Colds are very common amongst babies and although in many cases they will usually be mild, they can contribute to more serious health conditions, including pneumonia and croup in newborn babies (under the age of 3 months), so it is advisable to consult your GP if you have a very young baby with a cold. Colds are caused by a viral infection which affects the baby’s nose and throat; colds can also cause pain in the ears and head.
Common symptoms of a cold include:
- A slightly raised temperature
- A runny nose
- A sore throat
- Crying more than usual
- Blocked up nose
Treating a cold
Colds are viral infections so they cannot be cured but there are treatments that will help to ease the baby’s symptoms. Most colds pass within a week, but if your baby’s symptoms persist or you have a baby under the age of 3 months you should see a doctor as your baby may be suffering from a more serious illness. If your baby has a cold make sure they drink plenty of fluid and give them over the counter pain relief to ease aches and bring their temperature down (follow the dosage instructions carefully and if you’re not sure which medications your baby can have, make sure you ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice). Your baby may also benefit from inhaling steam but make sure you don’t place them so close to the steam that it burns their skin; this will help to clear their head and ease their symptoms. Babies may sleep more than usual when they have a cold and they may lose their appetite; this is completely normal but if they continue to behave differently after a week you may wish to see your doctor.