When other parents say that raising a child is a magical thing, they are probably hiding the truth from us. Yes it can be magical and rewarding at times, but what they “forgot” to tell us is that parenting can be scary, nerve-racking and can push you to the brink of sanity.
I’m not trying to make you freak out or scared. I am just saying that with each “Ups” we experience with our baby, we will receive “Downs” as well. Sometimes those “Downs” even outweigh the “Ups.” I want to share with you that parenting is not all rainbows but rather a very unpredictable weather that can go from sunny to a typhoon in just seconds.
One of the most feared “Downs” of any parent is illness. Babies are terribly susceptible to infections, diseases and sickness during the first few years of their lives. So we as parents need to know the basics of how to spot a starting illness and prevent it for worsening.
The most effective we weapon that we can use for our child’s heath is their very own body temperature. Knowing the basics of baby temperature will give you an affirmative “heads up” with regards to your child’s wellbeing.
Knowing the Norm
Before you get to know the normal range of your baby’s temperature, you need to check a few things first. Here are some of my need to know tips before temperature taking that I came up with:
- Do not take a temperature reading on the side where your baby is lying.
This is probably the most forgotten fact when it comes to taking your child’s temperature. Basically, the side where your baby is lying down or is in contact with you (when you carry them) is much more warmer compared to the other side. If you take your child’s temperature in that particular area, you will eventually end up with a false reading.
- Use a tympanic (ear) or an axillary (armpit) digital thermometer
This is the best item you can use for you temperature taking. If you still have those mercurial thermometers, better not use it. The former variety of thermometer can easily break and hurt your baby. It can also lead to mercury poisoning. So better be safe than sorry.
- Make sure your baby is not too swaddled up
If your baby has one too many clothes on them, it will most likely give off another false temperature reading. Always remember that the rule for your baby’s amount of clothing is as follows: You child’s clothing must only be one layer more than what you are currently wearing.
- Check the room temperature
This is plain and simple to understand. When your room temperature is too cold of warm, your baby’s temperature will be affected as well. So make sure the temperature of your surrounding is at the normal level that is conducive for your little ones.
Once you have done checking all of these factors, you can now safely take your baby’s temperature. Do it around three times a day for three days for comparison. Get the lowest and highest reading you got. These results will be your normal baseline temperature.
Know When to Ask For Help
If you have done all of the above-mentioned guidelines and your child still has a reading above their regular temperature, start to observe them first. Keep in mind that once your baby’s temperature reaches 36.4 degrees Celsius, then they are already experiencing a starting fever.
First thing to do is to check your baby’s clothing and the room temp. Maybe the clothing is a bit too warm for them or the room temperature is making them feel hot. Once you have done this, the next thing to do is to give them a quick yet frequent sponge baths. This will help disperse their body heat faster.
If your baby still has fever and is still increasing in reading, you need to see other warning signs of an illness. Make sure to check if your baby is:
- Not eating well
- Showing weakness in movement
- Cold, clammy and sweaty when touched
Once one of these are present, you need to go to the nearest hospital for medical assistance. The usual cause of a baby’s fever in the first few months of their lives have something to do with either a viral or bacterial infection. These are usually treated with antibiotics and a lot of fluid intake.
What you can do to help speed up your baby’s recovery time is to continue your sponge baths. You can also be more vigilant and eager to feed them and give them more fluids. These can greatly help in your baby’s recovery to better health.
All in all, what you must to as a parent is to always keep calm and think critically and logically. Your enemy is fear and panic so don’t let those extreme emotions get you and your better judgement. Think wisely and make all the necessary choices without any hesitation.
A mother’s best friend is her “motherly instincts” so better follow it. Usually, your innate motherly predisposition is always right. If you “FEEL” that something is wrong with your child, then it probably is true. Trust yourself and your decisions all the time, especially when you have a strong gut feeling that what you are doing is right.