Young babies catch a cold quite easily. In fact, it is normal for the babies under 3 years of age to get cold around 8 to 10 times per year. It is true that cold is not a worrisome illness. However, it is not easy for mothers to watch their little one going through the ill effects brought about by the cold.
Do you know why the baby catches a cold more frequently? This is their body’s means to develop immunity. When a baby is born, the immunity level will be very low. One important way to acquire immunity faster is to get exposed to microbes that bring about infections. What is the best choice for this other than catching a cold, which can bring about by more than 200 different traits of viruses? Most of the virus that brings cold is also responsible for other major diseases.
Therefore, we can say that the babies catch a cold frequently as a part of a process, which gear up their body to fight various infections in the future. Are you not convinced yet? Here are some more interesting facts,
You might have heard children catch colds more often when they join the school. This is because, with children coming from different backgrounds, they get exposed to various types of the virus when they join the school. However, a baby who comes down with cold more frequently before 5 years is less likely to get frequent cold after 5, when he joins the school. This is because the child has already acquired immunity to most of the viruses that generate cold.
Another interesting fact that surfaced in different surveys is, the infants who encounter more than one episode of cool before turning one year are less likely to develop asthma.
Believe it or not, a runny nose is a part of the procedure of developing immunity of your baby.
How to identify the baby’s cold from other illness or allergies?
Cold is characterized a runny nose that starts with white watery mucus that eventually thickens and turns yellow, which is accompanied by low-grade fever.
If the baby is active when the fever comes down, he or she is experiencing common cold. But even after the fever comes down the baby seems tired and less active, it indicates some other issues other than cold. Moreover, flu and allergies appear suddenly and are more often accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea. However, congestion or a slight cough more likely precedes the cold.
Can I give baby over the counter medicines for a cold?
Over the counter medicines are not advisable for babies under 6 years as it can cause harmful side effects on kids below 6 years. Besides, since cold is a viral disease, cold medicines are used to alleviate the cold symptoms rather than getting rid of it. The cold, with or without treatment, will take a normal course of time to disappear, which is around eight to ten days.
What are the alternatives for cold medicine for babies?
We don’t want our baby to go through the ill effect of cold until it resolves by around 10 days. Medicines are not good for the babies. Adding a few drops of menthol, eucalyptus, or pine oil to a vaporizer or bath may facilitate cold symptoms. Here are some alternatives for cold medicine for babies
Steam: Making the baby spending some time in a steam room is very useful to loosen the mucus in the nasal passage. A warm bath in a steamy bathroom is found to be highly beneficial. You can open the hot shower, which makes the bathroom steamy. Now sit comfortably in a chair by holding the baby in the bathroom for 15 minutes.
Humidifier: Using a humidifier in the room of the baby, especially during sleeping hours will help the baby breathe easy. Humidifier maintains moisture in the air, which in turn will prevent the mucus in the baby’s nose from drying out.
Apply petroleum jelly on the outer nostril: This will help to bring down the irritation.
Vapor rubs: Vapor rubs are found to help babies sleep better at night. Choose one specifically made for babies. Massage it into the child’s chest, neck, and back. Remember not to apply it to the child’s mouth or nose, around her eyes, or anywhere on the face.
Give baby lots of fluid: For babies less than 6 months, increase the frequency of feedings. For older babies, ensure increased fluid intake throughout the day. Increasing the fluids help in thinning the mucus get rid of it from the baby’s system. For older babies, sipping warm drinks will provide additional comfort. For the breastfeeding baby, breast milk helps to fight off the germs as well.
Clear baby’s nose with saline water and bulb syringe: When your kid’s nose is stuffy, he will find it hard to breathe and breastfeeding, making them cranky. Saline drops and bulb syringe will help you here. You can buy both from any medical store. Putting a couple of drops of saline solution into each nostril of the baby will melt off the mucus that is stuffed inside the nose. Remember to limit the dose maximum three per day. Once the mucus is thinner, you can easily remove it by means of a bulb syringe. However, if your baby is older than 6 months, better omit syringe part, as they, most likely, will not permit you to insert anything into their nose.
Elevate the head: Elevating the baby’s head a little during sleep will help the baby to breath easier. Therefore, fold a towel and put it under the mattress where the baby keeps his head. Never leave the baby unattended