10 Things to Do When Your Baby Has a Cold

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You’ve brought your little bundle of joy home from the hospital and as we approach the end of Autumn and move into winter, it’s only a matter of time before she catches her first cold.

We remember how scary it feels as a new parent to watch your tiny baby suffer with a blocked nose and sometimes struggle to breathe (not to mention the constant crying), but there are certain things you can do to help this unavoidable event pass without incident, other than lack of sleep for already tired you.

We spoke to a group of Mums and asked for their top tips on what to do when baby has his/her first cold:

  1. Depending on their age, it may be that baby goes off his/her food; this is pretty normal, just keep going with the breast or bottle.
  2. Dispense a few drops of Snufflebabe Vapour Oil onto a muslin and hang it near the cot, out of baby’s reach.
  3. Pour boiling water into a suitable bowl and add some Vapour Oil. Place under baby’s cot (or somewhere else s/he can’t reach) and let the oil and steam work together to gently unblock the stuffy nose.
  4. This one tests the love you have for your baby! Some parents keep it old school and simply use their mouth to suck the snot from baby’s nose! If that’s stimulating your gag reflex, try the Snufflebabe Nasal Aspirator to remove build up from the nostrils. Start with Nasal Drops to soften the mucus and then use the aspirator to suck the snot out! Don't worry - the mucus is contained in a hygienic chamber and therefore not actually going into your mouth. Baby will probably wriggle like you’ve never seen before, but if you’re able to hold them still for long enough, an aspirator is a great way to remove congestion.
  5. If even that sounds like too much, the Nasal Drops work great on their own. You might need a hand keeping baby still but one or two drops in baby’s nose will help him/her feel better.
  6. If you have got the heating on, add a few drops of Vapour Oil to a damp flannel or towel and hang on the radiator in baby’s room.
  7. Always check the label of whatever product you are using – is it suitable from birth or from three months?
  8. Raising the pillow end of the cot by putting books or bricks under the legs works on older babies only – the NHS say you shouldn't put anything under the mattress of a baby younger than one year old.
  9. Don’t let the air in baby’s room get stale; keep the room aired (yes, it means you might have to open a window in November - February) and don't let her get too hot. Cover her with a lightweight sheet instead of the usual sleeping bag if she has a temperature.
  10. If s/he does has a temperature (see below for what constitutes a temperature in babies over and under three months) liquid paracetamol or ibuprofen can help. Always check the dosage instructions on the bottle.
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When is it time to take baby to the GP?

According to the NHS, you should seek medical advice if:

  • your child is under three months old and has a temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above, or is between three and six months old and has a temperature of 39C (102.2F) or above
  • their symptoms last more than three weeks
  • they seem to be getting worse rather than better
  • they have chest pain or are coughing up bloodstained phlegm – this could be a sign of a bacterial chest infection that needs treatment with antibiotics
  • they're finding it difficult to breathe – seek medical help immediately from your GP surgery or local hospital
  • they have, or seem to have, severe earache (babies with earache often rub their ears and seem irritable) as they could have an ear infection that may need antibiotic treatment
  • they have a persistent or severely sore throat – they may have bacterial tonsillitis, which needs antibiotic treatment.

What have you done to help baby feel better when s/he had their first cold?