New mums found to be lacking confidence when it comes to caring for a sick baby

Survey reveals new Mums are unsure of what to do when their baby is sick


  • 27% of first time Mums lack an understanding of what they should do when their baby is unwell; almost one third struggle to understand what their baby’s cry means
  • Almost half of new Mums do not know what temperature a fever begins
  • Nurofen for Children has teamed up with Lucy Kennedy to launch its second annual #FeverFighter campaign to inform and empower new Mums


Research by Nurofen for Children has found that 27% of new Mums lack an understanding of what to do when their baby is unwell and often rely on friends and family for advice. Furthermore, a third (30%) of new mums lack confidence when it comes to understanding what their baby’s cry means. Whether its hunger, tiredness or pain, first time mums find it difficult to identify what is causing the cry. When seeking advice on caring for an ill baby, almost a third of respondents (28%) go to their own mother, while 18% look for recommendations from either their GP or online sources and 12% seek the advice of a pharmacist. Mother-in-laws are a less popular source of advice, however, with just 1% of first time mums turning to them for advice!


The survey, commissioned by Nurofen for Children, the pain and fever relief brand, was carried out among 400 first time mothers and informed its #FeverFighters campaign. The research also revealed that almost half of the new mums surveyed (49%) do not know what temperature constitutes a fever (dr. Sinead Beirne suggests above 37.8°C), a quarter thought it was lower and 24% said it was above that figure.

When asked what the most challenging things were about becoming a new Mum, over a third of respondents said lack of sleep (39%) was the most challenging, an issue that is exacerbated when caring for a child that is suffering from a fever. It can be common for baby’s sleep pattern to be irregular while ill, which means mums sleep is also affected. Other challenges new mothers encounter is finding time for themselves (16%) and juggling finances (10%).

In response to the survey’s findings, Nurofen for Children launches the #FeverFighters campaign with TV presenter, Lucy Kennedy as ambassador, who welcomed her third child in to the world just before Christmas and GP Dr. Sinead Beirne. The #FeverFighters campaign has been created to help parents, and in particular first time parents, understand the facts and dispel the myths surrounding fever and effective fever management. This is the second year that Nurofen for Children has rolled out this campaign as the brand is very committed to equipping mums with information and support to help create peace of mind and confidence when treating their child at home.


Lucy Kennedy comments: “As a mum of three, including a brand new baby, I totally understand how stressful and worrying it is when your baby gets sick. I think it’s hardest for first time Mums in particular. I remember it well, feeling very vulnerable and constantly questioning whether I was doing the right thing. The #FeverFighter campaign aims to equip Mums with the information they need on how to effectively manage a fever at home. By taking a step-by-step approach, Mums can not only reduce the symptoms of fever but enable their baby to enjoy their day or a good night’s sleep. Also I want to reassure fellow Mummies that they are not alone when it comes to their worries and insecurities, especially when a baby is sick, we all feel the exact same way. I really hope that they find the information from the campaign helpful and feel a little more confident when caring for their babies when they are ill – Mummies United!” 


Dr. Sinead Beirne’s Top Tips for Effective Fever Management

As part of the #FeverFighters campaign Dr. Sinead Beirne has devised her top tips for effective fever management:

    Your baby’s normal temperature range is between 36°C – 36.8°C. A fever is seen as a temperature over 37.8°C on more than one consecutive reading.

Cool the baby down by stripping them to their vest and / or placing them in a bath of lukewarm water. This may actually help to reduce your child’s fever – make sure the water doesn’t get too cold.



You can medicate your baby effectively at home. Ibuprofen can be given to babies over 3 months or babies weighing over 5kgs. Paracetamol can be used from 2 months. Parents should always read the label of any medicine before giving it to their children.


Keep the baby well hydrated with fluids. If they have been vomiting you need to rehydrate slowly. A tip I tell parents is to give a teaspoon of fluid for every commercial break, if you’ve got the TV on. Ice pops can be helpful too as well as ice cream!


Try not to bundle your baby up in blankets or extra clothes at bed time, as you don’t want to increase the body temperature. I suggest using a baby sleep bag and just one layer of light clothing, like a vest, so no need for pyjamas too.


If your baby is under 3 months and has a definite temperature you should make arrangements to see a doctor. If baby is over 3 months and their temperature stays above 38.5°C despite treatment; or rises to 39°C-40°C and if a fever lasts longer than 2 days, you should make arrangements to see your doctor.

Remember, most temperatures can be managed safely at home. However, your child should see a doctor if they have a spreading rash, headache, poor colour, limping, stiff neck or a reaction to bright light.


