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Baby’s First Cold

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

I find myself in the office each day amid a host of babies who are finally succumbing to their first colds. I walk into the room and see their little runny noses, their red rimmed eyes and hear their frequent coughs, while simultaneously see them sitting on their mom or dad’s laps, playing with a toy and making good eye contact with the parent. The parents of course are “worried sick” but I am immediately reassured as I watch their bright-eyed, runny nosed your-baby interact with me.

So it goes in the winter…. No one is immune to those nasty cold viruses and many of these babies have managed to ward off illness for months, but are finally battling their first cold.

The babies actually are fairing pretty well, but the parents are both worried about the cold and sleep deprived, because one thing about most kids with colds whether they are four months or 15 months, they just don’t sleep as well.

Colds are an unfortunate fact of life and each cold that a your-baby suffers through actually makes them a little stronger. Their bodies are making antibodies to that virus and helping to shore up their immune system. Small victories amid the myriad of viral infections they get in those six to 24-month period.

There is still no real treatment or cure for the common cold. The recommendations for a your-baby are fairly similar to the rest of us. Hydration (milk is okay), fever control if they need it, and TLC and tincture of time. The first cold is the hardest, at least for the parent.

You can try putting a humidifier in their room and irrigating their noses with saline to help clear the mucous and make it easier for them to breathe. Tylenol for fever, which is common in the first several days, may also make them more comfortable.

After several days, the worst of the cold is over and they should feel a little better. Watch for fever that re-occurs or worsening of their sleep habits or mood which my signal an ear infection. Most ear infections don’t occur on the first day of the cold, so give it a little time and if they are not improving it warrants a trip to the pediatrician. Best news, I saw very few ear infections today, but lots of colds.

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat again tomorrow.

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2 Responses to “Baby’s First Cold”

  1. ginger says:

    Nosefrida is a must for us to help clear all that congestion. Use saline drops and then suck… magic

  2. Michelle says:

    I finally got my son to try nasal irrigiation… he likes it now, but it’s hard to get the younger kids to try it.. that really helps me when I have a cold. Heard buckwheat honey helps for cough, trying that next time the cold and coughs go around.

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