An arrest warrant alleges that Yesenia Alvarez, 29, of 4359 Old Poole Road "did intentionally inflict seriously bodily injury" on the child, who suffered second-degree burns on the hands.
Investigators did not release further details about the child or the crime.
Alvarez, who is from Mexico, was in the Wake County jail Wednesday under a $25,000 bond as well as an immigration detainer by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
She appeared in Wake County District Court Wednesday, where she told a judge she did not want to return to Mexico because she has been threatened by her husband.
Felony child abuse is punishable by up to 88 months in prison.