Kids get sick, it's unavoidable.
I read somewhere that babies get four colds in their first year, on average. I’m not big on covering my little boy in cotton wool or over-protecting him from germs. He was born into a household with a big, fluffy dog who sheds everywhere so fur and germs have followed him around since day one.
Until he was 6 months old, he never as much as had a runny nose and I smugly chalked it down to his exposure to “healthy germs”. Well, let’s just say I’ve had my comeuppance because he’s had a cold, gastro bug, chest infection, another cold and another chest infection in quick succession over the last 4 months. It’s miserable to watch your child battle through any illness, so when you hear the sniffles come on, try these tricks to help your little one;
(It goes without saying that you should always seek medical advice if you’re concerned about your child – it’s better to be safe than sorry.)
1. If you’re babe is struggling to sleep because they’re stuffed up, try elevating the head of the cot. You can stick some sturdy books under the legs or try putting a pillow under the cot sheet.
2. Ok, I know this is vile, BUT it’s a life saver. When my son is stuffed up I use the Nose Frida. It basically sucks the mucus out. There is a filter so it never hits your mouth. OK, I’ll stop talking about it now, but get one!
3. Humidifiers are great in general for having on in a baby’s room at night to help them breath better. When your little one has a cold, I highly recommend investing in one. They create moisture in the air, keeping the nasal passages moist. We use a plain humidifier with just water but I’ve also heard good things about the Vicks humidifier.
4. When my son had his first chest infection, I picked up the Calpol Vapor Plug in my local chemist. It’s excellent and the difference in his sleep was instant. I’m asthmatic and I’ve also noticed how clear my breathing is when I’m in his room and it’s plugged in. The refills can get a little pricey but it’s worth it for when your baby is feeling stuffed up, chesty and overall sleeping poorly.
5. Saline drops can help unplug the mucus that builds up in your babies nose. The Nose Frida is more effective if you use it after putting in a few saline drops too.
6. Just like adults, kids need plenty of liquids to fight a cold. Try offering an extra bottle, or even just add an extra ounce to each bottle throughout the day. If your baby is a little older, give them a sippy cup of water or juice to sip on during the day.
7. A good thermometer is a must-have in any home with kids. Periodically check your little one's temperature to make sure they’re not running a fever, as they may need medical attention if they are.
8. Have Calpol and Nurofen to hand in case you need it. We gave our little boy Calpol when he was suffering from a cold to regulate his temperature and generally lessen the symptoms. When he was fighting a chest infection, we added Nurofen at bedtime to give him additional relief and help with the pain from the coughing. Always read the label and consult your doctor about appropriate dosage.
A combination of these tips should help ease the pain for you and baby when they’re feeling poorly. I also recommend lots of cuddles and patience when your baby is sick.