Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Treating a Baby's Cold

Having a baby is the greatest gift in the world. Bringing them home and watching them grow, seeing their first smile, hearing their first giggle, there is nothing else quite like it. Then, when you could not get any happier, your baby comes down with a cold. When that happens, it feels like your whole world is turned upside down. Your baby will be awake all night, screaming and crying, pulling on his ears, and all you want to do is comfort him.

One of the first things you can do is to be ready to treat your baby's cold right away. Do not wait for your baby to get sick before you buy medicine and the other products you will need to soothe him. Before you even bring your baby home from the hospital, there are a few things you should have already bought.

One thing that helps a baby tremendously with a cold, is a humidifier. Every parent should keep one in their home. A humidifier will keep your baby's room from getting dry, and if your baby is congested, it will also help with that. If you keep it turned on at night, when your baby wakes in the morning, he should be less congested. I would recommend trying the Vicks humidifier. With this humidifier, you buy liquid Vicks, and pour a small amount in a dish on top of it. The moisture then circulates the Vicks around the room and helps your child breath better, and it comforts him also.

A thermometer is also one of the products you will want to have on hand at all times. There are many different styles and kinds of them, so you will probably have a large assortment to pick from at the store. One of the easiest kinds to use is a digital ear thermometer. They usually only take one to two seconds to register the child's temperature, and are very accurate. Another kind you put in your child's mouth, but they take a lot longer to register. Sometimes, they take longer than one minute. Most babies and toddlers will not sit long enough for the thermometer to take an accurate reading.

At all times, you should have Pedialyte in your home. This drink will keep your baby hydrated, and that is very important. Sometimes when babies do not feel good, they do not like to eat or drink, and then they become dehydrated. If your baby will not eat or drink anything else, make sure they at least drink some Pedialyte. Pedialyte works for babies like Gatorade works for adults. It is important for everybody to stay hydrated.

Another thing you will want to keep around is a fever reducer and pain reliever. If you go to a department store, you will have about ten or more different brands to pick from. Some of them are now a clear liquid, so if your baby spits the medicine up, it will not stain. They almost all work the same, but read the label to make sure your child is old enough and weighs enough to take the medication. If you cannot find a brand that will work for your child, call your physician and he will recommend a brand for you, and tell you the correct dose to give your baby.

One of the things I have found that helps my son feel better when he has a cold is a nice warm bath. If your baby is congested, this alone will make him feel better. When your child is in the bathtub, it is an ideal time to clean his nasal passage, and he will breathe much easier. On the other hand, if your child is running a high fever, a cool bath may make him feel better. Make sure his bath is just lukewarm, not cold.

Always make sure you have the pediatrician's number on hand at all times. When you are a new mother, it never hurts to ask for help. Do not worry if you think your question is stupid or trivial, your doctor won't think that. It is their job to help you out. If you think your child's breathing is labored or his fever is too high, and you cannot get it to come down, bring him to the emergency room or after hour's clinic. If you keep enough products on hand, you will most likely be able to treat your child yourself, and bring him back to good health.

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