The common cold, a viral infection in the upper respiratory system, stays in a baby's nose and throat and causes runny nose, nasal congestion and sneezing. Babies contract colds because of their growing immune system. According to mayoclinic.com, babies get between eight and 10 colds during the first two years of life. Pediatricians don’t recommend cold medicine or aspirin for children younger than four years old, but infant cold remedies lessen symptoms.
Give your infants their usual amounts of fluids recommended for their age. Mayoclinic.com says babies don’t need extra fluids when they have colds. Continue breastfeeding to provide antibodies needed to protect them from germs that cause colds. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, breast milk protects the respiratory tract years after breastfeeding ends, and kids who breastfeed have about five times fewer ear infections than their bottle-fed counterparts.
Use rubber suction bulbs to clear babies’ nasal passageways when they have a cold. Clear their noses before feeding them. The American Academy of Pediatrics says the proper way to use rubber suction is by first squeezing the bulb, inserting the tip in one nostril and slowly releasing the bulb. The small amount of suction pulls mucus from the nasal passage, helping babies breathe better. Babies fight the rubber suction, even crying, coughing or pushing the bulb away. Squeeze contents of the bulb into a tissue. Wash the bulb with soap and water once you finish. Use suction as many times during the day as needed.
Use a cold-mist humidifier in infants’ rooms to add moisture to air. Moisture in the air treats cold symptoms such as runny noses and congestion. Place the humidifier close to the crib for full moisture benefits. Change crib bedding every day to prevent bacterial and mold growths. The American Academy of Pediatrics says avoid hot-water humidifiers because they cause serious scalding and burns.
Thin mucus with over-the-counter saline nose drops to remedy your infants’ colds. These nasal drops loosen thick mucus. The American Academy of Pediatrics says to use a dropper cleaned with soap and water, placing two drops in each nostril 15 to 20 minutes before feedings followed by suctioning. The Academy also says to avoid any drops containing medications. Read labels before purchasing drops to avoid additional ingredients.
Keep your home free of things that will aggravate infants’ cold symptoms. The best infant cold remedy is to avoid smoking around them. The U.S. National Library of Medicine says secondhand smoke causes numerous health conditions, including the common cold. Clean hands before handling infants, and don’t let sick people around your babies. Keep toys and common areas clean.