Taking care of a baby with a fever is very challenging for parents, and it can be difficult to help little ones find relief. Babies are often feel sweaty, clammy, hot, and irritable when they have fevers. Although not every high temperature requires treatment, babies who exhibit behavioral changes may require extra attention. Fortunately, there are several things that parents can do to help their little ones feel more comfortable.
Here are five of the most effective ways to comfort and soothe a baby with a fever.
It’s a common myth that cold or even icy water helps to bring a fever down. However, lukewarm water is best for babies with fever. Limit a lukewarm bath to about 15 minutes and make sure the water doesn’t get too cold. Take the child out of the water if shivering begins. Parents may also try giving children a sponge bath to cool them off. However, if this causes more discomfort or crying, discontinue this method.
It is not healthy for a baby with a fever to “sweat it out”, so parents should not dress babies up in many layers when they have fevers. Instead, it is advised to use a sheet instead of a thick blanket on baby’s bed when feverish. Also, dress baby in lightweight and breathable clothing fabrics, like cotton. Keeping baby’s room cool and well-ventilated may help as well.
Babies who have fevers often require more hydration counteract an elevated temperature and flush infection out of the body in a natural way. Mothers who breastfeed may want to add another feeding session or two to feverish days if the baby has a good appetite. Parents who use formula for feedings should consider adding a bit more to the bottle during sessions to promote good hydration. Parents may also want to ask a pediatrician is a rehydration drink like Pedialyte that’s specially formulated for babies is recommended.
Although parents should consult a pediatrician before administering any new medication to a baby with a fever, certain over-the-counter treatments are specially formulated for infants. For example, PediaCare’s Infants IB Ibuprofen Pain Reliever / Fever Reducer is recommended for infants between six and 23 months. It contains a small dose of ibuprofen to relieve fevers and minor aches and pains. This liquid treatment has a berry flavor and can dispensed directly into the mouth for up to eight hours of relief. Always follow dosage recommendations on product labels, and ask a doctor whether a reduced dosage may be appropriate for babies under six months.
But overall, one of the best ways to help a baby with a fever feel better is to give more hugs, cuddles, and attention. Parents may be able to calm feverish babies by simply reading stories, singing songs, or providing favorite stuffed animals to hold. A fever is the body’s natural response to fighting viral and bacterial infections, but some extra time together can make everyone feel better until the sickness goes away.
In this parental guide to fever relief, PediaCare provides resources for parents seeking answers for their child's special circumstances. Medicine made for kids, helps getting better easier!