Does your toddler have a cold?

When it comes to colds in toddlers, all you can do is let nature take its course. Since babies generally lose their mother’s immunity to colds by 6 months of age, the average toddler can get 6-12 colds per year, especially if she is in a daycare setting. What can you do for your little one has a cold?


Here are some common signs that your toddler has a cold.

  • Irritability
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Coughing
  • Low grade fever (up to 101 F)
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Decreasein appetite


A toddler’s cold is caused by the common cold virus just like when you get a cold. The virus is concentrated in the nose and is present in large quantities in the nasal fluid. Colds are highly contagious. Even as people blow or wipe their noses, the virus can linger on hands or objects, including the grocery shopping cart or on a toy at toddler daycare. The best prevention is of course, frequent hand washing and avoiding those with colds.

The reason why babies and toddlers get the common cold so much is because their bodies are new to the viruses. They do not have an immunity built up (there are over 100 cold viruses) yet. Another factor is that they frequently put their hands in their eyes, nose, and mouth. This easily transmits any cold virus to their nose that could be on their hands.


  • If your toddler has a stuffy nose, try some saline nose drops. Tilt your baby’s head back and put a few drops in each of her nostrils to loosen the mucus. After the mucus loosens, suction it out with a bulb syringe. Although most babies hate this, they will be able to breathe easier. Be sure not to use nasal
  • If your toddler isn’t tossing and turning, try elevating the head side of their bed with a couple of towels underneath the mattress. This will help the mucus to drain.
  • Use a vaporizer or humidifier in her room to ease congestion. It is best to try a cool mist humidifier. The cool mist, rather than the hot, prevents your baby from getting burned when it is used in their room. Air cleaning filter is a plus!
  • Be sure to keep your baby hydrated. Even though she will probably lose some of her appetite, make sure she gets plenty of fluids. Water and juice are best for toddlers.
  • Put some vapor baby bath in your baby’s bath water. This will loosen congestion.
  • For toddlers older than six months, you can give them baby cold medicines under a doctor’s direction. However, as they grow older, you may find that if you did this every time they had a cold, they would always be on medicine. Toddlers have frequent colds.

Consult a Pediatrician if the following occurs.

  • A cold that won’t go away after 5-7 days
  • They are tugging on their ear and in pain
  • If they are wheezing and gasping during a cough
  • If they have a high-pitched cough and can’t seem to get their breath
  • Their fever continues after 1-2 days

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