Keep cool + carry on: What mamas need to know about fevers

How high a fever is too high? We’ve got answers. Plus, what do you do if your little one spikes a temp?

Keep cool + carry on: What mamas need to know about  fevers

No mama likes to see their little one suffering from a fever, so it’s important to know a few basic facts about what to look for when your child spikes a temp—and when to worry.

Kiddo’s feeling just fine right now? Happy dance! Pin this one for later. ?What are the common causes of childhood fevers?

1. Vaccines—

That boo boo can sting in more ways than one!

Pediatricians recommend monitoring your little one post-vaccination for any signs of a reaction—a mild fever (anything above 100.4 rectally) occurs in some children 12 to 48 hours after the vaccine is given. Slight fevers are to be expected, but for anything over 102*, call your doctor.

2. Teething—

Teething bites.

Studies show that teething may cause an elevation in body temperature, but not one high enough to be considered “fever” territory—generally considered to be anything over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. So watch that temp, and put out some frozen chew toys out for baby to gnaw on.


3. Infection

Keep those bugs away from me!

Most true fevers in infants are the result of her work to battle infections she’s encountered in her environment.

As your little one’s immune system builds itself during the first years of baby’s life, she’ll likely experience a lot of bugs that work their way through her system. She got many immunities to infection and disease from you during gestation and any time you spent breastfeeding (thanks, mama!) but she’ll continue to adapt as she gets her vaccines and builds her own independent immune system.

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What can I do to help?

Motherly’s expert pediatricians recommend the following strategies when your little one is coping with fever—

Dress in light, loose layers

Bathe your little one in tepid water

Give appropriate doses of fever medication

Call your doctor or nurse’s line to update medical staff as needed (see below)

Monitor baby’s temperature with a highly accurate thermometer—we love this one from Kinsa. (Use promo code MOTHERLY15 for 15% off any Kinsa product.)

When should I worry—or call the doctor?

If your infant is 8 weeks or younger and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees (38 degrees Celsius) or higher, call your doctor right away—this is considered a medical emergency.

Infants age 7 weeks to 3 months with a fever over 101 warrant an appointment with your doctor within the next several hours.

During this early period of infancy while your baby’s immune system is still developing, she requires much more attention during fever illnesses than she will during later months, so make sure you touch base with a health care provider asap.

“For infants after three months, there is less reason to worry,” Dr. Sears advises.

Here are AAP fever guidelines for infants and toddlers, age 3-24 months—

100.4-101 degrees: Don’t panic —slight fevers are common among infants—vaccinations and even mild viral illnesses can be to blame! Give your baby the correct dosage of a fever reducer (ask your doctor during your next check up!) and use your thermometer to check again in an hour after giving the medication.

102-103 degrees: Dress your baby in something cool and breezy and give your pediatrician a call. You might be able to avoid an unnecessary trip to the doctor’s office with their advice. It will likely include a fever reducer (Motrin or Tylenol) and retaking baby’s temperature in an hour.

104 or higher, but comes down with treatment: Child fevers of 104 degrees or higher that quickly come down to 100 or 101 degrees with the treatment measures are worrisome but not necessarily medical emergencies. If your child is comfortable when the fever comes down and you can keep the temperature down overnight, you can likely wait to call your doctor until the morning.

Fevers of 104 or higher that don’t come down with treatment: High fevers that don’t come down to 101 or 102 (38.3 to 38.9 Celsius) with treatment measures, or fevers that reach as high as 106-106 degrees require immediate medical attention. Your doctor can help you figure out if your child needs to be seen immediately and can also help get your little one comfortable again, so get in touch quickly.

“Some children are happy and playful with fevers of 104—and this can be reassuring that they likely do not have a serious infection. On the other hand, a fever of 101 can be worrisome, if your child is lethargic and not responding to you appropriately. How your child looks and is acting, is more important than the number on the thermometer,” says Dr. Tiffany Otto Knipe, MD, FAAP and founder of Washington Market Pediatrics.

And remember: You know your child best. If she is showing signs of lethargy, irritability, or other troubling symptoms regardless of temperature, make sure you touch base with your pediatrician.

You’ve got this, mama. Get better, little one! ?

This article is sponsored by Kinsa. Use promo code MOTHERLY15 for 15% off any Kinsa product.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

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With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

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