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Your Baby and the Common Cold: 5 Ways to Manage Her Symptoms

October 12, 2012

During the fall and winter, we all have our fingers crossed that seasonal colds and flus will leave our households alone. When you have a new baby, your finger crossing may turn into full-on vigilance, with hand sanitizers in the foyer and constant cleaning and disinfecting. But often, those viral particles have a way of making their way onto baby’s skin, eyes, nose, and mouth, and the next thing you know, you’re soothing a congested, coughing infant.

If your baby shows signs of a cold, such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose, congestion, and possibly a low-grade fever, there are a few remedies you can try to make her feel better more quickly.

1. Keep her nasal passages clear. Not only is this important for her comfort but this will also help her sleep better. You can use a syringe to suction out the mucous from her nose, or try a gentle saline solution. Wipe her nose frequently with a soft tissue and use a petroleum jelly or Aquaphor on her nose and nostrils to avoid skin irritation.

2. Try a cool humidifier in your baby’s bedroom during naps and at night while she sleeps. The humidity will loosen any nasal, sinus, or chest congestion and can help her to recover more quickly.

3. If your baby is over six months of age, try giving her sips of clear fluids in addition to milk or formula. The more hydration she receives, the better!

4. Tylenol (and/or Motrin for babies 6+ months old) can help control a low-grade fever.

5. A lunchtime bath! When she is sick, time goes out the window. A warm tub midday can help open the sinus passages and make her feel better.

Don’t be afraid to call your doctor if your baby’s symptoms worsen. If her fever is over 101ºF, if she begins to wheeze, or if her cold persists for more than six or seven days, take her to the pediatrician. And look out for ear pulling, which is generally a sign that she may have an ear infection. Your doctor can recommend pain or fever reducers that are safe for babies of her age, or administer antibiotics if her cold has caused a bacterial infection. Working with your pediatrician to troubleshoot her symptoms will make her feel better and will cause you less worry over your little one’s wellbeing!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 15, 2012 7:53 am

    Hi Raeanne,
    When I instruct my parents/moms/caregivers in learning to massage their own babies, they learn gentle facial and chest strokes which help ease the discomfort of nasal and chest congestion. It helps so very much. The facial strokes are a deterrent to both the sinus congestion and blocked tear-ducts. I agree tat the warm bath during the day is a super idea!
    Good post.
    Meredith, CEIM

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