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Find out how to treat your baby's cold, including how to handle a stuffy nose and when to call your doctor.
Get supplies before that first cold hits – saline drops, a rubber bulb syringe, fever-reducing medicine, a thermometer, and a humidifier are helpful.
Make the call
If your baby is under 3 months old, call the doctor at the first sign of a cold, such as a runny nose, a cough, or a fever.
For older babies
Call if there's major fussiness, fever, dehydration, worsening cough or congestion, labored breathing, or symptoms lasting longer than a week.
Help your baby breathe easy
Use saline drops and a rubber bulb syringe or other nasal suction device to clear mucus from your baby's stuffy nose.
Your baby may sleep better if his or her head is elevated. Try placing a couple of towels underneath one end of the crib mattress (not in the crib!).
Banish dry air
A humidifier will release moisture into the air, which will help loosen mucus and ease your baby's congestion.
Give your baby additional nursing sessions or bottles, or – if your baby is older than 4 months – try a few ounces of water in a sippy cup.
Wash your hands often to avoid catching your baby's germs!
Download as a PDF
Guide to Firsts: Baby's first cold
See our whole Guide to Firsts series