A low-grade fever in babies is usually caused by an infection, according to Children's Hospital Colorado. However, overdressing your baby or immunizations also can cause a low-grade fever. For an infection, a fever usually gets better within a few days. However, you can take steps to make sure your baby is comfortable while getting over the infection.
A low-grade fever makes your child more prone to dehydration. For a baby under 1 year of age, discuss the use of an oral rehydration fluid, says the Mayo Clinic. This type of fluid replaces electrolytes in your baby's body. Also, encourage your baby to continue to feed on her normal schedule. Engage in quiet activities with your baby and have her rest as much as possible.
Soak your baby in a lukewarm bath to reduce her fever and make her feel better. Allow your baby to stay in the bath about five to 10 minutes. However, if your baby starts to shiver, end the bath right away. Shivering raises a baby's internal temperature because a shaking body produces heat. This will make your baby's low-grade fever worse. After the bath, keep your baby dressed in light clothing and the temperature in the house comfortable, not too hot or cold.
Discuss the use of fever-reducing medication with your baby's pediatrician. For a low-grade fever, your doctor might not recommend it. A fever is your baby's natural response to fighting an infection. When you reduce the fever, it might create a more favorable environment for the infection. If your doctor does recommend a fever reducer, stick to acetaminophen or ibuprofen for babies over 6 months old. Children under 6 months of age shouldn't use ibuprofen. Never use aspirin in children. It has been linked to a serious illness called Reye's syndrome.
If your baby is 3 months old or younger and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, call your doctor or visit the emergency room, according to Children's Hospital Colorado. Even a low temperature in a small infant can signal a serious infection. However, once your child is at least 3 months old, you don't typically need medical attention unless her fever gets to 102.2 or higher. Other signs that your child needs medical attention include a baby who refuses to eat, doesn't seem alert or is irritable all the time.