Having a baby is one of the hardest and sweetest accomplishments in this world – taking care of said little one trumps that in both arenas though, I think! Knowing you have to care for this beautiful, completely-dependent-on-you bundle of joy and tears can be so hard. Everyday, we wake up and do it though! There are days that are easier, and days that you collapse in the bed exhausted.
After raising 4 boys and learning from other parents with even decades more experience than myself, I wanted to share with you some tricks and remedies that I found very helpful.
The top 5 remedies to keep around (learn more about each use below):
#3 Teeth Tamer
Constipated Little One or One with an Upset Tummy
Every parent will encounter this eventually – sometimes often. There are a lot of factors that affect this. It may be mineral imbalance such as magnesium. It may be an upset gut flora or slow digestion.
Gentle infant massage can help soothe and relax babies. Use natural oils like coconut oil, almond oil, Good Night Lotion for magnesium(as mentioned above), or Calendula Rose Body Oil. Be sure to use gentle, circular motions, going from your baby’s lower right side, up and around to the left side. That helps follow the path of the large intestine so the movement can help encourage good flow. Also be sure your baby is getting plenty of fluids.
A warm bath can help relax your baby and may assist with digestion. Use lukewarm water and keep the bath time short.
Chamomile and ginger are sometimes used to help soothe colic and fussiness. You can brew it as tea, let it cool, and offer a small amount to your baby, or breastfeeding mama can drink it. Ginger is used in the Infant Tummy Relief tincture I listed above.
Some of our blogs to check out:
Happy baby – that isn’t happy when laid down
If a newborn, swaddling can provide a sense of security for newborns and help them sleep better. Make sure to swaddle safely, allowing enough room for the hips to move. Occasionally, your little one may be happy or perfectly normal during the day, but upset when laid down yet not needing to be swaddled. In that case, it may be worth considering if your little one has an ear infection. I use a rice sock and Earache Ease (uses gentle but very helpful mullein). A rice sock is just a cotton sock filled with rice and tied at the end. Heat it up so it is warm and have your little one rest their sore ear on it.
Babywearing is also helpful. This comforts your little one and helps you be more mobile. I loved moby wraps and woven wraps with my little ones.
Check out The Natural Baby: Babywearing Newborns.
If you are concerned about your little one’s sleep, check out the blogs:
Runny or Congested Nose
Saline drops or Herbal Sinus Rinse can help clear a congested nose in babies. Use a few drops in each nostril and gently suction with a bulb syringe.
There are also great lymphatic massages for congestion that can help so much (for babies and everyone!). Another way to keep the congestion moving out is with Breathe Well Salve. My older kids actually keep a stick of it in their beds because they find it helpful and they love the smell!
Rashes and Dry Skin
Natural oils can be used for baby massage and to moisturize their delicate skin. Be cautious with introducing any new products, as babies’ skin is sensitive. Stick with gentle, light oils unless a more serious dry skin issue is at hand. Coconut, apricot, olive, and jojoba are good oils to use. I use the All Purpose Salve listed above for pretty much every rash except from a bug bite. Then, I use a Black Drawing Salve.
Feeling Sick or Teething
It is so sad when our little ones are under the weather. It is hard to tell what is wrong when they cannot even talk to us yet. Is it a cold? Teething? The flu? There is a lot of debate around if teething can cause a fever or not so sometimes the lines can be very blurred even between the two. My understanding is that a fever isn’t caused by teething, but leaves one more susceptible to conditions that can cause a fever. You can read more about this in Earthley’s Fever Guide.
I use Teeth Tamer and Feel Better Fast in these cases. Teeth Tamer can double as a tummy settler with its cloves and catnip, and when they feel sick, usually an upset tummy is around also. Feel Better Fast helps with an upset stomach (gas, bloating, nausea, indigestion), fever (balancing, not lowering), pain (headaches, achy muscles, and more), and respiratory symptoms (runny nose, sore throat).
Along with lots of skin to skin, cuddling, and warm epsom salt baths.
Last, but definitely not least: breast milk. This stuff is amazing. Irritated eyes? A little scratch near the eye? Sore throat? Feeling sick? breast milk can save the day. Just dab a little on cuts or scratches and let a drop or two fall in the eyes for instant relief. When your little one is sick, you can help your breast milk adapt by getting plenty of vitamin C and D especially.