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Remedies for your Baby’s First Cold

Wondering what to do for your baby’s first cold? Treat your baby’s first cold and help soothe them with these remedies so they can feel better fast!

dad using saline spray for baby's first cold

It’s so sad when your little baby comes down with their first cold or cough. They are still so young and fragile and all we want is to help them feel better. Learn how to treat your baby’s first cold and help them feel better with these tips!

I still remember when my baby got her first cold. I felt so awful for her and just wanted to help her in anyway I could. I am sure that her first little cold bothered me more than it did her. I think it’s just our mom intuition to want to take away all their aches and pains.

Unfortunately, many times you just have to let the sickness run its course. There is no magic cure-all for a baby’s cold or cough. However, there are a few things that you can do to help them feel more comfortable. Do what you can and know that they will probably be back to good health in a few days.

Note: Always check in with your doctor for your baby’s first cold and proceed from there.

Tips for Treating Baby’s First Cold

Help Your Sick Baby Get Sleep

Help your baby get lots of rest when they aren’t feeling well. Sleep is the best medicine for most illnesses.

If you follow an EASY baby schedule, don’t worry about it much or sticking with your baby’s regular nap times. Just let them sleep as much as they want, whenever they want. You can get back to your regular routine once they start feeling better.

When your baby is sick, they might want to sleep with you or on you. As inconvenient as it might be, let them. They need the rest and extra cuddles and will be back to sleeping in their crib soon enough.

mom letting baby with a cold sleep on her lap

Keep them Hydrated

Offer your baby the breast or bottle more often than you normally would. They probably won’t eat as much as a normal feed, so offer frequent feeds to help keep them hydrated.

If your baby is over 6 months old you can give them a small bottle or sippy cup of water (about 2 oz.) to help keep them hydrated, but do not offer water to children under 6 months old.

Medication Options

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of medications that you can give your baby for their first cold.

If your baby has a fever: Check your baby’s temperature using a thermometer. If they have a fever, you can give medication based on their age.

Children over three months old can have Infant acetaminophen and children over 6 months old can have infant ibuprofen. Use this pacifier medicine dispenser to easily administer medication. Thank you to the inventor of this!

Always check with your doctor before giving your baby medicine. If your child is under 3 months old and has a fever, call your doctor right away.

If your baby is congested or has a cough: A sick baby can mean a fussy baby. Help soothe your baby with Vicks BabyRub. Note that this is different than traditional Vicks VapoRub and is non-medicated. Vick’s BabyRub can be used on babies 3 months and up. Use a small amount to give your baby a little massage. The ointment coupled with your loving touch can be just the comfort they need!

Nasal Syringe and Nasal Spray or Drops

Newborns don’t know how to breathe through their mouth yet, so they can be really uncomfortable if they are congested. Help clear up congestion by putting a few drops of saline nasal drops in each of their nostrils and then using a syringe bulb to clear the mucus. If you have a NoseFrida snot sucker, this is the perfect time to put it to use!

Give them A Warm Bath

A lukewarm bath feels good when your baby has their first cold and helps ease their aches and pains. The steam from the warm water can also help relieve congestion and clear up their breathing.

mom giving baby a bath to help ease baby's first cold.

Use A Humidifier

Run a humidifier in their room to help ease congestion and coughing. The added moisture can help relieve congestion and clear up a stuffy nose. Cool-mist humidifiers are recommended over warm mist humidifiers due to safety concerns.

Baby’s First Cold—When to Call your Pediatrician

Your baby’s first cold can be a little unnerving and is reason enough to call your pediatrician if you want. It never hurts just to check in with them! If you see any of the following, call your pediatrician for sure:

  • Your baby has signs of illness and is under three months.
  • They aren’t having as many wet diapers.
  • You think they are having trouble breathing
  • They have a fever over 102°.
  • Your baby has little or no appetite.
  • They appear dehydrated.

Above all else, give your baby a lot of love and affection when they aren’t feeling good. Take them for a light walk outside to get some fresh air, but avoid exposing them to other germs or overstimulating them. Keep them close and allow them to get plenty of rest. Remember that they will be back to themselves soon and that your baby’s first cold is probably harder on you than it is on them.


Take care of your sick baby with these remedies. Whether your baby is sick with a cold or has a fever, there are a few things that can help your infant feel better. See the items you can use  from my baby sick kit and learn when you should call your doctor.
Amy Motroni

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