30 answers

High Fever in 10 Month Old

My 10 month old daughter has had a fever the past 2 days of 101 to 105! I called the nurse line last night and she said to give her tylenol and keep her cool. (Which I had been doing!) I took her to the Dr today, and was told the same thing. She does have a virus and had what looks like a cold sore by her tonsils. The Dr said it could be 2 or 3 more days till her fever breaks and she's highly contagious! I am trying to sponge her off, but it doesn't seem to help for long and the tylenol seems to only bring it down for about an hour. Does anyone know of a better way to try and cool her down? I haven't given her a full bath, I was going to do that in the morning. She has been mostly sleeping, which is good, but only I'm my arms and latched on to me.

Its just frustrating to see her so miserable and not being able to help her.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for your imput! My son never had a fever that high for that long, so I got worried. Her fever lasted 4 days before it finally broke, the peak being 106.2! The pediatrician told me to use Motrin or tylenol, whichever I preferred. I have stuck with tylenol for both of my kids, due to the fact I saw something on the news about motrin (rarely) causing severe reactions and it freaked me out lol. The virus wasn't specific, the Dr just said she had one and it should clear up within a couple days. If the fever didn't go away, then I should bring her back so they can make sure it didn't spread and her ears didn't get infected. Dad took the kids to Chuck E Cheese the day before since I had some girl time, and she caught something there. Its just that time of year. I hate fevers, I know its their little bodies fighting something, but I hate watching them suffer and feeling helpless. It took a few days after the fever was gone, but she is back to her diva self :)

Featured Answers

Try using motrin instead of tylonel, I have read in Parent's magazine that it is better. Give her a lukewarm bath, NOT cold. Good luck!

In addition to following what the doc said, I like to sponge water onto my baby's head while she's under the ceiling fan (on it's lowest setting. I just keep her head wet until she seems happier. I only do this if she's awake.

Do NOT use ice. That can be very, very BAD.

I didn't read thru all the responses but somebody may have already said this - it sounds to me like it's hand, foot & mouth disease. Which is extremely contagious and can cause really high fevers. Kids usually get cold sore looking things in their mouths and little bumps on their hands and feet - my daughter mainly just got them between her toes. I try to let fevers do their cycle and only give medication if my daughter is too uncomfortable. Pushing the fever off with medication seems to make the fever last longer in the end. HTH!

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My 13 month old was just in the ER last weekend b/c of a 105 fever and dehydration. She has a bacterial infection and a reaction to the MMR shot. For the fever you can alternate tylenol and motrin ever 3 hours. That way there is always a dose of something on board to keep the fever down. A luke-warm bath works wonders, but don't make it too cool or she'll get chilled. I feel for you and know how awfully stressful this is for the mom. Good luck, I hope she's better soon.

I have always used rubbing alcohol instead of water. It seems to cool them off quicker. My oldest daughter used to get what the doctors called phantom fevers, she get up to 101 to 103 for about a day. It was driving me crazy. But anyway try the rubbing alcohol. Just use a cottonball to apply it. Hope she gets well soon.

We went through this not too long ago with our 10 month old baby boy and it is very a scary and helpless feeling. You can alternate Ibuprophin and Tylonol every 3 hours. Even once the fever breaks keep up the doses for 24 more hours to make sure you kicked it. I know it seems like a lot of meds for such a little one but this advice came from our Pediatrition.

I can't believe your Dr. didn't tell you to use Motrin. It works much better on fevers. Do Tylenol and then in 2 hours do Motrin. Motrin is every 6 to 8 hours, not every 4-6 hours like Tylenol.

it is the worst to see you baby ill, i am so sorry. My 15 month old daughter just went through something similar and we had to actually take her to the ER to get and IV because she got dehydrated. She wouldn't eat or drink anything and had had diareah for 5 days prior to her getting a fever. Anyway I was using tylenol as well, and like you said it only worked a little. The hospital told me to alternate motrin and tylenol every 3-4 hours. which helped keep it a little under control, but she still had a fever. We pretty much just had to wait it out. Fever's aren't necessarily bad, it is just hard to see your little girl so miserable and that you can't put them down. Just keep her hydrated and wait it out. Good luck!

Hi V.. your child having a fever can be scary and frustrating in trying to comfort her; they just feel bad and you want to take it away. If she continues to have a fever of 102 and above - I would call or take her back to the Dr. Or look up some info on the virus she has (unless the doc said virus of somesort) My dd has had unknown fever on occasion. Can you switch to motrin? Motrin seems to work better for my daughter. And, make sure you are giving the correct dosage - call your nurse again to make sure. You can also rotate the two meds...I think.

