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How To Tell If A Baby Has A Fever Without Thermometer (6 EASY WAYS!)

You will inevitably need to check your baby’s temperature a few times when they are young. They might be going through teething pain, an ear infection, or be coming down with something, and you need to keep a check on their temperature. But if you’re out and about, how do you check for a fever without a thermometer?

If you do not have a thermometer on hand, there are a couple of ways to tell if your baby has a fever without a thermometer. From using the back of your hand on their forehead to check their temperature to checking their flushed cheeks, there are a lot of options!

While it is recommended to always have a thermometer at home with a baby, there are a lot of easy ways to tell if they have a fever without one.

What Is A Fever?

Crying newborn baby - learn to check for a fever without a thermometer in an instant

Before learning how to tell if a baby has a fever without a thermometer, it helps to know exactly what a fever is.

A fever is when the body temperature reaches 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above for a sustained period.

Some home remedies can help to bring down a fever, but if your baby has a fever for a prolonged time and the fever does not break, you should seek medical attention.

Seek medical attention as well if your baby presents any of these signs alongside a fever:

  • They have difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • Severe pain or swelling
  • Other worsening symptoms

How To Check For A Fever Without A Thermometer

Crying baby

As adults, we can recognize when we feel feverish and treat ourselves accordingly. For babies, this is a different story, and without the use of a thermometer, you need to know how to determine whether or not they have a fever. 

Here are some methods you can use:

Touch Your Baby’s Forehead

By simply touching your baby’s forehead with the back of your hand, you should be able to tell if they feel warmer than normal. If their head is hot, there is a good chance that they have a fever.

While you will not be able to gauge their exact temperature by using this method, it is a good starting point to decide whether you need to take any additional steps or not.

You could also use a similar method of resting your cheek against your baby’s forehead. Your cheek will be quite sensitive to heat and will be able to pick up on a warmer temperature if they have a fever.

Your little one might also feel comforted by this too.

Check Your Baby For Flushed Cheeks

Usually, when a baby has a fever, their cheeks become flushed. This means that their cheeks appear reddish or pink, or have some more color than usual.

This is not a guaranteed way to determine whether or not they have a fever, but combined with a few other methods, such as touching their forehead, you should be able to determine whether or not they are warmer than usual.

They might also appeal paler when their cheeks are flushed, which makes the color on their cheeks stand out a little more as well.

Pinching Your Baby’s Hand

Another method you can use to determine whether or not your baby has a fever is to pinch their hand. This won’t give you an indication of their temperature, but often when running a fever, your baby could become slightly dehydrated.

To check if they are dehydrated, gently pinch the back of their hand, being careful to only pinch the skin. Let the skin go and keep an eye on what happens.

If they are hydrated, their skin will fall back into place quickly and easily. However, if the area remains white and the skin does not go back into place quickly, it could be a sign that they are dehydrated, which could be caused by a fever.

Just keep in mind that they might be dehydrated without a fever, so this method should be used along with the others to determine if they do have a fever or not.

In any case, if your little one is dehydrated, offer them water or milk, depending on how old they are and what they are used to drinking. Dehydration can be dangerous and needs to be tended to quickly.

Check Your Baby’s Urine

Urine color can be a good indication of whether or not your baby has a fever.

As your little one might become dehydrated when they have a fever, their urine might become a darker color and they might produce less urine than normal.

This means that the urine they do pass will be more concentrated, and be a darker color, and have a stronger odor.

Check If Your Baby Is Irritable

Having a fever and feeling sick is never great, and for babies, this can be so frustrating, especially because they cannot let you know what is wrong.

A sign that your little one has a fever is that they are irritable and in a bad mood. They aren’t consoled by anything you do and are just miserable overall.

Use this sign, along with some of the other methods above, to determine if they have a fever.

Look For Symptoms Of A Fever

There are other symptoms that come with a fever, other than just feeling warm. If you look for some other symptoms, you could tell whether or not your baby has a fever without using a thermometer.

Here are the other symptoms that your baby might display when they have a fever:

  • Irritability
  • Chills
  • Shivers
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite

If you notice your baby displaying these symptoms, and you have used one of the above methods to determine if they have a fever, you should seek out medical advice.

Many times, a fever will go away on its own, but with babies, you do not want to take a chance.

How To Tell If Your Baby Has A Fever

The most reliable way to determine whether or not your baby has a fever is to use a thermometer.

However, since you might not always have a thermometer on hand, you can use one of the above methods to try and tell whether or not their body temperature is warmer than usual.

Seek out medical advice if their fever continues and does not break.

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