Help! My Baby Has a Cold- Now What?
One thing most parents have to deal with at one time or another is a baby with a cold. A cold is very probable if they are around older kids, attend any kind of child care (even if it is just at the gym or church) but even the stay-at-home babies without much time with other germy kids occasional catch colds. Even for an experienced mom it can be difficult to remember everything to do and what we CAN do for these little booger babies but for a first time mom it can be down right over whelming. So here are some “what to expects” and what you can do to help-
- Breastfeeding Can Become Difficult
This is due to having a stuffed nose. Ever try to drink down a big old gulp of water while your nose is completely stuffed? Or spend too much time swimming under water and have to come up gasping for air? That’s what eating is like now for your nursling. Every second on the breast is a moment of struggling for breath. Moms will notice baby to unlatch every few seconds. This can make nursing really frustrating for mom and baby. Not only is baby having a hard time eating and getting his or her belly full of milk, mom may start feeling a bit on the engorged side. While non of this is fun, it is normal and as soon as baby can breathe a bit easier, he or she should nurse normally again and make up for being a light nurser during that period of time.
– Try nursing baby in a more upright position. Being upright helps open the airways and makes breathing through the nose easier.
– Hand express or use a pump to ease engorgement and keep breast stimulated so these is no dip in supply from the slow nursing days.
– Stay patient and relaxed. Speak comfortingly to your baby. It can be stressful for them to struggle to nurse too.
- Sleeping Becomes Difficult
Again, laying down flat stuffs baby’s nose right up. Frequent night waking can be an understatement of what night time is like with a sick baby. There may also be an increased amount of coughing occuring during the night, as a result of post nasal drip. A sleep deprived mommy and baby is another one of those obnoxious normals when sickness is brewing
– If baby is sleeping in their ow bassinet or crib, the mattress can be propped in an incline to keep baby from lying completely flat.
– If cosleeping, mom will probably find herself needing to prop baby up while craddling him or her in her arm. This can be more comfortable if mom props several pillows up behind herself so she is sitting up a bit herself.
– Another sleep option is a recliner for mom to sit in and hold baby on her chest.
– In whatever room baby is sleeping in- there should be a cool mist humidifier running to keep the air moist, and help loosen mucous in baby’s airways. A few drops of peppermint oil can be helpful too.
– Some parents claim that Vicks vapo rub on baby’s feet with socks over also helps baby sleep and helps breathing.
***cosleeping disclaimer- While I fully support (and practice) cosleeping myself, be safe while cosleeping! Do not place baby on the edge of a bed, chair or otherwise. If parent is too tired to remain self aware of baby while resting together, find another sleeping arrangement, please.
- There Will Be Boogers
Oh the boogers! They will probably begin with just a little clear drip and then can turn yellow or green. Hopefully, they stay clear, though! They will run them, sneeze them, blow nose bubbles with them, get them on you shirt and if it’s really glamorous, you’ll even get some on your breast while nursing. The joys of motherhood.
– Keep the boogers coming out! Out may not be pretty but it’s a ton better than not running out for their health.
– Use breastmilk as saline (Or use a baby Saline). IT can be sprayed right up the nose from the breast (messy but can work) or use some expressed milk and a dropper to get the milk right up there. This is great because not only will it help loosen mucous, breastmilk is full of antibodies that fight illness and infections.
– Suction the nose! While most people are more familiar with the bulbs for nose suctioning, these do not really work amazing and they breed germs. Getting a Nosefrida is the best for clearing out baby mucous! While it can look a bit disturbing, there is a filter in it and nothing actually goes to the parents mouth!
– Keep the humidifier running during day time house too to keep moisture in the air and prevent mucous from drying and crusting and clogging up baby
It is always a little alarming when our little one starts running hot but it typically is not something to worry about. Fever is the bodies way of killing the germs in it. If baby runs a fever for a day or two of a cold, this is just baby dealing with illness properly and efficiently. If fever gets high, baby gets lethargic, or fever doesnt go away after a day or so (or if you have any feeling that baby needs to be checked on) call your doctor
– For low grade fevers that do not seem to be bothering baby- it’s good to let it run its course, but if fever is bothersome- rotating between tylenol and motrin can be helpful (be careful with dosage. If baby has never had it or unsure of how much, get a hold of doctor first)
- Plan For Poop
I’m sure parents deal with enough poop from their babies but now it may become a lot more mucousy. After a few days of lots of mucous, it’s normal to start noticing very mucousy stools. They may be greener, or more yellow than normal and runnier, and way more frequent than their normal amount of pooping. Also, the frequent bowel movements can cause some diaper rash as well.
– Check the diaper often! Even if there is no smell or full feeling diaper, the mucous can change the bowel movements so that it does not give off it’s normal clues that a diaper change is needed.
– Keep all diaper supplies on hand a plenty of them. Diapers, wipes, outfit changes and lotion (or Coconut oil) for any rash that occurs
- Follow Your Gut
As silly as it sometimes feels to bring a baby to the doctor for a cold (I mean, there is not much that can be done for colds but wait them out) If your gut feels there is something wrong or the baby should be checked out, then bring them to be checked out. Peace of mind is worth the copay. If you have a hunch that your baby should be checked on, have them checked on!
**Medical Disclosure** I am not a doctor, nurse, or any kind of health professional. These tips are purely experience based & advice I have received in the past from my own pediatrician and friends- from their personal experiences****