Helping your newborn with a cold

Is your newborn blocked up and suffering with the symptoms of a cold? Here are our 5 best tips for helping to alleviate the symptoms and guidance on when to seek medical advice.

Why and when is my newborn most susceptible?

For the first 4-6 weeks of life, your newborn is classed as high risk for colds and other viral infections. This is because your little ones immune system hasn’t yet matured, breastfeeding adds to the immunity protection already received through the placenta and is recommended but unfortunately it does not offer 100% immunity. As well as breastfeeding, ensure you and anyone else in contact with your baby washes their hands and if bottle feeding always follow the guidelines on sterilising and preparing the bottle properly. You may also want to avoid public transport or anywhere where there are large groups of people in a confined space. If despite your best efforts your newborn does get a cold. Here is what you can do:

First things first: See a doctor

Even if you are absolutely certain it is ‘just a cold’ you should make an appointment to see your doctor. As a new parent you need that piece of mind and you need to rule out anything more serious (however unlikely). Your doctor will be able to advise you on how best to help your newborn and may also recommend or prescribe some medication.


If you are prescribed medication or you buy something over the counter, always make sure the person giving you dosage instructions is aware of how old your newborn is and what the problem is. You must always follow these instructions carefully. Giving too low a dosage will probably result in the medication not working and giving too much could cause serious harm or even death.

Plenty of nourishment

As the saying goes, “Feed a cold”. This is true for adults, children and newborns. Give your child plenty of nourishment, if you are breastfeeding, feed on demand, if you are bottle feeding you may need to feed little and often. Ensure you look after yourself too. The stress, worry and lack of sleep caused by an unwell child can take its toll – have plenty of early nights and wherever possible, sleep when your baby sleeps. Never be tempted to sleep with your baby on the sofa and ensure you continue to follow the advice on SIDS.

Keep warm

Just as important as keeping nourished is the importance of keeping warm. There is nothing worse than feeling cold when you have got a cold and this is the case for babies too. Be sure you don’t wrap your baby up too much and always stick to the advice on tog rating and room temperatures.

Keep clean

Keep your hands clean, keep the environment clean and do all you can to avoid the spreading of germs. Your baby’s nose and face will need wiping frequently to avoid reinfection and to protect your little ones sensitive skin.

Monitor the symptoms

If you feel it is lasting an usually long time for your child to get over the cold, if he isn’t feeding well or if he has a raised temperature always go back to see your GP. As a new parent you will worry more as you don’t know what is ‘normal’ or what to expect. Never take a chance, it us always better to have an opinion of a medical professional.

webmd, Babymed