Umbilical Cord CareIf your baby's umbilical cord hasn't fallen off yet, you are likely beginning to get tired of basic umbilical cord care. Stick with it though and your cord should come off either this week or next week.
Taking a Rectal TemperatureWith the advent of digital thermometers, taking your baby's temperature is a lot easier than it used to be. If you buy a digital baby rectal thermometer, it can be even easier. These thermometers are mercury-free, specifically designed for use in newborns and infants, give a reading in 5 to 10 seconds, and include a short, flexible tip, so you don't have to worry about inserting the thermometer too far.
To take a rectal temperature, first make sure that you are actually using a rectal thermometer. Next, turn the thermometer on and lubricate the tip with some petroleum jelly or other water-soluble lubricant. Last, gently insert the tip about 1/2 inch into your baby's rectum and wait for the thermometer to beep. Then read your baby's temperature.
Be sure to wash the thermometer with soap and water so that it is clean the next time you need it.
If your baby has a fever (temp at or above 100.4 F) using a different method, such as using a tympanic thermometer (in your baby's ear) or checking under his arm, it is usually a good idea to confirm that he really has a fever by taking a rectal temperature. Many experts think that a rectal temperature is the most accurate way to take a temperature in the first few months of a baby's life.
Also, instead of adding or subtracting a degree when taking your baby's temperature, which is common practice when taking oral and underarm temperatures, it is usually best to just tell your pediatrician the exact temperature and the method you used to take it.