Baby colds are no fun – and the average bout can last up to ten days; an age to suffer through the stuffy noses, sore throats and cacophony of coughs keeping everyone up at night. Plus, antibiotics will do nothing if it’s a viral infection, so your only option is to – ugh – wait it out.
How to soothe a baby with a cold
Check out these top tips to soothe your little one’s symptoms during the long haul, speed up recovery, and save (a tiny bit) of your sanity in the process.
Keep Them Hydrated
“A baby will usually want to nurse or take a bottle more frequently when sick because he needs that comfort,” says Dr. William Sears, Associate Clinical Professor of Paediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. (Dr. William Sears does not endorse Infacol or any other medicine).
At 4 months, your baby can have a little water, too, and at 6 months, you can offer watered-down juices.
For toddlers try out this kid-friendly hot toddy.
Paracetamol is one way to treat high temperatures, but always check dosage against your child’s age before you administer.
If your baby is 3 months old or younger and has a fever, contact your paediatrician immediately.
Use a “Nose Hose”
Relieve congestion by using a nasal aspirator and saline nasal spray before your baby eats and goes to sleep.
Run a Humidifier
A cool mist humidifier in the nursery during nap time and at night can help with coughs and congested airways by moistening the dry winter air. A warm mist vaporiser is even better, but you need to keep the machine out of reach of little hands to prevent burns.
Create a Steam Room
Run hot water in the shower and sit with your baby in the bathroom for about 15 minutes while the steam fills the room. The heat from the steam will loosen up the mucus and relieve stuffiness – a good ritual to implement just before bedtime.
Forget the Routine
While your tot is struggling through the sickness, ease up on schedules; he’ll likely find it tough to get a decent night’s shut-eye, and be exhausted throughout the day. Rule of thumb is to encourage rest whenever and wherever it will happen – adequate sleep means the body has a stronger chance of fighting off the bugs.
Recognising the Symptoms
“If your baby had a clear, runny discharge from his nose that becomes thick and discoloured, accompanied by a fever, and if he’s doing a lot of crying and pulling and/or hitting his ears, contact your doctor,” says Dr. Bud Zukow (Dr. Bud Zukow does not endorse Infacol or any other medicine), co-author of Baby: An Owner’s Manual. “You may be looking at your baby’s first middle-ear infection,” he says.
However, if your child is displaying signs of a cold, yet seems otherwise happy, continue to treat the symptoms at home while looking out for any changes.