Is My Baby Ill?

Recognising illness in a child under six months can be difficult. They can’t tell you where it hurts and symptoms may be vague. The important thing is to know what is normal and knowing your child’s temperature is a good start. Normal body temperature is 36.9C (98.4F) but some children may be little higher or lower so take your baby’s temperature when he is well, and you will know your baseline

A thermometer placed in the mouth should be left in place for at least a minute, but in babies you may find it easier to take the temperature under the arm leaving the thermometer in place for two to three minutes. (You will need to add 0.5C to an armpit reading)

I don’t recommend using the forehead strips – they just aren’t accurate enough. Digital thermometers are probably the best for home use and are not expensive

If you find a fever, your maternal instinct will tell you to wrap them up, but don’t – a baby with a temperature must be kept cool. Strip them off, sponge them in tepid water and give regular paracetamol. If necessary you can alternate this with ibuprofen.