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Baby’s First Cold: What To Do & How Long Does It Last?

Baby’s first cold could really make parents worry and stressed. However, it is obvious that if you are a parent with a baby suffering from the first cold then you would definitely want to know what exactly to do for baby’s first cold and must also be wondering how long the cold would last. So, this is the place where we will be talking about baby’s first cold, know about what to do for it and also know how long does it last.

Baby’s First Cold

It could be really stressful to treat a baby’s first cold. At times it could also be tough to know if your baby has cold or not. Some of the signs and symptoms of baby’s first cold could be runny nose where the mucus might be changing from watery to green or yellow, accompanied with cough and also include fever of more than 39 degrees C or 102 degrees F.

For a new parent it would be really tough to even watch their baby suffering from cold. So, what to do for your baby’s first cold?

What To Do For Baby’s First Cold?

What To Do For Baby’s First Cold?

Pay Attention To The Breathing Of Your Baby:

First and foremost thing is you need to pay attention to the way your child is breathing. You need to look at the chest of your child when they are breathing and coughing so as to ensure that they are not having any sort of respiratory distress.

Sometimes your baby’s cough might sound really horrible, but you still need to look at their chest. You need to notice that their chest is still pink and nice, even when they are coughing.

Ways to Help Your Baby With The First Cold:

Give Them Steam:

You need to sit with your baby in a steamy bathroom so as to help your baby soothe coughing spasms. Steam helps in loosening and thinning of the mucus within the baby’s nasal passages.

Use Nasal Aspirator:

Nasal aspirator could also be helpful to treat baby’s first cold. Babies do not know ways to blow their nose, and thus using OTC saline drops in their nose followed by a nasal aspirator so as to suction out the thick mucus could be helpful. This would clear the nasal passages.

Use Humidifier:

Using a humidifier for adding moisture in your baby’s room and living area could help in keeping the baby’s nasal passages moist, especially in the dry winter months. This in turn will help to reduce nighttime coughing as well as stuffiness.

Elevate Your Baby’s Head:

If your baby’s cough usually seem to turn worse at night while they are lying down, then you need to lay a folded towel or a small baby pillow beneath one end of the mattress so as to slightly raise your baby’s head. This would help to drain the mucus in the right direction.


Medication might be required to bring down the fever of your baby. For babies who are of 4 months old, acetaminophen or Tylenol could be given and for older babies who are 6 months of age, ibuprofen of Advil could be used. However, you must always consult with your pediatrician before giving medicines to your baby.

Rest and Hydration:

One of the most important things to remember in case of baby’s first cold is to allow them rest and keep them well hydrated. Babies must remain well hydrated when they have cold so as to prevent dehydration. You must nurse your baby frequently to keep them hydrated. Babies who are above 6 months can be given little water.

In addition to this, babies and mother must rest properly when they have cold and mothers must also take well balanced foods that would pass on to their babies through their breast milk.

How Long Does Baby’s First Cold Last?

When we talk about how long baby’s first cold last, we can talk about a research that tells that baby’s first cold might last longer depending on the baby’s nose-dwelling bacteria.(1) According to the research that was published in the ERJ Open Research, it has been suggested that babies who have a wide variety of different bacteria residing in their noses, generally tend to recover more quickly from the first respiratory virus, when compared to those who have got less variety and more bacteria from either the family of Streptococcaceae or Moraxellaceae. Maybe that is the reason why some babies recover quickly from their first cold while others suffer for a long period of time.

However, in general we can say that on an average, baby’s first cold takes somewhere around 7-10 days to resolve. So, you need to be patient. However, if you notice any difficulty in the child’s breathing, persistent fever or hydration then do not delay and just call your child’s doctor.

When To See The Doctor:

Though we talked about what all to do for baby’s first cold, you need to have a strict note on this that if your baby is suffering from high fever, or having difficulty breathing or wheezing, or suffering from diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting or if their skin is turning blue or having bad cold for a long time then you need to consult with your child’s doctor as soon as possible and take the expert treatment for keeping away from any complications.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 10, 2021

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