It is very frustrating to have a small baby with a fever. They are uncomfortable and restless many times and all we want to do is comfort them. But we can and should avoid reaching for that bottle of baby Tylenol or Motrin. There ARE natural solutions that are much healthier for them.
In most cases, your infant’s fever should be left alone. Fever serves a very useful purpose and is the body’s ally in fighting infection. There are a few natural remedies, however, that are safe for babies that will help your little one feel more comfortable.
It’s a good idea to see a Naturopath, Homeopath or other licensed health care provider who specializes in natural remedies before using them on your baby. He or she can point you in the right direction when choosing herbs and homeopathic remedies as well as help you with dosing.
Lemon balm leaf, chamomile, peppermint, licorice and elder flower have been traditionally used to treat infant fevers. A baby older than 2 can be given one half cup of herbal tea, up to 4 times a day, for 24 hours. For babies younger than two who are breastfeeding, it is best if Mom takes the herbs herself in order to pass along the medicinal properties to her nursing infant. Or you can purchase over the counter herbal formulations with dosages designed for infants at your local health shop.
Echinacea and goldenseal have been proven in some studies to clear up infection. Try a combination specially designed for children.
Garlic also has antibacterial properties. If your baby is older than 9 months, you can make a batch of chicken broth with garlic, and serve it to your baby.
Ginger tea can help with a fever. It’s also great for stomach aches. Ginger has warming properties and is wonderful for babies who are chilled. Make a weak tea with grated fresh ginger. If your infant is over one year of age, add a drop of honey to sweeten.
Homeopathic remedies are effective for infant fevers, but the specific remedy must match the individual child’s symptoms. Check a homeopathic reference book to find the right one, or call a Doctor of Homeopathy.
Be sure to keep baby well hydrated with clear liquids. If baby is nursing, offer the breast frequently so that baby will get plenty of fluids and the natural immune factors in breastmilk.
Keep in mind that if your infant is younger than 6 months old, it’s a good idea to call your Doctor about a fever. Additionally, if baby is listless, lethargic, acting unusual, having difficulty breathing or complaining of a stiff neck, phone your Doctor immediately.