9 Most Common Childhood Diseases

Having a baby is an adventure in medical care. You are learning which bugs are harmless and which ones are more serious. You can rest assured that most colds and bugs your child gets are normal and relatively harmless. They just make your baby miserable. It becomes a trial by fire but you don’t have to do it alone.

1. The Common Cold

Your baby could catch a cold up to a dozen times a year. The winter can give you the most occurrences. When your baby gets a cold it also gets discomfort in the nose, throat, and over all achiness. These bugs are contagious. As they begin attending daycare and school, the colds seem to spread throughout a classroom or group.

You have to ride out a cold and just make your baby as comfortable as possible. Prevention is a big part in keeping your baby healthy.

  • Wash hands. This means your hands and the baby’s hands after they have played, before they eat, after they eat, and any time they have been crawling around on the floor. They pick up everything and end up putting it in their mouth.
  • Keep a clean place for your baby to play. Don’t go overboard and make it so clean that they aren’t exposed to any germs. This will only make them more susceptible to other bugs.

What to do?

  • Let them rest. The body needs its rest to fight the bug.
  • Fluids need to be given to replace their electrolytes. Talk to your doctor about which ones are best for your baby.
  • Coughing accompanied with colored mucus should be reported to your doctor. Your baby can gag on this and throw up.

2. Vomiting

Vomiting can be caused by many things but just a simple stomach virus is the most common cause. This usually has diarrhea and a low grade fever and can spread easily from one baby to another.

What to do?

Replenish lost fluids. Diarrhea and vomiting combined drains your baby of needed fluids. This can lead to dehydration which can lead to an extended hospital stay. Pay attention to their urine production.

3. Sore throat

It’s not fun to have a sore throat. It’s usually caused by a virus or bacteria that have infected the sensitive lining of the throat leading to a red and sore throat making it hard to swallow and even to breathe. As a baby can’t tell you what is wrong, watch for your baby refusing to eat or play with their mouth more often they usually do.

What to do?

Keep fluids in them and see your doctor if it persists after several days.

4. The Croup

Your child will sound like a seal barking when they have the croup caused by an infection that is hindering your baby’s breathing. This is not life threatening as the airways are not completely closing up, but it’s difficult to breathe.

What to do?

  • Keep a vaporizer near your child. Steam is good for your child’s lungs.
  • Try to keep your baby sitting up in a car seat or other method. Lying down restricts the lungs.
  • Bundle them up for a car ride in the cold night air (keep the windows rolled down).
  • See the doctor if none of this works and it continues for several days.

5. A Fever

When babies have a fever, they’re developing a number of little bugs they have picked up. You’ll notice if your baby might have a fever when you touch them or kiss them on the forehead.

What to do?

  • Keep fluids in your baby, as a fever can drain them of needed electrolytes.
  • Keep them warm but not too warm because too much warmth can actually raise their body temperature.
  • See your doctor if it’s serious. A temperature that rises very high can be extremely dangerous.

6. Ear infections

Ear infections are so common in babies. They can’t tell you they hurt, but they will be cranky, maybe have a low grade temperature, and might pull at their infected ear even going so far as to hit at it.

What to do?

  • Avoid getting water in the ears. Be careful when giving baths.
  • Keep fluids in them with electrolyte replacement fluids.
  • If it does not get better in a few days, see the doctor for an antibiotic.

7. Bronchitis

When a baby’s lungs begin to fill with fluid or mucus, the airways get blocked preventing clear breathing. This is usually caused after a prolonged cold or other virus.

What to do?

  • Use a humidifier to help loosen up the congestion.
  • Keep fluids in your baby as this will help the body fight the infection.
  • If it lingers more than a few days, see the doctor. Severe bronchitis needs to be treated before it becomes pneumonia.

8. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

If you notice that your baby has little blisters on their hands, feet, and in the mouth, they probably have hand, foot and mouth disease. It is very contagious.

What to do?

  • Don’t try to clean out the blisters.
  • Ease the pain from the blisters with teething gel.
  • Keep your hands clean when treating the baby so not to spread it.

9. Meningitis Infection

This is a very serious sickness that affects the spinal cord and the brain. This infection is also very contagious. Signs of meningitis include fever, vomiting, fatigue, sensitivity to light, stiff neck with restricted movement, and a painful cry coming from your baby.

What to do?

Never treat this at home. At the first sign of these symptoms especially the stiff neck, contact your doctor. This infection will need emergency treatment and more than likely will require hospitalization.

Amy Brown, a stay-at-home mom, is an editor of Livesnet, a site offering baby gear reviews and parenting tips. She’s surely willing to share her own experience and tips. Please visit Livesnet and read recent hot articles on Joovy Sit N Stand Stroller and Britax Frontier 85 Reviews.


  1. 2

    I’ve heard (& experienced as a mom of 3) most of these. I was told by a pediatrician that a baby can’t have strep throat until 2yrs of age+. That held true for my kids. We sure have been through different illnesses!

  2. 3
    courtney b says:

    what a great post! thanks for sharing i have a new baby so this info helps

  3. 4
    Janet W. says:

    All of this information is so helpful! I have two grandsons and they haven’t been really sick yet (my oldest had a minor cold for a day or so). Then again, they do stay at home and haven’t started preschool yet. I’m sure the illnesses will start once he goes off to preschool and then he will give it to his little brother at home!

  4. 5

    Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my g

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  6. 7

    This is very informative. It can be scary when a little one starts to not feel well.


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