4 things you need to survive your baby’s first cold
Stock up on nasal spray and Kleenex… winter is almost here! While you won’t be able to avoid your baby’s first cold, here’s what you can do to soothe your sick sweetheart…
Is there anything worse than seeing your little one sick? It’s awful to watch a baby sneeze and cough – especially when they’re still so young and helpless that they can’t even blow their own nose or tell you how they’re feeling.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mother of three, it’s that prevention and preparation are the keys to surviving your baby’s first cold and flu season. Here’s everything you need to know…
How to prevent the common cold
Colds are caused by viruses that are spread when an infected person sneezes, coughs or touches their nose. Another person then breathes in the virus through the air or touches the infected person’s hand or a contaminated surface and catches the virus.
Here are a few tips to help prevent the common cold:
- Keep your newborn away from sick people: If your baby is under three months old, avoid having sick visitors or going to public places where people might be sick.
- Teach your older kids to sneeze or cough into a tissue: If they do it into their hand, they can spread the virus. They should then throw the tissue out right away.
- Wash your hands: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an organic alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Teach your children to do the same, especially before touching the baby.
Symptoms of the common cold
Here are some signs and symptoms that your baby has a cold:
- A stuffy or runny nose (the mucus will be clear at first, but it may later turn thick and yellow or green)
- Sore throat
- Low fever (101-102F)
- Fussiness or irritability
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty nursing or taking a bottle
- Difficulty sleeping
When to call the doctor
If your baby is three months or younger, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises to call your pediatrician at the first sign of illness. At this age, a cold can quickly develop into a more serious illness, such as bronchiolitis, croup or pneumonia.
If your baby is older than three months, call your doctor immediately if:
- Your child is breathing fast, having trouble breathing or the skin around their ribs gets sucked in with each breath
- Their lips or nails turn blue
- Their temperature is over 102F
- They have ear pain
- They’re too sleepy or irritable
- They look very ill or have any other symptoms that worry you
- They’re not wetting as many diapers as usual
- They have nasal mucus that lasts longer than 10 to 14 days
- They have a cough that lasts more than a week
How to soothe your baby’s symptoms
While you can’t do anything to cure your child’s cold, you can try these steps to ease their symptoms and discomfort:
- Clear mucus from their nose: I used a bulb syringe to remove my first daughter’s mucus, but I discovered Fridababay’s NoseFrida with my twins and it changed my life. Simply place the sucker on your child’s nostril, suck on the tube (it has a hygienic filter) and say goodbye to snot! Although it isn’t essential, using a saline spray beforehand can help loosen the mucus and make it easier to remove.
- Give them medication the easy way: There’s nothing worse than trying to administer a fever reducer to a fussy baby who keeps spitting it out. Fridababy’s MediFrida makes the job easy by delivering the medicine through a pacifier that bypasses the taste buds to avoid spit-ups. Genius!
- Take their temperature without a fuss: The Innovo Thermometer allows you to take your child’s temperature in seconds via their forehead or their ear. You can even do it while they’re sleeping!
- Help them sleep better: Placing a humidifier in their room at night can loosen mucus and help them breathe easier. The Roolen Humidifier is whisper quiet and works efficiently to give you the perfect balance of moisture in a room. The handy auto feature turns on and off to deliver the perfect humidity whilst also saving energy. Your child may also sleep better if you elevate their head by placing a firm pillow or a couple of rolled-up towels under one end of the crib mattress (never inside the crib!).
- Keep them hydrated: Offer small amounts of liquid more often (breastmilk, formula, or water if they’re over six months old) to keep your little one hydrated and help them fight the illness.