Unfortunately, Jacob has his first cold! He’s not too thrilled. It’s so sad and hard when tiny ones are sick, because there’s not much you can do to help them.
Or is there?
It’s true that you should not give any sort of cold medicine to such young babies (nor, in my opinion, ever, if we are talking about OTC drugs). But there are other ways you can ease the baby’s misery and help everyone feel better fast.
How to Help Young Babies
(Almost) All of these suggestions can work — some with minor modifications — with older children and adults, too.
Breastmilk is pretty awesome. Every time your baby breastfeeds, s/he will transfer the germs currently making him/her sick to you through the skin, and your body will produce antibodies specific to the illness and transfer them to the baby via your milk. This helps the baby fight the infection. Breastmilk also helps to break up the mucus, so it can help clear baby’s throat.
Breastmilk in the Nose
You can use saline for older people, but breastmilk is best. It’s the gentlest on babies, and it can help to break up the mucus, meaning that you may not even need to suction the baby. It may simply break up the congestion and baby will swallow the whole mess and breathe better. Baby won’t like this, but it’s better than continuing to struggle to breathe or getting suctioned! (Though, suction if needed!)
Don’t buy the store-bought ones. Make your own at home and spread it on baby’s feet. It’s much safer and it can help baby to breathe better.
Take a Warm Bath
Put the baby into a warm baby bath tub, or take a warm bath with your baby. Put a few drops of rosemary and/or eucalyptus essential oil to ease congestion, and/or lavender for relaxation
Extra Fermented Cod Liver Oil
If your baby is on formula or is older, give it directly to the baby. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you should take a larger dose and it will get to the baby through you. FCLO is a huge immune booster.
Essential Oils on Clothes
When Jacob has had a really hard time (even minor congestion, especially if it’s in his throat, seems to really bother him), I will put 1 drop of each rosemary and eucalyptus essential oils on the front of his clothes, then snuggle him, nurse if he will, and he will usually settle down and fall asleep pretty quickly. For older kids I usually put a couple drops of each on their pillows at night.
Babies with a cough will appreciate a warm mist humidifier to keep the air moist and reduce coughing. And of course extra breastfeeding helps the mucuous membranes from drying out, too. 🙂
Keep baby close to you, wearing in a wrap or other carrier so you can keeps your hands free and still get stuff done. Babies usually breathe better and are calmer when they are held or worn anyway, and they often sleep a lot, which is good when they are sick!
There are lots of ways you can help even tiny babies to feel better! It’s nice to know that there is something you can do when your baby isn’t feeling his or her best.
In the upcoming weeks, I’m going to share a few herbal remedies with you that are great for children and adults over age 1. Don’t miss it!