A fever is a body temperature ≥100.4°F (38°C). It is a natural response that helps your baby’s body fight infection. You’ll need a thermometer (a rectal thermometer is most accurate for babies) to know for sure if your baby has a fever, but even more important is assessing how your baby is acting and seems to be feeling.
Dress in light layers
Keep the room at a comfortable temperature
If it's hot outside, keep baby inside; if you have to go out, stay in the shade
Some pediatricians recommend putting a cool damp washcloth on the back of the neck for relief, but avoid using very cold cloths or ice packs as the goal is to provide relief, not shock the system
Fevers can cause a child to lose fluids more quickly
<6 months: Offer breast milk or formula regularly
≥6 months: Water, Pedialyte, and popsicles are also an option
Optional; use if baby is in pain or uncomfortable. Usually fevers don't cause discomfort until they're above 102°F, but every child is different so go based on how your child seems to be feeling
<3 months: See doctor before treating!
≥3 months: Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
≥6 months: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
Let your baby sleep as much as they want to help their body recover
This is not the time to sleep train or to wake your sleeping baby!
You don't need to check any of the boxes below – call whenever you have any questions or concerns about your baby!
Call your doctor right away as this could be a sign of an infection
Do not give medicine before baby is seen
Fever is high (≥104°F) and/or lasts >24 hours
Fever comes back after getting better
Nonstop crying or unusual drowsiness
Baby has been in a hot place (e.g., hot car)
Unexplained rash or area of redness
Dehydration (dry mouth, no tears, no urine for >8 hours)
Baby has immune system problems or is taking steroids
Baby has a seizure