Did you know that infants in their first year alone can catch a common cold eight times or more! Though these sneezes, constant runny nose, and sniffles are rarely serious, they are tough on the babies because infants are too little to know how to blow their nose. As a result, their little noses get stuffed up or blocked with discharge leading to breathing difficulties. And this causes a huge hindrance in their beauty sleep! When the tiny tots are unable to sleep, they can create havoc in their parent’s lives with all that bawling and crying! No wonder parents rush their babies to their pediatricians with the common cold only too often. However, the constant runny nose is not hard to manage. Once you learn a few tricks of the trade you will be able to soothe your little one’s cold with ease.
Little babies get so many colds because their immune system isn’t ready to ward off all the viruses in the environment just yet. The viruses make way into their bodies through the several toys and household things they so readily put in their mouth. Siblings and parents who have the snuffles or kids at daycare with a runny nose are also the common carriers of the virus.
Babies start to show signs of a cold about 1 to 3 days after they’re infected. The symptoms are a stuffy nose, runny nose (watery or thick discharge), sneezing, cough, crankiness and irritability, decreased appetite and difficulty in staying asleep for longer hours. Occasionally the kids may also develop a mild fever and vomiting.
What to do
Common cold or a runny nose doesn’t need treatment and often, it resolves on its own within 7-10 days. Many physicians prescribe antibiotics, but it doesn’t always help. Because if the cause of the cold is a virus and not a bacterium, the antibiotic will serve no purpose.
However, to alleviate the symptoms and to help your little one feel better these home remedies along with A LOT OF REST are sure to help:
Nurse your infant more often. Breast milk is known to have antibodies which help babies fight infection. If your babies are more than 6 months old, warm soups and warm milk with a little turmeric powder can help soothe their throat and nose. Add a pinch of salt in a cup of boiled water. Put a few drops of this salt water in your baby’s nostrils with the help of a dropper. This will help loosen up the mucus, which can then be gently sucked out with the help of a bulb syringe or blown out in older kids. For kids over 6 months, mix a few drops of fresh ginger juice and lemon with honey and give this to your child twice a day. It helps decrease nasal discharge and throat inflammation. Basil or Tulsi leaves have great anti-inflammatory properties. Boil approximately 10 tulsi leaves in 2 cups of water. Let your child (only if he is 6 months or older) drink this throughout the day. This is sure to alleviate his symptoms.
Visit a doctor if:
If your child appears extremely uncomfortable, is not eating or drinking much, is having significant breathing trouble and has a high fever (more than 102F) you must take him to a doctor.