Fever at Night in Infants & Toddlers

Having an infant or toddler who wakes up with a fever can be scary. A fever typically occurs when your child’s body is fighting an infection. A child’s fever usually gets better within a few days, according to MayoClinic.com 1. However, a fever in the evening hours can make your child uncomfortable and have difficulty sleeping. Keeping her comfortable and knowing when medical attention is needed will help.


An infant or toddler with a fever is at higher risk for dehydration, according to MayoClinic.com 1. For a child under the age of 1, offer an electrolyte rehydration fluid when she wakes up at night. Older children can drink an electrolyte replacement fluid, juice, water or broth. If your child wakes up with a dry and sticky mouth and doesn’t have tears when she cries, contact her doctor. These are signs of dehydration.

Lukewarm Soak

Soothe a child who can’t go back to sleep at night with a lukewarm soak. This can reduce your infant or toddler’s fever, making her more comfortable and able to sleep at night. Allow her to soak for about five to 10 minutes. If she starts to shiver, end the bath and dress her in light clothing for bed. Shivering raises the body temperature, which might increase your infant or toddler’s fever.

Fever Reducing Medication

Your first reaction might be to grab a fever reducing medication for your infant or toddler. However, fever reducers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, aren’t always necessary, reports MayoClinic.com 1. For a temperature lower than 102 degrees, your doctor might recommend skipping the medication. Taking medication when it isn’t necessary can prolong your child’s illness. Also, never give an infant or child aspirin. This medication might cause Reye’s syndrome, a potentially fatal illness, according to MayoClinic.com 1.

Medical Assistance

An infant with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher at night warrants a call to the doctor, recommends MayoClinic.com 1. If you can’t get a hold of your doctor, try an urgent care facility. For older children, a temperature higher than 102 degrees in the evening is a reason for concern. An unresponsive or lethargic child who won’t eat or drink is another reason to seek medical attention.