The most common cause of fevers in babies is a viral infection. In some cases, teething can cause a slight increase in body temperature. In younger babies, a fever could be a sign of a serious infection.
If your baby shows other signs or symptoms of illness, such as a cold, cough, vomiting or diarrhea, consult your doctor. Moreover, as a parent, always trust your instincts. If you think you should contact the doctor, go ahead.
Here are the top 10 ways to control a fever in babies.
1. Cold Compresses
- Put some cool tap water in a bowl.
- Soak a clean washcloth in the water.
- Wring out the excessive water, then place the wet cloth on the baby’s forehead.
- Once the cloth warms, remove it and repeat again.
- Do this until the fever has gone.
You can also use the damp wash cloth to sponge areas like your baby’s armpits, feet, hands and groin to reduce the temperature.
Note: Never use very cold or ice water, as it may cause the internal body temperature to increase.
2. Lukewarm Bath
- For babies younger than 6 months, give a lukewarm sponge bath 2 or
- For babies 6 months or older, give them a regular bath in lukewarm water a few times a day.
After each bath, dress your baby immediately.
Note: Never use very hot or cold water, as it may cause the internal body temperature to rise.
3. Breast Milk
For babies younger than 6 months old who have a fever, breast milk is very important. It offers a unique balance of nutrients that strengthens a baby’s weak immune system and is tailored to fight a baby’s illness.
Breast milk is quickly and easily digested. It will even keep a sick baby properly hydrated, which is essential for faster recovery.
- Try to breastfeed your young baby frequently. If your baby refuses to nurse while experiencing a fever, try different nursing positions. You can keep the baby upright while breastfeeding to make your baby more comfortable during feeding sessions.
- If your baby regularly refuses nursing, pump out the
4. Give More Fluids
Dehydration may lead to various other complications and delay recovery.
Due to having a fever, babies may refuse large amounts of fluid at a time. So, try to give them smaller amounts more often.
- Give oral rehydration solutions (either homemade or readily available in the market) along with lukewarm water to small babies younger than 6 months old to help replenish fluids and electrolytes.
- Along with water and oral rehydration solutions, cold milk, ice pops, fruit juice and chilled yogurt can be given to babies 6 months or older.
5. Keep Your Baby in a Cool Place
When taking care of a sick baby, it’s important to keep a close eye on the room temperature. It should not be too hot or too cold. Keep your baby’s room at a comfortable temperature between 70 and 74 degrees (21.1 to 23.3°C).
- If using a fan, keep it on a low setting. However, make sure your baby is not sleeping directly under the fan.
- If using an air conditioner, keep the temperature at a comfortable level. Make sure your baby doesn’t shiver and raise his or her temperature.
- Also, avoid using the room heater nonstop, as it can make your baby overheated.
Keep your sick baby indoors in a cool place most of the time. If you are taking your baby outside, try to stay in the shade.
6. Dress Your Infant Comfortably
Infants cannot regulate their temperature well, hence when bundled in layers, it will be harder for them to cool down once overheated. Too much clothing will even prevent radiating body heat into the surrounding air.
Dress your baby in one layer of lightweight clothing. If needed, use a light blanket when your baby is sleeping.
Also, keep your baby in a comfortable room, where the temperature is not too hot or too cool.
7. Foot Massage
Rubbing the soles of your sick baby’s feet with some warm oil is one of the best ways to calm your fussy baby. Apart from relaxation, it will promote better sleep, which is necessary for quick recovery.
Foot massage also helps regulate body temperature.
- Rub some warm olive oil on the bottoms of your baby’s feet.
- Apply gentle pressure on the soles with your thumbs.
- Finally, give a nice massage
- Do this for just a couple of minutes and repeat as needed.
When it comes to foot massage, be careful not to do too much.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
- Add ¼ cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a large bowl of lukewarm water.
- Soak a washcloth in it, then wring out the excess liquid.
- Use this damp cloth to give your baby a sponge bath.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times a day until the fever has dropped.
- Boil a handful of basil leaves in 2 cups of water, until the solution is reduced to half. Add a little sugar and give it to your little one, a few times a day.
- If your baby is big enough to chew basil leaves, give him or her some thoroughly washed basil leaves to chew at regular intervals.
10. Monitor Body Temperature
Instead, you can try several ways to take your baby’s temperature:
- Rectal method (by the rectum)
- Oral method (by the mouth)
- Axillary method (under the armpit)
- Tympanic method (in the ear)
Regularly take your baby’s temperature and write it down on a notepad. This will help a doctor assess the changes that have occurred during the days when your baby is not well.