5 signs your baby has a fever

As your baby begins to interact with the world, it is not unusual for them to get a mild fever. A fever isn’t an actual illness itself - it’s a sign of one and can be caused by anything from a simple cold, an infection, or your baby’s first vaccinations[1]. The signs of fever in babies can vary according to the underlying cause, but here are some of the most common signs to look out for if you suspect your baby has a fever.

1. Shivering

Feeling shivery and cold on the outside, can be an indication of a fever. If you suspect your baby has a fever, check their temperature with a thermometer. It’s important to be able to accurately determine whether or not your baby has a high temperature so that you can look after them properly. If your baby does have a high temperature, dress them as comfortably as possible, encourage lots of rest and keep the room well aired. [2]

2. Appearing Hot and Flushed

You will usually be able to tell if your baby has a fever just by touching them as forehead, back or stomach will feel very hot. A flushed face can also be a sign of fever in babies. For an accurate reading of your baby’s temperature, you should use a thermometer.[3] If your baby does have a high temperature make them comfortable and try offering liquids such water, diluted juice, milk or whatever they usually drink. [4]

3. Irritable

You know your baby best so trust your mother’s instinct. Crying more than usual, or a cry that sounds different, could be a sign of fever. Equally, if your baby seems more lethargic this could also be an indication of fever. Keep an eye on your baby and monitor their temperature regularly with a thermometer. If you feel that something isn’t quite right there is no harm in visiting your GP, or speaking to a medical professional for advice. [5]

4. A High Temperature

According to the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, a temperature of 38 degrees Celcius or more when taken by a thermometer under the arm is classed as significantly high.[6] If you’re worried that your baby has a fever, the best thing to do is check their temperature with a thermometer.[7] Remember that what is considered normal temperature for the forehead isn’t necessarily the same as normal temperature for other parts of the body, so it’s important to know what temperature your thermometer should be reading depending on which type of baby thermometer you are using. You may find that a Smart Thermometer such as the Nurofen FeverSmart Temperature Monitor is a great option for you as it means you can monitor your baby's temperature in real-time from your smart phone without needing to disturb them, Once you know whether or not your baby has a fever, you’ll be able to care for them in the right way.

More often than not, your baby’s fever will pass after a few days with no complications. A rising temperature is the body's way of fighting off illness, so although it’s worrying when your baby has a fever, it does mean that their immune system is working the way it should be. However, if they are younger than six months and experiencing any of these fever symptoms, it is important that they see a doctor straight away.

Continuous Temperature monitor

5. Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite can be an indication that your baby has a fever. If you notice that your baby does not want to drink as much as usual, or eat if they are old enough for solid foods, it could mean that something isn’t quite right. Offer regular feeds to keep them hydrated and note down how much your baby is feeding, so that you can talk to your doctor if you’re concerned.