Coughs and colds in babies

What are they? What are the symptoms? What are the treatments?

Coughs and colds in babies

Coughs and colds are totally normal in little ones and you’ll probably find your baby has around eight sniffles a year.

This is because little immune systems haven’t yet built up a defence against the hundreds of versions of cold viruses floating around.

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And if your baby seems to be catching cold after cold – you may find babies with lots of little playmates who like to share everything, are more susceptible - think positively and remember the more colds your baby has now, the less they’ll have in the future as they carry on building up immunity against these germs.

No mum likes to see their baby sniffing through a cold, but there’s light at the end of the [nasal] tunnel and your baby will usually start to feel better after around five to seven days.

What are the symptoms of Coughs and colds in babies?

Cold symptoms commonly include a runny or blocked nose, a cough and a slight fever. You may also notice that your little one is pulling at their ear, which may mean that they have an ear ache or ear infection, also refusing fluids or foods (if they are weaned) could also mean a sore throat.

What are the treatments and remedies of Coughs and colds in babies?

You can give your baby paracetamol or ibuprofen if they are really suffering with a cold or have a fever.

Remember doses vary depending on age so make sure you always read the label.

If you notice your little one is wheezing or overly drowsy, or you’re concerned about another other symptoms – trust your maternal instincts and seek medical help.

This guide 

The information in this Bounty A-Z of Family Health is not a substitute for an examination, diagnosis or treatment by a doctor, midwife, health visitor or any other qualified health professional. If in doubt, always speak to a doctor.

Bounty will not be held responsible or liable for any injury, loss, damage, or illness, however this occurs or appears, after using the information given on this website and in particular the A-Z of Family Health.

Further help

For health advice and information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the NHS offers call and web services. You can also visit NHS websites for services, health information and health news at nhs.uk 

  • England – call 111 from any landline or mobile phone free of charge, or visit nhs.uk 
  • Scotland – call 111 from any landline or mobile phone free of charge, or visit nhs24.com 
  • Wales – call 0845 4647 , or visit nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk 
  • Northern Ireland – visit hscni.net


Coughs and colds in babies