How to Reduce Fever in Babies
Fever is a common symptom of illness, but it doesn’t always mean that it’s a bad thing.
Fever in adults or children means that their immune system tries to get rid of some infection or virus in the body.
Normally, fevers last 3 to 5 days, and most healthy kids can tolerate it well.
Viral infections are the most common cause of fiver in babies. Moreover, teething can also cause mild increase in their body’s temperature.
However, in newborns it might be a symptom of a dangerous infection.
Parents are very concerned when their child has a fever. Some of them call a doctor, or take their child to the emergency center.
Nevertheless, we present you some useful tips which you might find helpful if your child has a fever.
AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) Guidelines for Baby Fever
-Babies up to 3 months: You should be concerned if the temperature is above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit/ 38 degrees Celsius
-Babies between 3 and 6 months: You should consult a doctor if the temperature is above 101 degrees Fahrenheit/ 38.3 degrees Celsius
-6 months or older toddler: they need to be seen by a doctor if the temperature is above 103 degrees Fahrenheit/ 39.4 degrees Celsius
-We advise consulting a doctor if your baby has other symptoms or signs of illness like cough, diarrhea, cold or vomiting.
If you as a parent consider that you should visit a doctor, go ahead.
Along with the prescribed medications and the doctor’s visit, you can follow several advices to lower your baby’s temperature, and this applies to any situation.
Top 8 Ways to Lower Your Baby’s Fever:
1. Cold Compresses
The first thing to do once you notice your baby gets a fever is to put a cold wet cloth on its forehead.
As the water from the cloth evaporates from the skin, it will draw the fever out and thus lower the temperature.
- Take a bowl and pour cold water in it
- Soak clean washcloth in the water
- Squeeze the excess water from the cloth and put in on baby’s forehead
- Once you notice the cloth warms up, repeat the procedure
- Repeat this until the fever’s gone
These cold compresses can be as well done on other parts of your baby’s body, such as hands, feet, armpits, and groin
Note: Make sure you’re not using ice or very cold water, since it can cause rising of the temperature
2. Lukewarm Bath
Your baby’s temperature could be regulated with a lukewarm bath, which will also relax and help the baby sleep well, and that’s recommended for a quick recovery.
- 2 to 3 lukewarm sponge baths a day are recommended for babies younger than 6 months
- Few regular lukewarm baths a day are recommended for 6 month babies and older
- Make sure you dress your baby right after the bath.
Note: Don’t use very cold or hot water since it can cause increasing of the internal body temperature.
3. Breast Milk
Babies with fever younger than 6 months need frequent breastfeeding to boost their immune system and fight diseases, as the breast milk contains great nutrient balance.
Moreover, this milk is easily digested and will keep your baby hydrated, which is recommended for a quick recovery.
Since babies with fever might refuse breast feeding, try changing the nursing positions, such as keeping your baby in an upright position.
In case your baby doesn’t want to eat, pump out the breast milk and use a bottle or spoon in feeding.
4. Give More Fluids
Increased fluid intake is crucial for sick babies, since they help in the reducing of the temperature.
Moreover, they prevent dehydration, which can delay the recovery, by replacing the lost fluids due to sweating.
Try giving smaller amounts of fluid when your baby has a fever, since at that time they might refuse larger quantities.
Babies younger than 6 months should consume oral rehydration solutions which can be either bought from a market or homemade prepared, together with lukewarm water. The purpose is to recharge their body with fluids and electrolytes.
Besides oral rehydration solutions and water, you can give your 6 month or older baby chilled yogurt, ice pops, fruit juice, and cold milk.
5. Keep Your Baby In a Cool Place
The room temperature where you take care of your baby with fever, should be balanced, neither too hot nor too cold. The best temperature is around 70 and 74 Fahrenheit degrees (21.1 to 23.3 degrees Celsius).
In case you have to use a fan, make it on low speed and not pointed at your baby.
Keep your air conditioning at a comfortable level.
Make sure you take care of your baby inside, and if you have to take it out, keep it in the shade.
6. Foot Massage
To relax and help your baby sleep better, which is important for a faster recovering, use warm oil to rub its feet soles.
- Massages on your baby’s feet will regulate its body temperature
- Use olive oil to rub your baby’s feet soles
- Use your thumbs for a gentle massage
- Once you finished massaging your baby’s soles, massage their entire feet
- Massage for a couple of minutes, and repeat if you think it’s necessary
Be careful not to press your baby’s feet too much.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Try to draw your baby’s fever out, if it’s 1 year or older, with the help of apple cider vinegar.
Pour lukewarm water in a large bowl, and add ¼ cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Soak clean washcloth in the mixture and squeeze the excess liquid
Give your baby a sponge bath with this cloth
Do this 2-3 times on a daily basis until your baby’s temperature has reduced
8. Monitor Your Baby’s Body Temperature
It’s very important to regularly check the body temperature of your baby. Don’t rely just on your hand to guess the baby’s temperature.
There are several methods to check the temperature of your baby:
- By the mouth- Oral method
- In the ear- Tympanic method
- By the rectum- Rectal method
- Under the armpit- Axillary method
While frequently checking your baby’s temperature, write it down so that the doctor could assess the temperature changes that happened in the period when your baby wasn’t well.
- Check the temperature of your baby throughout the night
- Your baby should urinate light urine at least every 4 hours
- If your baby won’t stop crying, or if you see signs of rashes or dehydration, call a doctor right away.
- Make sure your baby isn’t alone for a long period
- Don’t force your baby to eat solid food during this period if s/he doesn’t want it
- The best food for them during this period is soft food low in fiber such as crackers, bread, and warm cereals such as oatmeal, soup, or cream of wheat.
- Never give your baby more than the recommended dosage of the prescribed medicine.
- Make sure you give medication using a measuring device
- Children younger than 18 years, shouldn’t take aspirin for the treatment of fever, since it can cause serious health issues.
Note: Before trying any of these home treatments and remedies, our advice is consulting a doctor.