With the cooler weather also comes the flu and cold season. As much as we would like to avoid it, there comes a time when also your baby gets one. Keep on reading to find out 6 ways to help your baby through a cold.
When adults have a cold, they understand what is going on and know how to handle or ask for help if they need it. A baby is unable to express itself, making it harder for us to understand what is going on. While it isn’t pleasant for the baby, having a cold actually helps them fortify their immune systems. According to Benjamin’s pediatrician, a baby normally has between eight and ten colds before they turn one year old. They may have more if they have older siblings or go into daycare sooner. The good thing is there are ways to make your baby more comfortable during this time!
HOW TO HELP YOUR BABY THROUGH A COLD
Colds usually don’t require medicine to cure them. However, sometimes they may make life easier for the baby (and you!). Benjamin just recovered from his third cold since he was born, and the first where he got a bit of a cough as well. These things helped us through it:
FLUIDS AND CHICKEN SOUP
A sick baby may not have an appetite. However, it is important for you to keep offering them something to drink and eat. It isn’t that worrisome for a baby that already eats solids, to not accept any. They may be experiencing pain in the throat, making it difficult to swallow food. The important thing here is to always keep offering milk – even if they only drink milk for a few days, they will get the nutrients from it. You can also make some home-made chicken soup for babies older than 6 months.
SLEEP OR REST
This can be a tricky one: Benjamin just went through a phase where he simply did not want to nap and we had a screaming party every time I tried to put him down during the day. While they don’t understand it, sleep actually helps their bodies get better. If your baby doesn’t want to sleep, try to cuddle with them in a quiet environment. Benjamin will sometimes just want to lie on my chest with the lights out. He doesn’t sleep but it still helps him recover.
If your baby has a cold and/or a runny nose, then steam can help them. Simply sit in the bathroom with the hot water running, a few minutes are enough. The steam helps open up the airways and especially helps with a cough. However, please see how your baby reacts to this! Some people don’t react well to humidity and it ends up making it worse. Alternatively, you can also set a humidifier in the baby’s room – or hang a wet towel overnight, if you can’t or don’t want to get a humidifier.
SALINE OR NOSE DROPS
Saline drops will help you if you need to suck your baby’s nose for boogies. (don’t worry, if you use a bulb or syringe, you won’t get any in your mouth!) Nose drops will help with the swelling, allowing your child to breathe better. Notice that nose drops should be prescribed by a doctor because the dosage varies according to the age and weight of the baby.
NOT TOO MUCH CLOTHING
Let’s just say it how it is: most parents overdress their babies. It’s a fact and one that may actually endanger the child! When a baby is overdressed, it will overheat easier. And when a baby overheats, it ends up sweating. A sweaty baby in a draft, for example, is a recipe for a cold. Babies should be warm, but not hot. Unfortunately, a lot of parents go crazy on this one and end up actually helping their child get a cold. The best way to go here is to dress your child in layers and take a blanket on the stroller. There is simply no need for a baby to be wearing a ski-overall when the temperatures aren’t in the negatives.
If all else fails, you may have to give your baby some medicine. Obviously, if the baby has a fever over 38,5°C (101°F), you should give them something for the fever and let them be checked by a doctor! Sometimes doctors will tell you to give some mild painkillers if the baby isn’t sleeping and is very cranky – because they are unable to express themselves, they may be in pain and showing it through crying.
These are six tops on how to help your baby get through a cold! Do you have any household tips that you swear on? Share them with me!