Your Baby's First Cold!
Everyone dreads the cold season. It can be especially hard when you have a baby with a cold. Babies are too young for most medicine and so I will introduce you to some tips that may help a little. These tips are not to make up for a trip to the doctor when needed:

Use a soft cloth for a runny nose instead of tissues. It is gentler on baby's nose and saves money. Be sure to offer a drink to help replace lost fluids.

Use a humidifier to moisten the air. Don't keep the bedroom too warm. For fast relief from stuffiness, run a hot shower or bath with the door closed until the whole room is steamy. Turn the water off and sit with the baby on your lap, or walk around the bathroom for a few minutes while the baby breathes in the steam.

Babies can't have medicated rubs (like Vicks) applied to their sensitive skin until they are much older. I have a trick I like to do with Vicks as it is effective in loosening stuffiness and helping coughs. I take a bit of Vicks and rub it onto a cloth of washcloth. I place the cloth inside the baby's shirt with the Vicks side facing outward toward the shirt. Make sure that the baby doesn't get too hot with this added to their clothing. Especially if they have a fever.

Cool a Fever Naturally. With a low fever, I have the baby wearing his t-shirt and diaper and a blanket that can be removed quickly when his fever rises. I like to use a wet washcloth on his forehead to help with bringing his fever down.

A high fever that does not come down could be the sign of a secondary infection and may require medication. Babies who have experienced febrile convulsions should be monitored closely; in this case your pediatrician may instruct you to administer fever reducing medication. Never give medication to a young infant without explicit instructions from your pediatrician.

Congestion can be a problem when the baby is sleeping. Elevate the mattress by placing a folded blanket underneath. I find myself holding the baby a lot an usually cuddling up so it is easy to check on him all through the night.

Everything else comes second to this little baby who needs you so much right now. Before you know it, all will be well again and you and bay will be able to get back to your normal routine.

by Wendy Shepherd