Baby Cold & Flu

Baby Cold & Flu

Posted by Emma, Snotty Noses HQ on 17th Apr 2024

When your baby gets their first cold there can be so many questions that come to mind...

What symptoms should I monitor?

Can I give over-the-counter medications?

Should I take my baby to a doctor of the hospital?

Do they need antibiotics?

How long do the symptoms last?

How can I make them feel more comfortable?

What's the best way to relieve symptoms?

We're all parents here at Snotty Noses HQ and we understand the feeling of angst and uncertainty.

It's especially stressful for first-time parents. So let's answer those questions, with medical references included:

Will they be okay?

You may be shocked by this but the average baby gets 6 - 8 colds in their first year of life, even if they're not in child care. When they start daycare, the number of viral illnesses (including the common cold) increases. 

Usually the virus takes a few days to pass through their system, as their immune systems develops. Effective management of symptoms keeps your baby as comfortable as possible, and can speed up recovery time and prevent a secondary infection.

What should I do?

If your baby is showing symptoms of a common cold, focus your attention on easing their symptoms and monitoring their recovery. 

  • Keep their fluids up and offer extra breast or bottle feeds.
  • Keep the air moist and humidified with mist (not steam). This will help keep nasal passages open for optimal breathing. 
  • Clear their nose. Remember babies are "obligated nose breathers". They can't sniff or blow their own nose, so clearing their nose of excess mucus is vital. Use a gentle, effective device such as the Snotty Boss Nasal Aspirator Kit to remove excess mucus. 
  • Opt for wet tissues or gentle wipes to clear their face.
  • Elevate the cot  to assist breathing and sleeping.
  • Relieve congestion with a warm bath or shower.
  • Apply a gentle organic balm to their chest (if over 6 months) and a gentle moisturiser on dry areas of the face. 
  • Enjoy some fresh air and sunshine (whilst ensuring your baby is still warm and comfortable), although minimise outdoor sessions on windy days. 

Doctor or Hospital?

The staff at Mayo clinic recommend very young infants must see a doctor at the first sign of the common cold to make sure croup, pneumonia or other more serious illnesses aren't present.

When my first child got their first cold I was told to call 000 or rush them straight to the hospital if...

• You have a high risk child

• Your child has a compromised immune system

• You notice trouble breathing

• Your babies breathing is much faster than normal 

• They're having trouble swallowing

• Trust your intuition - If you think something is wrong it's better to be safe and seek advice earlier.

Over the Counter Medicines or Antibiotics?

  • Saline spray and a nasal aspirator can be used from birth, multiple times a day to clear excess mucus from the nasal passage.
  • Paracetamol can be used for mild to moderate symptom relief in babies over one month old. 
  • Chest vapour rubs can generally be used over 6 months old. 
  • Honey and cough medicine is not recommended under 1 year of age. 
  • Antibiotics cannot treat viral illnesses, only bacterial infections. The common cold is a viral infection. 

How Long to Recover?

It's known that common cold can take 6-10 days to recover in small children. If your child is still experiencing symptoms after 12 days seek medical advice urgently. 

We hope this has helped bring some peace of mind to your situation and remember to listen to your intuition with anything because most of the time us parents are right.

Good luck braving this cold & flu season.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, healthcare professionals, or aromatherapists. Our products are offered for sale with general use guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Should any sensitivity to our products occur, please discontinue use. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, and/or take the place of medical treatment prescribed by a doctor or medical professional.

Information references linked here