Skip to content

    Health & Baby

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Your Baby's Temperature and Fever

    During the first few months of your baby’s life, pay special attention if you think she has a fever. Her immune system isn’t as good at fighting infections as it will be at 3 or 4 months of age.

    When Is It a Fever?

    Most doctors say a baby has a fever if her temperature rises to 100.4 F or above. It’s best to take her temperature rectally. Take a few readings when your infant is well to get a sense of what her normal temperature is.

    When to See a Doctor

    If your baby is under age 3 months and has a fever, take her to a doctor. For at least the first 6 months of life, call your doctor anytime she has a fever.

    At your baby’s next checkup you can ask if the doctor has a “fever policy.” That will give you a better idea about when you need to call. If you’re worried, take the better-safe-than-sorry approach: Dial him up.

    Fever is only part of the story. Sometimes a baby can be sick even if she doesn’t have a fever. A more important question is: Does your newborn show other symptoms of illness? Call the doctor if your baby:

    • Is irritable
    • Is inactive
    • Is sluggish
    • Doesn't eat
    • Has trouble breathing
    • Has a rash
    • Vomits
    • Has diarrhea

    What Causes Fever?

    Your baby could have a fever for many reasons, but the most likely is infection. Simple things such as colds can cause a fever, but so can very serious infections such as meningitis. If your baby is under 3 months and has a fever, see a doctor.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on May 27, 2015

    Today on WebMD

    mother on phone holding baby
    When you should call 911.
    parents and baby
    Unexpected ways your life will change.
     
    baby acne
    What’s normal – and what’s not.
    baby asleep on moms shoulder
    Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
     

    mother holding baby at night
    ARTICLE
    mother with sick child
    QUIZ
     
    Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
    SLIDESHOW
    Track Your Babys Vaccines
    TOOL
     
    Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
    Slideshow
    Mother with her baby boy
    Article
     
    baby in crib
    Slideshow
    baby gear slideshow
    Slideshow