It’s always hard for parents to watch their little one suffer through a cold. Is it something to be worried about or is the usual norm that your baby’s immune system can handle? It’s frustrating when you feel like there’s nothing you can do to help your baby get better. But there are a few things you can do that will soothe and make your baby more comfortable when s/he catches a cold or the flu.
Cold is caused by a virus that causes infections in the mouth, nose, and throat and it spreads when a person sneezes, coughs or makes hand-to-hand contact. If your baby has a cold there is a high possibility that s/he may also have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of appetite, restlessness, and irritability.
Hydration is the key
If your baby hasn’t started weaning yet, encourage her to have more breastmilk or formula milk than usual. Breastmilk has immune-boosting properties that will protect your child against germs. Nursing your baby will also give her a sense of comfort that she needs when she’s sick.
If your baby is older than six months, then provide her with a lot of water and diluted fruit juices.
A Steamy session
Take your baby to the bathroom and run the hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure the bathroom door is closed so that the steam from the hot water fills the room. This will help with nasal and chest congestion and is known to relieve stuffiness.
Saline solution is known to thin out the mucus thereby making it easier to remove.These drops are usually squeezed into infant’s nostrils. Do not attempt to do this without your pediatrician's consult.
Rub a thin layer of petroleum jelly on places where you notice redness or soreness. This might be on the nose or on the chest area. This will reduce the irritation and will make your baby a little more comfortable.
Avoid over-the-counter medicine
Using over-the-counter medicine for kids younger than 2 years old is not recommended. These medicines only treat the symptoms and not the cause. On top of this, they are known to cause severe side effects among young children. So best avoid them unless they’re prescribed by your doctor.
Give them something warm
If your baby is 6 months or older then give them warm water, hot chicken soup, broth and chamomile tea. Warm clear fluids help relieve sore throats, congestion, and fatigue. Make sure anything you feed your baby is warm and not scalding hot.
Get a humidifier
If it’s winter then using a humidifier in your baby’s room during night times will moisten the dry air. Also, note that increasing the temperature to keep the room hot won’t help and might actually worsen the congestion. So keep the room temperature below 25-degree Celsius.