Normally, all infants are affected by cold within the first year of their birth. Cold also mostly happens to be the babies’ first major discomfort. It’s a tough call for the parents as it is difficult to provide normal cures to an infant. Most of the time, infants suffer from cold for a period or one to two weeks. To make things worse cold often affects babies when they adapt themselves to a routine feeding and sleeping schedule.
Following are the most common symptoms of cold affecting babies:
• Runny nose
• Low level of fever
• Watery eyes
• Soar throat
• Swollen glands
• Irritable nature
• Difficulty in swallowing
• Inflammation of eyes
These symptoms can take on a dangerous hue in time like pneumonia or respiratory syncytial virus, so one should consult the pediatrician immediately. The most dangerous of the situation is when the baby’s lips and nails turn blue. Throughout the sick period, the infant needs to be regularly shown to the doctor.
However, the following steps ensure to alleviate such discomfort and prevent the infection from getting worse.
The baby should be subjected to sufficient rest and should be given lots of liquids which should be ideally breast milk and if less than four months old, then formula may also be provided. Infants who are 4-6 months old can be given water and those above 6 months may be administered juice. Fluids help in loosening congestion.
For treating nasal congestion, one should use rubber suction bulb. This draws out the mucus from the nostrils with considerable ease. In case of very thick mucus, saline nasal drops have to be administered into the nostrils before using the rubber suction bulb.
If a dehumidifier is paced within the baby’s room, it soothes the irritated nasal passages. Care should be taken to ensure that all moisture is removed from the crib so that the bedding does not remain damp.
The baby’s chest has to be regularly massaged with balms, with a slight rub on the nose. Breathing becomes much easier this way.
Over the counter pain relievers may also provide relief. For babies less than 3 months old, ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be used.
The baby needs to be inclined slightly in its crib so that it remains unaffected by post nasal drip.
Keep your houses free from fumes including cigarette smoke.
Avoid using pillows to prop the baby as it can suffocate him. At the same time the crib should be always stable and should be free from anything beneath it.
Use good baby products to keep his face moisturized all the time. Keep removing mucus at regular intervals.
The miserable condition of the baby while suffering from cold may leave you feeling equally miserable. But you have to be at your toes all the time as long as you have a baby at home. The following pointers may be of help:
• A baby should never be taken near some one who is suffering from cold.
• The baby’s toys needs to be regularly cleaned.
• The mother should also keep herself clean. She must clean her hands before you
start feeding or just handling the baby.
• The baby should be kept well hydrated.