Fever in newborn babies


In conversation with Dr Shanthi Reddy
MBBS, MD (PAED)(Neonatology and Pediatrics)

Newborn babies are born into a world, where they could take some time to come to terms with. New conditions, new situations… And, they have no clue how to cope with too! That’s why not just doctors, but parents too have to keep a close watch on newborns, especially up to about 4 to 5 months.

As always, high body temperature, or fever could be a symptom. When their tender body is fighting an illness condition.

But, before that, we need to know what would be the normal body temperature of newborns. From. 96.8° F till about 99.5° F is considered normal body temperature for newborns up to 6 months. If the body temperature rises over 100.4° F, it means your baby is fighting a health condition. But, before we come to judge, we need to understand that even an excess clothing, especially on hot days, could cause a rise in body temperature. It could be even a reaction to vaccination.

Understanding the symptoms of fever

A more than normally warm forehead, to our soft touch could be the first symptom of us thinking that the baby is having a high fever. Also, we might feel the baby is having difficulty in sleeping, feeding. The baby may not be interested in playing and we might detect low activity level.

When to call, visit your doctor

• You need to immediately consult your doctor, if you find your baby is:
• Lethargic or less responsive
• Having trouble in breathing
• Developing abnormal rashes
• Symptoms like dehydration (fewer wet diapers to change) tearless crying, dry mouth
• Seizures

What you can do

• Always use a digital thermometer
• Take off the clothes, and place your baby on your lap in sitting position
• Dry the underarms of your baby with a cloth, and slip in the bulb of thermometer, and hold it in place for 2 minutes, or until you hear the beep sound (indication that the thermometer has recorded the temperature)

Then, consult your doctor.