We also give cold water and juice to drink. If she'll eat try giving her popsicles. For hydration plus they are cold. And tepid bath water...not cold. Cold water will spike the fever.

Good luck and rember to stay calm.

For some reason an enema has really helped my children. I just go to Walgreens and purchase their child enema. Give it a try.

i have a 10 month old babygirl and she had fever after her flu shot the highest was 104.0 n the lowest 101.1 i took her to the doctor and all they said is too give her tylenol and try to keep her cool but the medicine didnt work so i was told to give her a warm bath n put a little alchol in the water and that would help or to rub some alcohol in her body and i did it and it worked the fever came down i was also told to rub d clear part of an egg on d bottom of her feet n put her socks on to lower d fever and that also worked for me you should try it because it might work for u too good luck i hope ur baby gets better

In addition to following what the doc said, I like to sponge water onto my baby's head while she's under the ceiling fan (on it's lowest setting. I just keep her head wet until she seems happier. I only do this if she's awake.

Do NOT use ice. That can be very, very BAD.

Hi V.,
Some of this just does not seem quite right to me. You might want to consider getting a second opinion--maybe calling a Childrens' Hospital in your area. It doesn't hurt to gather more information--a different doctor might have a different take on the situation or have some bright ideas for making her more comfortable.

Best of luck! I hope you all get some rest.

Hi V. - I am so sorry your little one is sick. It's just enough to break a mom's heart to see her little one feel so poorly.

I encourage you to continue to follow your doctors instructions but you might also want to consider that cool baths can actually cause your child's fever to spike - it is the body's natural response to being chilled. I would recommend dressing her in cool comfortable clothing and using a cool washcloth on her forehead and neck rather than a full bath and giving her plenty of fluids.

I hope she feels better very soon!

p.s - just a few responses to prior posts -

Strep rarely affects infants and if they do have a strep infection, it is often not in the throat. Also viral blisters are clear where strep blisters are yellow or white. Also, flu is a respiratory illness and will rarely present with throat blisters. Alcohol baths are no longer recommended ever because of the possibility of alcohol poisoning. Lastly, the enema thing . . . well I just dont understand - Health and Happiness everyone!

I disagree with Michelle. Although a fever in and of itself is not usually a problem, and we only medicate for comfort, anything above 104 is very serious! I would check into doing the tylenol and advil alternated every 3 hours. 104 and above can do damage if left untreated. You can always go to an urgent care or ER if you have concerns and calling the doctor doesn't ease your mind. Urgent cares are usually much less expensive. I hope she gets better soon! Something the doctor told me one time when my husband was extremely sick was that you do want to cool them as much as possible, but if you chill them in the process to where they're shivering, it actually just drives the fever higher, so you might make sure she's not chilled when you do the sponging off. GL!

Try using motrin instead of tylonel, I have read in Parent's magazine that it is better. Give her a lukewarm bath, NOT cold. Good luck!

Things that I have always done when my daughter has a fever are rotating tylenol and motrin every 2 hours the combination usually works better than the one and perfectly safe. Generally recommended by doctors because one takes care of one thing and the other is better for other things. The other thing is to give her several baths a day. It helps and if she has toys it gives her some play time where she feels cool. Motrin does seem to last longer than tylenol but with the combination it works great. Plus have less clothing on her sometime we over bundle our babies. As long as your house is warm a onsie or less is great when they don't feel good and give her a light blanket to snuggle in. Also give her lots of fluids. Anything that she will drink or eat that has a high liquid content. Sometimes the only way to get my daughter to get fluids when she is sick is to let her eat ice cream, yogurt, jello, popsicles, and frozen pedialite. Just remind yourself that it is only until she is better and always offer other things first. Good luck I know that it is no fun when your kids are sick.

Motrin has always worked better for fever for my son than Tylenol. I try to alternate between the two when possible. The high fevers are not fun. Hope she is better soon.

Definatley give her a luke warm bath several times during the day. It will help the fever a lot. Also keep giving her the tylenol also make sure she stays hydrated with breast milk or formula and juice. I hope your little girl keeps better soon.

Switch to infant/children's Motrin. It works much better than Tylenol on a really high fever. Grab some Pedialyte popsicles as well and let her have one or two of those a day, they will make her feel better and make sure she does not dehydrate with such a high fever. Encourage her to play as long as she wants in the bathtub as well. If her fever does not respond better to the Motrin and stays at 105, get a second opinion! Good Luck and I hope both of you feel better soon.

