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Infant Colds: Symptoms, Treatments, and When to See the Doctor

Colds are caused by viruses and can be spread through various ways, such as droplet transmission from an infected person, exposure to objects that have been contaminated, and skin-to-skin contact. Moreover, they cause discomfort, fatigue, or crankiness to anyone and everyone who catches them.

If your little one is down with colds, you’ll want to do everything you can to make them feel better. The situation may make you feel frustrated and helpless, but we’re here to help you out by discussing everything you need to know about dealing with infant colds.

Causes of Colds in Babies

Colds are so common—in fact, there are more than 200 viruses that can cause them—and they can be easily spread through close contact, as mentioned above.

Babies and small children are more susceptible to catching colds and suffer from runny noses because their immune system hasn’t been exposed to different cold viruses. This, in turn, means that their body hasn’t learned how to fight them yet.

That said, catching colds frequently can help your child build stronger immunities against these viruses and make them less vulnerable against infection as they grow!

Symptoms of Colds

In most cases, babies and small children only experience mild symptoms, such as the following:

  • Watery runny nose

  • Sneezing

  • Sore throat

  • Nasal congestion

  • Fatigue or irritability

  • Low-grade fever

  • Loss of appetite

Treating Infant Colds

The first thing you have to remember is that you must avoid over-the-counter (OTC) medications for your baby. Cough and cold medications are usually not safe for young children.

Instead, you can take steps to make your child feel comfortable. For example, you can increase the humidity in the room by using a cool-mist humidifier to clear your baby’s sinuses and help him or her breathe easier. You can also use a suction bulb to extract the excess mucus and relieve your baby from the stuffiness. Moreover, you can elevate the head of the crib which helps your baby breathe easier.

Don’t forget to feed them nutritious food and make sure they drink enough fluids, especially if they are running a fever. This ensures that your baby stays hydrated.

If you can’t put your mind at ease and your little one is still experiencing discomfort, you can get in touch with your pediatrician.

Seeing Your Pediatrician for Infant Colds

As mentioned above, colds are common in children and they usually go after a few days. You won’t need to visit the pediatrician for minor cases. More often than not, your doctor will just help your baby feel comfortable and make sure he or she still gets the essential vitamins and nutrients to improve his or her immune system.

However, you should still call the doctor if your baby is experiencing his or her first cold. While colds are generally not something to worry over, there may be signs that something worse is happening. Other symptoms you need to watch out for are the following:

  • A fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (for infants 3 months or younger)

  • A fever of 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (for infants 3 months or older)

  • Loss of appetite

  • Swollen glands in the neck

  • Rapid breathing

  • Restlessness

  • Lethargy

  • Symptoms that last longer than 10 days

  • Long-lasting of frequent colds

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your pediatrician right away. This way, proper diagnosis and treatment can be provided for your little bundle of joy.


Your little one’s immune system takes time to mature and protect the body more effectively. At this stage, they can be very susceptible to viral infections that cause colds. Common colds are not dangerous, but they can lead to life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia.

That said, you must remain calm and prioritize making your baby more comfortable. As you follow the tips shared above, pay close attention to their symptoms. If you notice anything unsettling, call your pediatrician right away.

If you’re looking for a reliable pediatric walk-in clinic in Brantford, you can count on us at Brantford Children’s clinic. Our licensed specialists can attend to your child and provide prompt and friendly healthcare to get them feeling better again. Book an appointment today!

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