Clearing sniffles: How to manage baby’s first cold

Sick baby boy with a head cold

The first time bub gets a cold is heartbreaking. Giggles turn to sniffles and sweet little smiles get turned upside down.

While a cold will eventually subside on its own, there are things you can do to ease the symptoms of a head cold in little babies. From putting the bassinet at an angle to giving a quick squirt of breastmilk up the nose (yes, really!) here are eight things you can do to ease the symptoms of babies first cold.

1. Remove nasal congestion

Baby with nasal aspirator unblocking nose

As funny as it seems, babies can’t blow their own noses, so it’s up to us to help clear the mucus from their nasal airways. A nasal aspirator sucks the gunk out of the nostrils. It’s not pretty, and bubs don’t like it, but it’s highly effective. You can also try a gentle squirt of saline spray or a dab of eucalyptus balm on their chest or feet to help clear the airways.

2. Keep them hydrated

Keeping your precious one’s fluids up is essential when they have a cold. Whether it’s breastmilk or formula, even if they aren’t feeding too much at a time, offer it more than you usually would to prevent dehydration.

And don’t forget yourself! Especially if you are breastfeeding, make sure you are drinking plenty of H2O to keep your hydration and electrolyte levels up too.

3. Moisten the air

Oricom Aroma Diffuser Night Light

Increasing the moisture in the air with a cool mist diffuser like the Oricom Aroma Diffuser Night Light ($79.95) can help relieve congestion. Add a few drops of essential oils to help calm bub and soothe them into a peaceful sleep by the glow of the softly coloured night light.

4. Tackle fever

Baby with a fever cuddling mum

Fever can be part and parcel with a cold. A cool, wet face washer on the back of the neck or gentle fan in their room can be a soothing relief if your bub is burning up.

5. Raise the mattress

Bednest Co-sleeper bassinet

Elevating bubba’s mattress is also said to ease congestion. By raising the sleeping position of your dear one, you may clear congestion and assist in breathing. They don’t need to be sleeping up in the clouds, just a slight elevation using a rolled towel or a few books should do the trick.

6. Try breastmilk

Expressed Colostrum

Mummas in the Mum’s Grapevine Baby Groups are raving about a little trick midwives use to help unblock stuffy noses in bubs. Syringing a couple of mills of breastmilk up baby’s nose!

Our expert midwife Edwina Sharrock says while there is no solid evidence that this procedure works, “breastmilk is full of goodness including many antimicrobial properties. It is these properties combined with the moisture which can help break up the mucus”.

7. A little (extra) TLC

Rest when baby rests for new mums

Last but certainly not least, cuddles. It may not be in the medical dictionary, but long, comforting snuggles are bound to make both you and bubba feel better.

When to ask for help

Health insurance

It’s always better to be safe than sorry so seek medical advice if your baby:

  • Hasn’t improved after a few days
  • Has a temperature of 38°C if under 3 months or above 39°C for babies 3 to 6 months
  • Has a persistent cough
  • Is having difficulty breathing
  • Is rubbing or pulling on their ears as this could be a sign of an ear infection
  • Has a rash that doesn’t disappear when pressed (blanching)

If you’ve tried all you can to soothe your little one, or you feel like something just isn’t quite right, trust your instincts and always get a medical opinion.

 

 

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