Winter is here—and that means sniffles, runny noses, and congestion. And this season, the common cold is competing for attention with omicron—the juggernaut variant of the novel coronavirus. Even after winter turns to spring and this last pandemic wave is (hopefully) under control, the fact remains that our little ones are likely to catch multiple colds (6-10 on average) every year.
Fortunately, when these viruses strike, there are several ways we can bring some comfort and relief to our babes. Here are Dr. Steven Goudy’s recommended, cold-fighting essentials:
- Nasal saline: Keep your baby’s nose hydrated with saline drops or mist to loosen up any mucus, clean the nose, and remove swelling from the nasal tissue.
- Hydrated wipes: Tissues can leave sensitive skin around your baby’s lips and nose feeling irritated, but hydrated wipes can remove crusty drainage while keeping your baby’s skin moisturized.
- Nasal Aspirator: Keep your baby’s nasal passages clear with a nasal aspirator, especially prior to feeding and sleeping. The NozeBot is an electric nasal aspirator that is easy to use, gentle, and efficient. It will help your baby breathe easily and prevent drainage that can lead to discomfort and ear infections.
- Humidifier: A cool mist humidifier keeps air moist and prevents dryness that can cause irritation. It is best to aim for 40-60% humidity in your child’s room. If humidity is too low, the air will be dry. But, if humidity is too high, it may cause mold growth and potentially exacerbate asthma and allergies.
- Oral electrolyte solution: In addition to breastmilk and/or formula, an oral electrolyte solution like Pedialyte can help your baby stay hydrated, especially if they have a fever or diarrhea.
- Fever reducer: Having infant Tylenol or Motrin on hand is especially helpful to help manage your baby’s discomfort. Always ask your pediatrician for the appropriate dosage for their age and weight.
As always, ask your pediatrician if you have any questions about the best way to approach cold and flu season. They are there to support you and get you through every sniffle, cough, and fever.
Last but certainly not least, take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and take time to care for your mind and body. You are your baby’s first line of defense, which means your health is a top priority in order to give the best care for your child!