14 January 2012

Baby's First Cold

I recently went to a baby shower and was racking my brain to come up with an original baby gift.  

I know I know... I could have bought something on the register.  But I wanted something ORIGINAL... and USEFUL.  Not that onsies aren't useful but for some reason I felt that I wanted to pass along to THIS new mom some knowledge. 

New moms have such a learning curve to climb and they have to do it while hormonal and sleep deprived.  I'm also a strong believer in setting up regular "play / coffee" dates with a more experienced mom.  Someone you can ask questions, cry around and who will hold your baby for a few minutes while you sit.

Anyway... back to the baby shower.  Here is what I came up with:

Baby's First Cold kit

Here is what I bought and wrapped individually:

Humidifier (hot steam): yes I know everyone wants you to buy a cold steam one these days but the hot steam is better.

Vicks vapo steam.

Baby Vicks rub.

A thermometer: a regular one... not an ear one.  I'll explain later.

Some infant motrin and tylenol.

A BATTERY operated nasal aspirator.

The real beauty of the gift was the knowledge.  Laminated knowledge.  This is the stuff I typed up and laminated for her.

Baby's 1st Cold:
If your baby is sick, take his temperature rectally.  Yes rectally.  I know.... right now you probably giggle when you say the work "rectally".  Trust me.  It only goes in 1/4 of an inch and it is the only way to get a 100% accurate reading.  Other methods can vary by 1-2 degrees and when you are talking about a 6 week old baby you'll want to know if he is 99 or 101.  Or 100 or 102.  Just do it.

Now take his temperature.

Elevate the side of the crib his head is on.  Put a few books under the legs to give it a few inches of height.  Don't go too far or he'll end up in a lump at the bottom.

Use a humidifier.  Add the vapo steam right to the water. Turn the room into a sauna.

Use baby vicks.  Rub on tummy, feet, neck, etc.

Use medicine if it helps him sleep.

The MOST important tool you have for baby's 1st cold is the battery operated nasal aspirator.  Use it often.  The poor little guy has no way to clear his snot w/o it.  You will be AMAZED by the amount of snot you get out.


If he starts coughing like a seal you can do a few things:
1) Go to the bathroom and turn on the hot shower.  Sit in there for 20-30 minutes until the attack goes away.
2) if it is COLD outside wrap baby up and take him outside.  The super cold air will help more than a hot steamy bathroom.
3) Go to the ER / Doctor.  If it is really bad get help.  If you can't stop the attack, if he can't breathe or if he's turning blue.  If he coughs like a seal, then gags and throws up repeatedly.  Stuff like that.

(we took temps rectally on our babies.  Infants really.  I'm not about to make my 5yo bend over... but never the less I want to pass along the "proper" info so here you go...)

The recommended method:

From Birth to 2 years: 1st choice is rectally, 2nd is in armpit
Between 2 years to 5 years: 1st choice is rectally, 2nd is in armpit
Older than 5 years: 1st choice is mouth, 2nd armpit

Normal Ranges:
Rectum: 97.9 - 100.4
Mouth 95.9 - 99.5
Armpit 94.5 - 99.1
Ear 96.4 - 100.4

When to call the doctor:

Younger than 3 months of age, call your doctor right away if your baby's rectal temp is 100.4 or higher.  Call your doctor even if you child doesn't seem sick.  Babies this young can get very sick quickly.

3 months of age to 6 months of age, call your doctor if your baby has a temperature of 101 or higher, even if your baby doesn't seem sick.

Six months of age and older and has a fever of 102 to 102.9 watch how he or she acts.  Call your doctor if the fever rises or lasts for more than 2 days.

Six months of age and older and has a fever of 103 or higher, call your doctor even if your child seems to feel fine.


And finally it is important to have on hand the Tylenol / Motrin dosing chart BY WEIGHT.  The first time you read the back of a box you'll notice that they recommend you call the doctor for proper dosing under age 2yo.  Well what if you need to dose your baby at 2am?  You will need this:

Motrin dosing chart by weight (starting at 12 pounds) - you aren't supposed to give motrin until baby is 6 months old which is why the start wgt is higher.

**I also threw in 2 new mom MUST HAVES.  Hylands teething tabs and baby orgel.  They don't really have anything to do with baby's 1st cold but they are must haves for a 1st baby and when you need them you NEED them.

That's what I know. Feel free to leave a comment if you have another hot tip to pass along to new moms.  Share this site / link.  Comment.  Let's help each other ladies!

1 comment:

  1. OMG! A great gift. This will come in handy as I know so many pregnant women right now!