Every mom knows it is no fun having a sick infant. Believe it or not, it is very common for infants to get sick with the common cold at least once (if not two or three times) in the first year of life. Don’t worry though, their immune system is learning to fight off these nasty bugs.
My 8-month-old daughter came down with a nasty cold a few weeks ago. It lasted at least a week and a half (seemed like a lifetime). I felt so bad for my little one, it was so hard for her to breath. She was waking up every 30 minutes to an hour each night and she couldn’t just blow her nose like us adults. I did not want to give her an antibiotic, as it was a virus and would not benefit her. There are many home remedies for the common cold, but what is safe for an infant? Thankfully, there are many safe and natural options to help our precious little infants feel better. Here are just a few:
Whether you have a healthy or a sick baby, this is one of the best things you can do for your little one. Breastfeed as much as your infant will let you when she/he is sick. The more liquid gold, the better.
2) Wear baby in a carrier
If you don’t have a baby carrier, you should definitely consider getting one! They are very convenient and babies (well, most) love them. Not to mention, it is actually a very healthy practice. Wearing your baby when she/he is sick can help regulate body temperature and it boosts the baby’s immune system. Awesome, right? There is nothing quite as comforting as cuddle time with your baby.
3) Elevate one side of the crib mattress
This is great for helping your little one to breath better at night. You can buy special pillows to elevate one side of your infants’ crib mattress. However, you can just use one or two regular pillows. DO NOT over-elevate the mattress. Use your best mommy judgement. We want your infant to be healthy and safe.
4) Make a garlic lavender salve
This salve is awesome, hands down! It is used to help with the coughing. My little one was having the middle of the night coughing fits when she was sick and this helped her tremendously!
To make all you need is:
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 drops lavender oil
- 5 drops eucalyptus oil – optional
Steps to making the salve are:
1- Add coconut oil to a double boiler and allow it to melt.
2- Once it is melted add the olive oil and minced garlic.
3- Let this boil for at least 5 minutes. You should not need to boil it any longer than 10 minutes.
4- Using a very small strainer or a coffee filter, separate the oil and the garlic.
5- Let cool for 20 minutes.
6- Gently stir in the lavender and eucalyptus oils.
*Eucalyptus oil should not be used on babies under the age of two months!
7- Let set until it thickens into a salve.
To use it, rub it on your infant’s chest and feet. You should not do it more than every two hours. I use it right before my little one goes to bed and I don’t have to apply more through the night. Works like a charm!
5) Give baby a steam bath
Steam baths are wonderful for clearing up congestion. Just turn on the hot water, shut the door, and play in the bathroom. This is also very effective shortly before bedtime. It will help baby breath and relax before bed. If you would like you can add a few drops of essential oils to the steam. Lavender is great for before bed and it will help with any coughing. Eucalyptus will do wonders to help with congestion. Like I mentioned before, eucalyptus is not recommended for babies under 2 months of age.
6) Use a saline spray
You can get this from any store. I bought mine at Target, but you can get it at Walmart. Just spray it in your babies nose to help loosen things up. If you would rather not use this, you can use breast milk. Breast milk is pretty much amazing for anything.
7) Use the Nose Frida
Consider getting a Nose Frida instead of using the typical blue bulb. Trust me, this works far better. You can buy this pretty much anywhere (Target, drugstore, Walmart, Amazon).
8) Put an onion in their socks
This is a great trick to help relieve congestion. Just take a small slice of onion (about the size of your infant’s foot) and put it in his/her socks. I did this overnight and during the day and it was helpful.
9) Put an onion near their bed
You can also slice up half an onion and place near your little one’s crib on the floor. You want the plate to be close to your baby’s head. Just like onion makes our nose run, it helps the little one’s breath a little better too!
10) Diffuse essential oils in bedroom
I would diffuse essential oils day and night. I used Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, and Tea tree. You can use them separately or together. This is great for nighttime and daytime. For night time I would boil a pot of water then add Eucalyptus and Lavender and place the pot on the floor near my baby’s head. During the daytime, I would simply use my diffuser.