Five tips for riding out your baby's first cold

From the beginning of your pregnancy calendar right up until your due date, you're likely going to want to do everything in your power to keep your little one healthy. While you're expecting, prenatal vitamins and nutritious foods can help you do the trick. However, your strategy will change once the pregnancy comes to an end and you have an infant to care for around the house. 

Even if you disinfect regularly used surfaces and keep your baby away from people who have the flu, there's no guarantee that your child won't fall ill. That being said, it helps to be prepared ahead of time by familiarizing yourself with cold-easing tactics for your little one. Here are some tips you can utilize once you identify a small cold in your child, which may lessen his or her symptoms until the illness passes.

1. Don't assume allergies
Just because your baby seems a little stuffy doesn't necessarily mean that you can lay your worries to rest and assume that the problem is allergies. Even if your infant has them, a fever may be a key sign that this situation is more than just a reaction to seasonal pollen. Don't hesitate to take out your thermometer the second your little one starts to seem sluggish, loses his or her appetite and feels warm to the touch.

2. Make the nursery comfortable
Congestion typically comes with colds, and this may lead to many sleepless nights for your newborn. To ease the symptoms, bring a humidifier into the nursery. This can soothe your child's breathing and make it easier on his or her lungs. 

3. Keep your child hydrated
Both adults and children are advised to stay hydrated while ill, meaning this is a key component to taking care of your infant as he or she combats a cold. If your child is too young for juices, stick to breast milk or formula.

"A baby will usually want to nurse or take a bottle more frequently when sick because he needs that comfort," William Sears, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California-Irvine, told Parents magazine.

4. Use a saline spray
To keep your baby's nostrils clear and prevent an infection, think about using a saline spray for his or her nose. A saline spray can keep the mucus loose in your little one's nose, which can assist in the fight against congestion. In addition, consider using a nasal aspirator to remove mucus from your child's nostrils. This can clear up his or her breathing passages, creating more comfort.

5. Keep your baby elevated
Making sure your baby is elevated can prevent respiratory complications, reduce congestion and ease breathing for your child. In addition, this may help your newborn get cozy easily, which can encourage him or her to get some much-needed sleep.

It's important to keep a close eye on your child from the moment you notice signs of a cold. A fever that continues to increase or a boost in mucus production may be a sign that you need to seek immediate medical attention. While some over-the-counter pain medicine is specifically designed for children, you can seek a second opinion from your primary care physician if you want peace of mind. In addition, an expert can give you guidance on dosage and instructions pertaining to children's medicine. By taking these tips into account, you can get over your child's first cold without any complications.

How have you rode out your infant's first illness in the past? Do you have any home remedies to share? Leave your feedback in the comments section!