How To Bring Down A Fever In Babies?

7 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

fever in babies

Fever in babies is often scary for parents. Usually, most fevers are harmless, are caused by mild infections and will not hurt your baby. Some babies get a fever after having their vaccinations. In any case, the onset of fever can be trying for mothers, and they may be worried about how to bring down a fever in babies.

Babies that are younger than six months should see a doctor when they have an illness. Many new mothers may wonder how to deal with fever in babies. For any fever in a newborn that is higher than 100.4° F, you should report to the child’s health care provider as older children can be treated at home.

In This Article

What Temperature Is A Fever For The Baby?

If you think your baby has a fever, it is best to check their temperature with a thermometer. To get a fast and accurate reading, you may use a digital thermometer. This will help you work out whether you need to get medical advice.

So what exactly is fever in babies? Depending on how you measure the temperature, here is what is considered a fever-

  • A rectal or oral temperature that measures 100 F or higher
  • Arm pit temperature that measures 99 F or higher

What Cause Fever In Babies?

causes of fever

Fever in babies generally indicates that the body is fighting an illness, and the immune system is functioning. Causes of fever in babies may include:

  1. Reaction to a vaccination
  2. Viral infection
  3. Ear infections
  4. Respiratory infections
  5. Flu
  6. Teething
  7. Bacterial infections

However, the baby’s body temperature can increase for many reasons other than underlying health issues. For example, nonstop crying for quite some time, sitting in the hot sun for some time, etc. can increase your baby’s body temperature. However, none of these things ends up in a fever. Fever is considered as a good sign because a child’s immune system is working, and the body is trying to heal itself.

Symptoms Of A Fever In Babies

symptoms of fever

Symptoms of fever in the baby may include:

  1. Increased body temperature
  2. Dry mouth
  3. Fussiness
  4. Earache
  5. High pitched crying
  6. Constant vomiting
  7. No appetite
  8. Severe headache
  9. Skin rash
  10. Sore or swollen joints
  11. Stomach pain
  12. Stiff neck
  13. Seizures
  14. Whimpering
  15. Unresponsiveness
  16. Pale appearance
  17. Breathing problems

These signs can provide important clues as to the cause of the fever. Some children may feel fine when they have a fever.

When To Call The Doctor For Fever?

when to call doctor

In newborn babies and babies less than 2 months, old you will need to see the doctor as soon as you notice a high fever.

For babies older than 6 months, you must see a doctor if your baby is running high temperatures that don’t seem to resolve even after two days.

You should get in touch with the doctor when your baby experiences the following situations.

  • Fever touches 104F
  • Has difficulty in breathing
  • Is unable to swallow or spit
  • Crying continuously and uncontrollably
  • Is experiencing dehydration

Above all, a mother’s gut instincts are the greatest indicator that something is wrong. If you don’t feel right or comfortable about your baby’s fever, don’t hesitate to see the doctor immediately.

Here are a few situations where you should immediately rush your baby to the emergency.

  • Your baby has experienced fits after a fever.
  • The baby doesn’t seem to be moving or can’t wake up during the episode of fever.
  • Your baby is struggling to breathe.

How To Bring Down A Fever In Babies?

There are different methods of bringing down fever in a baby depending on the cause of the fever and how severe the temperature is. No matter what age your baby is, it is always recommended to see the pediatrician first before you start your baby on any medications for fever. The doctor will examine the baby, understand the baby’s condition and prescribe the dosage of medication accordingly. The doctor may also prescribe blood, urine, or stool tests to confirm the source of infection.

Here are a few ways to bring down a fever in babies.

  1. Certain medications, mostly syrups will help bring down the fever temporarily while your baby’s body is fighting the infections. Such medications will help reduce discomfort in babies. Remember to use them strictly under medical supervision.
  2. If your baby is on breast milk, continue breastfeeding them. The antibodies will help fight the infection and provide relief from the fever.
  3. For older babies, you may offer fluids and ensure that they stay hydrated through the fever period.
  4. If your baby has a very high fever, you can place a damp cloth over their face and other parts of the body. You can use warm water to moisten the cloth.
  5. Ensure that your baby wears light breathable clothing during their fever period. You may be tempted to pack them with clothing since they are unwell, but too much clothing on your baby at this stage may increase their fever.
  6. Allow your baby to sleep well. As they rest, their body will fight the infection allowing them to recover quickly.

