Your baby’s first cold or their first sign of congestion can be daunting to deal with. They are so small and you don’t want them to feel any discomfort. Babies are born with some immunity to illnesses, but it does take time for their immune system to develop and mature, so there is a chance your little one will come down with a cold, or some congestion, at some point. Understanding how to combat baby colds and congestion will help give your baby some comfort and give you some ease in knowing that they will get better quickly.
It is likely that your baby might get as many as 8 to 10 colds in their first 2 years, so knowing how to deal with colds and congestions when they happen is such a help.
Symptoms Of Colds In Babies
Your first clue that your baby has a cold will be a stuffed or runny nose. Nasal discharge will more than likely start out clear, but it will then turn thicker and yellow over a few days. This is normal and does not necessarily mean the cold is getting worse.
The other symptoms of a cold include:
- Coughing (mainly at night)
- Reduced appetite
- Difficulty taking a bottle or breastfeeding
- Trouble falling asleep and staying asleep
It is important to note that the symptoms of a cold are similar to the symptoms of other illnesses for babies, so if any different symptoms appear or your baby is not getting better, it is best to take them to a doctor.
How To Combat Colds And Congestion
There are certain do’s and don’ts when it comes to combating colds and congestions in your baby at home. The most important thing is to make your baby feel comfortable first. Here is what you should and should not do:
Do – Offer plenty of fluids, whether it be breast milk or formula. You may offer your baby a small amount of water if they are over 6 months old.
Do – Suction out nasal mucus. This can be done using a suction bulb and safe saline drops.
Do – Use a humidifier to moisturize the air. Speak to your doctor about whether you should use a warm or cool mist humidifier.
Do – Give lots of love and cuddles. We know how uncomfortable colds and congestion can be, so offer your child as much comfort as they want.
Don’t – Give your child antibiotics, as they do not work on viruses and will not treat a cold.
Don’t – Give your baby over-the-counter fever reducers such as Tylenol, as these are not recommended for babies under 3 months old. Check with your doctor for which type of over-the-counter medication is safe for your baby under a year old.
Don’t – Give your child aspirin.
Don’t – Give your baby cough and cold medication – these are not recommended for children under the age of 2.
Don’t – Use vapour rubs, even if they are formulated for babies. These could irritate their airways. Avoid using it on their skin and in a vaporizer.
Don’t – Let your baby sleep on their stomach. Their normal sleeping position is fine.
Remember Love And Cuddles
The virus should work its way out of your little one’s system in a few days. In the meantime, do what you can to comfort them, and give them as much love and cuddles as they want.