You tend to panic when you first discover that your baby has the fever. This first year of your baby would be very challenging as you are still learning and understanding your baby. Now, the main challenge is to keep your baby healthy and strong. Parenthood gives you happiness but it also comes with the major responsibility of taking care of your baby.
As a new parent, it is very normal for you to panic when your baby gets the first bout of fever. Generally, as soon as your baby gets a fever, you would assume that your baby’s immune system is not functioning well. But, in reality, fever is a healthy response. It is an indication, that your baby has an infection and your little one’s body is fighting an infection. Your little one’s immune system is functioning well.
You, as a parent, would be the correct judgment to recognize if your baby has a fever. The primary symptom is the body temperature. While you are handling your baby, if you feel that your baby is warmer than usual, then she may be suffering from fever.
Again here, for adults, if the temperature is more than 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, we consider it as a fever. But in case of babies, the normal temperature can be up to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If your baby has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, then you need to consult a doctor immediately.
Other than the temperature, the other symptoms which also shows that your baby may be sick are:
Your baby if not well, would be very fussy or she would be crying a lot or seem to be very restless. This may be an indication that your baby has an illness which is making her uncomfortable.
You would observe that your baby has suddenly reduced her feed. Your baby would feed very little or would not feed at all. This again may be an indication of an infection.
In case of a fever, your baby would be very tired. She would sleep beyond her normal sleeping hours. It may also happen that in spite of being very tired, she would refuse to sleep due to various reasons like body pain, discomfort, etc.
A fever is caused when the body is fighting an infection caused by a virus or a bacteria. These viruses and bacteria thrive in lower temperature, so your body does a smart move by raising the temperature. When the body temperature increases the virus and bacteria find it very difficult to survive. It is a natural mechanism of your baby’s body to fight the infection.
A viral fever is caused when your baby’s body is fighting against an infection which is caused by a virus; it may be a common cold, flu, skin rashes, running nose, etc. Generally, viral fever subsides within 2-3 days. Do consult your pediatrician for medicines.
Bacterial fevers are generally caused by an infection caused by a bacteria, like ear infection, urinary infection, etc. Bacterial infection is not very common but is something which needs to be immediately attended to. In case of bacterial infection, antibiotics would be required to treat the illness. Do consult your pediatrician immediately and keep a check on the overall health of your little one.
The first and foremost treatment for fever would be to visit the doctor and take the medications as prescribed. The other tips to be followed are:
• Do not overdress or bundle up your baby as this will cause excessive sweating which is not good for your little one. Use a thin blanket just to keep your baby covered and warm.
• If your baby is being breastfed, do offer plenty of breastmilk as this is one the best medicines which nature has provided. Breastmilk has all the qualities to fight against illness and also helps in keeping your little one hydrated.
• If you feel the temperature is too high, take a piece of cotton cloth and a bowl of water. Dip the cloth in water, squeeze out the water and apply the damp cotton cloth on the forehead. This helps in cooling your baby and reducing the temperature.
• Try to comfort the baby as much as possible and let him play quietly in a cool place.
Though viral/bacterial infections cannot be completely avoided, we can try to take some precautions. Please find the below tips to avoid infection:
• Wash your hands before handling your baby, it may be lifting your little one, feeding her or changing her nappies.
• A number of infections are passed by the mosquitoes. Hence, use a mosquito repellent throughout the day. The dengue-transmitting mosquitoes usually bite during the daytime.
• Avoid taking your little one to crowded places as in such places your baby will be prone to air-borne infections.
• If any of the adult or any child in the house is suffering from cold or a cough, ensure that they do not cough or sneeze near your baby. Also, ensure that you or anyone who is infected close their mouth with a handkerchief while coughing or sneezing.
• Cover the nose of your baby gently while travelling by bike or car to avoid infections.
Here we have discussed, a few pointers, symptoms, causes and treatment of baby fever. Yet, as already mentioned, you are the best judge, if at any point you feel your baby’s temperature is higher or his behaviour is abnormal, do take your call and visit your pediatrician immediately.