Have you tried Infant's Motrin? I've always had success with that. When my kids have had ear infections, the doctor has had me alternate Tylenol and Infant's Motrin every 3 hours.
Good luck! I hope your little one gets feeling better!

Hi V.,
My son had something very similar a couple weeks ago. My pediatrician recommended alternating Tylenol and Motrin every 3 hours. It's safe to give Tylenol every 4 hours and Motrin every 6 hours, so if you alternate the two every 3 hours you never end up giving Motrin closer than 6 hours. Just make sure you write down when you give what so you don't end up giving too much. I've found with my son that Motrin works much better than Tylenol at bringing down a fever, and it will also help with inflammation in your little girl's throat. If it lasts much longer, you might want to call the doctor again, though. Hope she feels better soon!

I am surprised that your doctor did not tell you that fever is just a body's natural response to an infection, and it helps your body to heal. Our doc only recommends medication for the child's comfort--and says not to worry about the fever. When our daughter has a fever, we only use medication if she is unable to sleep at night, or nap time--not just to bring her fever down. Please don't pump your daughter full of drugs, just for a harmless fever. Only use them sparingly, if your daughter is absolutely miserable. And you don't need to do sponging with water or alcohol--just keep them dressed in cool clothes--like a cotton long sleeved shirt and long pants--something that will be comfortable but not hot.

In normal children, brain injury from high fevers DOES NOT OCCUR, even with fevers as high as 106. You should never bathe your child in cool water--a normal temp bath is fine, and will be cooler than their body temperature. Also, one big complication of fevers, as you can even see from the responses here, is dehydration. If she is nursing well, you should be fine. Just make sure she nurses often, and has several wet diapers a day. Again--the main purpose of drugs is for their comfort, or to help them sleep if they are unable to do so without the drugs, not to control fever.

Good luck--I know it is scary, but fevers really are good--it is just her body fighting off the virus. The more you try to reduce that, the longer the fever will hang on.

Hi V.,
Fever in and of itself is not a bad thing. It actually is how her body is fighting whatever illness it has. Only when the temperature rises can her white blood cells fight off illness. It indicates that everything is working as it should. She should be able to tolerate fevers up to 103*. The key to preventing problems with a fever is to keep the child hydrated. A dehydrated child will bake if the internal environment of the child's body is dry and hot. Baths, while thought of as a great way of hydrating, are actually dehydrating if not done appropriately. So, in order to make a bath effective in hydrating your daughter, she needs to be in the water for at least 20 minutes. The first 10 minutes in the bath, the skin is hydrating, the next 10-15 minutes, the child will absorb any therapeutic agents in the bath such as herbs, etc (if you use them). Tepid water baths are a good way to lower a high fever; however, the child must be oiled after the bath to seal in the moisture. Castor oil is the oil of choice for a bath during a fever. Castor oil is anti-inflammatory and analgesic. A castor oil body rub after a tepid bath seals the skin to prevent moisture loss as well as makes her more comfortable. Castor oil also makes an excellent body rub when mixed with very soupy oatmeal. This castor oil and oatmeal mixture may be rubbed all over the body to lower fever. (taken from Mommy Diagnostics by Shonda Parker)
To be honest, I seldom ever give tylenol because it is not good for your liver. There are times when it is beneficial, but the dosage amounts should be carefully followed, and it should not be over-used. You said she is latched on and sleeping. This is very good!! She needs to nurse, nurse, nurse. Keep a close eye on her. If she is coping well, just keep doing what you are doing. It's so scary when our wee babes are sick. They are so little and unable to tell us what is wrong.
I am editing my response because I just thought of something I didn't think of before and I see that nobody else has suggested it. I would probably take her to a chiropractor as well. It's amazing what great help they can be even for things like this. Make sure you take her to one you trust (ask around if you don't know one), and make sure they are good with babies.
And one more thing. : ) Don't give her juice or sugar drinks. Sugar compromises your immune system substantially (I think it is 30%) for about 4 hours after you consume it. If she's nursing, just keep doing that. I probably wouldn't give her anything else other than breastmilk. HTH

Hi V.

Im surprised they didn't tell you about alternating Tylenol with Motrin. You alternate every 4-6 hours and can because they are different medicines. Also a study just came out saying that Motrin is actually better at reducing fever then Tylenol is. So give lots of cool baths, popsicles, juice, jello all those liquids you dont want her to get dehydrated and alternate the medicines and you will see a big difference. And of course lots of rest is good. L.

try motrin also know as IBU you can give her motrin then 6 hours later give her tylenol. Sometimes if you give only one or the other, it will not do what its suppose to. I learned that when my daughter was 2 months old and was running a temp of 106, the doc told me to use both, but one or the other at certain times. And when babies are sick they want a parent no one else.

it sounds like she may have strep throat. it is really rare in infants, but it does happen. the sores in the throat sound like strep. i am mother to three girls and have gone through similar bouts. in one case it was a severe ear infection. you might need to take her in for a culture. you don't want her to go through any unnecessary pain. good luck!

