Ask The Doctor: Baby's First Illnesses

Pediatricians Answer Your Questions: With Village Pediatrics

Baby’s First Illnesses & How to Manage Them


Ultimate Goal: Keep Baby Comfortable!

Shopping List: These items are useful to have on hand in advance to be prepared in the event of illness.

Nasal Saline Drops
Nasal Suction Ball
Infant Tylenol
Infant Motrin

Nasal congestion: We want to keep the nose as clear as possible, but too much suctioning can make walls of the nose worse by causing swelling. If you don’t see anything don’t use it.

Fever: if baby is less than 1 year old, it is super important to always check rectal temperature. If baby gets a fever within first 8 weeks of birth- call the doctor. Fever temperatures are 100.4 and up! REMEMBER its not about the number, its about how your child looks.

Difficulty breathing: heavy breathing & flaring their nostrils, seeming they have to work to breathe is a bad sign at any age.
Not being able to breathe through nose: infants & newborns are obligated nose breathers. Meaning they can’t coordinate to breathe through their mouths.
Hydration: Always focus on hydration. For infants- continue breastfeeding or formula regularly – do not give water or pedialyte.


Very aggressive, “fast & furious” Usually lasts a few hours and then goes away. There’s not much you can do, just get them through it and maintain patient. Rehydration has to go slow. Have your child suck on an ice pop or sip on water through a straw.

Once they are ready to try solids again, start with bland foods that are easy to digest. Stick with the BRAT diet of Bananas, Rice, Apple Sauce and Toast until they are feeling a bit better.

If a newborn is vomiting- go to doctor right away, spitting up is normal.

Supportive care:

Steam showers before bed to get better sleep.
Cool mist humidifiers especially during winter.
Luke warm baths are recommended
Pace feed: baby gets really frustrated and doesn’t want to eat. So, you can pull baby off to cool off for a few minutes during feeds.

Normal things:
Tiredness & droopy: very normal during an illness.
Low appetite