Tips For Caring For Sick Baby Before Thinking The Worst

When it comes to ill babies, parents’ minds automatically jump to the worst. Something that is completely understandable given the small size of infants and the inability to say what is wrong. It is one of the worst feelings in the world. Many times, however, things are not as dire as they appear. And after stepping back and taking a breath, parents can recognize that there are ways they can care for a sick baby before jumping to the worst.

It may come as a surprise to parents, but regardless of how hard they try to keep their babies from getting sick, little ones will develop six to eight colds in their first year of life, according to the Mayo Clinic. Because of this, the best thing that parents can do is prepared for colds and illnesses by getting a humidifier, Tylenol, and thermometer. And if things do take a turn for the worse, the pediatrician’s phone number is easy to discuss what issues may be afoot.


RELATED: How To Determine If Baby Needs To Go To Urgent Care

Here are tips for caring for a sick baby before thinking the worst.

Tips For Treating The Common Cold

From stuffiness to cough, sore throat, headache, runny nose, and more, it is no wonder that babies are miserable when they have a cold. But in most instances, treating the common cold is easy to do. And it does not require a trip to the doctor to do so.

According to the Cleveland Clinicways to treat the common cold in babies include:

  • Keeping baby comfortable
  • Keep babies hydrated with breast milk, formula, or even water if they are over six months of age
  • Help baby get rest, rest, and more rest
  • Use saline drops and suction out mucus
  • Put petroleum jelly on the outside of baby’s nose to help with the red, irritated skin
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the room
  • Sit in a closed, steamy bathroom to help open up blocked nasal passageways

With that being said, there are times that babies should see a doctor for the common cold. Those reasons, per the publication, include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Refusing to eat
  • Vomiting
  • Has a fever of 101.3 F or higher

The common cold can be treated at home. And more often than not, all babies want is to be snuggled until they feel better.

Tips For Treating A Fever

When newborns are present with a fever of any kind, they should be seen by a medical care professional immediately. But, if babies are three months of age or older, there are ways to treat a fever before jumping to the worst conclusions.

According to Healthline, a fever is considered to be 100.4 F when taken rectally or 99 F when other methods of taking the temperature are used. Ways to treat the fever at home, per the publication, include:

  • Tylenol aka acetaminophen
  • Put baby in cooler clothing or no clothing at all
  • Turn down the temperature in the house
  • Give baby a cool sponge bath
  • Offer breast milk or formula regularly

A way that was once used to lower babies’ temperatures was rubbing alcohol. According to Healthlinethis should not be done nor ice should be used to decrease the temperature when babies have a fever.

The times that should see a pediatrician, per the publication, include:

  • Babies three months or older having spike in temperature
  • Babies between three and six months have a fever higher than a 102 F
  • Babies six months and up having a 102 F for more than two days
  • Babies are lethargic
  • Other symptoms like rash, vomiting, or loss of appetite occur
  • Dehydration sets in

Fevers may be one of the scariest illnesses that babies can get. But they do not have to be when parents know how to treat them at home.

Tips For Treating The Flu

Most times, treating the flu is much like treating a cold. But there are some medications that may be recommended to combat the flu as well.

According to the March of Dimesthe ways the flu is treated in babies include:

  • Prescription anti-viral if caught within two days of infection
  • Consistently offering breast milk or formula
  • Helping babies get plenty of rest

There are times babies should see a doctor. Those times, per the publication, include:

  • Blue lips or face
  • Chronic conditions
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fever above 104 F
  • Seizures
  • Muscle pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration has set in

Doctors should be contacted immediately if any of these symptoms are present.

Tips For Treating Diarrhea

When babies have diarrhea, parents feel horrible for them. Knowing that something is causing their stomachs to be upset makes parents want to make it better now. Fortunately, there are ways to help stop diarrhea.

According to WebMDways that parents can help treat diarrhea include:

  • Oral rehydration solution
  • Switching to bland foods if eating solids
  • Breastfeeding moms may need to avoid foods that are greasy, high in fiber, dairy products, or sweets until diarrhea has gotten better to not upset it more

There are times that babies will need to go to the hospital with diarrhea. Per the publication, those times include:

  • Dehydration has set in
  • Fever is 102 F
  • Blood or pus in poop
  • Vomiting

If these things are present, babies should see doctors immediately.

Tips For Treating An Ear Infection

Ear infections can be difficult to spot if babies have never had one. This is part of what makes parents jump to conclusions that doctors are needed as soon as possible. But because this may not be the case.

According to MyHealth.Alberta.caways parents can treat ear infections include:

  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used for babies older than six months of age
  • Warm cloth on baby’s ear
  • Help babies rest as much as possible

There are times when babies should see a doctor. Per the publication, those times include:

  • Fever rises
  • Ear infection gets worse
  • Redness or swelling behind the ear
  • Discharge from ear
  • Not getting better after two days

If these symptoms arise, healthcare professionals need to be contacted as soon as possible.

Source: Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Healthline, March of Dimes, WebMD,

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