5 Tips to Survive Baby’s First Cold

I wish someone had told me these five tips when I was managing my baby’s first cold.

I know what you're thinking, "Why do I need tips to survive baby's first cold in the middle of summer?" Believe it or not, baby can catch a cold any time of the year, not just during the winter.

In fact, going in and out of the air conditioning can wreak havoc on their little sinuses.

I'll never forget the first late night when I heard my baby's innocent little cough over the baby monitor. As it grew in intensity, frequency, and volume, worry washed over me as I realized this was my baby's first cold.

Thankfully, my instincts as a registered nurse kicked in and aided me in assessing the situation semi-rationally. During the sniffles and coughing, I'd wished someone had shared some tips for how to manage my baby's first cold, so that's exactly what I'm going to do for you today:

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5 Tips to Survive Baby’s First Cold

  1. Write down questions to ask your pediatrician and don't feel bad about it.

    With sleep deprivation as a new mom, our minds can be racing with 1400 questions, yet when we call to speak to a nurse at the office, they all mystically escape. You are your baby's advocate and have every right to ask questions. Never feel bad about learning how to provide better care for your family. It’s also a good idea to keep track of your baby's wet/dirty diapers, feeding and sleep schedule to share with the pediatrician especially if you’re combating a fever.
  1. Simplify your schedule when your infant is sick. 

    All bets are off when the little one is feeling fussy and ill. Something usually has to give, so don’t hesitate to cut yourself some slack. Accept that these are the days that the exercise routine may have to be put off, the laundry may be a larger pile, and the hair will probably sit in a bun.
  1. Stop the spread of the illness.

    Cold prevention, to stop the cold from spreading to you and the rest of your family, includes:
  • Washing your hands
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, or mouth
  • If you do feel run down and have to cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your arm, not into your hands
  • Disinfect remote controls, door handles, cell phones, etc.
  • Try and eat properly and stay well hydrated to keep a healthy immune system when germs are around
  1. Saline Drops and Bathroom Steam Snuggles.

    Caring for an infant with an upper respiratory infection mostly involves comfort measures rather than treatment. Ask your pediatrician if they recommend saline drops that can help loosen thick mucus secretions and help clear out their tiny nasal passages for easier breathing. Along with saline drops, consider the Nose Frida to help gently remove excess mucus.

Bathroom Steam can also help loosen some of your baby's congestion. Get comfy sitting in the bathroom while running the shower to steam up the room with the door closed. Snuggling as you sit in the steamy air for fifteen minutes or so may help your baby breath easier and provide comfort.

  1. Patience.

    Sounds like a simple tip but often one of the most difficult to remember. A sick baby can cause the maternal worry meter to fly high, leading to impatience with ourselves and other family members. You may be holding and needing to soothe baby more frequently so having a helping hand can make a huge difference. Our fuse can get very short when you are deep in congestion and the days and nights feel longer. Practicing patience with some deep breaths, a few short catnaps, or a quick shower, can make a world of difference.

Baby's first cold will certainly not be the last, but I hope these tips provide some help in feeling prepared.

What advice helped you get through baby's first cold?


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This post provides content and discussion related to health, wellness, and related subjects.  The words and other content provided in this blog including links, should not be considered medical advice and should not be construed as such. Any health/wellness information should not be considered an alternative or replacement for information given to you by a licensed physician. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with a licensed physi­cian.

For more help getting your Baby on a Babywise sleep schedule, you can read more articles on Baby Sleep here on Babywise.life.

Linda Scruggs

Linda Scruggs

Linda Scruggs RN, BSN serves as a resource for parents in the digital space, creating helpful health and wellness content. She has specialized for over 12 years in reproductive medicine, and family and women's health as a nurse. A mom of two young children, her work can be seen on her own blog via her site, lindascruggs.com, as a contributor to The Huffington Post, and created the patient education program in one of the top fertility centers in the country. Linda is all about empowerment in motherhood and would love to connect.

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