Charlotte got her first fever and stomach bug. The first time your baby gets sick is scary to say the least. Read below on how I handled my baby’s first bug and some pointers for getting through it,
Charlotte was her usual happy self, smiling, cooing and even the occasional giggle, I changed her dirty diaper and not five minutes later, I heard her pooping again, and again, and again. After diaper number seven, I took her temperature. It was 101.7 F. I immediately called the doctor and they said to bring her right in.
While at the doctor, Charlotte maintained her happy demeanor during the exam and even exploded into giggles while the doctor was telling me what steps to take next. I would not of thought she was sick if I hadn’t of changed countless diapers and ,seen the temperature on the thermometer.
The remainder of the day,Charlotte maintained a high temperature and continued to fill her diaper. My number one concern at this point was the risk of dehydration.
Babies, in particular, can get dehydrated very quickly if they have a high output of diarrhea. Their little bodies have relatively small fluid reserves and a high metabolic rate that makes it easy to lose the water and electrolytes the body needs to function. If fluids are not replaced, the outcome can be critical within a matter of days.
Here are some signs of dehydration to watch out for:
- Less elasticity in the skin
- Eyes and fontanel (or soft spot on head) appear sunken (This was what my pediatrician told me to watch out for)
- Decrease or absence of tears
- Dry mouth
- Decrease number of wet diapers
I kept her hydrated by feeding her more frequent, smaller meals. That way, she was constantly taking in some fluids. Every other feeding, I also offered her 2 oz of unflavored Pedialyte (this was also okay-ed by my pediatrician as Charlotte is almost 4 months old). To help keep her fever under control, my pediatrician said to use 1/2 tsp of Tylenol every 4 hours (check with your doctor for your child’s dosage as it goes by weight). You can administer it with a syringe pointed to the side of her mouth but Charlotte screams the entire time when I do this, I find it easier to mix it in with 1 oz of breast milk (or formula) and bottle feed it.
To check that your baby is hydrated, keep track of the amount of wet diapers (1 every 4 hours) and that the soft spot on the front of their head is not sunken in. If it is level you are all good!
My pediatrician warned me that things would probably get worse before they got better and she was right. Charlotte slept six hours over night and ate her first meal eagerly. Five minutes later, she had puked all over her, all over me and my bed (thank goodness for mattress protectors). This was not your average spit up puke amount, I was pretty sure it was the full 5oz of milk she just had, I stripped the bed and put both of us into the shower (luke warm, due to fever), Once all clean, I took her temperature, it was now a 102.0. I put in another call to the pediatrician and due to the elevation in temperature and the fact that she vomited they wanted to see her again.
At the pediatricians, they checked her over again and made sure that her ears, nose and throat were clear. The pediatrician said that vomit sometimes seems to be more than it actually is, I asked her if I should re give Tylenol if she brings it back up. The rule with Tylenol is, if the last dose was given 20 minutes or less before the baby puked, you can give a second dose. If the Tylenol was given more that 20 minutes before the child puked, they got the medicine.
Her temperature climbed to 102.0 and her little bum was now red because of the amount of times she had to be changed. I first used Bordeaux Butt Paste , which didn’t do the trick. I then switched to Desitin, which helped a little. What helped the most was an Aveno oatmeal bath and Aveno oatmeal wash. After her bath, I gave her some time to kick around naked on the floor. I put Charlotte on the floor naked so that her bum could dry out without a diaper holding moisture against her skin (put towels down in case the baby decides to pee or worse).
Day 3 -4
Charlotte’s temperature was up and down for the next couple days. She was still sleeping through the night and taking naps., but her overall mood was grumpy. She just wanted to snuggle. I continued the Aveno oatmeal baths and naked time on the floor and her bum looked much better. During the day I would put a cool damp cloth on her head and keep her dressed in nothing but a diaper or a light onesie with only a light swaddle draped over her. You want the body to be able to rid itself of the excess heat, don’t bundle them up. Her fever finally broke on the end of day 4.
It was scary having a sick little one and watching that the temperature does not exceed 104.0 (104.0 > = ER). Remember, keep your cool and keep the baby cool, give lots of fluids and luke warm baths and all will be okay in a few days. I kept in touch with my pediatrician the whole time, updating her with any change. It helped me to know I was doing the right thing.