Dealing With Your Baby’s First Cold

Nothing makes a parent feel more helpless than seeing their baby in pain and not being able to help. For many parents, this happens for the first time with their baby’s first cold. Newborns and young infants are still developing their immune systems, making them more susceptible to common illnesses than adults and, because of their tiny size, they are usually unable to take any of the medicine that grown-ups take to ease the symptoms of their cold. If you’re worried about your baby’s health it’s always a good idea to reach out to your doctor. However, if your baby’s been diagnosed with a cold and the doctor says that you’ll simply have to help your baby ride it out, try out the measures below to bring them some comfort.

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1. Use a humidifier

A humidifier won’t instantly cure your baby of their cough and congestion, but it will help clear their nose and ease their breathing as they rest. Place the humidifier in their room close to their sleeping space and check in with them frequently to see how they’re doing.

2. Nurse as much as possible

If your baby is nursing, offer your breast frequently as your baby may be in the mood for smaller, more frequent meals. Nursing may be a little more difficult for a congested baby so be patient and allow them to nurse as much and as often as they desire. Remember, nursing is powerful and your milk changes and adapts to meet baby’s needs so nursing them through their illness will likely help them get better quicker!

{ MORE: Everyday Moms: How I Survived the Sleep-Deprived Years }

3. Try a natural remedy

Though most medicine isn’t safe for young babies, there are a number of natural remedies that help ease baby’s symptoms. Maty’s Natural Baby Chest Rub (recommended for babies three months and older) helps gently ease coughing and congestion in little ones and, as an added bonus, has a fantastic sleepy smell that will help your baby rest easily.

4. Elevate their head

When congestion makes sleeping tough for your little baby, try placing a few towels under the head of their mattress to elevate their head. Be sure that you never place pillows or towels in their crib as this increases the risk of suffocation.

5. Create a steam room

If a humidifier doesn’t do the trick, try creating a steam room for your baby by running hot water in the shower and sitting with your little one in the bathroom as it begins to fog. The steam will likely help them breathe easier for at least a little while. No matter how ill your little one is, they’ll always benefit from extra cuddles. So snuggle up, do your best to help them feel better, and know that this too shall pass.

{ MORE: Using the Montessori Approach with Infants }

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Dealing With Your Baby’s First Cold

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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