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when baby has a cold and cough

Lots of rest (all ages)

How this helps:
It takes energy to fight an infection, and that can wear out a child (or an adult). When your child rests, he’s healing, which is exactly what he needs to do.

Studies show that stress plays a role in illness too. If your child is under pressure – because of school, or friends, or something happening at home – giving him a break may be just what he needs.

Steam (all ages)

How this helps:
Breathing moist air helps loosen the mucus in the nasal passages. A warm bath has the added benefit of relaxing your child.

What you need:

A humidifier, cool-mist vaporizer, or steamy bathroom

Saline drops and bulb syringes (all ages)

How this helps:
When kids are too young to blow their nose well, saline drops or a bulb syringe can clear his nose. Using a bulb syringe works best for young babies, especially if a stuffy nose interferes with breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. (Try using it about 15 minutes beforehand.) But if your older child doesn’t mind the procedure, there’s no reason not to do it.

What you need:

A rubber bulb syringe
Saline (saltwater) solution, either store-bought or homemade

Saline nose drops – or spray for children 2 and older – are available at pharmacies without a prescription.

Extra fluids (all ages)

How this helps:
Drinking plenty of fluids prevents dehydration, thins your child’s nasal secretions, and flushes them out.

What you need:

Breast milk, formula, water, or other fluids that your child enjoys drinking