How To Tell If Your Baby Is Cold – Symptoms, Preventions & Tips

Is your baby feeling inactive lately? Does your little one have lost their appetite? Do you recently think your baby looks pale? This might be a sign that something is wrong with your little one. As a parent, you might be aware that your baby is quite delicate; anything and everything about them is fragile and prone to catching diseases quickly. On top of that, your baby cannot communicate what they feel makes things more difficult. Then how do you understand your baby?

The most straightforward answer is that their body conveys what they cannot say, well in most cases. If your baby shows signs mentioned above, it might be a sign of them feeling too cold. If you are not able to see color in their cheeks, that is another sign. If their hands and nape of their neck aren’t warm enough, these are also sure signs of them feeling too cold. If not taken care of in time, even hypothermia can set in, making it difficult for you, as well as your baby.

So, how do you find out what are the sure signs? Until when is the situation under your control? When should you call the doctor? What are the right measures that you as a parent can take? What should be done and what should be avoided? Is it something other than cold? All of these are questions, whose answers you can find out as you keep reading this article. Hopefully, this can help relieve some of your tension.

Common Cold in Your Baby

For each parent, the first time cold is a very sensitive and scary situation. With newborns, the condition can quickly escalate into hypothermia, pneumonia, or other serious illnesses. It becomes all the more essential to take the necessary steps, early on, to prevent the situation from escalating further. For now, let’s take a look at the symptoms associated with the common cold.

Symptoms of Common Cold

  • Running nose
  • Fever
  • Irritation
  • Crying
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty in breathing or sleeping
  • Loss of appetite

Treatment/Home Remedies for Common Cold

While medicines are readily available, it’s probably not advisable to give your little one antibiotic and cough syrups. In the case of a common cold, it usually goes away in 2 to 3 days. During this time, you can only provide them as much comfort as you can. Some home remedies that can help your little one feel comfortable are:

Home remedies for infant common cold - rubbing Vicks on their chest
  • Rubbing Vicks on their chest and throat area before sleeping helps reduce congestion and provides relief in breathing. Don’t apply Vicks to their nose; it becomes too strong and harsh to breathe for them.
  • Using a humidifier while they are sleeping will undoubtedly help loosen the mucus; clear the nasal passageways, making it easier for them to breathe. It certainly helps maintain the moisture content in the air.
  • Placing your baby’s head on a raised surface, like a pillow, is preferable, helping them breathe easier. Also, when your little one coughs, it becomes easier for secretions to come out quickly.
  • Keeping your baby hydrated is another vital step and fight their common cold. The liquid in whatever form, be it breast milk or water, helps clear the congestion quickly and loosens mucus.
  • Last but not least, during the time of their sickness, your little one must receive their parents’ warmth and love as much as possible. So, keep them on the same bed as you sleep on; this also makes it easier for you to check up on them from time to time.

While these remedies mentioned above are just things you can do at your home to provide them with comfort, not necessarily all these might be good for your little one. As an alert parent, I suggest you consult your pediatrician and ask them for advice on how to proceed. If your little one is showing severe symptoms, definitely and immediately see your doctor.

Pneumonia in Baby

Pneumonia in Baby

While the common cold usually lasts from 2 to 3 days, if it goes on further, with symptoms worsening with each passing day, your little one might have pneumonia. As it often begins with a cold, it can’t be detected easily at first, only when symptoms become severe, then it becomes noticeable. It is when an infection develops in your baby’s lungs, which can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

While the early symptoms are those who are identified in common cold, further escalating by the below mentioned are:

  • Vomiting
  • The gray color of lips or fingers
  • Wheezing or grunting sounds
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • High fever

Treatment for Pneumonia

Since it is rather severe than the common cold, I would suggest you definitely seek medical attention and care. Your little one might need to get hospitalized if symptoms escalate.

Hypothermia in Baby

If your little one’s body temperature drops down below 95F (35 C), then there is a reason to worry, as your baby might have hypothermia. It is quite dangerous, and if not taken care of, it can also lead to death in rare case scenarios.

While typical cold symptoms are easily recognizable, other hypothermia symptoms might include sluggishness, loss of appetite, pale or cold skin, and trouble breathing as some prominent ones. As babies are more fragile than adults, they tend to lose their body heat rapidly.

Once you have identified hypothermia in your baby, keep trying to increase their temperature while you seek medical help.

Allergy in Baby

While the illness mentioned above are scary and require immediate medical attention, other reasons for your baby feeling cold could also be due to an allergy caused by particles like – animal dander, pollen, trees, grass – and other such stuff.

Symptoms for allergies might include itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, cough or congestion, sneezing, and sometimes a sore throat. The cause for allergies is purely airborne, unlike the common cold, where it’s due to contact with a sick person.

Flu in Baby

Your baby might show signs of vomiting, have chills, diarrhea, including the common cold symptoms.

With other difficulties, they can’t tell you as headache, muscle, or body ache.

Prevention for Cold in Babies

Dressing your Baby Warmly

Dressing your baby warmly to avoid getting cold

It is essential to take care of your little one’s clothes and the way you dress them up. Dressing your baby warmly enough is a critical factor in preventing them from getting cold, in turn protecting them from various illnesses caused by cold.

You can tell if they are warmly dressed or not by touching their chest and seeing if it’s warm enough, with their toes and hands too should be warm. The trick is to cover them up with one more layer in comparison to you. 

Their blanket should be warm enough, place warm layers underneath them, and see if there is a need for woolen scarves, gloves, and socks. Don’t put a scarf on your baby while they sleep.

Room Temperature for Baby

The room temperature where your baby sleeps is vital, too, whether it’s a nursery or with you. The room temperature should be 67-72 F. Depending on the baby to baby, see your little one’s requirements, as you can’t afford to be an inattentive parent. Other preventive measures that you can easily keep up with are as follows:

  • Washing your hands, keeping your baby clean, washing their clothes regularly.
  • Preventing people who are even slightly sick from entering your home.
  • If an outsider touches, it comes near your baby, they wash their hands before doing so.
  • Washing your baby’s toys and using the disinfectant in cleaning the floor of your home.
  • My personal tip would be, pick up 1 almond, grate ¼ of it finely, add your breast milk to it, feed it with a spoon to your little one. Everyone knows nuts provide warmth, increases the immunity of your child. Doing so during winters can keep them protected against the harsh cold weather.

To Summarize

We also discussed in brief how having a cold can mean different illnesses with levels of seriousness. It could be hypothermia, pneumonia, a common cold, or even an allergy. With your little one not able to convey their discomforts, there are pretty specific symptoms, which we discussed above, through which you can narrow down their illness. Always consult your pediatrician if symptoms seem serious.

Trying to find out if your baby is cold or not can be quite tricky, especially for first-time parents. Since babies are more delicate and fragile than adults, they need constant care and attention with no robust immune system.

So, you need to keep on a check, if they are warmly dressed or not, keeping with the cold weather. You also need to take some preventive measures beforehand so that you can avoid them from falling sick. But more than anything, if your baby falls sick, giving them a lot of love, care and attention will make them feel much better.

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