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Healthy & Safety Info
Keeping Baby Healthy
You try everything you can to protect your baby from illness, including wielding a bottle of hand sanitizer at anyone who comes within 50 feet of your infant. Still, sooner or later, your little guy is bound to catch a cold. In fact, babies have immature immune systems, which means they tend to catch more illnesses than you do — averaging six colds a year. Unfortunately, most infant cold medicines have been proven ineffective at best, harmful at worst, so usually the illness just has to run its course, a process that can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. If your baby is younger than 3 months, you should ring your doctor just to keep her in the loop since colds can quickly develop into pneumonia or croup in very young babies. She might suggest a variety of at-home soothers to help baby feel more comfortable while the bug runs its course:
- A bulb syringe, to unstuff baby’s nose. When a cold clogs your little one’s nose, he might have a hard time eating (because he has to breathe through his nose while he’s sucking). If that’s the case, use the bulb syringe before you feed him. Gently insert the syringe into your baby’s nostril, compress the bulb, and release. It’ll suction the mucus right out.
- Saline nose drops. Squeezing the drops into your little one’s nasal passages thins the mucus, making the bulb syringe more effective.
- A humidifier in the nursery, which moistens the air and soothes irritated nasal passages, helping to break up some of the congestion.
If your baby seems to get worse, or if he’s coughing a lot, wheezing, tugging on his ears (which can be a sign of an ear infection), is listless, isn’t wetting diapers, is clearly uncomfortable and crying more than usual, or has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees or above, let the doctor know ASAP.
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