caring for a sick baby

How To Take Care Of A Sick Baby

When your newborn baby gets sick for the first time, you may feel scared as a parent. It can be hard to sleep at night knowing that your little one is not feeling well.  There are many steps you can take to care for your ailing baby. Continue reading to learn all about caring for a sick baby.

Caring For A Sick Baby

Fever

If your child has a fever, this could mean that there is another problem because a fever is not an illness of its own. This happens when the body raises its temperature. It does this because the enzymes that fight the illness work better at higher temperatures.

Family Doctor.org states “Many doctors diagnose a fever as an oral temperature above 99.5°F. They diagnose fever as a rectal temperature above 100.4°F.” When checking the temperature of your child, try to use a digital thermometer, but never use a mercury one, as it is toxic.

When new parents find out that their child has a fever, their first instinct is to go to the doctor immediately. However, this is not the case, as a low fever of around 101°F or under is not dangerous unless the infant is under 2 months old, then you should contact your doctor. However if they are older, but still under a year, you can undress them and encourage them to drink in order to cool them off.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “If your baby is 3 to 6 months old and has a temperature up to 102°F and seems sick or has a temperature higher than 102°F, contact the doctor.”

Ear Infection

An ear infection, also called otitis media is inflammation in the middle ear. It can be hard to tell if your child has an ear infection without a proper diagnosis from their doctor. This is because many children will rub their ears when they get tired. However, if your baby starts to tug at their ears and is showing signs of discomfort, you should take them to a doctor as soon as you can. The doctor will be able to assess and accurately determine whether or not they have an ear infection.

If your child has an ear infection, your doctor may recommend an antibiotic to help. If not, they may recommend that you just wait it out, as many ear infections will resolve themselves within a few days. However, there are still some things that you can do to help relieve the pain in your infant’s ear. To start, give your child plenty of fluids to drink and encourage them to swallow. Another thing you can do is apply a warm compress to their ear to ease the pain. If the infection lasts for more than a few days, get back in contact with your doctor as they may have more guidance.

Cold

The Mayo Clinic states ” Babies are especially susceptible to the common cold, in part because they’re often around other children. Also, they have yet to develop immunity to many common infections.” Some symptoms of the common cold in babies are, congested or runny nose, fever, sneezing, coughing, decreased appetite, and difficulty sleeping. Many times, the cold will resolve itself after around 10-14 days, and your baby will go back to being their normal self. However, if your baby is younger than 3 months, get them to a doctor. The reason is to make sure that there is no other serious illness present along with the cold.

Flu

When your baby has the flu, they will show symptoms such as fever, aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, and even vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you call your child’s doctor to avoid any further complications such as the ear infections mentioned above. When you notice your child has the flu, make sure that they are getting enough to drink in order to prevent dehydration. Also, make sure that they are getting rest. If your child is over the age of one, they will be prescribed a medicine by the doctor for you to give them.

Conclusion

You may find that you are caring for a sick baby often because some illnesses like the cold will come and go while the others show up for a while and don’t come back. One thing to note is that it is always ok, especially for new parents to be worried about your baby’s health, as it is your job to make sure that they are ok. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn more about Keeping Your Newborn Safe During Winter.

Sources

https://familydoctor.org/condition/fever-in-infants-and-children/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold-in-babies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351651
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/healthy-baby/art-20047793