Strep Throat Symptoms in Babies

by Doug Hewitt

Children who are past the toddler stage may be perfectly able to voice their concern about the feeling in their throat. They can also respond to questions as you probe a child's symptoms. In this way, it can be easier to arrive at a suspicion of strep throat infection in older children. But for a baby, who is unable to articulate feelings of soreness, parents and caregivers need to know the symptoms of a strep throat infection so they may seek medical attention.

Sore Throat

Strep throat is an infection and is caused by a bacterium called streptococcus. The infection can cause soreness in the throat. Sore throats can create difficulty with breathing. Both a sore throat and difficulty in breathing, however, are not always present in babies with strep throat. The unpleasant feeling in the throat may contribute to a baby's loss of appetite and a refusal to drink from a bottle or to breast feed.

Irritability and Sleeplessness

Babies with strep throat may become irritable, which in turn can lead to sleeplessness. Note that the symptoms of strep throat in infants may not be as severe as the ones that manifest in older children. Also, the onset of the symptoms can be delayed in babies and infants.


The strep throat infection can cause a fever in babies. However, the baby may not develop a fever at all. If a fever does present itself, it is typically a low-grade fever of about 99 to 100 degrees F.

Nasal Discharge

A baby with a strep throat infection may develop a nasal discharge that is clear in color. This nasal discharge is occasionally associated with an infection of the skin between the mouth's upper lip and the nostrils. Note that there may be no swollen lymph glands associated with a baby's case of strep throat.


There is occasionally a skin rash symptom of strep throat in babies. This skin rash is a fine, red rash that can develop along the arms, legs and torso.

About the Author

Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."

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