I remember my mom throwing me in ice cold baths when I had a temperature and HATING it! Well I didn't want to do that to my 10 month old ... he sure can't understand why he is shivering and freezing. So I did some research and found that a cool bath is still the best, but ice cold ones, no bueno! You want the bath cool enough to reduce the temp but not cold enough to make their body try to compensate by raising their temp even more (always check with your doctor first on any medical treatments).
My 10 month old had been running a fever of 102 and higher for over a week (we did have him checked by the doc and they said it was just a virus, so to keep the fever down if he becomes uncomfortable.) He already had to be on lots of medication for a bacterial infection earlier in the week and I didn't want to keep loading him with medicines ... so it was time for a bath!
1. Use the kitchen sink. It is small and cozy and you can be right there without having to bend or stoop uncomfortably yourself.
2. Make the water tolerable. I have been starting with the "average" body temp of 98.6 degrees.
3. Bring out all sorts of things they don't normally get to play with. I brought out spoons, measuring cups, plastic cups and the best toy ever ... I actually let him play with the handles on the water (BUT TAKE NOTICE THE FAUCET IS NOT RUNNING INTO HIS BATH. MAKE SURE YOU ARE WATCHING CAREFULLY TO PREVENT ANY BURNS OR SCALDS). The point of bringing out new toys is to keep them distracted.
4. I keep him on the right side of the sink so he has access to turning on and off the cold water. I take one of the cups he is playing with, fill it with cold water and dump it in the bath one slow cup at a time, continually reducing the water temperature.
5. Keep checking your water temp on a thermometer and keep a steady hand and eye on your child at ALL times to prevent any falls/injury.
Be sure to ask your doctor to approve any medical advice regarding care of your little one.
This little trick allows me to get the water nice and cool to reduce his fever and he is so distracted with the faucet and novel toys that he doesn't even notice the temp slowly going down!
Best of luck with your fevers and colds as we get closer to winter.