When your baby is coughing, sneezing and suffering with a runny or stuffy nose from a cold, you are probably eager to do anything you can to relieve the symptoms and help him or her feel better fast.  But the experts today stress the importance of avoiding infant cold medications, since the latest research shows that they can be harmful for babies and young children. So which safer options are left?

The Cold Truth

If your baby seems to get colds frequently, don't panic--this is actually pretty typical. In fact, pediatricians say that it is not unusual for babies to get as many as 10 colds in their first two years of life, and this number can be even higher if your little one is exposed to siblings or other children in day care or other settings.

While watching your baby suffer with uncomfortable cold symptoms can be difficult, it can help you to know that most colds will resolve on their own and don't progress into anything more serious. Nonetheless, you may wonder if there are any safe baby cold treatment options you can use to get through this trying time.

Natural Baby Cold Treatment Remedies

While baby cold treatment medications are off limit these days since the ingredients can pose unnecessary dangers to young children and can even cause life threatening reactions, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents use other, more natural baby cold treatment approaches to help relieve baby cold symptoms.  Some tried and true baby cold treatment remedies you can try include:

  • Relieving nasal congestion in a very young baby with using a bulb syringe to suction the mucus.
  • Thinning nasal secretions with saline nose drops. (But never use medicated drops.)
  • Reducing chest congestion by laying your baby across your lap and tapping lightly on his or her back.
  • Running a cool mist humidifier to relieve your child's congestion and to make him or her more comfortable.
  • Increasing fluid intake to keep your child comfortable and well hydrated.
  • Encouraging extra rest to help speed the recovery process.
  • Relieving a fever with acetaminophen (ibuprofen can also be given to children six months or older).

When to See Your Pediatrician

Most children's colds will resolve on their own within a week to 10 days.  But if your baby's symptoms last any longer or seem to be getting worse instead of better, you should see your pediatrician to rule out any infections or other complications that could require an antibiotic or other baby cold treatment methods.


Academy of Pediatrics