9 Signs Your Baby Is Getting Sick

by Lauren Schumacker

Like adults, babies get sick. But unlike their grownup counterparts, babies can't tell you what's wrong. Their inability to verbalize what hurts or how they're feeling can cause serious stress among parents and caregivers who are left to guess when their little one is feeling a bit under the weather. Since they can't tell you when they're sick, it might be helpful to know the signs your baby is coming down with a cold so that you know what to look for.

The common cold, also known as an upper respiratory infection, is caused by many small, imperceptible viruses, according to an article that Dr. Greg Germain wrote for Babble. Since you and your baby likely leave the house and spend time among other people, your both probably exposed exposed to these viruses often. It's important to note that, most of the times, these colds aren't anything serious. In fact, according to What To Expect, a baby's cold often lasts around 10 days. The site also noted that babies aren't as contagious once their runny noses clear up, which is worth knowing.

By knowing the signs that your baby is coming down with a cold, you can give (or get) them the care they need to make sure that they're back to their normal selves as soon as possible.


They're Fussy

Babies get fussy for so many reasons. That being said, according to an article that Dr. Mary Ann LoFrumento wrote for American Baby, your baby might be more irritable three days before a cold arrives. If you can't figure out why they're so upset and it seems like it's happening a lot over the course of several days, your baby might be coming down with a cold, so get ready.


They're Sleepier Than Usual

Again, babies go through periods where they're extra-sleepy and it doesn't always mean that they're getting sick or trying to fight off a bug. According to Mayo Clinic, your baby can have difficulty sleeping well if they're dealing with a cold. This symptom alone might not clue you in to the fact that there's a cold coming, but when paired with several others, it might mean there's a sick baby in your future.


They Have A Runny Nose

Just like adults, babies can get runny noses when a cold is coming. According to an article that pediatrician Dr. Jo Ann Rohyans wrote for Baby Center, a sick baby might have mucus that begins clear, but changes to yellow, green, or gray and becomes thicker as the cold progresses. It's one of those classic cold signs that, if you see it in your baby, likely indicates that a cold is on the horizon.


They Have A Fever

According to Royhans' previously-mentioned article for Baby Center, colds usually cause lower-grade fevers in your baby, while other viruses can cause fevers up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. When your baby's temperature goes down, other symptoms should — hopefully — improve. If they don't, call your baby's doctor just in case the illness was more than a common cold.


They're Less Hungry Than Usual

There are many factors that can affect your baby's appetite. According to the previously-mentioned piece by LoFrumento, your baby may not be interested in eating as much in the first few days of the cold. You should notice an improvement in appetite as the cold begins to wane and your baby begins to feel better.


They're Fidgeting

Fidgeting can be indicative that your baby isn't quite comfortable. According to HuffPost UK, fidgeting and irritability can be early indicators that a cold is coming. If your baby is fussy and can't quit moving, they might be feeling a little under the weather.


They Have A Dry, Raspy Cough

According to the aforementioned article from What to Expect, the cough can be the symptom that sticks around longer than the week and a half typical for a cold. Although frustrating, there's not a whole lot that can be done for coughs. According to the previously-mentioned article from Babble, there aren't any expectorants or cough suppressants for infants, which means that humidifiers and the like might be your best bet. Hopefully the cold won't linger too long and your little one will be feeling better soon.


They Sneeze Often

Sneezing can be an indicator that there's dust or other allergens around, but, according to Mayo Clinic, can also be a sign of a cold. If your infant is sneezing more frequently than normal, they might be in the throes of the common cold.


They're Having A Hard Time Nursing Or Taking A Bottle

According to Mayo Clinic, your baby might find it difficult to nurse or feed from a bottle if they're battling a cold due to nasal congestion, which can make breathing through their little noses quite difficult. Call your baby's doctor for advice if your worried that they're struggling to eat or breathe. And remember, most colds only last for about 10 days, so they'll be feeling more themselves before you know it.