Our baby developed her first cold this past week. I’m sure many parents can agree it is heartbreaking to see your sick baby not feeling well. When our baby became sick we turned to our family and friends to see what we could do.
I’ve come to realize there isn’t a magical wand you can wave or use to take away the sickness immediately. However, there are a few things you can do to help your sick baby in the mean time.
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7 tools to help your sick baby fight her first cold:
Most children hate these things! But they really work. Did you know babies are obligate nose breathers for the first few months of life? This means at first babies almost always breathe through their noses.
We love the Green Sprouts Baby Nasal Aspirator for little babies. It separates easily which allows you to thoroughly clean it and it was the perfect size. It may not work for older children since the spout part is fairly small.
As our kid’s got older (12 months and up) we started to use the NoseFrida. Our pediatrician recommended it and it’s amazing at clearing out all the snot!
We want to avoid medicating our baby so we turn to non-medicated saline spray when they have a cold.
It helps dry her out and keep her nose clear! The NoseFrida also comes with a nice saline spray to loosen up the congestion. She actually didn’t mind the spray and we found it easy to use. It’s also helpful to spray your baby’s nose before you use the nasal aspirator.
Since our baby was born, we haven’t used a humidifier. I didn’t want to risk mold growing in it and spraying all over her room! Instead we place a large glass bowl of water by heat sources (our fireplace, the vent in her room, etc.). It helps add moisture to the air and every week I clean the bowl and refill the water. If you do decide to go with a humidifier use a cool mist one.
TAKE A SHOWER:
Take a shower with your baby! Or at least turn on the hot water in your shower and stay in the bathroom with baby to help clear his or her sinuses. We also found after we stand in the steam room for a 10-15 minutes it is easier to suction whatever junk is up our baby’s nose.
During the hot steam showers we sprayed eucalyptus oil in the air. We also added a few drops to the water bowl in our baby’s room. Before you decide to use any essential oils do your research! Make sure you take precautions when using oils with your new baby.
WATCH LIQUID INTAKE:
If your baby is still nursing or drinking from a bottle make sure they are getting enough liquid throughout the day. When our kids were 10 months we introduced water. Our kids now love drinking water, but if I’m worried they aren’t getting enough when sick I add a few drops of grape juice.
I also make sure I have baby pouches on hand. Read the secret to getting a child who refuses a cup to drink from one!
LET GO OF YOUR SCHEDULE
As soon as we could, we put our baby girl on a schedule. We like predictability and her schedule provided that for both of us. I was happy to find she thrived on it! However, this past week I’ve learned to let go of our ‘schedule’. She didn’t always want to nap when she was scheduled to nap. We tried to give her extra snuggles and instead of a feeding schedule I let her feed as often as she wanted.
What do you find most helpful? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
How do you care for your sick baby?
Miller MJ, Martin RJ, Carlo WA, et al. Oral breathing in newborn infants. J Pediatr 1985;107:465–9.