Fever can make an infant feel extremely uncomfortable and also increase the risk of dehydration due to excess body heat. If you do not have fever-reducing medicines handy or your baby is too young to have medicines, then home remedies are probably are the ideal solutions to control the fever.
Here is a MomJunction article with a list of six best home remedies for fever in babies.
Six Essential Home Remedies For Baby’s Fever
1. Plenty of fluids
Give a lot of fluids to your baby to help the body regulate its temperature more efficiently. Breast milk is safest for babies aged less than six months old. Older infants can be given small sips of water, and other liquids such as broth cooled to room temperature. Sufficient fluid intake is essential to prevent dehydration, which is a complication of fever most commonly seen among newborns (1).
2. Damp cloth on the forehead
Soak a soft cloth in cool water and place it on the baby’s forehead. The water should be cool to touch or at room temperature but never cold since cold water can cause chills. Place the cloth on the forehead until it feels warm and then remove it. Soak it in water and place it on the forehead again. Repeat as many times as needed to bring the temperature under control.
[ Read: Causes Of Fever In Babies ]
3. Lukewarm bath
You can give a lukewarm bath in a tub or using a sponge. Keep the water lukewarm/tepid since using cold water can cause chills. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the temperature of the water should be between 85-90°F (29.4-32.2°C) (2).
If you do not have a water thermometer, then touch the water with the back of your hand. It should feel slightly warm. The depth of the water within the tub should be no more than a couple of inches. Bathe the baby for a few minutes only. The body will lose heat as the water evaporates from the baby’s body. Pediatric experts recommend against the use of alcohol baths for babies since the infant’s body can absorb it through the skin. (3).
4. Reduce layers of clothing
Dressing your baby in multiple layers of clothing when they have a fever will trap excessive heat. Instead, dress the infant in a single layer of clothing and if he feels chilly give him a light blanket.
5. Keep the room ventilated
Allow adequate ventilation in the baby’s room. Use a fan at low speed to keep the room ventilated. If you have a table fan, then use it to circulate air around the room. A well-ventilated room can prevent the baby from developing excess body heat.
[ Read: How To Treat Cough In Babies ]
6. Lots of rest
Rest helps the body fight the underlying infection. Medical experts state that a baby need not always lie down or sleep in a fever. The baby can sit or roam around the house, but must not run or strain themselves with physical activity. If your baby wants to sleep and stay lying down in a fever, then let them do so.
The above remedies are safe and can help alleviate the discomfort caused by a fever. There are few points to keep in mind when your baby gets a fever.
Things To Remember About Baby’s Fever
- Fever is a symptom: A body temperature above 100.4°F (38°C) is defined as fever (4). A fever is a symptom rather than an illness in itself. Fever indicates that there is something wrong with the body, most likely a pathogen invasion in the body.
Your brain increases the body temperature to make it harder for the pathogen to survive and also to activate the immune system (5). Therefore, reducing the fever does not cure the underlying disease, which requires separate treatment.
- A prolonged fever requires medical attention: If your baby has an elevated body temperature for more than a day, then consult the doctor. If your baby is less than three months old, then you must see the doctor immediately regardless of how long the fever has been there for.
- Fever is a normal reaction of the body: Medical experts state that parents needn’t panic about fever since it is the body’s natural physiological mechanism to fight infection (6).
Instead, the focus should be on diagnosing and treating the underlying disease or infection that led to a fever in the first place. Some infants have no trouble with fever and go around their routine the usual way. You don’t have to forcefully adopt any of these remedies to reduce fever in such infants.
[ Read: Signs Of Dehydration In Babies ]
Home remedies are probably an excellent first line of treatment for fever in babies. Remember that babies’ bodies and immune system are sensitive. It is best to see a doctor for diagnosis of the problem that caused the fever so that the illness can be treated quickly. If your baby does not seem to have any problem with fever, and eats, sleeps, and plays the usual way, then it is quite likely that they are on road of recovery already.
Have you ever tried any of the home remedies for your baby’s fever? Do tell us about it on the comment section below.
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