All About Your Baby’s First Cold: Prevention and Treatment


by Dr. Christopher Haines



All About Your Baby’s First Cold: Prevention and Treatment

Kids Health Secrets | Blue Emerald Wellness

If you’re a parent, then you know that one of the most terrifying things is having your baby get sick. Whether it’s their first cold or not, there are some steps that you can take to help them stay healthy and comfortable. In this blog we’ll discuss all about your baby’s first cold, how to best prevent them from getting sick in the first place, and how to treat symptoms when they do happen!

Learn all about your baby's first cold. Talk to your pediatrician for treatment and prevention.


What is a cold?

A cold is an infection of the nose, sinuses, throat or respiratory tract caused by a virus. The most common viruses that cause colds are rhinoviruses and coronavirus (this is not Covid-19, there are many types of coronaviruses that just cause a cold). Symptoms include runny nose, congestion, sneezing, fever, cough and body aches. Colds can last anywhere from a few days to over two weeks and typically resolve on their own without treatment.

What causes babies to get colds?

Babies can be exposed or acquire the virus that causes colds from other people who have symptoms of an infection, whether they are family members or strangers in public places such as shopping centers or daycare facilities. It’s just like adults getting sick with a cold, it can happen to anyone regardless of age or immune system.

Babies who are exposed to cigarette smoke are at an increased risk for developing respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airway in the lungs). The earlier they begin smoking exposure, the more susceptible they are to long term health problems. This is especially true if they are exposed in utero or during infancy.

What can I do to prevent my baby from getting sick?

Unfortunately there’s no way to completely guarantee your baby won’t get a cold, but these steps might help keep them healthy:

  • Breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life. Breast milk provides important antibodies that help babies fight infection.
  • If you are not breastfeeding, provide your baby with formula that has been fortified with added vitamins C and D.
  • Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke.
  • Make sure they are up-to-date on their immunizations, including the flu vaccine (influenza).
  • Wash your hands regularly and teach your child to do the same.
  • Keep surfaces clean and disinfected.
Learn all about your baby's first cold. Wash your hands regularly to prevent illnesses.

parent and baby washing hands with soap | Canva

If your baby does start showing symptoms of a cold, here are a few things that you can do to help them feel better:

  • Give them plenty of fluids, preferably breast milk or formula.
  • Decongest your baby’s nose with saline drops or spray.
  • Use a humidifier in their room to increase moisture levels and help loosen congestion.
  • Consult with your pediatrician before giving any medication to a baby younger than six months of age.
  • If your baby has a fever, you can give them acetaminophen or ibuprofen based on their weight. Again, be sure to follow the dosage instructions carefully.
  • Make sure they get plenty of rest.
  • Gently suction mucus from their nose and mouth with a bulb syringe if needed.
  • If your baby is having trouble sleeping because of congestion, you can try elevating their head slightly while they sleep.
  • If your baby has a prolonged cold, is less than 3 months old with a fever, is having any breathing problems, has had decreased urination or bowel movements or is just not acting right, give your pediatrician a call.

Learn all about your baby's first cold. If your baby is having trouble breathing because of congestion be sure to suction their nose

Colds are common and most babies will eventually catch one. But by following these tips, you can help reduce their chances of getting sick and make them feel as comfortable as possible when they do!

Sign up for Kids Health Secrets, an online kids’ preventive health and wellness platform to learn more about the top illnesses children will get before they are two years old. Kids Health Secrets has on-line classes, live classes and resources that are perfect for any parent including those that are expecting, new parents, experienced and those that have children with special needs. Consults are available! Online classes start at $129 and live classes start at $49.99, so check them out today!

For more information and resources on your baby’s or child’s health, parent tips and tricks, pediatric emergencies, please visit our website or blog. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for the latest Kids Health Secret news. You can also visit our website to download free PDF guides and hear our podcasts.

The information in this blog is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general information purposes and is the opinion of staff at Blue Emerald Wellness. Please do not delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you read in this blog.

Authored by Dr. Christopher Haines

Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy here.

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