Colds are an inevitable part of winter and nobody is immune from catching one, even your baby.When they have the viral infection, infants can be irritable, grumpy and generally uncomfortable.
And while it will usually work itself out of your little one's system on its own, there are a few things you can do to make them feel better in the meantime.
Symptoms to look out for
While every child is different, the most common symptoms of a cold include a fever, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, nasal congestion and discharge, being irritable and not eating. A persistent cough, red eyes and an ear infection are also factors..
How to help them
Common colds can’t be cured but they can be managed. Make sure your baby is comfortable at all times and that they aren’t too hot or too cold. Suck out any nasal blockages to help them breathe, and if they have a temperature you can ease it with over-the-counter medication. Don’t give them any medication that is not suitable for their age and if you are concerned always ring your doctor to ask. Steaming the air is also a great way to help clear blockages – simply run a hot bath and let them breathe in the steam. For older babies, a vapor rub on their chest and back can help them breathe. Rest is one of the best ways for them to get over it, so make sure they get plenty of naps.
When to call a doctor
Babies younger than two months should be taken to the doctor before the cold has a chance to develop into something more. Babies over three months don’t really need to be taken to the doctor unless they have a high fever, a consistent cough or are in pain. Colds are more of a nuisance than anything else but some, if not treated, can develop into dehydration or coup, especially in younger babies. You will need to take them to the doctor if they aren’t able to take any fluids or are struggling to breathe.