Child Care & First Aid : How to Treat an Infant’s Cold


You’ve noticed your baby is all stuffed up,
and you think shes got a cold. My name is Beverly Bitterman, ARNP, health and wellness
consultant, with a few tips and strategies for you. If a baby has a plain, ordinary,
garden variety cold the baby won’t have a fever, however the baby may be pretty fussy,
you may notice drainage coming out the baby’s nose, and you might notice the change of the
baby’s appetite or willingness to eat, so these would be hallmarks of a baby with cold.
What you’re wanting to do is keep your child comfortable until the cold goes away, and
you also want to observe for signs that might indicate a secondary infection, like an ear
infection has taken place. So as long as the baby is fever free, or has a low grade fever,
say under a hundred, and the drainage is reasonable, I think you could probably treat that at home.
We no longer recommend that infants be given cold formulas, over the counter cold formulas,
so you’re really limited to things that are comforting. One thing you can do is get a
small bulb syringe at the drug store, and you can- what you do is squeeze the bulb,
and then it sort of sucks out, it kind of blows the nose for the baby, for it, and it
gets that mucous out of their nose so they can breathe better, it’s a good idea to do
that before you nurse or bottle feed, because that will help them. You can also use saline
nose drops, that salt water nose drops, and you can but those made up at the drug store
as well. You can make them up yourself, but for a baby I think I would use the kind that
you buy at the drug store. Moisturize the air, you can get a humidifier or boil some
water on the stove, things that make the air a little bit more humid will help your baby.
You also may find that breast milk works well, but if the baby is on a regular formula, they
may or may not want to take it. If for a day or so they drink more water, or something
like a pedialyte or an electrolyte formula, that will be just fine. If the baby develops
a fever, particularly if it gets, say over 102, if the baby suddenly seems very cranky,
and you’re wondering if they have an ear infection, go ahead and call your pediatrician, they’ll
understand, and they’ll be happy to see your child. The other thing that you can think
about doing is, something like a Vicks or a eucalyptus, you can even put that right
on the babies cheek. My name is Beverly Bitterman ARNP health and wellness consultant, and I
hope your baby’s cold gets better right away.