Your baby’s stuffy nose may sound really bad.
When your baby gets older and has his or her first cold it can be very distressing. It is very difficult as a parent to see your baby suffering from any illness. Here are some tips that may help to guide you.
When your baby gets sick the first symptom you will notice is a change in behavior. Perhaps your baby is more quite than usual, more sleepy, or more fussy. You’ll just know that something is not right. Your doctor has learned to pay attention to the expression “something is not right” because it frequently is the best way you can explain what is happening with your baby. And your doctor already knows that a change in behavior is typically the first symptom of illness that usually precedes fever, rash, runny nose, or any other symptoms that may be part of the illness. Your baby’s behavior is also a guide to how sick your baby is as the illness runs its course.
If a stuffy nose is part of your baby’s symptoms, sleep can be difficult. Because your baby’s nasal passages are so tiny, even a small amount of mucus can cause an obstruction that sounds really bad. The first question an advice nurse or doctor will ask you about your baby’s stuffy nose is “Does it keep your baby awake … or does it just keep you awake?” Your answer to that question helps determine treatment, if any, and is also meant to give you reassurance. If your baby is sleeping just fine, even though you can hear that your baby has a stuffy nose, the treatment is to let your baby sleep. Being aware that your baby is sleeping fine despite this symptom will hopefully give you the reassurance you need to go back to sleep too. Rest for both of you is the best help for getting through this difficult time of illness.
When to Call the Doctor
If your baby is less than 3 months old you should call your baby’s doctor when you first suspect that your baby may be sick. There will be an advice nurse to guide you and help you make decisions about care. Fever in this age group is not common, so if fever is noted (a temperature greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees) you must see a doctor as soon as possible.
Information Is Good
Unfortunately science has not been able to eliminate the common cold from the human experience, but hopefully it will be a very long time before your baby does get sick. And hopefully this information will help you manage more confidently, and perhaps give you some measure of reassurance when that time does come.
For you and yours,
D. Fravert, RN