How to Deal with Fever in Infants

The normal body temperature for infants should be between 36°C and 37°C (between 96.8°F and 98.6°F). Monitoring and taking your baby’s temperature regularly will let you detect any abnormality in temperature that might need special attention and prompt intervention. This is best practiced every day, especially on newborn babies that are yet to grow enough body fats and muscles that can help them regulate their temperature better.


If your baby’s body temperature falls below 36°C, your baby may need to be warmed up. You can either wrap him in thick blankets or use a warm bottle or compress. When using a warm compress or bottle, it should be covered or wrapped in a clean cloth because direct skin contact may cause scalding.


Your baby’s temperature will also most likely become lower than normal body temperature during days of cold weather, so it is important to ensure that he is well-wrapped and protected by warm clothing and blankets during the fall and winter, as well as on stormy or rainy days.


If your baby’s temperature falls between 37°C and 37.5°C (between 98.6°F and 99.5°F), your baby is considered to be having a low-grade temperature elevation. This is still far from a fever, but you have to perform actions that will lower your baby’s temperature a bit and prevent any possible progression to a fever. You can cool your baby down by reducing the clothes wrapped around him, or the blankets and beddings that surround him. Covering your baby lightly may correct the mild elevation in body temperature; however, you should also observe for any signs of infection like a cold or cough. If it is clear that your baby has contracted a cold or cough, this low-grade elevation may progress to a fever if prompt treatment is not administered.


A body temperature that falls between 37.5°C and 38°C (99.5°F to 100°F) is considered an elevated temperature, which is close to becoming a fever. Your baby should be checked for any sign of infection or if he is looking mildly unwell. Usually, a feverless cold or cough, a current immunization or vaccination, and hyperactivity may cause your baby’s body temperature to rise. To correct an elevated temperature and prevent a fever, your baby will need to be cooled down by giving medications for colds and coughs, tepid sponge bath, or tepid bath. These interventions should be partnered with the interventions for low-grade temperature elevations like reducing your baby’s warm clothing.


Your baby is considered to be having a fever if his temperature falls between 38°C and 38.5°C (100.4°F to 101.3°F). A fever requires medical attention because it is an indication that your baby is having an infection or illness. Fevers are usually accompanied by other physical signs and symptoms that are not normal or healthy for a baby. If your baby is having a cold or cough, medications for these problems should be given to correct the cause of the fever. Fever medications, like paracetamol, are also given in conjunction with cold and cough medications to help lower the body temperature while the cause of the fever is still being treated. A fever should not be allowed to progress because it can cause complications that may worsen your baby’s condition.


If your baby’s temperature falls between 38.5°C and 39°C (101.3°F to 102.2°F), he is considered to be having a very high temperature or high-grade fever. Fever medications should be promptly given to your baby and a tepid bath should be done while waiting for the medication to take effect. Usually, professional medical help should be sought if there is no improvement in your baby’s condition after an hour.


If your baby’s temperature reaches 39 to 40°C (102.2 to 104°F), he should be given fever medications right away and brought to a medical facility to be checked by a doctor. If it is not possible to take your child anywhere out of the house for some reason, such as a bad weather or unavailability of transportation, your best option is to call for help or consultation if the fever does not go away within a few hours after giving fever medications and tepid baths.