When Baby Gets Sick: Part 3 – Treating the Symptoms

When baby gets sick, it is no fun for anyone. Watching your sweet baby struggle through a cold is heartbreaking for many new parents. Not only do you hate seeing your baby suffer, but you also feel helpless in making her feel better.

Earlier this week we discussed ways to prevent babies from getting sick as we head into cooler weather and the germiest seasons. But knowing that catching a bug this season is highly likely, we also shared the symptoms that warrant a call to the doctor. Today we’re talking about ways to treat symptoms when baby gets sick.


Breastfeeding is on our list again. We already mentioned how breastfeeding can help protect your baby from illness this season by over 60%. But it also helps your baby if she does get sick. That’s because the nutrients in breast milk will hydrate and nourish your baby with the best food on the planet for her.

When Baby Gets Sick: Part 3 – Treating the SymptomsChances are you were exposed to the same pathogens that are making your baby sick but your body is able to fight it off because you have a stronger immune system. By giving your baby breast milk with antibodies for the very thing that is causing her to be sick can help her get stronger, faster. And staying hydrated when battling a cold, flu or stomach bug is essential, especially if your baby is vomiting or has diarrhea.

Of course breastfeeding is also comforting so while your baby is muddling through being sick you can nurse and cuddle her as often as you like. If your baby is having trouble sleeping, breastfeeding may be the relaxation she needs to drift off to la-la land. You may need to find new positions if your baby is congested. Breathing with a stuffy nose while breastfeeding can be tricky so a more upright position or one where her nose is not restricted is a better choice.

Keep Baby’s Nose Clean

It’s so hard to watch your baby struggle to breathe when she’s sick. Keep her nose clean by using a bulb syringe or other baby-friendly gadget to suck out mucus. Saline spray is a terrific way to help loosen and thin out mucus so you can suck it up.  You can also sit with your baby in the bathroom while you let a hot shower steam up around you.

Use a Humidifier or Vaporizer

The dry cold air does not help matters when baby gets sick. Try to keep her sleep-time air moisturized with a humidifier or vaporizer. This will help relieve congestion and reduce coughing.

Take it Easy

If ever there was time to chill it’s when baby gets sick. Your baby doesn’t understand why she’s feeling so lousy and looks to you for comfort and security. She’ll need your TLC more than ever. Spend the days lounging, playing calmly and sleeping as much as possible.

Ask Your Pediatrician about Medication

Before administering any medication, speak to your pediatrician to make sure it is safe for your baby at her age and appropriate for her symptoms. Many doctors have different recommendations than pharmaceutical companies, especially about children’s cough medications.

We wish you and your baby the healthiest fall and winter possible!

Sources: Parents, Ask Dr. Sears and Baby Center