Disclaimer Lucy Kennedy or Dr Sinead Beirne do not endorse any medication brands.

Ibuprofen or paracetamol based medications can be used to treat pain and fever. Nurofen for Children contains ibuprofen, which provides effective pain and fever relief for children from 3 months and weighing over 5kg. Nurofen for Children starts to work in 15 minutes to reduce fever and can last up to eight hours, helping baby and mum get relief during the day or night when baby is unwell. Paracetamol based medications can be used in infants 2 months and over.

New Dentinox Survey reveals pressure of parenthood

Parents are under more pressure than ever before and despite all the advice on offer, more than half admit they have been shocked to discover how demanding their new role as a first time parent can be.


 A new survey for Dentinox, the baby medicine experts, has revealed:

  • 62% of new mothers believe they are under more pressure than their parents encountered
  • 41% believe that worry is part of the job description
  • 11% of new mothers admits to feeling stressed and worried most of the time
  • 53% take a more realistic view and describe their parenting style as ‘not perfect, but pretty good’
  • 19% of new mums worry about their little one’s health and wellbeing on a daily basis
  • 22% say their child’s diet and nutrition is a source of daily stress
  • 36% said they have been stunned at the number of people who have given well-meaning but silly advice
  • The tips that mums are most likely to give to another new parent is ‘trust your instincts’ (36%) and ‘relax and enjoy your time with your baby’ (21%)
The new data also reveals some surprising insights into parental preferences and shows that many new parents are turning their back on tradition.
  • 33% of mothers now shun gender-specific toys, with most saying that young children should be allowed to play with toys of all kinds
  • Gender-neutral hues are the most popular, with 79% parents going for green, 66% opting for white and 52% showing a yen for yellow
  • 30% of new mothers are now happy to dress their little ones in black, although it is a more popular colour choice for boys than girls, 42% compared to 19%
  • Navy is also on-point with 50% of parents. 36% say they dress their daughters in dark blue and 64% of mothers’ nominated navy as one of their top choices for boys


One approach that remains unchanged for generations is the stocking of a family first aid kit or medicine cabinet. Mum of two, Dr Catherine Hood notes: “Every household has a first aid kit or medicine cabinet and when it comes to being a parent, keeping that kit or cabinet well stocked is vital. So make sure you have stocked up on those Dentinox medicine essentials which will help you and your little one through a year of firsts. Along with the first smiles, first solid foods and first steps there will be some other firsts such as colic, cradle cap and teething woes that are far from fun.”


The big surprises that come with small packages

The biggest surprise for new mothers was how tough it is to care for a little one, with just over half (51%) admitted the demands of parenting came as a shock. Other top tales of the unexpected are:

Strength of feelings for a little one: 42%

How many people give well-meaning, but silly advice: 36%

How many strangers feel entitled to offer advice: 35%

How well they coped with the delivery: 33%

How much babies can communicate at an early age: 32%

The pain of childbirth: 26%

The pain of post-birth contractions: 20%

How often nappies have to be changed: 16%

The sticky black poo babies have in first few days: 13%





Dentinox Medicine Dispenser: Designed by a doctor, the Dentinox Medicine Dispenser is the simple, soothing way to give a pre-measured dose of medicine to a baby aged three months and upwards. Your baby can passively suck the medicine through the orthodontic silicone teat or you can deliver the full content of the medicine chamber simply and quickly using the unique plunger.


Dentinox Infant Colic Drops: Containing Dill oil, Dentinox Infant Colic Drops are suitable from birth and come with a handy syringe for easy application. The drops can also be added to your baby’s bottle to help relieve their discomfort, providing effective relief for those trying, colic episodes. (Contains activated Dimeticone). Always read the label.


Dentinox Teething Gel: Suitable to use from birth, this soothing gel, which can be applied every 20 minutes if necessary, gets to work swiftly, providing effective pain relief. It’s sugar free and contains an antiseptic. (Contains Lidocaine Hydrochloride and Cetylpridinium Chloride). Always read the label.


Dentinox Cradle Cap Treatment Shampoo: Suitable to use from birth and mild enough to use as an everyday shampoo once the cradle cap has cleared up. Dentinox Cradle Cap Treatment Shampoo can help maintain a healthy scalp and hair. (Contains Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulpho-Succinate and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate). Always read the label.


Dentinox Eye Wipes: Suitable to use from birth and containing a sterile saline solution, Dentinox Eye Wipes are designed to gently cleanse a baby’s eyelids and lashes, safely removing sticky residue and refreshing a little one’s eyes. Great to use when out and about too. Dentinox Eye Wipes are not a medicine.


