When Baby Has A Fever: Preparing For Your Appointment

Caring for a sick baby can be exhausting and overwhelming for the entire family. When the decision is made to have your child seen and examined by a health care provider, anticipating what the visit will look and sound like can proactively prepare you for a productive and helpful appointment for your little one. 

Here are a few questions to think about in preparation for an actionable conversation with your baby’s doctor.

Tell Me A Little Bit About What’s Been Going On?
This is your opportunity to clearly and succinctly summarize the specific symptoms and behaviors your child has demonstrated during the course of the current illness.

Be ready to discuss the details of each of the following: 

Symptoms onset:  Did the illness come on suddenly or has it been developing over time?

Fever:  What records can you bring to show fever patterns?  What, if anything, has been tried to reduce fever?  What was the result?

Fluids:  How much is baby drinking?  How does this compare to intake on a typical day?

Wet diapers:  How many wet diapers have you seen in the last twelve hours?  Do you notice anything different or unusual about the amount, color or odor?

Sleep patterns:  What changes if any have you noticed in sleep patterns?  Does baby fuss more or less when being put down to sleep?

General appearance and behavior:  What do you notice about baby’s general demeanor that may be the same or different from a well day?

Immunizations:  Are immunizations up to date? 

In addition to these basic questions, your physician is likely to ask you about any other concerns you have as result of baby’s current illness. 

Parent intuition is powerful.  Do share with your child’s doctor symptoms or behaviors that you have noticed that may be nagging you in the back of your mind.  You are the number one source of information and your child’s first and best advocate. 

Together and in partnership with your physician, preparation for your child’s appointment will assure efficiency and result in clear next steps for restoring wellness in your home.