Non stop screaming from a baby can be worrying to parents but babies that are really ill tend not to cry continuously and loudly. A baby that is very ill is more likely to whimper and moan.
Fever is when the body’s temperature rises above its normal level. The normal temperature for a baby is 98.6° F ( 37° C). Your child may have a fever if the body temperature is:
Higher than 99° F (37.5° C) measured under the arm
The younger the infant the less prepared their immune system is to fight infection. As a new parent the best approach to a fever in a young baby is always better safe than sorry.
If your child is hot and feverish you want to try and bring the temperature down – remove some of their clothing and it can help to wipe their forehead with a face cloth that has been wrung out in cold water.
Mild fevers can bring on bouts of crying and it is usually not too much to worry about. Coughs and colds are quite common too but it’s the more serious conditions you need to be most aware of.
Never be concerned about bothering a doctor or sounding foolish – just make the call.
Trust your instincts – most parents know when their baby is unwell. If you are at all concerned seek advice from your doctor.
Seek medical help and call your doctor if your baby:
- Has a fever above 38 ° C/ 100°F (37.5 °C if newborn)
- Is not hungry for 2 consecutive feeds
- Has prolonged vomiting (for 12 hours or more)
- Has diarrhoea for more than 12 hours
- Has a high pitched cry for 2 or more hours
- Has dry nappies and doesn’t seem to be passing as much urine as normal
- Has cold skin
- Appears drowsy or unusually quiet or limp / sleepy or lethargic
- Neck is rigid or still
- Has a rash especially red or purple spots that don’t disappear when pressed with a glass
- Has a fit or convulsion
- Has pink, watery or sticky eyes
- Has blood in his / her urine or stools
- Has breathing difficulties or rapid breathing
- Has long fits of coughing
Young babies are very vulnerable. Always call the doctor if you are in doubt.