Did you know that in a baby’s first year, they will likely have between 6 and 12 colds. Considering most colds last about a week, this adds up to a lot of days under the weather. Cold and flu season is here, but hopefully this survival guide will help you get through the sick days a little easier!
First, let’s talk about prevention. You can’t prevent every cold but you can lower your baby’s risk of getting sick.
- When you are out and about, keep that baby close. Consider wearing them in a baby carrier, which can help keep strangers from getting too close.
- Ask family or friends who have symptoms of illness to postpone their visit.
- Teach younger siblings to touch the baby’s feet instead of their hands or face.
- Keep hand-sanitizer close by and wash your hands frequently throughout the day.
- Make sure everyone in the family gets their flu shot.
- Clean your baby’s pacifiers and toys often with soap and water.
Make sure to see your pediatrician for any symptoms that seem concerning (fever, trouble breathing, bad cough, etc.). Unfortunately there is no quick treatment for a cold as most medications aren’t recommended for babies, however there are some natural remedies that can help soothe babies and manage cold symptoms.
- Snot Sucker: Babies mostly breathe through their nose, which can make it extra uncomfortable during a cold. A snot sucker can be a great way to get this yucky mucus out of your baby’s airway so they can breathe easier. A standard bulb syringe works, but my personal favorite is the FridaBaby Nose Frida.
- Saline: Pair a snot sucker with a few sprays of saline. Saline helps to break down the mucus and makes it easier to suction out.
- Use a Humidifier: Using a cool mist humidifier in the nursery can help relieve coughing and congestion. Make sure to fill it with fresh water everyday and clean it often to prevent mold. You can also sit with your baby in a steamy bathroom to relieve coughs. When Baby G had RSV, we turned on the shower and let it steam up and sat with her in the bathroom for a few minutes multiple times a day.
- Vitamin D: Infants need vitamin D for a healthy immune system. It can be hard for babies to get enough vitamin D without a supplement. Make sure to ask your pediatrician about vitamin D supplements.
- Medicine: Lastly, we always have a bottle of infant Tylenol on hand for low-grade fevers or pain. Make sure to consult with your pediatrician before administering medication.