Helping Your Baby Sleep When He Has a Cold
One of the best treatments for a cold for babies and adults is getting plenty of good sleep. Adults struggle with getting enough sleep only because they often refuse to slow down when they have a cold. Babies, on the other hand, are often ready and willing to sleep but have a difficult time staying asleep. Most babies are inclined to breath through their noses especially during sleep. The congestion resulting from a common cold often prevents your baby from getting a good deep breath and the blockage will surprise and wake him. The following three tips can help you to get your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Steam provides moisture to baby's irritated nose and possibly scratchy throat. In addition, warm steam opens up clogged nasal passages and sinuses. Before bedtime, give your baby a warm bath. Keep things quiet and calm while you bathe baby. The warmth, quiet and the ease with which he can breathe will help relax him for bedtime. For added decongesting, bring a large pot or bowl of boiling, steaming water into your baby's room. Snuggle up and sit in a blanket tent of steam together for 15-20 minutes. For added relief, add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to the hot water before you make your tent. In your baby's room, run a warm or cool mist vaporizer to to keep the air moist while your baby sleeps. If your baby wakes up and has a hard time going back to sleep, repeating the bath ritual often clears him up enough to get back to sleep.
2. Try a nasal aspirator.
In French, the word for vacuum is "aspirator". Think of a nasal aspirator as a gentle vacuum for your baby's stuffed nose. You may have tried the bulb/syringe aspirator given to many new parents by the hospital after their baby is born. Many baby's will resist this aspirator and many parents are uncomfortable using the bulb aspirator as it is hard to control the amount of suction. Another option is the manual nasal aspirator. The manual nasal aspirator feels less invasive to baby and gives parents a great deal of control over the intensity of suction. You can use a nasal aspirator on its own or your can squirt a bit of nasal saline solution into your baby's nostrils before you use the aspirator. Use the nasal aspirator before each feeding as well as right before bedtime. Although the most obvious benefit of using a nasal aspirator is the fact that your baby can immediately breathe better, the more important benefit is the fact that he will be able to eat and drink, especially drink, freely. Along with sleep, getting plenty of fluids is one of the best things you can do to cut down on the duration of your baby's cold.
Lying flat does not promote open airways and easy breathing when baby has a cold. Fold a few towels or use a small pillow under your baby's mattress to slightly elevate his head and chest. Be careful some sheets and/or pajamas can be slippery causing baby to slide down the mattress as he sleeps. Add a textured blanket or towel over the crib bedding to prevent this. For babies still in infant car seats, having them sleep in their car seat also provides the right elevation.
This combination of easy-to-do remedies will go a long way in comforting your child while he is sick.