Last week my daughter woke up with the sniffles. I’ve always considered myself a levelheaded and rational person, so naturally I burst into floods of tears and declared myself a failure as a parent for allowing my little one to succumb to the common cold… Just the day before she’d been enjoying life’s pleasures (breasts, cuddles, blankies) and all of a sudden, bam! She had a stuffy nose, which quickly progressed to a leaking one and was fidgety and irritable.
Like lightening I was in the doctors office, only to be told that colds can’t be treated. My only option was to sit tight and do my best to ease her discomfort. What? No magical cure in a bottle? This got me thinking, what can a parent do if they find themselves nursing a runny-nosed infant? Read on for tips on how to treat the sniffles.
Tips for treating baby’s cold symptoms #1: Offer regular feeds
If your little one is bunged up it’s likely they’ll be off their milk, so try the little and often approach to feeding in order to keep them hydrated. Some babies also turn to the breast as a source of comfort when they’re not feeling 100 per cent, so be ready for a feeding frenzy.
Tips for treating baby’s cold symptoms #2: Clear the airwaves
A stuffy nose can be very uncomfortable for little ones, so use saline drops, which are available at pharmacies, to loosen up the mucus. Then use a nasal aspirator to suck out the snot. Admittedly, when you have a fidgety infant in your arms, nasal aspirators aren’t the easiest things to use, but it’s worth persevering, as your tot will be much less grizzly when their sinuses are clear.
Tips for treating baby’s cold symptoms #3: Run a humidifier
Humid air is a natural decongestant and a cool mist humidifier will moisten dry air, helping to clear your baby’s nasal passages, which loosen lung mucus. If you don’t have a humidifier to hand, try taking your tot into a humid bathroom. Sitting near a steaming hot shower will relax your baby’s nose and chest in no time.
Tips for treating baby’s cold symptoms #4: Use a decongestant rub
Your little cherub will breathe easier when the scent of eucalyptus is in the air. Most decongestants aren’t suitable for tiny babies, but Mii does a wonderful range of baby-friendly products which are designed to relieve stuffiness and congestion in newborns.
Mii Pure Baby Decongestant – Dhs55
Tips for treating baby’s cold symptoms #5: Show some TLC
According to the experts, positive parental attention, i.e. comforting your little one and showing them lots of affection, is a very effective way of distracting them from the irritation of a blocked nose and congested chest. If you want to speed up the healing process, take them into your bed for a snuggle or temporarily move the baby crib into your bedroom so that they feel close to you during the night. A little TLC goes a long way.
See a doctor if your baby has a cold and:
• is under three months
• is having trouble breathing
• is not eating or drinking
• seems persistently tired and sleepy
• has a fever over 38.5°C
• has a wet cough