When Your Newborn Has a Cold

newborn baby

Parents having winter babies are perhaps apprehensive about even taking their little bundle of joy home. After all, there are germs everywhere. Any type of illness in the first two months is frightening, even if it is the common cold. Keep in mind that infant care is much different than it is at any other time in your baby's life. You have to be prepared for anything and learn quickly.

If your baby younger than 3 months old has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher, call your pediatrician immediately!

Step one is a stocked and prepared infant medicine cabinet. This interestingly doesn't contain any medicine. Some infant nasal drops, a powerful nasal syringe, and a vaporizer are about the only things you can do to help them. While you may be fearful inserting nasal spray, be aware that infants often forget to breath and do not know how to regulate mouth and nose breathing.

Keeping their airways open is crucial. If you follow the instructions, there is little you can do to hurt them. The bulb syringe is the best invention since the wheel when it comes to a cold, and a hospital or doctor issued one is the only way to go! This can help to keep the mucous from dripping into their throat, chest, and lungs where it can quickly turn into pneumonia.

Run a vaporizer and resist keeping their room too warm. If they have a fever, especially in the first few weeks, they need to be brought to the ER or doctor's office to ascertain the source and make sure it isn't an infection of any kind. As alarming as it may be, don't feel panicked if they insert a catheter or take blood. Often, this is a routine course of action when a newborn has a fever. Once you are confirmed with a cold or virus, dress them loosely in a onesie, and use light covers to keep them warm.

It's a good practice to keep their hat on until at least the 6-week mark. Beyond that, there isn't anything you can give them. Even though the local drug store may sell infant cold medicine, it is not for infants under 6 months! Never take a chance and give it to your baby because it can actually complicate things. Normally, the only thing a doctor will allow you to give your infant is infant Tylenol. But you have to ensure proper dosage.

MORE: A Parent’s Guide to Coughs }

Germs are everywhere. Lots of winter babies spend the first two months indoors. If you have older children, unfortunately it will be more difficult to keep germs away. Hand washing is essential. Never allow anyone, not even Grandma, to touch your newborn without washing with antibacterial soap and HOT water! If this offends someone, so be it! You have to keep your baby safe.

What do you think?

When Your Newborn Has a Cold

Tell us what you think!


  1. Profile photo of Stephanie Stephanie says:

    I always hate seeing my poor baby sick

  2. Profile photo of Martha Martha says:

    Good info.. Specially since im having my baby anytime soon!! Nd with this weather changes Im going to need to take really good care of both of us…

  3. Profile photo of LaTasha LaTasha says:

    I think if my baby were to get sick in the first few weeks of his or her life….. I would be terrified!!

  4. very helpful. i hope it doesnt happen to my little one but only time will tell :/

  5. very helpful. i hope it doesnt happen to my little one but only time will tell

  6. Profile photo of Phammom Phammom says:

    Good to know. Expecting a December baby.

  7. Profile photo of Marilyn Marilyn says:

    I hope my babe doesn’t have a cold any time soon when he gets here.

  8. Profile photo of ErinF ErinF says:

    We’re just getting through over our first illness (not sure if it’s a cold or flu, but it’s been miserable for the adults of the house). Fortunately, LO has had only mild symptoms (yay for the antibodies in mama’s milk), but it’s still been a harrowing experience, as he was only two weeks old when we were all infected. We also co-sleep, so I’m able to monitor him throughout the night,

    Do make sure that guests are extra vigilant in monitoring their own health and washing their hands, and if you suspect someone is coming down with something, don’t hesitate to send them home. I wish I’d spoken up when I noticed one of our visitors (who shortly afterward came down with thus cold/flu, followed by us the next day) coughing instead of assuming that they’d be aware enough to recognize this as a sign of illness and stay home to be safe. Some people seem to be so excited to see the new baby that they don’t consider that a newborn is particularly susceptible to complications from simple illnesses. We’re still pretty irked about this whole ordeal, and somewhat regret allowing visitors so early,

  9. Profile photo of Sierra-Dawn Sierra-Dawn says:

    It is so hard to keep my 6yr old stepdaughter from giving her new baby brother kisses.. But I hear her have a runny nose I am on high alert . Especially because she does not have any of her shots..


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