Baby Has a Cold: Tips and Tricks for Soothing a Sick Infant
Babies tend to get colds much more frequently and easily than adults because their immune systems are immature. Additionally, because the common cold is caused by over 200 different viruses, babies have to build immunity to each one of them over time. Luckily, to help make the ordeal easier for parents, here are 3 tips and tricks for soothing a sick infant:
1. Learn common methods for preventing the common cold.
If you are sick with the common cold, it is important to know how to prevent passing it along to your infant. To help keep yourself healthy and avoid making your infant sick, you need to:
- Wash your hands before handling your child
- Sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve instead of into your hands or arms
- Avoid touching your face with your hands
- Avoid drinking and smoking because such habits weaken your immune system
- Eat more vegetables to get all of the essential vitamins
- Exercise regularly
2. Learn how to deal with common colds to better help your sick infant.
If your infant has a cold, it is not recommended to buy over-the-counter (OTC) cold medications for children under six. Since many cold medications have dangerous side effects for children, it is highly recommended to speak with a doctor first before using cough syrup for toddlers.
When dealing with an infant cold, you can:
- Add moisture to the air by introducing a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier to the baby’s room
- Reduce irritation by applying petroleum jelly on the outside of the baby’s nostrils
- Help relieve a stuffy nose by using saline and suctioning the mucus with a nasal aspirator or rubber bulb syringe
3. Know when to call a doctor.
As it was mentioned previously, it is recommended to speak with a doctor before giving a sick infant cold medicine. However, it is also important to call a doctor immediately if the baby:
- Is under three months of age and shows signs of illness, or has a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher
- Is between three to six months of age with a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius) or higher
- Is over six months of age with a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius) or higher
- Has a fever that does not go away after two days
- Is wheezing, coughing, gasping, or breathing rapidly
- Is pulling at its ears or crying uncharacteristically
- Has teary eyes or discharge
- Has cold symptoms that worsen or do not go away after fourteen days
By keeping yourself healthy and knowing how to handle common colds, you can potentially make it easier to deal with a sick infant. However, as always, before you try anything, you must first consult with your baby’s doctor to ensure that you do not cause more harm than good.
Leonardo Dawson is a daycare provider and an avid blogger. When he can find a moment, he enjoys sharing his experience with others on various websites. He suggests to speak with a doctor first before using cough syrup for toddlers.