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I want to share these ways to reduce fever in your baby because I know how scary it is to feel like you don’t know how to break a baby fever.  It doesn’t matter if you are trying to help them get rid of a cold quickly  or trying to help them reduce a fever, we just want them to feel better.

When our kids aren’t feeling well, we want to do everything we can, so today we are talking about how to bring down baby fevers.

reduce a fever in baby or toddler

We have four kids, and I think it is safe to say that one of them has a stuffy nose at all times, not to mention fevers, strep throat, ear infections or the flu! (Yes, we have had all of those this year).

Just like we give them foods to soothe their sore throats, when a child has a low or high grade fever, we want to help.

When I feel that they may have a fever, I take their rectal temperature. This is important because if you have to call the doctor for medical advice, they will want to have an accurate reading of the child’s temperature.  Remember that just guessing your child’s body temperature is not going to give the doctor the most accurate information to determine how to break infant fever.

This is usually followed by a call to my mom, a nurse, to ask:  “Do I need to call the pediatrician?”  (LOL- the beauty of having a nurse in the family!)

5 ways to reduce fever in baby
Do I need to call a doctor about our baby’s fever?

If you meet the following criteria… YOU NEED TO CALL A DOCTOR:

  1. If your child is younger than three months.
  2. If your baby is 3 to 5 months old the baby’s temperature is 101 degrees or higher.  (High fevers in children can be a sign of a bacterial infection & they can lead to febrile seizures).
  3. If your baby is 6 months old and has a temperature of 102 or higher.
  4. If your baby’s temperature has been there for several days in a row.
  5. Has signs of dehydration such as a reduced number of wet diapers.

Go to the emergency room fever is accompanied by other symptoms such as trouble breathing, discoloration of the skin (purple/blue)/

If I don’t fall into one of those categories, I usually try to handle it at home.  As soon as I feel our kids starting to heat up, I grab my thermometer.  I used to just take a guess, but my mom is a nurse and she always reminds me that the doctor will ask for the exact number… so I try to take their temperature as soon as I’m concerned.

How Do I Get an Accurate Reading?

If your baby or toddler is young, check their temperature using a rectal thermometer.  I know – no one likes this, but your doctor will be grateful that you have the most accurate reading.

reduce a fever

What can I do to reduce a baby’s fever?

When your child is too young to take oral liquid medication (or if they won’t take it), it is important to have some alternatives.

 5 Ways to Reduce a Fever

NOTE: I am certainly not a doctor (I am a teacher, mother, and play therapist), so be sure to check with your doctor if your child has a fever.

1-Use a Suppository if your baby is over 6 months old 

If your baby will not take oral medication (I’ve had my fair share of our babies spitting it right back out), a suppository (like FeverAll) may work.  Acetaminophen “Tylenol” is one of the most recommended fever reducing nonprescription medications by healthcare professionals.

2- A luke-warm bath is helpful.

The water will evaporate from her skin and cool her don (bringing her temperature down).
Do not use cold water, because you do not want them to get a chill or shiver (this causes their temperature to rise).
Do not use hot water, either.   Make it “just right”.  As the lukewarm water begins to evaporate from your baby’s skin, it will cool her body & lower her temperature.

3. Offer frozen treats and extra fluids to toddlers.

You are cooling the body from the inside out with cool fluids and foods.   Our kids love popsicles when they are sick (and old enough to eat them).  Ice cream is great, too, for children old enough.
Even yogurt is a good solution if your baby will eat it.   I like to give our kids these frozen greek yogurt pops that I make.

4. How to Dress Baby With Fever At Night

The rule of thumb is to put them in something similar to what you are wearing.
Keep them in normal clothes for that season. I would offer LOTS of snuggles to keep them warm, but you don’t want to put them in extra layers or too light of clothing for the season, as both can cause the child’s fever to increase.

You may also want to use a fan, but do not blow it directly onto your child, but keep it in the room to avoid the room getting stuffy or hot.  You do not want your child to be hot or cold.

5. Give your child lots of  hugs

Hug them, hold them, snuggle them. When our firstborn son was only an infant, I read that a mother’s touch has a similar effect as medication.  Hugging even improves their immune system. So just rock your baby, sing to your baby, rub your baby’s head. Do all of the things that come so naturally to us.    Babies don’t keep, so just try to be there for your baby while you can…

Babies Don't Keep

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5 ways to reduce fever in your baby or toddler

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Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. My son (he’s four) has had a few high fevers that we’ve sought medical care for within the last six months. At first, whenever he’s sick we do all of these things. He loves it when I cuddle with him on our giant bean bag chair watching one of his favorite movies and eating popsicles.

  2. I have to agree nothing is more important than physical touch for a sick child. Little care and loads of love is very much needed.

  3. Does skin to skin work to reduce toddler fever? Or girl is 2 never does anything the easy way her defers are 102 at the low end 104, 105 at the high end and her body is a timer for meds when ill. If her temp is 104 by three 8h mark for advil she will be right back at the high 104. It would be nice to reduce it a bit before it climbs back to the starting point.
    We do Find the baths help.

    1. I have heard that putting the head of your child on your chest brings the fever down 1 degree every hour or so and it seems to work even now that my daughter is 5

  4. Thanks for sharing, measuring fever of my 6 month old baby was really difficult. Will surely try this

  5. Great blog. Thanks for sharing. I agree about giving the baby physical touch than over overdressing them with warm clothing.

  6. hello I am Becky from Ghana and my sons temperature is a bit high when I checked it was 38.6 this morning can I say its a fever?

  7. Nothing scares me more than my babies being sick. Love the natural remedies. I’ve also read that when baby is sick you should try skin on skin, apparently moms temp can help to regulate and bring baby’s temp down. Not sure it works but I always do it.

  8. I wish all concerned moms will read your post and take notes. Choosing the best for your child should be utmost important.

  9. I would like to say a huge THANK YOU!!! . I came across across your bloh while i was looking for ways to break fever a fever online because i was desperate my lottle one was suffering with fever for almost 4 days now. Well i tried the technique skin to skin and it worked like a miracle! His fever has broken and he’s a little bit sweaty now but i know now he will be felling better today thanks to your helpful tip.
    Thank you mom to mom love ❤❤❤

  10. Sorry for the errors on my comment its 1:42 am and im exhausted thank you so much for your help.🙂

  11. If your pediatrician agrees that the baby’s fever needs to be reduced they will help you calculate the amount of ibuprofen or acetaminophen based on weight. All fever is not bad and may help the baby fight infection. Many parents overdose their little ones every year so it has been less prevalent for medical personnel to recommend these meds for fever. Sometimes you can mask serious infection by intervening too.