How To Take Care Of Your Baby During Fever
Have you and your baby been awake all night with tension, pain, and crying? If yes, then you might know what a fever is in babies. We cannot see our little sweetheart crying continuously with a warm body and very irritable behavior. Every Parent is worried when their baby gets a fever because we think our babies are too small and fever is a very big thing that can cause them much harm and babies can’t even express their pain like adults do. But actually, a fever is a sign that the body is fighting an Infection. And the baby’s immune system is working properly.
Taking proper care at home and following your doctor’s advice will make your baby recover fast and be healthy again.
What is a fever?
A fever is a sign of an infection present in your body and your body is fighting to get it out., hence the body temperature rises. This infection can be a viral, or bacterial infection, or babies can get fever due to vaccinations also. Teething doesn’t cause any fever.
A baby’s body temperature is usually around 97 to 98.7 degrees Fahrenheit which is 37 degrees Celsius. But sometimes your baby’s temperature can be around 99 degrees Fahrenheit or 98.1 degrees Fahrenheit also. This is because when your baby was in your womb, there was no activity at all for him to do like breastfeeding, crying, moving his hands and legs, etc. All these activities consume a lot of energy and hence the body temperature rises a bit in newborn babies.
If your baby’s temperature is 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit or above that, it is considered a fever. But still, even if your baby has a temperature of 99 degrees Fahrenheit also you have to consult your doctor other than waiting to see if the temperature comes down naturally. Do not be a doctor yourself mainly when it comes to treating babies. Before giving any Crocin or other drops to your baby, ask your doctor because the quantity and type of medicines change with the change in your baby’s weight and age. So whenever your baby gets a fever, go to a nearby hospital or call your doctor to suggest medicines and tell you what to do next.
A viral fever will go away after 3 days. If it continues to be there after 3 to 4 days, then you have to take a blood test to know the real cause of the fever.
Cold and Cough After Fever?
Doesn’t this sound a bit weird? Normally we elders or children get a cold and cough with fever or we normally get a cold and cough due to viral infection or a change in weather. But some children or sometimes babies get cold and cough after recovering from fever. My baby has gone through this. He got a high fever without any other symptoms like a cold, cough, loose motions, etc. He just had a high fever for 3 days continuously with some rash on his legs and hand. The doctor gave antibiotics and paracetamol. On the 4th day, he had a slight fever in the morning. After that, he didn’t get a fever at all and we all felt happy that he is healthy and recovered fully.
On the 5th day in the afternoon, he got a severe cold and a light cough. I was shocked because I never saw babies getting coughs and colds after recovering from a fever. We went to the doctor again. He gave me cold and cough medicine and told me it happens due to some allergy. He told that a cold and cough can take one week to recover fully.
Getting a cold and cough after the fever is a good sign that your baby’s body is throwing out the infection in the form of a cold and cough after a fever as it cannot stay anymore because of your baby’s immunity and the antibiotic given.
Fever In Toddlers:-
Toddlers cry a lot when they get something like a fever, cold, or cough. As their level of understanding is increasing day by day, they can’t tolerate something wrong going on in their body. They need comfort and more love and care at those times. They will always be attached to you till they are perfectly alright. You may also lose patience sometimes as you have to roam around with your baby leaving all the other activities. But that’s ok, after all, he is your love of life and you have to sacrifice some time for him. Leave all the other activities like household work, going out, etc. Spend all your time with your baby. Try to comfort him and tell him that he will be alright soon.
Treatment of Fever:-
- When your baby has a fever, dip a cloth in room temperature water and keep it on your baby’s forehead.
- Do not cover your baby with blankets or heavy clothes. This may cause a rise in your baby’s temperature.
- If your baby has a fever above 100 degrees Celcius, give paracetamol drops every 6 hours after consulting your doctor. Your doctor may also suggest antibiotic medicine twice a day for one week continuously.
- Babies don’t like to have medicine because of its bitter taste. But still, you have to give him somehow. You can give the medicine when he is asleep or on the last spoon of your baby’s food. Let him cry but don’t stop giving medicine. Babies often vomit after having medicine. Give it again. Make sure you give medicine after one hour of giving him food so that when he vomits medicine, the food doesn’t come out from his stomach as it will be digested within one hour.
