Sick Baby: How to Care for Your Baby’s Cold, So She Can Get Better Fast!October 21st, 2010 · 8:00 am · Category: baby advice, newborn care
When your baby has a cold, it can often mean long hours of comforting and holding a fussy baby. Caring for a baby with a cold can be anywhere from a few days to a week or more of dealing with a runny nose, coughing, sneezing and sleepless nights. Every parent wants to be able to speed up the process of getting better and see their baby back to their happy, cheerful self. In this post, we’ll cover some of the basics for caring for your baby’s cold to help getting her feeling better.
1. Fever- Be sure to keep a close eye on your baby’s temperature for signs of a fever. Keep a good baby thermometer on hand that helps make it simple and easy for monitoring your child’s temperature. Check with your pediatrician about the appropriate dosage to bring down a fever with Infant Tylenol or Motrin. Also, depending on the age of your baby, you may want to call your doctor if your baby’s temperature reaches between 101 and 103, to determine the best course of action for ruling out other illnesses or infection. Keep track of how much and how often you are giving your baby medication. This is important to avoid overdosing as well as it may be something you’ll need to know if you need to talk to your doctor. Baby Insights Day Tracker is one option for an easy way to track medications.
2. Doctor’s Office Phone Number- Keep your pediatrician’s or the on-call nurse’s phone number handy so you can easily find it when your baby is sick. Having a sick baby can be stressful, so the last thing you want to do is spend time searching for a phone number.
3. Keep Baby Hydrated- If your baby is vomiting, has diarrhea or a fever, it will be very important to make sure your baby is drinking plenty of breastmilk, formula or water. Diarrhea in babies can dehydrate a baby, so be sure to keep an eye on how many wet diapers your baby has when she is sick. If your baby seems to have an upset stomach and is eating solids, you will want to keep her diet limited to the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast).
4. Dealing with congestion- If your baby has a cough or runny nose, you can use a humidifier in her room at night to help calm her cough and to sleep better at night. You might also want to suction her nose several times a day or check with your pediatrician about using a decongestant.
5. Your Patience and Love- Often what a sick baby wants most is to snuggle up with mom and dad. Most babies will want to be held more than when they are sick. Part of caring for your baby when she has a cold is just helping make baby comfortable until she starts to feel better.
If your baby was born prematurely, parents should be especially vigilant to caring for baby when she has an illness and to be aware of any changes in baby’s behavior or symptoms. Colds or illness with a premature or special needs baby can be a more serious event in the first few months, so be sure to track changes such as inconsolable crying or difficulty in breathing and do not hesitate to call your doctor for advice on treating your baby’s symptoms.