When your child is sick, all you want to do is make him comfortable so that he can sleep and feel better, right? Store-bought remedies can be tempting, but they're often made with artificial flavors and chemical fillers. Plus, many children's medications are for kids that are at least one year old. These home remedies are alternative treatments to help keep your little one comfortable when he or she gets sick.
Some of these home remedies were suggested to me by my doctor, and others I have used on my six-month-old son. The rest are suggestions from friends who have older kids. Those remedies are ones that have consistently worked for their families.
I am not a doctor; I'm a mom sharing my experiences and those of other moms that I know well. If you're not sure about any of these remedies, don't hesitate to ask your pediatrician. You may not even have to have an office visit - just give a him or her a call and ask if the home remedies you want to try sound good to your doctor. I'm that mom that calls the pediatrician about everything, and I don't think caution is anything to be embarrassed about!
Natural Home Remedies for Colds
I use home remedies #1-4 on this list when my infant son gets sick. He is six months old and has already brought two nasty colds home from daycare. This 4-part combo of home remedies makes a big difference in how fussy he is and how well he sleeps.
1. DIY Vapor Rub
You can buy vapor rub for kids and for infants, but it's made with petroleum jelly, a by-product of fossil fuel production. Gross! This vapor rub recipe that I made for my son did wonders for him. He loved when I rubbed it onto his chest and back.
2. Nasal Saline Rinse
When my baby has a cold - he's had two icky ones since starting preschool - saline rinse is a day saver. Really, a night saver. Combined with the vapor rub and a couple of other natural remedies, it made him comfortable enough to sleep through the night. When you go to buy saline rinse, you'll see two different sorts. This article explains which one you want. Getting the right kind is important!
3. Nose Frieda
If your child is too little to blow his nose, a Nose Frieda can help clear those nasal passages right out. I use the Nose Frieda at night before doing the saline rinse. My son hates it, but afterwards, his nose is clear, and he can fall asleep. The Nose Frieda might seem weird and gross at first, but it is so much better than those bulbs for clearing out a stuffy nose.
Dry air makes mouth breathing and a congested nose so much more uncomfortable. Run the humidifier for about 30 minutes before bedtime, so the room is nice and swampy all night. You can add eucalyptus oil to it, if you want, though adding essential oils to a humidifier can gunk it up, so do this at your own risk.
One of my girlfriends also has a six-month-old, and because he was a preemie, when he gets sick, he gets very sick. She said that for very bad congestion, you can hold the baby over the humidifier, so he can breathe in that steamy air.
Next: On the next page are the home remedies that other moms I know swear by for their families. Since most of these are for kids older than my son, I haven't tried them yet.