When you're new parents, you get in the habit of calling the doctor—a lot. And that's totally OK. But as your baby grows into a toddler and then a preschooler, you gradually start to realize that every little bug won't do her—or you—in. Make no mistake, I still expect the odd middle-of-the-night phone call, and every doc will agree that it's best to err on the side of caution, but in the interest of boosting your confidence, here are three times when you've probably got this.
Most Fevers: Resist thermometer anxiety. Fever is not the enemy—it's part of the body's defense against infection. While a fever signals that a battle might be going on in a child's body, the fever is fighting for the child, not against. A fever is when the body's temp is over 100.4°F. Unless you've got a newborn, or the fever stays above 105°F after attempts to bring it down, or there are additional worrisome symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, confusion, painful sore throat or urination, or stiff neck, for example, you can probably hold off on seeing the doc.
Call the doc when:
A baby less than 3 months old has any fever at all.
A baby 3 to 6 months still has a fever after 24 hours.
A fever in a child 2 or older lasts five days.