For further information and advice visit

research from Nurofen for Children as part of their #FeverFighters campaign around fever and new parents. As part of this, Maia Dunphy, along with some of Ireland’s leading experts in the areas of nutrition, sleep and medication created educational videos providing tips for new parents.

When Does a Temperature become a Fever?

Survey reveals almost half of Munster mums fail to recognise when a temperature becomes a fever

  • One third of new mums in Munster feel they lack confidence in knowing what to do when a baby is unwell
  • 42% of Munster’s first time mums say lack of sleep is the most challenging part of having a new baby

research from Nurofen for Children as part of their #FeverFighters campaign around fever and new parents. As part of this, Maia Dunphy, along with some of Ireland’s leading experts in the areas of nutrition, sleep and medication created educational videos providing tips for new parents.

Although Fever accompanies most mild childhood illnesses new research by Nurofen for Children has revealed almost half (48%) of Munster mums fail to recognise when a temperature begins (37.8°C) with a quarter (25%) suggesting it was lower and 23% suggesting it was higher. Commissioned by the pain relief brand this research was carried out among 400 first time mothers as part of the #FeverFighters campaign.

#FeverFighters from Nurofen for Children has been designed to help parents, and in particular first time parents, understand the facts and dispel the myths on fever in order to give them peace of mind and confidence when treating their child at home.

The survey also asked what the biggest challenge was about becoming a parent for the first time and although expectant mothers are often warned about the lack of sleep once the baby arrives, 42% of Munster mums still said the lack of sleep was the most challenging thing about becoming a parent whilst a quarter of Munster mums said they wished someone had told them how much of a treat a good night’s sleep would be once the baby arrives.

According to the Nurofen for Children survey, a third (30%) of Munster mums surveyed feel they lack confidence in knowing what to do when a baby is unwell and despite the introduction of free GP visits for children under six years old, just 25% of Munster Mums surveyed said they were more likely to visit the GP since this service was introduced. A significant three quarters of Munster mums said this would not change the frequency with which they attend the GP.

To support the launch, Nurofen for Children is also launching a new app which aims to help mums and dads manage the day to day aspects of being a new parent. Key features include a routine feeding planner, medical diary with a vaccination calendar and a late night pharmacy locator. Nurofen for Children has also teamed up with broadcaster and new mum, Maia Dunphy along with some of Ireland’s leading experts in the areas of nutrition, sleep and medication. These experts feature in educational videos providing useful tips for new parents. These videos can be viewed below and on YouTube and will also be hosted on the Nurofen for Children app, which will be available later in the month.

A mother’s Love

It’s a case of ‘Mother knows best’ for Munster with 22% of Munster based respondents seeking advice from their own mother when caring for an ill baby. Interestingly, the same number (22%) of Munster mums said they would look for recommendations from their GP whilst 18 % of Munster based respondents said they would seek advice from online sources. All of the above were interestingly in preference to advice from their pharmacist, with only 13% of Munster based recipients suggesting their pharmacist would be their port of call. Mother in laws are not such a popular source of advice for Munster mums however, with just 1% those surveyed claiming to seek advice from their in-law!

Over a third (38%) of new parents in Munster said that wished it was possible to have known the love they would feel for their new baby before the birth. 56% of Munster based parents said their baby’s first smile was their most cherished moment of parenthood. More than a third (36%) stated the first hug or kiss from their baby was the most precious milestone.

The transition to parenthood

14% of the Munster respondents revealed finding time for themselves was a challenge in the transition to parenthood with 15% struggling with juggling finances the most. Interestingly, only 1% of Munster based mums said that staying in contact with friends was their biggest challenge following the birth of their baby.

Of the Munster mums surveyed, a third (33%) of them work full time outside the home and while tackling work and being a new parent can be a struggle, Munster parents have plenty of support as 61% of respondents said their partner shares the responsibility when looking after a sick infant. Of those working, 60% said their employers are very understanding when it comes to taking time off to care for an ill baby, but 20% of Munster mums said they still feel they need to make excuses to take time off if their child is unwell.

Nurofen for Children #FeverFighters brand ambassador and first time mum, Maia Dunphy comments: “As a new mum there are so many things to consider! It’s an absolutely brilliant time but it can be a little worrying so it is reassuring to know that I’m not alone in my concerns and insecurities when caring for my child, especially when he is sick. It’s great to know that parents across the country feel the same way and share the same worries and I hope that they find the information from the experts as helpful as I did”.