I just went through something similar with my 10mo old son. He had a high temp for 5 days(104.8)On our first trip to the Dr he said just a bug. Two days later we were back in. Oh this time maybe its a herpes virus in the mouth because his throat was red and slightly swollen with a cold sore. Now thats a possibility with your little one but be on the look out for a rash that covers the torso,face, and back. The third time we went in (all within a week) we saw our regular pediatrician and he knew right away. Roseolla. Its baby measles. Nothing to worry about he said. The fever breaks around 4-5days then within 24hrs the rash appears.He said the rash is the last thing to come and in a few days everything will be back to normal. And it is. IF it is this hang in there! Baths helped along with light clothing and staying hydrated. I hope your little one gets better soon!

my daughter is also 10 months old and has the exact same symptoms. i cant seem to get her temp down neither and do i need to keep her cool or warm cause when i was a baby my mom always kept me vey warm so i could sweat my temp out but now days i hear you need to be in a cooler enviroment. so wich one cool or hot?

Alternating tylenol and motrin always did the trick for my kids, ask your Pediatrician first though. Alternate every FOUR hours not three. Motrin is hard on the kidneys if given too much. Call your Dr to confirm I have always done the every four hours alternating only with high fevers.

I would give tylenol in the morning, then four hours later give motrin and alternate back and forth. Tylenol rarely helped with high fevers in my kids. Keeping a cool rag on her head, keeping her super hydrated will help too. You can put her in a luke warm bath too to help her body regulate.

Fevers are good, they may be irratation and if it is 102 or less it isn't considered high really in a child. The fever is her bodies response to fighting off the virus. I would actually let my kids have a slight fever (not over 102) during the day and not worry so much about bringing it down when I could keep close tabs and worry about bringing it down at night so they could rest well.

I have to completely disagree with Kimberly and side with Michelle about 104 fevers. Fevers of 104 is bad in an adult, not a child! When it gets close to 105 and stays there for over six hours without going down with meds, you need to call the Dr back. Did they take a throat culture to make sure it isn't strep? I have two kids and they have had many viruses, strep throat and experience with high fevers.

Did they check for Hand foot and mouth? I agree with the other poster too, my daughter got Hand foot and mouth, very contagious, she literally had sores in her lower lip and tongue and down her throat then got them on her tops of her feet. I just had to ride it out and keep her comfortable. Hydration is huge especially because they don't feel like drinking with the sores in their mouth. Try popsicles, letting her drink from a straw and anything cool and soothing. Don't worry about the nutriton right now as much as keeping her hydrated. If it is Hand foot and mouth, she is contagious as long as any sores are present, with or without scabs.

Try laying blankets on the floor with pillows and letting her rest near you or in a play pen too downstairs so you can keep a close watch. It stinks seeing your baby being miserable or sick. This is something that will happen many more times as they grow older. Unfortunately. It does lessen when they get to Preschool/Kindergarten age if that makes you feel any better. Her immune system is fighting it off like it should. Hugs and Prayers. When it does break she will soaking wet, so don't panic, it is normal.
Hugs to you both.

I didn't read thru all the responses but somebody may have already said this - it sounds to me like it's hand, foot & mouth disease. Which is extremely contagious and can cause really high fevers. Kids usually get cold sore looking things in their mouths and little bumps on their hands and feet - my daughter mainly just got them between her toes. I try to let fevers do their cycle and only give medication if my daughter is too uncomfortable. Pushing the fever off with medication seems to make the fever last longer in the end. HTH!

My first suggestion is that Motrin works so much better at breaking and controlling fevers than Tylenol. As for her sleeping lay a blanket on the floor try to lay next to her but not holding her. The transfer of your body heat to hers isn't going to help at all. When the fever gets to the highest point. Put her in the sink and using cold water wash her down. I hate this part and make my husband a Fire fighter and EMT do it. It is so hard to watch them cry. Best of luck and all my Prayers.


Hi V.,

I'm sorry to hear that your little one is sick, but I heard this from a peditrician once and although I haven't ever tried it, it may help. Try to give your daugher a bath in luke warm water aand alchol. It is supposed to bring down a fever. I hope it helps and I hoipe she feels better soon.

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