Your baby’s first cold

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No matter how careful you are at keeping your baby away from germs, it’s inevitable that they are going to pick up a cold at some point.

Babies are born with some of their mother’s immunity (which can be enhanced by breastfeeding), but this wears off over time and they will need to build up their own. Colds are inevitable and are actually good to help do their immune system mature. It’s not unusual for babies to have up to 8 colds in their first two years.

Despite this, their first cold can be scary for first-time parents, worrying if it’s just a cold or something more serious.

Symptoms

Symptoms of the common cold include:

  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Mucus may be runny and clear or thick and yellow-green
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Fussiness or unsettled
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping 

Treatment

  • Offer extra milk feeds if your baby is under six months old, otherwise offer extra water to keep their fluids up to avoid dehydration.
  • If your baby is refusing milk feeds try to offer smaller feeds, more often
  • Try and get them to eat but don’t worry if they do not, as long as they are getting enough fluids
  • Offer extra comfort and cuddles
  • If they have a fever or are in discomfort you can give them paracetamol
  • Extra sleep

If the baby is under three months you should check in with your doctor or healthcare provider, especially if they have a fever. 

If your child also has vomiting, diarrhea, chills, sweats or a rash (or headache, sore throat, muscle aches although babies won’t be able to tell you these things) they may have the flu or something more serious like pneumonia or croup and you should take them to the doctor.

Thankfully though most common colds aren’t serious and should pass with little treatment within a few days to a week.

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