As much as we hate seeing our babies miserable with a colds or flu, the truth is that there are some positives aspects.Babies develop strong immune systems through catching and fighting off colds. At times, it might seem that your baby has a continuous runny nose – but it’s all part of developing immunity. In fact, you can expect around 6 to 10 colds per year with babies and young children – maybe even more if your child is going to childcare from a young age.
Cold, flu or whooping cough?
When babies become unsettled and show signs of illness, it is important to identify the symptoms early and give the necessary treatments.
Take a look at coughs, colds and more and use it as your handy reference to the symptoms and treatments of the most common childhood illness that your baby is likely to catch.
When to see the doctor?
Having a sick baby can be a real worry. It can be hard to know when you need to start worrying. Babies are unable to tell you, so you need to pay close attention to the signs of a more serious illness developing.Take a look at when to call the doctor for more information on when to get help. If in doubt, it’s always best to see your doctor to make sure.
Preventing the spread of colds
Colds and flu can spread quickly throughout your family. Fortunately, a few simple steps can minimise the chances of everyone coming down with a cold.
To prevent everyone getting infected with a cold, use a hand sanitiser that contains natural ingredients, such as plant derived alcohol and eucalyptus oil. These help to kill the germs before they spread to the rest of your family.
A careful sneeze can also make all the difference. Read up on sneeze safe to find out how you can reduce the chance of a cold spreading through your entire family.
Being prepared with a well-stocked medicine cabinet
It’s always a good idea to make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked with some necessities at all times. You never know when your little one is going to catch a cold.
Make sure you have some baby paracetamol or ibuprofen on hand at all times. Also it’s a good idea to keep some saline drops to clear a blocked nose and some eucalyptus balm to rub on your baby’s chest. Keep a thermometer in the cabinet for when you need to check your baby’s temperature. Remember to take note of high temperatures and how long they last – this will be important information to tell your doctor.
It’s also important to ensure that your medicines are stored out of reach of babies and young children. Don’t forget to check your medicine supplies regularly for expiry dates.
Natural remedies to ease baby cold
- Saline drops are a great way of unblocking your baby’s nose and keeping nasal passages clear.
You can buy saline and suction kits from the chemist. Simply put a few drops of saline into your baby’s nose and use a face cloth or suction syringe to remove any mucus. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ask your doctor / pharmacist if you are unsure how to use it.
- Steam is a well-known remedy for unblocking a congested nose.
- A humidifier with a few drops of eucalyptus oil can help open your baby’s blocked nose and keep the air moist to prevent nasal congestion. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can create the same effect in your bathroom. Simply run the hot water taps in the shower for a few minutes with the bathroom door closed. The collected steam in the bathroom will work just as well.
- Keeping your baby’s head elevated can also assist with congestion.
- Try putting a folded towel underneath the cot mattress to keep your baby’s head slightly elevated while sleeping.
Taking care of yourself
Looking after an unwell baby can be exhausting. When your baby is unwell they can be unsettled during the day and wakeful at night. It can also mean a few days of staying at home, which might feel isolating at times.
It is very important that you take some time out for yourself to recharge. You need to take extra care of your own health while caring for your little one, so wash your hands frequently to eliminate bacteria. Eat well and try to get as much sleep as possible.