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Baby Development Quotes

How to check the baby's temperature using a thermometer/newborn baby fever after vaccination?

by Bella Bairn 13 Apr 2023

Monitoring a newborn's temperature is an important part of their healthcare, as it can indicate whether the baby is healthy. Parents of infants frequently worry about fever, particularly following immunization. A temperature of more than 100.4°F (38°C) is considered a fever. In this piece, we'll go over how to use a thermometer to monitor an infant's temperature and what to do if your baby develops a fever after receiving a shot.

a mom hug her baby

How to Check Baby Temperature Using a Thermometer

There are several ways to check a baby's temperature, including a digital thermometer, ear thermometer, temporal artery thermometer, or rectal thermometer. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, but the rectal temperature is the most accurate and recommended method for newborns.

Rectal Thermometer

A rectal thermometer is a small, plastic thermometer inserted into the baby's rectum to take their temperature. Here are the steps to follow when taking a rectal temperature:

  1. Use detergent and tepid water to completely wash your hands.
  2. Lubricate the thermometer tip with a small amount of petroleum jelly.
  3. Lay the baby on its back and lift its legs gently to expose its rectum.
  4. Insert the thermometer tip about a half-inch into the rectum and hold it there until the thermometer beeps, indicating that it has finished taking the temperature.
  5. Remove the thermometer and clean it with soap and warm water.

Digital Thermometer

A digital thermometer can take a baby's temperature in the armpit, mouth, or rectum. However, taking the temperature in the rectum is the most accurate method for newborns. Here are the steps to follow when taking a digital rectal temperature:

  1. Use detergent and tepid water to completely wash your hands.
  2. Turn it on when the thermometer beeps to let you know it is ready to use.
  3. Lubricate the thermometer tip with a small amount of petroleum jelly.
  4. Lay the baby on its back and lift its legs gently to expose its rectum.
  5. Insert the thermometer tip about a half-inch into the rectum and hold it there until the thermometer beeps, indicating that it has finished taking the temperature.
  6. Remove the thermometer and clean it with soap and warm water.

Read also: Should i clean my newborn baby's tongue?

digital thermometer

Ear Thermometer

An ear thermometer is a quick and easy way to measure a baby's temperature. However, it is not recommended for newborns under six months of age, as their ear canals are still developing. Here are the steps to follow when taking an ear temperature:

  1. Turn it on when the thermometer beeps to let you know it is ready to use.
  2. Place the thermometer tip in the baby's ear canal and gently press it inward until it fits snugly.
  3. Hold the thermometer for the recommended time, usually one to three seconds.
  4. Remove the thermometer and read the temperature.
Ear Thermometer

Temporal Artery Thermometer

A temporal artery thermometer is a non-invasive measure of a baby's temperature. It measures the temperature of the blood vessels in the baby's forehead. Here are the steps to follow when taking a temporal artery temperature:

  1. Turn it on when the thermometer beeps to let you know it is ready to use.
  2. Hold the thermometer against the baby's forehead and slide it over the skin to the hairline.
  3. Press and hold the button on the thermometer while you slide it across the forehead.
  4. Release the button and remove the thermometer.
  5. Read the temperature.
Temporal Artery Thermometer

Newborn Baby Fever After Vaccination

Fever is a common side effect of vaccinations, and it is usually a sign that the body is building immunity to the disease. Remembering that fever is not always harmful and can often be managed at home is important. However, it is important to monitor the baby's temperature and symptoms to ensure they do not develop any serious complications.

Here are some steps to take if your newborn baby has a fever after vaccination:

  1. Monitor the baby's temperature: Check the baby's temperature regularly using a rectal thermometer, as this is the most accurate method for newborns. If the baby's temperature is higher than 100.4°F (38°C), they have a fever.
  2. Offer plenty of fluids: Fever can cause dehydration, so it is important to offer the baby plenty of fluids, such as breast milk or formula.
  3. Dress the baby in lightweight clothing: Dress the baby in lightweight clothing and keep the room temperature cool to help lower the fever.
  4. Give acetaminophen: If the baby's fever is causing discomfort, acetaminophen can be given to help reduce the fever and alleviate any pain or discomfort. However, it is important to follow the dosage instructions carefully and not give more than the recommended amount.
  5. Consult with your pediatrician: If the baby's fever persists for more than a day or two or shows other symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, it is important to consult with your pediatrician. They may recommend further testing or treatment to ensure the baby is not developing any serious complications.

Read also: 2023 newborn feeding guide: how to prevent nipple confusion from bottle feeding

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When to Seek Emergency Medical Care

While fever after vaccination is usually not a cause for concern, certain symptoms may indicate a more serious condition. Here are some signs that you should seek emergency medical care:

  1. High fever: If the baby's temperature is higher than 104°F (40°C), it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
  2. Seizures: If the baby experiences seizures or convulsions, seek medical attention immediately.
  3. Breathing difficulties: If the baby has difficulty breathing or is breathing rapidly, seek medical attention immediately.
  4. Rash or other symptoms: If the baby develops a rash, has difficulty swallowing, or shows other signs of illness, seek medical attention immediately.

Conclusion

Monitoring a newborn's temperature is an important part of their healthcare, especially after vaccination. Fever is a common side effect of vaccinations and can often be managed at home. It is important to use an accurate thermometer and monitor the baby's symptoms carefully to ensure they do not develop any serious complications. If the baby's fever persists or they show other symptoms, it is important to consult a pediatrician or seek emergency medical care. With proper care and monitoring, most babies recover from fever without complications.

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