Infant Cold Remedies? Here’s Exactly What To Do!

Infant cold remedies are much different from toddler cold remedies.

Treating the common cold in infants is limited primarily because babies cannot tell us what they are feeling. To recognize the signs of a cold, we must observe their cough, presence of nasal congestion, wheezing, and even spit.

Whether a newborn or a few months old, parents must pay special attention to cold symptoms since infants with their immature immune systems are more susceptible to viruses.

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Step: 5 – Decongestion Infant Cold Remedies

Infant Cold Remedies

Infants under six months can only breathe through their nose. The first thing to do is to decongest their mucus.  Use a few drops of saline solution in each nostril.

Carefully insert a bulb pump, and then pump out the mucus.  Use the smaller, green bulb pump for infants.

Place a humidifier in the room to ease the congestion in your baby’s chest. Listen for wheezing, and check to see if your baby is straining to breathe.

Turn your bathroom into a steam room. Let the hot water from the shower run for a few minutes. Sit in the steam with your baby. This activity can help relieve nasal and upper airway congestion.

Step: 4 – Hydration Infant Cold Remedies

Hydrate Baby With Cold

Another important infant cold remedy is hydration.  Make sure your infant stays hydrated.

They only need milk, whether formula or breastmilk. Do not give water or juice to infants.  Dr. Charla Tabet of La Rabida Children’s Hospital advises mothers to encourage their babies to feed as often as possible.

Decongest your baby’s nose and chest before you start nursing or feeding to allow for comfort and encourage maximum intake.

Step: 3 – Rest As Infant Cold Remedies

Rest For Baby With A Cold

After nutrition, adequate rest and sleep are what your baby needs.

Create a comfortable bedtime routine to soothe and relax. Decongest before you try to put your baby down to sleep.

Never prop babies. Lay them down in a flat position.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that until infants reach one year old, the safest sleeping position is to lie entirely on their backs.

The AAP also advises against using a car seat for sleeping babies [1].

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Step: 2 – Observe

Baby Cold Symptoms

It is important to always check your baby’s symptoms. Consult with your doctor if your baby develops a fever, especially temperatures of 100.4℉ or higher.

Regarding infants under 4 months of age, most pediatricians recommend that you contact your doctor at the onset of a cold.

Other symptoms that you should look out for:

  • Inability to feed or urinate
  • Wheezing
  • Rapid or labored breathing
  • Blue lips
  • Swelling of the throat and neck
  • Ear pain usually exhibited by pulling or hitting of the ears
  • Worsening condition

Telling the difference between a common cold and a respiratory virus such as a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can be difficult. For adults, RSV causes only mild respiratory infections. For babies, the disease can be deadly.

Step: 1 – Loving Care

Giving Your Baby A Bath While Sick

Always wash your hands before and after handling your baby. Another infant cold remedy is giving your baby a warm bath.

For runny noses, be careful not to irritate the area around the nose or abrade the baby’s skin. Dampen a soft washcloth with warm water to clean your baby’s face. Pat dry.  Do not rub.

Over-the-counter treatments should be avoided. Never dispense any medicine without first consulting your pediatrician.

Give your baby gentle massages and a lot of skin to skin contact to help settle and soothe. Sometimes, a soft touch goes a long, long way.

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Infant Cold Remedies References:
[1]   AAP News & Journals Gateway; SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment, Rachel Y. Moon, MD, FAAP, October 2016.

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