When your baby gets sick for the first time

Last night was unusual. The baby woke up in the middle of the night moaning and eventually crying. We gave her a frozen teether and some infant Tylenol, and she seemed better. We used a forehead thermometer to check her temperature, and it looked normal. But apparently, that wasn’t very accurate in the end.

The nanny took her to story time at the library and said she was really fussy the whole time. She didn’t want to roll around and do tummy time on the mat as she normally does, so the nanny held her the whole time. She did a couple cat naps in the park, which the nanny said was unusual, and her head felt very warm. When she came back and told me this, I took out the rectal/oral thermometer, which is supposed to have a higher level of accuracy, cleaned it, and stuck it in her rectum for a read. When I pulled it out after it beeped, it was there in plain black and white: 103.6 F.

Oh, crap. My baby has a fever, and it’s high! And damnit, that stupid forehead thermometer is inaccurate and terrible!!

I immediately gave her some infant Tylenol and then called the doctor’s office. The doctor emailed back and suggested a dosage every four hours of infant Tylenol, and if her temperature increased, to switch to infant Motrin. We also kept giving her cold compresses and cold teethers. She seemed much better after just an hour of the Tylenol; she started playing with her toes and babbling again.

I was actually feeling miserable and achy all over since late last night. But once I found out Kaia had a fever, I stopped caring about my own sickness and was laser focused on her getting better. I guess what they say is true: once you become a parent, you stop prioritizing your own health and needs and completely focus on your child’s health and well being. She’s only six months old, and she can’t fend for herself or even communicate. She’s basically helpless.

The nanny told me not to worry, that babies get fevers all the time. I just hope hers continues to subside.

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