Tabler of Contents
- 1 When to Call the Doctor
- 1.1 Baby’s Warning Signs
- 1.2 Taking Your Baby’s Temperature
- 1.2.1 The axillary (under the arm) method is recommended for taking a temperature for infants and toddlers.
- 1.3 What You Can Do to Calm Your Baby
- 1.4 Here are some soothing ideas and actions to try to help you calm your baby’s crying:
When to Call the Doctor
Call your baby’s doctor if your baby looks sick or starts to act differently. When you call, the doctor or nurse will ask questions to help find out what might be wrong. Make sure you are prepared to give the following information:
• Description of your baby’s symptoms; for example, what your baby is doing, is not doing or other signs that make you think something is wrong;
• Your baby’s temperature, including if you took the temperature under the arm or with an ear thermometer; and
• Name and phone number of your pharmacy. Keep paper and a pen near you when you call the doctor so you can write down important information, especially anything the doctor tells you to do.
Baby’s Warning Signs
It is important to remember that most of the common physical problems that occur during a given 24 hours may be normal situations or problems with simple answers.
You should call your baby’s doctor in any of the following cases:
• Redness, drainage or foul odor from the umbilical cord
• Bluish or pale skin color or bluish lip color
• Yellow skin color or yellow eyes (yellow color to the area of the eyes that is usually white)
• Temperature less than 97°F or over 99.6°F axillary (taken under arm)
• Irritability, crying or fussing more than usual with no known cause
• Listlessness or becoming floppy or limp
• Not eating as well or as often as usual or several refused feedings in a row
• Vomiting after more than two feedings in a row
• White patches in baby’s mouth
• An unusual or severe rash
• Fewer than six to eight wet diapers per day (after milk has transitioned from colostrum or “early milk” to “mature milk” for breastfed babies)
• No stool for 48 hours
• Watery stools or diarrhea
• Stools with a lot of mucus or stools with unusually foul odor
• Convulsions or seizures
• Problems with breathing
• Problems waking up baby
• Problems or worries about the circumcision (including drainage, bleeding, foul odor or not urinating)
• Call your baby’s doctor before stopping breastfeeding, introducing formula or changing your baby’s formula
Taking Your Baby’s Temperature
Normal ranges in body temperature vary depending on the amount of activity, emotional stress, type of clothing worn, and temperature of the environment. Do not use mercury glass thermometers. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you remove mercury glass thermometers from your home to prevent accidental exposure to mercury, a dangerous toxin. You can use a digital thermometer at any age to take your baby’s temperature. While there are several ear thermometers available on the market, not all are meant to be used on newborns. It is recommended that your baby’s temperature be taken axillary (under the arm) using a digital thermometer. Have your healthcare team show you how to take your baby’s temperature before going home from the hospital.
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for use and care of whatever type of thermometer you choose. The rectal temperature method should only be used if instructed by your baby’s doctor. • Moisten the end of the thermometer with a water-soluble lubricant.
• Place your baby on his stomach and across your lap. Spread the buttocks with one hand to expose the anal opening. • Keep your arm along your baby’s back or have another person help hold your baby so he won’t move.
• Insert thermometer, slowly and gently, just far enough for the bulb to pass the anal sphincter (muscle). This is about 1/2 inch.
• After temperature is taken, remove the thermometer gently in a straight line and read it.
• Rectal temperatures are slightly higher than axillary (armpit) temperatures.
• Follow manufacturer’s instructions for using digital thermometers. Treatment of Fever If your baby is less than three months old and has a fever, call your baby’s doctor before giving acetaminophen. Unless ordered by your baby’s doctor, aspirin should not be given to children. Several studies link aspirin use in children with Reye’s syndrome, a severe illness that may be fatal. Saline Nose Drops Your baby’s doctor may recommend the use of normal saline nose drops to clean your baby’s nose when your baby has a cold or congestion (stuffy nose). To use, place three to four drops in one side of your baby’s nose (use medicine dropper) while the head is slightly tilted back. Suction with the bulb syringe. Repeat on the other side. Your baby may cough, sneeze and/or swallow part of the solution. This is normal. Normal saline nose drops can be used whenever necessary. If your baby has a cold or congestion, be sure to use the nose drops before feedings. Check with your baby’s doctor for specific instructions.
The axillary (under the arm) method is recommended for taking a temperature for infants and toddlers.
• Hold the thermometer snugly in the armpit, making sure the sensor end of the thermometer is completely covered between your baby’s arm and side.
• Hold in place until temperature reading is obtained.
• Follow manufacturer’s instructions for your particular digital thermometer.
What You Can Do to Calm Your Baby
To calm your baby, start with one soothing action at a time. If what you try is not working, stop and try a different soothing action. You will start to notice what types of things work well to help calm your baby.
Here are some soothing ideas and actions to try to help you calm your baby’s crying:
• Hold your baby skin-to-skin.
• Cuddle your baby close to your chest and breathe slowly (calmness is contagious).
• Change the diaper, if needed. • Sing, hum or play quiet music.
• Turn on a fan or something else that makes a continuous sound.
• Feed your lovely baby if you think he might be very hungry.
• Burp your baby once more.
• Check your baby’s temperature to see if he may be sick.
• Take your baby outside for a walk (weather permitting).
• Take your baby for a car ride (in a car seat, of course).
• Rock your new born baby in your arms, a cradle, a baby swing or rocking chair.
• Walk with your new born baby upright, with his head on your shoulder.
• Give your baby a warm bath.
• Gently massage your baby’s arms and legs.
• keep your baby on your lap, tummy down, and rub his back.
• Try darkening the room, turning down the noise and putting your baby down or not touching your baby as much.
• Swaddle (wrap) your baby in a soft diaper or blanket, making sure his breathing is not blocked.
• Let someone else try to best calm your new born baby or put your baby in his crib for a few minutes.
• Call your baby’s doctor for help.
• Call a trusted friend, neighbor or family member to help care for your baby or for emotional support.
• Call 225-924-3900 or toll-free 1-800-437-0303. Hearing a kind voice that understands your frustration is another way to help you handle the crying (your baby’s or even yours). Hotlines are free and the people who answer know that it’s normal for parents to need support from others.