Fever in infants can be scary, but don’t panic, mama!
Read all about baby temperature, and find out how to
safely treat your child’s first fever.
Use the right thermometer. Babies younger than 6
months should have their temperatures taken with a
rectal thermometer. Because their ear canals are
so small, you can’t get an accurate reading with an
What is a fever? The normal body
temperature for a healthy baby is between 97° and
100.4° Fahrenheit (36° to 38° Celsius). A fever
would be any temperature that rises to 100.4° F or
When to call the doctor? If your baby is under 3
months, you should call his pediatrician
immediately. A fever in a baby this young could
mean a serious infection. The AAP suggests calling
the doctor if a baby is between 3 months and 6
months old and has a fever of 101° F (38.3° C) or
higher, or is older than 6 months and has a
temperature of 103° F (39.4° C) or higher. Look for
such symptoms as a loss of appetite, cough, signs
of an earache, unusual fussiness or sleepiness, or
vomiting or diarrhea.
Trust your gut. Even if your baby’s fever isn’t that
high, but he’s not acting like himself, call your
doctor. You’re the best judge of whether your little
one is truly sick or not.
Keep him hydrated. It’s important that baby keeps
taking breast milk or formula during a fever to avoid
Give him a fever reducer. Your doctor might
recommend giving your child some baby
acetaminophen (or ibuprofen, if your baby is at least
6 months old) to bring down the fever. Never give
more than the recommended dosage to your child;
her weight will determine the right dose. And always
use the measuring device that comes with the
medicine to give your baby exactly the right
Keep this in mind. Some doctors believe that if a
child isn’t uncomfortable and is eating and sleeping
normally, it’s often best to let the fever run its
course, as that is the body’s way of fighting an
infection. Ask your pediatrician what he thinks the
best course of action might be.
Try a lukewarm bath. If baby is running a high fever
and seems uncomfortable, put him in a lukewarm
bath to try to bring his body temperature down. You
can also wet some washcloths and give him a
sponge bath if you don’t think he’s going to react
well to being in the tub.
(Excerpts from “Parents”)