Does your baby have a cough and a runny nose? Has he had a slight fever for a few days? He may have one of the most common childhood illnesses—the cold. Most colds go away on their own within two weeks, but it is important to make your baby comfortable until it passes. Since virus causes the common cold antibiotics will not help treat the cold or relieve symptoms. There are several easy remedies, though, to help your baby feel better.
Baby Cold Remedies
Steam it up. Hold your baby while sitting in a steamy bathroom to loosen the mucus in his nose and chest. Close the door to the bathroom and run the shower at its hottest setting. Be careful to keep your baby away from hot water and faucet. Sit in the steamy room with your baby for about 15 minutes in the morning, before bed, and when ever he needs it throughout the day.
Run a warm humidifier in your baby’s room at night to keep his airways clear while sleeping. Make sure the humidifier is out of reach of the baby and the mist is not directly pointed at him to avoid burns from the hot vapor. During the day, use a saline nasal spray to soften mucus and moisturize delicate tissues in his nose.
Remove any mucus in your baby’s nose with a bulb syringe. Squeeze the bulb and insert the small tip just inside your baby’s nose. Then, release the bulb to draw the mucus out of the nose. Suction your baby’s nose as often as needed to keep him breathing comfortably.
While your baby is sleeping, keep your baby’s head elevated to make breathing easier. Fold a small baby blanket to about 1 in thick. Place the folded blanket under the head of your baby’s mattress, slightly angling the head of the bed upward.
Hydrate. Your baby may not feel like eating as much as usual but make sure he gets enough fluids. Fluids can help thin mucus. Babies can also dehydrate quickly while sick. Watch for the usual number of wet diapers and be sure to offer nursing or a bottle often.
Apply a vapor rub. Try a menthol vapor rub on your baby’s chest. Apply a small amount to his chest in a circular motion. The rub may allow your baby to breath a little easier and relieve some of that tight, congested feeling.
Reduce the fever. If your baby has a fever and is under 6 months old, give him only acetaminophen. If your baby is older than 6 months, give your baby either acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Measure the right amount for his weight and feed it to him with a medicine dropper.