What happens when baby has a cold?

With the cooler weather, comes yucky colds, and unfortunately baby’s can also be susceptible.

In fact, with their little immune systems still immature, catching a cold is easy for a tiny tot.

Although a cold is usually nothing to worry about, no new parent enjoys watching their baby struggle through their sniffles.

What is a cold?

Put simply, a cold is an upper respiratory tract infection which is caused by a virus.

Symptoms include a blocked or runny nose and sneezing. Sometimes a sore throat and coughing might also be present, along with a high temperature.

Bub will find it difficult to sleep.

Once you’ve ruled out any other illness, a cold generally has to be ridden out, and treated for symptoms.

How can you help?

While we all know there’s no cure for the common cold, there are some things you can do to make breathing a little easier for bub.

If your bub is less than six months old, take them to the doctor to make sure there’s nothing else at play, particularly if they have a high temperature.

Once you’re sure, give baby plenty of fluids, you may find you need to feed more often during this time.


Avoid medication, included natural remedies, unless you’ve spoken to your doctor. After speaking with your doctor, they may suggest Panadol or Nurofen to help ease fevers or other symptoms. Make sure you choose medicine for infants and follow the dosage requirements accurately.

Blocked nose

When it comes to a blocked nose, although it may feel yucky for bub and make their breathing more difficult, babies aren’t able to use nasal decongestant medicines.

Instead, Saline drops can be used to help clear a blocked nose, as can spraying or dabbing a little bit of Eucalyptus oil around baby’s bed.

Some people find steam also helps relieve sinus pressure and clear blocked noses. You can create steam by running hot water in the bathroom, close the door and letting the steam fill the room. Sit in the room with baby for a while to let the steam loosen the mucus on her nose, making it easier for her to breath.

You can also use a a warm steam vapouriser to keep the air moist. The warm steam loosens phlegm and eases a stuffy nose. Pop the device in whatever room baby is spending his time, on the floor just away from the cot and remember to keep the nursery door ajar. Always read the label and follow the directions for use.



Just like adults, rest is one of the best things baby can do to relieve his cold and begin to feel better.

Don’t worry too much about the usual rules when it comes to sleeping such as being in their cot in their own room.

They may require some extra comfort and prefer to be in the same room as you.

Of course, when it comes to safety, the same rules do apply, so always sleep baby on her back, avoid adult beds and make sure the space around baby is clear, removing any teddies or pillows.

While it can be unpleasant for a parent to watch their baby struggle, rest assured, the common cold will pass, and with a bit of TLC, baby will be back to normal in no time!

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