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.
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.
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:
Also read: How To Check Your Baby’s Temperature Using Digital Thermometer
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.
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:
One very effective and simple approach to treat the baby during a fever is to pay attention to their food.
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:
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:
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:
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.