It's always heartbreaking to see your little one sick, but unfortunately, colds are just a part of life. As parents, it's our job to do everything we can to make our babies feel better when they're under the weather.
In this blog post, we'll give you some tips on how to treat your baby's cold at home as well as when you should take them to see the doctor.
Home Remedies for Colds in Babies
There are several things you can do at home to help your baby feel more comfortable when they have a cold. One of the most important things is to make sure they stay hydrated.
Offer them breastmilk or formula often, and if they're old enough to drink water, make sure they're getting plenty of that as well.
Rest is also crucial for helping your little one recover, so make sure they're getting plenty of naps, preferably at home in their usually sleeping spot if possible as they don't get as much rest when sleeping out and about in the pram or or the car seat.
There are also some home remedies that can help relieve your baby's symptoms. For a stuffy nose, you can use a bulb syringe to suction out mucus. This can be a little awkward to use but sure beats the old way of doing it by sucking the snot out yourself!
You can also put a humidifier in their room to help keep the air moist. Some parents find this very effective and using a humidifier with menthol oil added to it can work wonders.
If their chest or back feels congested and you don't have a humidifier at home, you can try putting them in a steamy bathroom for a few minutes or putting a warm cloth on their chest and back. Just be sure not never put menthol oil directly on your baby's skin! There are several products on the market you can purchase that are mild enough for babies such as a Vapor rub.
Finally, if your baby is older than six months, you can give them infant over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol or Motrin according to the package directions. Some of the best cold medicines for babies are extremely effective when your little one is run down.
Best Preventative Measures for Babies with Colds
The best way to treat a cold in babies is to try and prevent them from getting one in the first place. The easiest way to do this is by washing your hands often and not letting other people touch or kiss your baby if they are sick.
You can also keep their environment clean, so make sure you're frequently wiping down surfaces and toys.
If your baby has been around someone who is sick, you can also give them a lukewarm bath to help keep their immune system strong.
One way to help prevent your baby from getting a cold is by making sure they're getting enough vitamins. Vitamin C is especially important for keeping the immune system strong, so try to give your baby foods that are high in that vitamin, like oranges or broccoli.
Vitamin D is also crucial for immunity, so make sure your baby is getting plenty of sunshine or taking a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is extremely difficult to get enough of from foods, so if you live in a country where getting it from the sun isn't an option, you can try a supplement. If you want to know more about the best supplements for babies and children, you can check out my blog The Best Baby Vitamins for Healthy Development.
Finally, Zinc is another mineral that can help ward off colds, so look for foods like yogurt or shellfish that are high in zinc.
When to Visit the Doctor
Even though colds are pretty common in babies, there are times when you should take them to see the doctor. If your baby is less than three months old and has a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit / 37.7 degrees Celsius or higher, you should call the doctor right away.
You should also call if they have any trouble breathing, are wheezing, or if their nostrils flare when they breathe.
If your baby is three months or older and has a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit / 39 degree Celsius or higher, you should also call the doctor.
In addition, if they're having trouble eating or drinking, are vomiting or have diarrhea, or if their symptoms last longer than 10 days without any improvement, it's time for a trip to see the pediatrician.
Dealing with a cold is never fun—for parents or babies! However, by following these tips and knowing when to call the doctor, you can help your little one feel better in no time.
And remember, the best way to treat a cold is to try and prevent it in the first place. So make sure you're following good hygiene practices and giving your baby healthy foods with plenty of vitamins to keep their immune system strong.