Babies can also get colds. While this is usually nothing serious, it’s more than enough to stress out the parents. Therefore, it’s important to know what to do and how to react when your little one gets sick. In case your baby shows symptoms of cold before turning three months, make sure to report this to your doctor immediately. They have to assess your newborn’s condition to make sure that it’s nothing more serious than a cold. For older babies, you can simply call your doctor to ask for advice but it’s not necessary to take your baby in unless the symptoms last too long. Keep in mind that you should never use cold medicine for babies unless your doctor says it’s ok. That said, let’s delve a bit deeper into what to do when a baby has a cold.
Treatment for Common Cold
Common cold has no specific cure. It’s not treatable with antibiotics either. Even without treatment, the common cold generally goes away on its own in a week to ten days. Still, if your baby’s been coughing, the cough may be present for several days more. But before you rush out to buy baby cough medicine or infant congestion medicine over the counter, make sure to check with the doctor if that’s safe. The common practice is to avoid giving over-the-counter meds to newborns.
Keep in mind that the general recommendation is to avoid any kind of over-the-counter cold and baby cough medicine when your baby has a common cold. These meds can easily lead to a fatal overdose in kids that are younger than two. Only fever and pain-relievers are typically given the green light if the situation demands it.
If you’re wondering what to do when a baby has a cold without meds, there are natural ways to deal with this and provide more comfort to your child. For instance, nasal mucus suctioning works rather well together with humidifying the air in the room where the baby is.
What About Fever Cold Medicine for Babies?
Fever is the body’s natural response to the cold virus and over-the-counter infant congestion medicine is not meant to destroy the virus. However, if you want to reduce your child’s fever and make them more comfortable, the best options for fever-reducing cold medicine for babies include acetaminophen such as Tylenol and ibuprofen such as Advil. These are definitely better and safer for newborns compared to aspirin.
However, there are some restrictions in this regard, too. Babies younger than three months should not be given acetaminophen unless the doctor approves it. And babies younger than six months should not be given ibuprofen. In general, ibuprofen is not a safe infant congestion medicine if your child is vomiting a lot. If you want to give your child a pain-reliever that could reduce fever or even a baby cough medicine for that matter, it’s crucial that you follow the recommended dosage for their age.
Also, note that even older kids who are recovering from common childhood illnesses such as chickenpox and flu should never be given aspirin as it poses the risk of developing Reye’s syndrome.
So, What to Do When a Baby Has a Cold?
Suction the Nasal Mucus
As they breathe through their nose for the first six months, babies can have a real congestion problem when they get a cold. The best way to deal with this is to suction the nasal mucus with a bulb syringe. It might be necessary to use the syringe marketed for ear suctioning if the one available for the nose is too big for your infant.
Provide Plenty of Fluids
Giving your baby plenty of fluids will also help alleviate the symptoms of a cold. This is why you should breastfeed or give them the bottle as often as possible. In case the child refuses milk, you can ask the doctor for advice and inquire about potential electrolyte solutions. Also, it could be helpful to change the baby’s feeding position to upright, which can further minimize congestion.
Help with Productive Cough
It’s difficult for babies to cough productively and clear the phlegm due to the lack of muscle strength. What parents can do to help their child cough it out is to turn on the hot shower in the bathroom to make it steamy, and then just take their child to the bathroom before bed. Do not take your baby in the shower with you, just hold them in your arms and stand next to the shower until you notice their cough is turning more productive.
A Lot of Rest
Much like adults, babies will need to sleep more when they’re ill. However, all the accompanying cold symptoms can make sleep time difficult and uncomfortable for an infant. To make things easier for your child so that they can drift off to the dreamland, you can create a bedtime routine such as giving them a nice bath and/or playing some calming lullaby music.
Use a Humidifier
Generally, colds are the most common during winter, when the indoor air is rather dry. This dryness can make the cold symptoms worse and longer. While you shouldn’t go overboard with heating, another thing that can help a lot is to use a humidifier in the room(s) where your baby spends time and sleeps in. The released moisture can make the air less dry, which in turn should minimize the congestion and coughing. Just make sure that the humidifier is well out of the baby’s reach and that you replace the water regularly.
Are Baby Vitamins a Good Choice?
While both formula and breast milk have the necessary nutrients for the newborns’ first months, some infants might benefit from baby vitamins in the first year of their life. What’s more, baby vitamins are actually recommended for infants who are exclusively breastfed or have some other health issues. Some of the most common supplements for babies include Vitamins K and D, Iron, as well as baby probiotics.
Keep in mind that not all supplements are created equally and some may not be safe for your baby. This is why it’s important to discuss baby vitamins with the doctor before purchasing some on your own.
Generally speaking, a common cold is nothing too worrisome. However, if your baby is still younger than three months but has a fever of 100.4℉ or higher, it’s crucial to contact your doctor as soon as possible. And if your baby is older than three months, a fever that lasts longer than three days also warrant a visit to the doctor’s office. Pay attention to other more serious symptoms as well, such as breathing difficulties and wheezing, as this might point to pneumonia or a virus. Don’t hesitate to put trust in the renowned Worldwide Pediatrics Group and enjoy medical service from the best pediatrician in Florida. After all, finding the right pediatrician can be challenging but when you do, dealing with your child’s potential health issues won’t have to be as stressful.