Is It Ok For An Infant To Take A Bath While Having A Cold And Fever? (What’s Normal And What’s Not)

Taking a bath might be the perfect form of comfort for an upset and feverish baby. It’s a good way of providing warmth that helps your baby recover sooner. But not all children enjoy having baths. If your child doesn’t like to have a bath, don’t force it on them. It’s safe to let them go a few days before bathing them. Instead, look for other ways to soothe their fever, like breastfeeding them that keeps them hydrated. If you decide to bathe them, don’t use scented soaps, products with detergents, or any other fragrance that could irritate their already sensitive nose. A sponge bath with just a little water and towels with no softeners will do.

Most baby fevers are harmless and caused by mild infections, but when they’re sick, it can be hard to know what to do. One thing most parents worry about is bathing a sickly child. 

The thought of their little ones’ fever skyrocketing and potentially risking the illness spreading by bathing them makes it difficult for some parents to do. 

Is it okay to bathe a baby with a cold and fever? There are a few things to consider before deciding if or not for your child to have a bath when they’ve been diagnosed with a cold and fever; 

What is the best way to bathe a baby with a cold and a fever?

You can bathe a sick baby provided you follow a few precautions. 

Consider a sponge bath. Ensure the water is neither too cold for your baby nor too hot. Use lukewarm water and be ready with any other supplies you might need beforehand within reach. 

It will help reduce the risk of accidentally raising your infant’s body temperature, which is essential in helping them to feel better. 

Use a damp cloth to thoroughly clean their face without getting water in their eyes or mouth.

Dip the wet cloth in water before washing other parts of their body and use it on the diaper area at the end of the bath. Be careful not to submerge their head underwater.

One way to keep your baby warm to reduce their cold and keep away the fever during a sponge bath is by wrapping them in a dry towel and uncovering only the parts of their body you are washing.

Give special attention to areas like behind the ears, creases under the arms, around the neck, and the diaper area.

My child has a cold and fever and other symptoms, should I be worried?

The general symptoms that are commonly associated with cold and fever that are usually not a cause of concern and can be relieved by over the counter medications include:

  • Tiredness and discomfort
  • Lack of energy
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Aches and pains
  • Body heat
  • Lack of appetite
  • Headache
  • Shivering

How do I make my infant comfortable with home remedies for cold and fever?

There are many ways to manage the cold and fever and keep your child comfortable.

  • Cool your baby off with lukewarm sponge birth.
  • Place a cool compress on the forehead.
  • Keep the room at a moderate temperature. Not too cold and not too hot.
  • Dress the baby in a layer of light clothing.
  • Use a light blanket on the baby while sleeping.
  • Give your child a lot of fluids, in this case, breast milk, to avoid dehydration.
  • Let the baby rest as much as possible. 
  • Let the baby breastfeed as they can. What’s important isn’t how much they’re eating but if they’re still drinking and urinating normally.
  • Keep your child indoors.
  • Give baby-friendly paracetamol or ibuprofen per the recommended dosage for infants.

When should I call the doctor?

Mom is having a video meeting with her sick infant's pediatrician to share his recent fever symptoms

While the body is very adept at fighting infections, the following symptoms are abnormal and could be signs of infection.

Bring your little one to see the doctor if you notice any of the following warning signs:

  • The baby is two months and below and has a temperature of 100.4°F or 38°C or more
  • Your child is aged 3‐6 months and has a temperature of 102.02°F or 38.9°C or more
  • The baby has a persistent fever that lasts for more than 72 hours
  • The baby is irritable and sleepy
  • Has rashes or purple spots that look like bruises on the skin
  • Pain, redness, or swelling in one area of the body
  • If the soft spot on the infant’s head bulges out or is sunken inwards
  • Severely decreased urine output or pain with each urination
  • Very little or no fluids intake at all
  • The infant has blue lips, tongue, or nails
  • Trouble breathing
  • Heavy coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures


Why is my child’s fever higher at night?

Children are prone to fevers as their immune systems aren’t well developed. But do not be alarmed if the baby’s fever increases at night.

Naturally, body temperatures rise in the evening, and a slight fever during the day can spike during sleep.

How long do infants’ fevers last?

In most cases, a fever on its own is harmless and should subside in 3‐5 days.

Just keep your baby comfortable and let the body do its part of fighting the fever naturally. But keep watch to make sure that the baby’s fever doesn’t escalate.


One of the most common symptoms of a cold is fever, which is the body’s way of defending itself from viruses.

Soaking in your hot tub with your baby to increase their body temperature and induce a slight fever can help boost their immune system and help stop the cold virus in their nose from reproducing.

You could also try non-medicated rubs in moderation, which are a blend of soothing oils that contain fragrances of eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender.

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Hello, I am Emelda from Nairobi, Kenya. They simply call me mama Lilly. A fun of long road trips and a very good cook, along with my mommy duties to a super active girl. She inspires and challenges me in equal measure, and that is how I get to share with you our journey of triumph as we grow and tag you along.

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