A common cold is a viral infection of your baby's nose and throat. Nasal congestion and a runny nose are the main indicators of a cold.
Babies are especially susceptible to the common cold, in part because they're often around other older children. Also, they have yet to develop immunity to many common infections. Within the first year of life, most babies have up to seven colds; more if they’re in child care centers.
Treatment for the common cold in babies involves easing their symptoms, such as by providing fluids, keeping the air moist and helping them keep their nasal passages open. Very young infants must see a doctor at the first sign of the common cold because they're at greater risk of croup and pneumonia.
May 20, 2016
- Kliegman RM, et al. The common cold. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 10, 2016.
- Long SS, et al. The common cold. In: Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier Saunders; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 10, 2016.
- When to call the baby's doctor: Print-and-go guide. National Women's Health Information Center. http://search.womenshealth.gov/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&affiliate=womenshealth&query=When+to+call+the+doctor+when+your+baby+has+a+cold&commit.x=0&commit.y=0. Accessed March 10, 2016.
- An important FDA reminder for parents: Do not give infants cough and cold products designed for older children. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/SpecialFeatures/ucm263948.htm. Accessed March 10, 2016.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 11, 2016.