This time of year is a nuisance for colds and bugs. Just as you’re getting over one, another one sneaks into the home undetected. They can knock the whole family off their feet, but babies often get the worst of it. It’s difficult to watch your little one struggle through a cold, so here are some things that may be able to help.
Plenty of Fluids
Catching a cold can leave your body dehydrated and it’s no different for babies. You may find that your baby drinks more milk or wants to feed more often during a cold. If you’re breastfeeding, allow your baby to drink between feeds. If your baby is bottle fed, give an extra bottle per day until the symptoms are no longer there. Babies older than six months can safely drink cooled, boiled water to regain some of the lost fluids.
Keep Things Cool
It’s often a misconception that babies need to be kept warm when they’re ill. In fact, the majority of babies will develop a slight temperature when they’re not well. You can bring your baby’s temperature down with cool baths, cold foods and turning the air conditioning on. It’s handy to have a contact for central air conditioning repair if you need it. It shouldn’t take too long to bring the temperature down, but if your child’s temperature stays up for a prolonged period, it’s best to get professional medical advice.
It can be difficult for babies to breathe properly while they have a cold. You can get some essential oils that are safe for babies to breathe in, like tea tree and lemon. Apply a few drops to a towel and put the towel on a heated radiator. This helps to release the oils into the atmosphere and helps baby to breathe more comfortably. A drop of lavender on a towel in your baby’s room can also encourage a good night’s rest, which is important for healing.
Part of the reason babies find it so difficult to rest when they have colds is because it’s difficult to breathe when lying down. When we lay down, the buildup of mucus in our bodies rushes straight into the nose and makes breathing difficult. As adults we can blow our noses and rid ourselves of the problem, but babies can’t do that. Try using a nasal aspirator before bedtime, which will clear your baby’s nose of mucus.
Your baby will understandably be irritable while unwell. The more sleep you can encourage, the quicker your baby will heal. The body rests and regenerates while asleep so your baby should be in a happier mood once rested. It may mean that your baby wants to sleep in your arms and cling to you while they’re not feeling well but giving them what they need will ensure everyone is back to full health as quickly as possible.
Always seek the advice of a medical professional when you’re worried about your child’s health.