My poor Isaac has been fighting his first sickness this week. On the way home from visiting Branon Sunday, I noticed he had a weird cough. There’s a lot of stirred up dirt in the air there from driving up a long gravel road and I wondered if that maybe caused it.
The next morning he had a runny nose. I thought he felt slightly warm, but I dropped him off at his babysitters. She texted me around 1 and said that he had a temperature of 100 and wasn’t eating/drinking very well. To be honest, I really hadn’t done my research on fevers in babies so I figured I should call the pediatrician just to be safe; this was the first time he has been even slightly sick!
They fit him in and of course he didn’t have a temperature at all, was perfectly happy, and acting completely normal. So I felt ridiculous for taking him, but I didn’t want to wait and have to go to the ER in the middle of the night if it got worse.
Well, yesterday night he started feeling bad again when my friend’s mom was watching him for me. When he went to bed he had a temp of I believe 100.7. High enough to be officially a fever. My dad gave him a little baby ibuprofen before I got home from work, then I put him to bed.
He didn’t sleep well, and I checked his temp around 4 am and it was 102. Then I checked it when he woke up around 815 and it was 102.7. At that point I called the pediatrician and left a message for the nurse asking what I should do.
While I was waiting for them to call me back I did a bunch of reading on the internet about fevers. I was just really unsure what to do at that point. Thankfully, the nurse called me back around 11:45 (3 hours seemed like 3 days!). She said that they did want to see him and to go ahead and give him some medication. I was so concerned that if I took him to the doctor without a fever that it would be a waste of time again!
I knew my poor baby wasn’t feeling good because he was being entirely too cuddly. We watched a whole movie together on the couch, which never happens. He was happy if I carried him around like a newborn baby and he would sit in my lap contently. This was not my normal little buddy that squirms when you are holding him so he can jump out, crawl around, and get into everything!
So another 3 hours later we arrive at the doctor’s office. We didn’t have to wait long at all to be seen thankfully. He weighs 19 pounds 4 ounces. His temperature was 100.3. But he was still obviously not feeling well this time. The doctor checks out his ears and sure enough, he has an ear infection. Not only in one ear, in both!
I was so surprised because he wasn’t pulling at his ears which I thought was a sign of ear infections. Also, on Monday the doctor said he ears looked completely fine. The doctor checked to make sure he didn’t have the flu (which he did not) then sent a prescription for antibiotics to Walgreens for us.
While we were waiting for the results from the flu swab, I checked his temperature and it came back 102. I asked the doctor if we could recheck so I could make sure my thermometer was accurate, and that time it came back 102.2. I asked him what his temperature should stay at, and he said to try to keep it around 100 while he is fighting off the infection; if it is 101-101.5 and he does not seemed bothered than that’s fine, but if he seems bothered then give him some medication.
This evening after he had a dose of the antibiotic and a dose of ibuprofen his temperature went down to 101. He seemed to be feeling better, he played in his tent a little and acting more like his normal self.
My little man is a trooper for sure! He was barely even fussy unless I just set him down. As long as I was holding him though he was happy. He was oh so cuddly. I miss that part of the newborn stage. It was so heartbreaking to see my baby feeling bad, but I was loving him wanting to be snuggled next to mommy. I soaked it up!
I knew that this would come eventually; I’m thankful for the health Isaac has been blessed with thus far but it was not realistic for me to think he would never get sick.
Here’s what I learned throughout this whole ordeal:
- It’s not a fever unless it’s over 100.4.
- Teething can cause a fever but generally not over 101.
- A fever of 102 may be a good signal that something else is going on.
- Your child does not have to be running a fever while at the doctor’s office for the doctor to find out whats wrong!
- It’s okay to alternate between doses of Infant Tylenol & Ibuprofen if needed.
- Ear infections are generally preceded by cold-like symptoms.
- Ear tugging does not necessarily signal an ear infection.
- Most babies have 4 ear infections before they turn 1 year old.
- Enjoy the snuggling while it lasts!
Luckily I took him to the doctor today before his ear infection got too bad. I am definitely going to be doing much more reading on infant health; I want to be better prepared next time something happens!
If you are a parent, what were the most common reasons you have taken your babies/toddlers to the doctor?