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Newborns and temperatures

Henry has been crying and snorting green bogeys (tmi sorry) and with him feeling slightly hot I dug out my shiny new ear thermometer. It says 37.8 then on next reading 38. I did it on myself to compare and I'm 37. I know nothing about temps xcelt my thermometer bleeps and turns red when its high, which it did for him. 

What do I do? Strip him off a bit? Give him something? I have some calpol in my box of tricks but says from 3 Months. He's 7 weeks tomor


  • I'd put him in a vest and have him lightly covered. Also, contact your GP as his temp is 38. Keep giving him his feeds as well.

  • According to our booklet:

    Elevated Temperature

    A baby is said to have an 'elevated temperature' if it is about 37.5 to 38o Celsius (or 99.5 to 100.4o Fahrenheit). This may be caused by the baby being mildly unwell, or as a side effect from routine immunisation (often making the baby irritable). This may not require any medications to bring their temperature down (unless the temperature continues to rise). You can try sponging them down with tepid to lukewarm water, or bathing them in a tepid bath. Again, keep clothing and bedding light and to a minimum.


    A baby is said to have a 'fever' if it increases to above 38 to 38.5o Celsius (or 100.4 to 101.3o Fahrenheit). This may indicate an infection or viral illness, and will normally be accompanied by other physical symptoms. Babies with a fever will usually need some form of medication (such as infant paracetamol) to help bring down their temperature (follow the recommended dosages). You may want to have them checked by your doctor, (when convenient) to rule out the need for any further treatments.

    Many parents will keep some infant paracetamol handy in the house, or take some with them when on holidays. It is amazing how quickly babies will develop a fever (invariably at inconvenient hours). Administering paracetamol to young babies can be a bit tricky. You will usually be provided with a dropper, or you may need to use a measured spoon or medicine cup, or use a small syringe (purchased from the chemist). Often administering it into the side of their mouth can make it easier.

    A very high temperature.

    A baby is said to have a 'very high temperature' if it is 38.5 to 39o Celsius (or 101.3 to 102.2o Fahrenheit). If your baby has a very high temperature, they will definitely need medication (such as infant paracetamol) to reduce their temperature. While you wait for the medication to take effect, strip your baby down, and possibly give them a tepid bath. If there is no improvement after an hour or so, you should seek medical attention.

  • When A had a temperature 37.5 so only just a temperature I took her to the drs as she had a rash too, our dr said she likes babies to be checked out if they have a temperature of 37.4 and above also you can get calpol for 2 months and up ive got some for after her injections next week. Oh and to bring her temp down I stripped her vest and nappy x

  • I stripped him off a couple of layers and took it again and now 36.5 -37. No idea why giving different readings but it was in the 'green'. Is this ok for now if I keep an eye on it?

  • With him being so tiny, if stripping him off doesn't bring it down, I'd take him to docs before giving anything. Not that I think it's serious but he's so little I'd be a definite 'better safe than sorry' mum off a persistent temp. Hope he's on the mend soon x

  • Hope he gets better soon Missus. Our calpol is for 2 months plus... I know he's not quite 2 months but he is very almost? Totally up to you.

  • We were told to give calpol to Z just before 8 weeks (2months), keep an eye on it. Z's first fluctuated throughout the day so keep checking and treating as you are... Keep him fed and topped up. X

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