- Ask your doctor if there are any flavourful medicines for your baby to have without vomiting. When my baby was not able to have cough syrup, my doctor suggested I add a little sugar to the syrup. I added sugar to the syrup only for 2 days after that I thought adding sugar won’t help and stopped adding sugar on the 3 rd day. My baby had the medicine without sugar without crying or vomiting. Babies don’t like medicine or any other food when they are not feeling well. When they are healthy they eat whatever you give them. This includes medicine too.
- Give mashed or pureed food because your baby might not be able to chew food properly as he is feeling very weak. Make sure it’s warm, not cold.
- Don’t force your baby to eat. If he refuses to eat don’t give him. Don’t think that if he won’t eat he will not get energy. Once your baby’s temperature comes down after 6 hours he will feel very hungry and eat whatever you give him.
- During fever, many fluids are lost from your baby’s body, so give plenty of fluids and fruit juices along with electrolyte water which your doctor suggested.
- The fever usually goes away after 3 to 4 days. So for these 4 days dedicate your time to your baby.
- When the fever reaches above 100 degrees Celcius, clean your baby’s body with room temperature water with a clean cotton cloth. This will help in the fall of body temperature for some time.
Symptoms of fever in babies:-
- High body temperature.
- Cold or Cough.
- Less active.
- Refusing food.
- Sleeping continuously.
- Loss of appetite.
How to measure body temperature in babies:-
There are many methods with which you can check your bbaby’sbody temperature:-
- Rectal temperature for babies below 3 months of age.
- Tympanic temperature is measured from a baby’s ear and should only be used in babies above 6 months of age.
- Temporal artery thermometers measure the temperature from the forehead and are recommended for babies above 3 months of age.
- Avoid Mercury thermometers as there is a chance for them to break easily and let the mercury liquid come out. The mercury liquid can be very dangerous if your baby swallows it.
- Digital thermometers can measure the temperature by placing it under the armpit or in the and.
When to call an Emergency:-
- When your baby is losing appetite.
- Temperature above 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Continuously vomiting.
- Baby turning blue
- Baby becoming suddenly inactive.
- Feeling dizzy.
- Very irritable.
- Loose motions.
- Getting rashes on the body with fever.
- Poor feeding.
- If your baby’s fever is above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, give him a sponge bath. Spong bath means, taking lukewarm water or normal room temperature water, putting your hands in water and gently patting the baby on his chest, back, cheeks, forehead, etc, and making sure that the fan and AC are turned off at that time. As the water evaporates, the abies’ temperature will come down automatically.
- Do not force your baby to eat during fever. This can make the baby more uncomfortable and irritable. During fever, it’s normal to lose appetite and not be interested in eating anything just like we do. If they are hungry they will surely eat. If they eat less also no problem. If they refuse solids, try giving them more and more liquids. Focus on hydration more than feeding solids. Because during fever babies produce a lot of sweat through which so many essential fluids are going out from the body and the baby can easily get dehydrated. Thatswhy keeping the baby hydrated all the time is the healthy way to recover fast.
- Keep the baby at normal room temperature. Do not cover the baby with clothes and blankets and do not ON the AC during fever. Your baby will sweat a lot and feel very uncomfortable. Just put on light cotton clothes and a thin cotton blanket if necessary. See if your baby is feeling comfortable, if not, take off the blanket too.
- Always be with your baby. Your presence will make them feel ssecureand comfortable. Talk to them, sing a song, give lots of Kisses, and try everything to make your baby feel comfortable. This is the time when your baby needs your attention.
- Let your BABY sleep and take rest as much as he can. Do not send him to daycare units or in public at this time.
- Monitor your baby’s temperature and behavior always and check for other symptoms and call your doctor if you feel something is wrong.
Foods that are best to give at the time of fever for babies:-
- Breastfeeding continuously if the baby is below 2 years.
- Soft khichdi.
- Moong dal khichdi.
- Masoor dal khichdi.
- Idli plain or with milk or any other soup.
- Curd rice.
- Coconut water.
- Lime water.
- Whole Milk.
- Corn flakes.
- Bread and jam.
Must Haves At The Time of Fever, Cold ,And Cough:-
- Digital Thermometer.
- Baby Vicks.
- Saline drops.
- Baby Napkins.
- Baby Socks and head cap.
- Light clothes.
- Separate baby towels.