Baby’s first cold
So, my lovely partner got man flu and unfortunately gave the rest of us a cold. So yup….baby got a cold, the first of many I’m sure. How is he doing? Well, struggled to sleep because of the congestion, has a runny nose and a little needy today, but we will get there.
What exactly is the common cold?
It’s a viral infection, there has been 200 differ types of viruses associated with the common cold, most commonly rhinovirus. Because it is a virus and not bacteria, they won’t be given antibiotics. So, you will just need to ride it out and manage the symptoms as they come.
The symptoms effect the nose and throat, most commonly a runny and congested nose.
As well as
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Trouble nursing or drinking from their bottle as having trouble breathing from nasal congestion
Why do babies get sick so much?
They simply don’t have the immunity. As you grow up you are exposed to lots of different bugs and your body learns how to kill them and keeps a memory. So often you are breathing in these bugs and your body kills them before you even know it is there. The body is pretty amazing at protecting itself, but when you are only a few months old it doesn’t have the knowledge to fight these viruses. These means lots of colds and it taking longer to fight them, up to 2 weeks.
When to call the Doctor?
- If continue to get worse after 5 days
- If you have any concerns
- If younger than 3 months (especially with a temperature higher than 38 degrees)
- Reduced wet nappies
- Temperature higher than 38 degrees
- Shows signs that they have pain in ear
- Develops red eyes or yellow/green discharge from eyes
- Persistent cough
- Thick green nasal discharge for several days
When to seek help immediately?
- Has trouble breathing or wheezing or bluish lips
- Refuses to nurse or take fluids
- Cough causing vomit or skin to change colour
- Coughs up blood-stained mucus
- Low energy or sleepy
How can I help Bub?
The only thing you can really do is manage symptoms and wait for it to pass….
- Ensure bub is well hydrated
- Baby Panadol or ibuprofen for fever and comfort
- Infant vapour rub or products like vix babyrub (Vix vapour rub is for 2 years or older)
- Keep nose clear- wiping, sterile nasal drops, manual or auto suction
- Lots of rest
- Sit up when able- helps with breathing
- When nose becomes raw- moisturise or barrier cream to protect.
How do I prevent colds?
Well, it’s inevitable they will get colds especially when they start day care or socialising. Breast feeding is best as it helps pass on antibodies to bub, this isn’t always an option for everyone. Washing your hands frequently when caring for baby and during feeding reduces the spread of bugs. When they are under 3 months limit where you take them and limit who enters your house. Ensure people with coughs or colds don’t visit, especially while COVID is still rampant. Large crowds and older children often have lots of bugs. Attempt to keep floors clean and ask people to take off their shoes when they enter the house. This is important when they start crawling and exploring the house.
Its going to happen no matter how hard we try; it can be difficult to manage them while they have a cold, they can be very needy and tired. But don’t feel bad, during this time they are building their immunity, and this will help them in the future. All we can do is help them be as comfortable as possible while their body works hard.