There is no doubt about it. Your baby’s first cold is hard to watch as your baby snuffles and tries to breathe through his stuffed nose. You won’t be able to give him medication for his first cold since he is too young.
There won’t be much that you can do while your baby gets over the cold except be there to soothe what will likely be a grumpy, uncomfortable infant.
Your sick baby will more than likely have a fever to accompany that cold, anywhere from 38 degrees C to 101 degrees F. There might be a cough, sore throat, runny nose, and red/watery eyes. Your baby will be irritable and grumpy because of his stuffy nose.
If your baby is under six months old he won’t be able to breathe through his nose if he is all stuffed up so he will be having some trouble eating and breathing. Your baby won’t yet be able to blow his nose so there will be the added misery of the runny nose. You can almost be assured that if your baby was sleeping through the night before the cold hit that he will no longer be that doing that after the cold.
He will probably be up several times during the night because of his inability to breathe. Your baby’s cold may last for two to 10 days. If your baby is very young the cold may linger for up to two weeks. Your baby will have from between six to 10 colds by the time he is two years old. And each cold is just as hard on you and your baby as the first one.
If your baby is under three months old when he gets his cold you should contact your doctor. If your baby is over three months old you only need to contact your doctor if the fever gets too high, the cold lasts too long, or you suspect your baby may have an ear infection, cough, or other secondary problem from his cold.
Until the cold disappears there are several things that you can do to ease your baby’s discomfort during his cold:
- Make sure your baby gets lots of rest.
- Give your baby plenty of liquids, especially if the cold is accompanied by a fever.
- Elevate your baby’s head if he is stuffed up and congested. You can do this by putting a pillow or two under the crib mattress at one end.
- Since your baby cannot blow his own nose you will have to wipe it gently to help him breathe easier.
- Use a cool mist vaporizer to keep the air most.
- Give your baby extra cuddles, love and patience.
Eventually your baby’s first cold will disappear. Just keep in mind that the next one is right around the corner since colds and babies/children are a part of family life.