With your baby’s fever comes the inevitable worry of whether it’s necessary to take them to the doctor, and if so, what do you do? Fever in infants can be a scary thing, but as long as it doesn’t last more than 3 days and isn’t accompanied by other flu-like symptoms, there’s no need to see the doctor. Here are 10 home remedies for a baby’s fever that are both easy to implement and safe when used properly.
1. Gently pat baby dry after bathing
One of the primary causes of fever in babies is excessive heat retention, so it makes sense that one way to help them cool down is to prevent them from retaining heat. Toweling off after a bath or shower can do just that. Be gentle when you pat your baby dry, though—you don’t want her skin to be red and irritated when she’s already sick. The rule here is, don’t use too much force or spend too much time toweling your baby off after baths or showers—less is more.
2. Use a humidifier
Babies get congested and have a hard time breathing during a fever, so if you can get one in your baby’s room, it may help to relieve some of those symptoms. If you’re looking to buy a humidifier, choose one that has an adjustable knob so you can control how much mist is coming out. Ideally, humidity levels should be between 30% and 50%. When using a humidifier make sure it’s never near any heat sources or open flames as water vapor (humidity) is highly flammable.
3. Give baby Tylenol (acetaminophen)
Using medication like Tylenol, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen (the active ingredient in most nonprescription pain relievers) can be an effective way to manage mild fevers. To do so safely and effectively, follow your pediatrician’s dosage instructions closely and only use medications as directed on their labels. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving children age 3 months or older either acetaminophen or ibuprofen at a dose of 15 mg per pound every 4-6 hours as needed. If you choose to give your baby both acetaminophen and ibuprofen, try not to exceed 10 mg per pound every 4-6 hours.
4. Stay in the room with baby
If your baby has a fever, don’t leave her in another room while you go and do something else. Stay with her. Keep her comfortable, and make sure that she doesn’t overheat. Babies often cry when they’re hot or uncomfortable; to keep them from crying too much, make sure that they are wrapped up tightly so they stay warm (but not hot), and place a cool washcloth on their forehead until they get used to their surroundings. When babies get sick, it can take longer than we expect for them to calm down – even if they appear sleepy.
5. Moisturize baby’s skin with cream
This home remedy can help moisturize a baby’s dry skin and also prevent further infections. Always make sure to use an organic cream or lotion, as these do not contain any harmful chemicals or artificial fragrances that may irritate your baby’s skin. Coconut oil is a great option as it contains antimicrobial properties and has been known to help reduce fever symptoms in babies. Make sure you test coconut oil on a small area of your baby’s skin before applying it over his entire body, and never forget to consult with your pediatrician before administering any home remedies if your child is under 2 years old