How to Treat Your Baby’s Cold

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How to Treat Your Baby’s Cold

Next to fever, cold symptoms are the number one concern parents call me with. It is tough watching your little one suffer with a cold. With the average child getting six colds a year, it is important to know the safest ways to treat your child’s symptoms at home.The good news is that with each new cold virus, your baby is building up immunity to that virus. The bad news is that the average cold lasts around two weeks and there is no cure. Fortunately for us, there are many things you can do at home to make your baby more comfortable.

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treat baby's cold


  1. Suction your baby’s nose. The Nose Frida is wonderful for this! Someone gave me one when I had my fourth child, I immediately doubted their sanity. You want me to suction my baby’s nose with my mouth? Um, barf. But when our daughter was just eleven days old she contracted RSV. It took everything she had just to breathe. That is when I broke down and use the FridaBaby Nasal Aspirator. It worked! It wasn’t even gross. It is gentle, yet very effective.


nose frida

2. Use nasal washes to open up a blocked nose. Use Saline drops to loosen up dried mucus. Just place a drop in one side, suction it out, and repeat on the next side. You can use a few drops for older children, but with infants stick to just one drop at a time.

If you don’t have saline nasal drops on hand, you can use a warm shower to loosen up their mucus. I like to steam up the bathroom and read books to my baby while sitting in the floor. You can also multitask by putting your child in the shower with you.

3. Run a humidifier. If the air is dry in your home a humidifier can make a big difference in opening up your child’s stuffy nose. This is especially true during the winter when we have the heat running and drying out our homes.

best cool mist humidifier

4. Do not give cold medicines. Believe me, I get it. I want to give my children medicine too. I want to give a spoonful of something that will dry their nose up and open up their nasal passages, but it just doesn’t exist. OTC medications (and even their prescribed counterparts) are just not effective. If you are treating an older child, you may be able to use Children’s Sudafed (not PE). You will have to obtain it by showing your driver’s license to the pharmacist (Thanks meth makers!). Children’s Sudafed is liquid gold for an older child with a stuffy nose, but it can keep them awake and make them tense.

5. There is also no need for antibiotics. Colds are caused by viral infections. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. Save the antibiotics for when they are truly needed.

6. Make sure your baby is getting plenty of fluids. This will ensure your baby stays hydrated and will also keep the mucus from getting dry and sticky.

7. Monitor your child for fever. If your baby over three months old has a fever, you can usually treat it at home. See our Best Baby Thermometer Guide and Review.

Call  your child’s pediatrician if you suspect an earache, your baby has a fever for more than three days (immediately if they are less than 12 weeks), or develops any difficulty breathing. Never feel bad about calling your pediatrician. That’s what they are there for!