Fever And Febrile Convulsions

A Febrile convulsion is a convulsion that occurs when a child has a fever. It would occur during the first day of the fever. Children between the age of 6 months to 5 years might experience febrile seizures. Most seizures stop on their own. You should take your baby or child to the doctor as soon as possible after the seizure. It is important to determine the cause of the fever.

When a baby or a child has a febrile convulsion, they become unconscious, their eyes may roll back, and part of their body may jerk. If your baby is undergoing a febrile convulsion, do not put anything inside their mouth. Lie your baby on their side with their head in a neutral position. Stay with your baby during the convulsion. If the seizure does not stop within five minutes, call an ambulance.

What To Feed A Baby Who Has A Fever?

food for fever baby

Babies may refuse to eat or drink when they have a fever. This is a normal body response and as a parent you should not panic if this happens. Here are a few tips on what you can give your baby when they have a fever.

  • For very young babies who are on breast milk, you can continue breastfeeding them on demand. Breast milk has all the nutrients and immune boosters that will help your munchkin recover quickly. Don’t panic if they seem to be feeding lesser than usual. They will slowly pick up after they recover.
  • Keeping babies hydrated is important. For older babies, you can offer them water and fluids at regular intervals to prevent dehydration.
  • For babies older than six months, you can offer your baby Dal or khichdi, which is the basic dish. Most lentil preparations such as khichdi are rich in protein, soothing on the stomach and are the perfect option for babies suffering from fever. Remember not to add salt when feeding anything to babies less than a year old.
  • Other dishes that you can offer to your baby may include vegetable soup, vegetable and fruit puree, daliya, ginger tea, and turmeric milk.

How To Prevent Fever In Babies?

It may not be possible to prevent fever in babies since babies have an immature immune system and can catch fevers easily. In fact, some doctors believe that a baby or child’s immune system develops only when they are exposed to viruses and catch fevers. Fever is a sign that your baby’s body is fighting infections, which, in turn, will help develop their immune system.

Here are a few ways to prevent fever in babies.

  • For newborn and very young babies, it may be prudent to restrict the number of visitors, especially during seasons when fevers and viruses are at their peak.
  • You can encourage visitors to sanitize their hands and wear a mask before holding your munchkin.
  • Breastfeeding is an excellent way of developing a baby’s immune system and keeping fevers at bay.
  • Once your baby is ready for solids, encourage them to try all sorts of healthy foods, fruits and vegetables. This will not only widen their palette but will also ensure a healthy nutritional intake, which, in turn, will strengthen their immune system.
  • If your baby is falling sick often, you can consult a pediatrician who may start your baby on multivitamin syrups which will help reduce the occurrence of fevers.

Fevers are a routine occurrence in babies. In most cases, fevers are not very high and your baby should recover quickly under medical supervision. There are some cases, though, where you may need to rush your baby to the hospital on a priority basis. Do not neglect fevers that reach 104 F as such high fevers can often result in fits or febrile convulsions. You can also talk to the doctor and have syrups handy for emergencies where your baby may suddenly develop a fever and you may not be able to visit a hospital.


1. Is it OK to Use Fan in Fever For Babies?

Yes, it is ok to use a fan in fever for babies, especially when the room is hot and sweaty. It is important to keep the baby in a comfortable temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold. Also, it is important to maintain proper air circulation in the room when the baby has a fever.

2. How Often Should You Check on Baby With Fever?

If your baby is younger than 3 months of age, it would be ideal to check the temperature once every two hours. For older babies, you can check the temperature once every 4 to 6 hours, especially if your baby is running high fever.

3. Why do Fevers Spike at Night?

Though the exact reasons for a fever spiking at night are not understood, one theory suggests that the human body naturally suppresses cortisol and adrenalin at night. Due to this the body temperature is higher at night than during the day. The minimal levels of cortisol and adrenalin cause the natural immune cells to work harder to fight the infection. The inflammatory responses due to this process cause the body temperature to get higher resulting in fevers spiking at nights.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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