23 answers

5 Month Old with Cold

My son just caught a cold and the symptoms appeared over night--some coughing and a stuffy nose. He is only 5 months old and I know I can't give him any medication. Any suggestions?

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Before when my son was 2 months old he caught RSV, which is from the common cold virus. He had a very stuffy nose and a caugh. We used the saline nasal solution with the syringe pump to remove the mucus. He was too young for anything else. It really helped loosen up everything.

Using a humidifier in the room he's sleeping in will definitely help the cough and congestion. Also, if his nose is completely stuffed up you can use a saline nose squirt solution-you can find it in any drug or grocery store. I just held my son on my lap tilted his head back and gave him a squirt in each nostril, then used the aspirator-that squeezy ball thing-to help suck out the snot. I hope this helps : ) -Angie

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Great advice so far! I would add this. Triaminic Flowing Vapors. This is the only thing I found to help my son with a stuffy nose and coughing at night! It works wonders and helps them feel so much better during the day. Good luck!

In addition to all the things below, prop up his bassinett or crib mattress so that he's sleeping more upright--or let him sleep in his carrier. That way he won't have as much sinus pressure laying down. db


I have successfully used herbal remedies to help with my son's colds and stuffy noses. I don't like taking medication if at all possible. Take a pot of boiling water and add a teaspoon of ground cloves. Put the pot in a safe place in his room and let the steam penetrate the room while he's sleeping overnight or during naps. This will help clear up his congestion.

Best wishes,

C. in NV too!


1. Suction frequently. You can put a few drops of saline in his nose before suctioning to help thin out his mucous a bit to help it come out easier.
2. Keep him upright. Let him sleep in his infant carseat or in his swing.
3. Use a cool mist humidifier in his room. If you don't have one then just turn on the shower and get the bathroom nice and steamy and just sit in the bathroom with him for about 15 minutes or so.
4. If you notice any change in your baby (not eating well, not sleeping well, not acting like himself) then you should go to the doctor.
I hope this helps. I know how hard it is to see your little one sick. Good Luck!

saline drops, bulb syringe. I gave my kids tylenol at night, even at 5mos. Here's a link for dosage, or you can call your doc...


Good advice so far... just watch the cough and mucous from lungs... and make sure it does not get worse or deeper.
Keep an eye out for fever... ear infections etc.

Look for any worsening symptoms or new symptoms...
take him to the Doctor since he is young, and especially is this is his first cold.

Take care,

Congratulations!(jk) Sounds like this is your first cold. I know I was completely terrified when my first baby cought a cold at about this same age. Don't worry. When my babies were this young, the colds were very mild and did not bother them much, and healed up fairly quickly. Elevating the top end of his mattress and a humidifier are very helpful. Vicks also makes a Baby Rub (natural herbs and things) that is very soothing - I think it is safe for a 5 month old, but check the label. Use an aspirator if the mucus blocks up his nose (and be prepared, my babies hated this!). You can also use Saline (another natural thing - I think it's just salt water) if the mucus is not moving; I never needed this when my babies were this young, but when they got a little older it was very helpful (and they hated it, too).
Just watch his behavior - if he is crying a lot or having trouble sleeping, you may want to have the doctor check his ears for infection, but other than that, just give him time and he will get better all on his own.

I would call his pediatrician or on call advice nurse. You can give him Infants Tylenol to help relieve any uncomfort that he is feeling or maybe some Children's Robitussin (or something similar to it) just for the cough and stuffy nose. But definitely check with his ped or nurse first.

To help with the stuffy nose, you can use a saline nasal spray to help dry it up. Or you can use a humidifier in his room. And you can turn the shower on hot, let the bathroom get steamy, and then sit with him on the toilet for about 15 minutes to let the steam clear out his congestion and stuffiness. I will also rub a little Vicks Vapo Rub onto the outside front part of their PJ's or sleepers before they go to bed at night to help with congestion. Just a small dab so they can't accidentally rub it into their eyes.

He could also be teething, as those symptoms can also appear when they are teething.

Both of my kids illnesses come on like that, all of a sudden too. I think it is just mainly that they are too young to be able to tell us that they are feeling ickey beforehand so we only notice it when it is full blown.

Going back to the medications....be sure to check your labels....often times they will put aspartame in them to sweeten the taste.

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