Kids HealthWhat You Need To Know About Colds in Newborn Babies

What You Need To Know About Colds in Newborn Babies


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The early days of parenthood bring both joy and challenges, and one concern that often arises is the health of a newborn. Parents are often left wondering, “what should we do when newborn babies have a cold?” Understanding the nuances of this common ailment in infants is crucial for ensuring their well-being. In this article, we will delve into various aspects of colds in newborns, shedding light on questions like how long a cold lasts, what happens if a newborn baby gets a cold, and what steps parents can take to provide comfort and relief.

How Long Does a Cold Last in Infants?

Newborns are more susceptible to infections due to their developing immune systems. Typically, a cold in an infant can last for about one to two weeks. However, the duration may vary depending on the severity of the infection and the baby’s overall health. It is essential for parents to monitor the symptoms closely and seek medical advice if the cold persists or worsens.

What Happens if Newborn Baby Gets a Cold?

A cold in a newborn can present a range of symptoms, including nasal congestion, coughing, sneezing, and a mild fever. While these symptoms are generally mild, infants can be more vulnerable to respiratory issues. In some cases, a cold may progress to conditions like bronchiolitis or pneumonia, emphasizing the importance of prompt attention and care.

See Also: What to Do If a Newborn Is Cold?

Recognizing the Signs of a Cold in Newborns

Identifying the signs of a cold in newborns is crucial for timely intervention. Look for symptoms such as a stuffy or runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fussiness, and changes in feeding patterns. Additionally, if your baby develops a fever, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional.

What to Do if a Newborn is Cold?

When a newborn has a cold, providing comfort and relief is a priority. Ensure that the baby stays hydrated by offering breast milk or formula frequently. Using a cool-mist humidifier in the room can help ease nasal congestion, and keeping the baby’s head elevated during sleep can facilitate breathing. However, always consult with a pediatrician before using any over-the-counter medications or home remedies.

Do Babies Go Off Milk When They Have a Cold?

It’s common for babies to exhibit changes in feeding behavior when they have a cold. Nasal congestion can make breathing while feeding difficult, leading to frustration and a reluctance to eat. In such cases, offering smaller, more frequent feeds and using a bulb syringe to clear nasal passages before feeding can be helpful. If feeding issues persist, seek guidance from a healthcare professional.

When to Seek Medical Attention

While most colds in newborns resolve on their own with supportive care, certain red flags warrant immediate medical attention. If a baby shows signs of severe respiratory distress, persistent high fever, or a worsening condition, seek medical help promptly. Additionally, if the baby is not feeding well, appears dehydrated, or exhibits lethargy, a healthcare professional should assess the situation.

Preventing the Spread of Colds to Newborns

Preventing the spread of infections is essential, especially when it comes to newborns with developing immune systems. Encourage proper hand hygiene among caregivers and visitors, and limit contact with individuals displaying symptoms of illness. Vaccinating family members against preventable diseases can also contribute to protecting the newborn from potential infections.

The Role of Breastfeeding in Cold Prevention

Breast milk is a powerhouse of antibodies and immune-boosting substances. Mothers are encouraged to continue breastfeeding even if their baby has a cold, as the antibodies present in breast milk can help protect the infant from infections. If the mother is unwell, she should take precautions such as wearing a mask and practicing good hand hygiene to prevent transmission.

Creating a Comfortable Environment for Recovery

Ensuring a comfortable and conducive environment for a sick newborn is crucial for a speedy recovery. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature, use a humidifier to maintain moisture levels, and dress the baby in layers to regulate body temperature. Adequate rest is essential, so try to create a calm and soothing atmosphere to promote sleep.

Monitoring Long-Term Effects and Follow-Up Care

Even after the cold symptoms subside, it’s important to monitor the baby for any lingering effects or potential complications. Follow-up with the pediatrician as recommended, and be vigilant for signs of respiratory issues or recurrent infections. Open communication with healthcare providers ensures comprehensive care and addresses any concerns parents may have about their newborn’s health.


Navigating the challenges of a newborn’s first cold requires a combination of vigilance, care, and prompt medical attention when necessary. Understanding the duration of a cold, recognizing symptoms, and taking proactive steps to provide comfort are essential for the well-being of the infant. By staying informed and seeking professional guidance, parents can confidently manage colds in newborns, ensuring a healthy start to their precious journey of life.

Related Topics:

When Does a Cold Turn Into RSV?
When Is Sids No Longer a Worry?
When to Take 3 Month Old to Doctor for Cold?

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