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Baby Has a Fever! When to Worry?

Yesterday I noticed Rissa was a bit crabby. She didn’t eat much of her lunch but nursed quite a bit. As she woke from her afternoon nap, she wanted to nurse some more. She nursed for about an hour! And… she felt warm.

I figured she had a fever based on how warm her face and torso felt. I used our Kidzmed Veratemp No Contact Temporal Thermometer and got readings between 99, 100 and 101. (Not in that order, but she kept grabbing for it so I had to do it a few times.) Now, I didn’t think it was high enough to worry because Rissa was still playing throughout the day and promptly went to her toys after I took her temperature.

To be on the safe side I consulted one of my reference books, The Portable Pediatrician. After reading through, I was reassured that it wasn’t an emergency.

There are a few different levels of fevers:

  • Low grade 99-101
  • Mid grade 101-103
  • High fever 103+

Low grade tends to be ok especially if it is the first day of it. Fevers help the body fight off infections. If your baby is uncomfortable, definitely help them feel better with a cool bath or fever reducing medicine.

For babies under 3 months, fevers can be very serious and I suggest calling your pediatrician for guidance. For older babies and toddlers here are some things to consider before determining if you need to call the doctor now or if you can wait an observe.

  • Is baby eating any food?
  • Is baby drinking fluids?
  • Is baby lethargic? (laying about, non responsive)
  • Is baby irritable? (crying for long periods of time, inconsolable)
  • Is baby in pain?
  • Is baby acting normal?
  • What grade of fever?

If it is a high grade fever, lethargic and/or inconsolable I would call right away and help baby get comfy.

If baby is mostly acting normal, keep an eye on them. If it doesn’t seem to get better give the doctor a call.

Trust your mama instincts. If you feel something isn’t right – call!

With Rissa’s low grade fever she was a little crabby, but mostly acting normal. She ate less, but ate. She also played and chattered throughout the day and night. She was a little more cuddly though. I decided to just keep an eye on her. We got a good night’s sleep and today the fever is gone!


This post is based on personal experience. This information is not meant to replace professional medical advice. I am not a medical professional and any concerns you have should be addressed with your doctor.

Rebecca Parsons

Wednesday 14th of March 2012

To me there is nothing scarier than a baby with a high fever. Dealing with it can be tough and as a parent we become irrational, always thinking the worst. Keeping a level head always tends to send a mother in the right direction. Great article.

Tahlia B.

Monday 12th of March 2012

Nursing more than usual must be a common sign that something is up...the past day has been exhausting & today I saw a second tooth sprouting up! I never remember the level of fevers myself.


Friday 9th of March 2012

What a great product. I hate the ones that you have to put in your mouth!

Meagan P - Sunshine and Sippy Cups

Friday 9th of March 2012

Great tips - this is something that always freaks me out. I'm never sure when to worry! I'll have to check out this thermometer!

Candice @ TheNewModernMomma

Friday 9th of March 2012

I still need to order this! Hope they have it on Amazon! Thanks for sharing.