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 Baby’s First Cold


Baby's First Cold

Kelli Shidler, M.D.​
Boys Town Pediatrics

​Your baby's first cold can be somewhat scary, especially, if you're a first-time parent.

When babies are first born they have a very weak immune system. So they're going to pick up many viruses, especially if they go to daycare.

So the basic virus will last from seven to 10 days. That's just the normal life span of a virus. So you can expect the cold to go for at least 10 days, sometimes two weeks or longer.

What are the symptoms of my baby's cold?

Now usually with a virus, the basic symptoms you can expect with the common cold are runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing, they're fussy at night, they're usually a little more clingy, and a lot of time they don't eat as well.

What is the treatment for my baby's cold?

Saline and suctioning and a cool-mist humidifier, those are the mainstays of treatment, especially for little babies. Babies have such little nasal passages, that if they have a little congestion, they may have a hard time eating and sleeping.

So we use saline and suction to make them more comfortable, sleep better and eat better.

Will antibiotics be prescribed?

The basic virus lasts about seven to 10 days but if in the middle of the seven to 10 day period, you see all of a sudden, worsening symptoms, we have signs of an ear infection, signs of pneumonia, then we would treat with an antibiotic. In general, because those colds and the runny noses are caused by a virus, the antibiotic will not help the cold virus.

​When should I call the doctor regarding my baby's cold?

If you see, ok they had a fever day one or two, it was gone for a few days but the fever comes back, they're all of a sudden much more fussy, they're pulling on their ears, they're screaming a night, we kind of look for those.

If something suddenly changes we say call right away.

A baby's first cold can be an upsetting situation for new parents. Dr. Kelli Shidler, pediatrician with Boys Town Pediatrics, explains what to expect with your baby's first cold, how to treat your baby's cold and when you should call the doctor.