As much as we hate seeing our babies miserable with a cold or flu, the truth is that it does actually have some positives. Babies develop strong immune systems through catching and fighting off colds. At times, it might seem that bub has a continuous runny nose – but it’s all part of developing immunity. In fact, you can expect around 6 to 10 colds per year with bubs and young children – maybe more if your child is going to childcare from a young age.
Cold, flu, whooping cough?
When bub starts to become unsettled and has signs of illness it is important to identify the symptoms and give the right treatments. Take a look at coughs, colds and more as your handy reference to the symptoms and treatments of the most common childhood illness that bub is likely to catch.
When to see the doctor?
Having a sick baby can be a real worry – it can be hard to know what is a simple cold and when to get help. Babies are unable to tell you so you need to pay close attention to the signs of a more serious illness developing. Take a look at when to call the doctor for more information on when to get help. If in doubt – it’s always best to see your doctor to make sure.
Preventing the spread of colds
Colds and flu can spread quickly around your family. Fortunately a few simple steps can minimise the chances of everyone coming down with a cold. Taking greater care with sneezing and hand washing can make a real difference from one family member getting a cold to everyone going down. Use a hand sanitiser like KLEENEX® Brand Natural Antibacterial Hand Sanitiser which contains natural ingredients such as plant derived alcohol and eucalyptus oil to naturally and effectively kill 99.9% of germs. Also, take a look at our tips from Dr Penny Adams and information on sneeze safe that can reduce the chance of a cold spreading through your entire family.
Being prepared with a well stocked medicine cabinet
It’s a good idea to make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked with some necessities at all times. You never know when bub is going to catch a cold.
Make sure you have some baby paracetamol or ibuprofen on hand at all times. Also it’s a good idea to keep some saline drops to clear a blocked nose and some eucalyptus balm to rub on bub’s chest. Keep a thermometer in the cabinet for when you need to check bub’s temperature. And take note of high temperatures and how long they last – this will be important information to tell your doctor.
Always make sure your medicines are stored out of reach of babies and young children. It’s a good idea to check your medicine supplies regularly as baby medicines can expire and also check if you need to top up your supplies.
Natural remedies to ease baby cold
Saline drops are a great way of unblocking bub’s nose and keeping nasal passages clear. You can buy saline and syringe kits from the chemist. Simply put a few drops of saline into bub’s nose and use a washcloth or syringe to remove any mucous.
Steam is a well known remedy for unblocking a congested nose. A humidifier with a few drops of eucalyptus oil can help loosen bub’s blocked nose and keep the air moist to prevent nasal congestion. If you don’t have a humidifier you can create the same effect in your bathroom. Simply run the hot water taps in the shower for a few minutes with the bathroom door closed. The steam in the bathroom can assist in unblocking bub’s nose and reducing congestion.
Keeping bub’s head elevated can also assist with congestion. Try putting a folded towel underneath the cot mattress to keep bub’s head slightly elevated while sleeping.
Taking care of yourself
Looking after an unwell baby can be exhausting. When bub is unwell they can be unsettled during the day and wakeful at night. It can also mean a few days of staying at home which might feel isolating at times. So it is very important that you can take some time out for yourself to recharge. It is also important to take extra care of your own health while caring for bub – wash your hands frequently, eliminate bacteria by using a natural hand sanitiser like KLEENEX® Brand Natural Antibacterial Hand Sanitiser, eat well and try to get as much sleep as possible.