Babies, Medicine, and the Common Cold

Babies, particularly newborns, often contract the common cold but should this be something to worry about? In short, the answer is no! If you’re worried, of course it’s advisable to make an appointment with your local doctor, however unless your baby has a fever or severe symptoms there may be more you can do at home to ease the symptoms. Babies immune systems are still developing and they strengthen as they’re exposed to germs and illnesses in all their glorious forms.

What can you do if your baby has a cold? Well, that really depends on the age of the child. Over the counter medications aren’t recommended for children under two years of age, and so what’s a worried parent to do?

A child suffering from the common cold will get better on their own within a week or two of contracting the illness. Help your baby to drink plenty of fluids and to stay warm. Coughing is a natural way for the body to clear the mucous out of the airway and protect the lungs so it’s not necessary to suppress all types of coughing.

But when should you call a doctor? Some of the recommended symptoms for visiting a doctor are as follows:

  • A fever in a baby 2 months or younger
  • A fever of 102F or higher at any age
  • Signs of labored breathing, including nostrils widening with each breath, wheezing, fast breathing, the ribs showing with each breath
  • Blue lips
  • Not eating or drinking, with signs of dehydration
  • Ear pain
  • Excessive crankiness or sleepiness
  • If the cough lasts for more than three weeks
  • If the child is getting worse

These symptoms shouldn’t be ignored, however if your baby appears otherwise healthy and alert then time will heal the illness. Hang in there and shower your (snotty!) little one with as many hugs and kisses as possible in the meantime!