How to treat your baby's cold

Your baby’s cold can be just as hard on you as it is on your baby!  But you can help ease your baby’s discomfort and keep the infection from worsening by ensuring he/she gets sufficient rest and liquids, which would include breast milk or formula if they’re less than four months old.  Older babies can have a little water, and by six months they can begin drinking juices.

To relieve congestion, try squeezing some over-the-counter saline solution drops into each nostril, then suctioning with a rubber bulb syringe after a few moments to remove the mucus and liquid.  This works well about 15 minutes prior to a feeding if it’s difficult for your baby to breathe nasally while drinking.  A bit of petroleum jelly to the outside of your baby’s nostrils can help reduce irritation.

Sitting with you in a steamy bathroom while the hot water is on in the shower for about 15 minutes, or using a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier to increase the moisture in your baby’s room should also help provide some relief for your baby.  A warm bath could also work, and might provide them some additional comfort. 

Sleeping at a slight incline may also help relieve postnasal drip. However, don’t use pillows in your baby’s cot to accomplish this; the risk of suffocation is too great.  Try placing a couple of rolled up towels between the cot base and mattress, or you might also want to try allowing your baby to sleep in the car seat in a slightly upright position.

Be sure to contact your doctor at the first sign of any illness in an infant less than three months old, especially in instances of a temperature of 38 Degrees Celsius or if your baby has a cough.  Your doctor can give you guidelines about what constitutes a fever in older infants.  If baby’s symptoms don’t improve within five to seven days, the cough worsens, baby begins wheezing or gasping (possible pneumonia or respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV), or tugs at their ear (possible ear infection), your doctor should also be notified immediately.

Having a good quality digital thermometer on hand to monitor your baby’s temperature is also recommended.  You can purchase The Parenting Garden 4-in-1 Digital Infrared Thermometer from The Parenting Garden website which reads the temperature via the ear canal and forehead.  It also reads object temperatures and room temperature.  A great little useful tool during the winter months! 

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