There is no cure for the common cold, so the only treatment options available are to make the person more comfortable. Many adult cold remedies are not suitable for children and babies, so you will need to take a different approach to soothe a baby with a cold. You will need to head to the Mother and Baby section of the pharmacy to find baby cold remedies that work.
Learning to spot the signs of a cold is the first step. Babies can’t tell you what is wrong, so you need to be able to identify when they have a cold and when they have symptoms of something else, such as allergies.
Babies are often more irritable when they have a cold. This might mean less sleep for them and for you. Make sure you take care of your own health when taking care of a baby with a cold.
Common baby cold symptoms
The first baby cold symptoms are often a runny and congested nose. The nasal discharge might start thin and clear and later get thicker and turn yellow or green.
In addition to these baby cold symptoms, your child may also have the following symptoms:
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty feeding
Babies and young children are more likely to catch a common cold because their immune system needs time to mature. Young children will also catch colds from other children during play. There is little you can do to prevent children from getting colds, but being prepared to deal with a cold can make life easier.
How long does a cold last in babies?
Most babies will start to feel better after 10-14 days. If the cold symptoms persist for longer than 2 weeks, take your child to the doctor to rule out anything more serious. You should also look for the following signs and take your child to the doctor if you notice any of the following things:
- Your child is wetting fewer nappies than usual
- Your child has a high temperature above 38C
- Your child has red eyes or developer eye discharge
- Your child seems to have ear pain
- Your child has a persistent cough
- Your child has thick, green nasal discharge for several days
- Any other symptoms that concern you, such as a new and alarming cry
You should also seek emergency assistance if your child has the following symptoms:
- Refusing to nurse or accept fluids
- Coughing hard enough to vomit or change skin colour
- Coughs up blood-tinged sputum
- Has difficulty breathing or a blue tinge around the lips
The best baby cold remedies
Most colds are nothing more than a nuisance and you will simply need to manage the baby cold symptoms until they clear up. These are some of the most common baby cold remedies you can try at home.
Keep your child hydrated by offering plenty of fluids. You should also monitor how much your child is wetting their nappy. Babies with a cold might be more fussy and irritable, making it harder for them to feed or nurse.
If your child has a fever, using a baby paracetamol like Calpol can help to reduce their fever and make them more comfortable. Calpol infant suspension is suitable for babies aged 2+ months. You can also buy Calpol sachets to use on-the-go.
Keeping their nasal passages clear is one way to lessen the symptoms. Use saline drops to loosen thick mucus. You can also use a nasal bulb to remove mucus. You can learn how to use a nasal bulb here.
Dry air can irritate the airways and make the cold symptoms worse for a small child. Using a humidifier at night time can help make it a little easier for your little one to sleep.
If you are concerned about your child’s cold, try keeping a diary of their symptoms. If you need to attend the doctor, you will be able to tell them exactly when symptoms appeared or changed.
How to prevent colds
There is nothing you can do to prevent colds and your child’s immune system will simply need to learn to fight off infections. To help your child’s immune system, you could consider multivitamin drops specially developed for babies. Abidec Multivitamin Drops contain 7 essential vitamins to help meet your child’s nutritional requirements. This can be helpful for fussy eaters to ensure they are getting enough vitamins.