pediatrician will be the best response to be sure.