It’s always heart-wrenching to see your baby sick or ill. As parents, it truly is a challenging time when your baby is unwell. Knowing how uneasy your child must feel and being helpless at alleviating the aches and pains during sickness, makes it even more difficult. One of the most common illnesses that affect little children, infants, and toddlers, to be specific, is a fever.
How Do You Know Your Baby Has Fever?
Your baby might show symptoms such as unusual fussiness, sleepiness or earache, might wake up with flushed cheeks and hot skin, has a loss of appetite, has a cough or a cold, vomits food, or has mild diarrhea, you know they are not acting like themselves. Trusting your guts at such times helps a lot. Taking your baby’s temperature right then and making sure everything is in order is the right approach.
How Do You Take Your Baby’s Temperature?
A rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher indicates fever in babies and children. For a child below three years of age, doctors recommend using the digital rectal thermometer to record a rectal temperature reading. Follow the instructions given on the digital rectal thermometer and ensure that you do not insert it beyond one inch into the rectum of the baby, given the possibility of a rectal tear. Below are the general steps for taking your baby’s temperature:
- Lay your baby on your lap with his face towards the ground
- Clean the tip of the thermometer
- Dip the thermometer in a water-soluble gel
- Insert the thermometer into your baby’s bottom, up to only about 1 inch in
- When the thermometer has taken its reading, it will indicate the same with a beep. Read the temperature carefully and make a note of it along with the time of the day
- Clean the thermometer well after use with soap and water
For such young children, underarm readings, oral readings, forehead readings, and ear thermometers do not reveal the true core temperature. Also, pacifier thermometers and temperature-sensitive strips are known to be rather inaccurate in recording the actual temperature in babies.
What Should Be Your Treatment Plan?
Once you record a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, you must immediately call the doctor and, if possible, take your baby to the doctor for an in-person consultation. After examining the baby, the doctor might advise further medical examinations, if necessary, to ascertain the cause of the fever and the fever-inducing pathogen. After determining the fever as a bacterial or viral infection, the doctor may prescribe medications. In the meanwhile, the doctor might prescribe fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. In case you wish to avoid this medication, you can try non-medical ways such as:
- Placing a cool and damp washcloth on the baby’s forehead
- Giving them a tub bath in lukewarm water
- Removing extra layers of clothing from their bodies
- Fanning the baby to circulate the air around them
- Offering lots of fluids and cold foods to cool the body from within
One very effective and simple approach to treat the baby during a fever is to pay attention to their food.
What Foods Should You Include In Your Baby’s Diet During Fever?
It is important to include foods that high in their calorie, protein, and fluid content and low in fat content during a fever. Small portions at regular intervals of 2-3 hours can be given to make up for the loss of nutrients in case of diarrhea. Also, babies should be fed mashed and softened foods during such times to ensure that they can easily swallow their food. Here’s a list of foods that you must include in your baby’s diet when they have a fever:
- Fruit juices
- Coconut water
- Barley water
- Cereal preparations
- Boiled leafy vegetables
- Chicken stock or soup
- Sweet buttermilk
- Boiled vegetables
What Foods Should You Avoid When Your Baby Has A Fever?
During a fever, you must ensure that your baby’s diet does not include foods that are difficult to digest. Such foods are those that have high fibrous and fatty content and are spicy or pungent. Here’s a list of foods that you must avoid when your baby has a fever:
- Vegetable oil
- Pastries and puddings
- Spicy preparations
- Cream soups
- Carbonated or flavored drinks
- Any kind of fried food
10 Recipes That Can Be Given To Your Baby During Fever
Delving a little further into the diet plan for your child, especially when they are down with a fever, here are ten recipes for you to consider:
- Plain dal Khichdi
- Apple puree
- Carrot puree
- Daliya porridge
- Curd Khichdi
- Rice Cereal
- Masoor Dal Khichdi
- Peas Soup
- Egg Oatmeal Scramble
Some Things To Keep In Mind
- Don’t force your baby to eat if he doesn’t like it, just stop and feed him after a little gap
- Make sure your baby gets plenty of rest
- Give your bath a sponge bath with cool tap water to bring the fever down and make your little one feel comfortable. Keeping the baby aptly dressed as per the weather can prevent temperature spikes due to infection and heat
- Dress your baby in lightweight clothes and just cover them with only a light cotton sheet
- Keep your baby’s in a well ventilated and airy room
- If the fever consistently goes above 102-103 for the 2-3 days then make sure you must cal your baby’s doctor immediately
- Taking the right precautions such as washing your hands properly and thoroughly before picking up your baby, monitoring your baby’s health
- On the other hand, timely and adequate treatment in case of infections can help the baby recover quickly from illness
As parents, it is our primary responsibility to care for and nurture our babies! Did your baby suffer from fever? How did you deal with it? Share your experience in the comments section below.