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Cold and Flu Center

How to Relieve Cold Symptoms in an Infant

author image Rose Erickson
Rose Erickson has been a professional writer since 2010. She specializes in fitness, parenting, beauty, health, nutrition and saving money, and writes for several online publications including The Krazy Coupon Lady. She is also a novelist and a mother of three.
How to Relieve Cold Symptoms in an Infant
A baby with a thermometer in it's mouth and a cold rag on her head. Photo Credit: oneblink-cj/iStock/Getty Images

Infants are extremely susceptible to colds. In fact, the Mayo Clinic states that most babies develop between eight and ten colds by the age of two. The common cold, an infection that affects the nose and throat, is caused by a virus such as coronavirus or rhinovirus. Common symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and fever. Although a nuisance, many of your infant’s cold symptoms can be relieved right at home.

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Step 1

Give your baby acetaminophen to ease a fever associated with a cold. Follow the package directions for appropriate dosing. The Mayo Clinic states that ibuprofen is an acceptable alternative for babies older than 6 months of age.

Step 2

Squeeze a few drops of an over-the-counter saline solution into your infant’s nose. The BabyCenter website explains that this will help loosen up mucus and reduce stuffiness. Use a rubber bulb syringe to gently suction out the mucus.

Step 3

Run a humidifier in your baby’s room to help ease congestion and a runny nose. Just be sure to keep the mist aimed away from the crib so that baby’s bedding does not get damp. The Mayo Clinic recommends changing the water daily and cleansing the unit often to prevent mold build up.

Step 4

Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to your baby’s nostrils if the delicate skin is irritated from excessive nose wiping.

Step 5

Elevate the top of your infant’s bed with a few towels tucked beneath the mattress. Sleeping with a slight incline can help ease postnasal drip, but be sure the incline is slight. Restless sleepers can flip in bed and end up on the wrong side of the crib, defeating the point of elevation.

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