Friday, February 26, 2016

Poor Baby Has A Cold? My Favorite Homeopathic (Natural) Remedies for Baby and Children

The yuckiest part about colds is that here our little one is, miserable and cranky, they cannot breathe and that rotten cough keeps them awake at night, and there's not a whole lot we can do about it, either.

Or, is there?

Actually, there is!

Anyone who knows me (yes, including my children's pediatrician) knows that I am not a fan of doctors. That's why, before taking any of my children to the doc's, I will try all of the homeopathic remedies that I know about.

Most of us parents know that when baby has a cold, there is not a whole lot the doc can do about it anyway. They might tell you to keep baby comfortable and watch for a fever, or other clever, doctorly-sounding advice. It has to "run it's course," they will say. Antibiotics are not going to help, and, even if they did, would we really want to put them into our precious little one's bodies? I think not.

Over the counter stuff might provide some relief, but I still prefer the natural remedies, because not only do they work, they work longer and better.

Want to relieve cold symptoms with natural remedies?

1) Hydration - This is a big one! Breast milk can be used for so many different natural remedies, there's no wonder my babies love it so much! If you breastfeed, you are definitely in luck when your infant has a cold. Breastfeed as often as possible when baby has a cold, so he (or she) doesn't get dehydrated. If baby is experiencing difficulty breathing, he (or she) may not be getting as much milk at each feeding as they would a normal feeding. If you do not breastfeed, that is ok. Just make sure you are keeping baby hydrated with formula, and do not - I repeat, do not! - give a baby under 6 months old water. It can create an electrolyte imbalance, because babies that young cannot process water through their kidneys like we do.

2) Antibodies -  Forget antibiotics! Breast milk has antibodies, as we all know, and that's why breastfed babies tend to be more healthier than formula. Additionally, did you know that your baby's saliva actually influences your breast milk? Organisms are transferred to the breast as baby breastfeeds and then antibodies are produced in the breast milk to help baby get better. Isn't that fascinating?

3) Eye and Nose Yuckies? - You can put breast milk in baby's nose if it needs to be cleared out (saline solution can also be used if you don't breastfeed). If baby has "yuckies" in his or her eyes, breast milk can also be put right into baby's eyes, and the antimicrobial properties will get to work right away.

4) Clearing the Nose - If the breast milk you put in your baby's nose does not seem to be helping (or you don't breastfeed), gently use a nose suction. I have heard people complain about the old nasal bulb we are used to using for all these years and recommend the NoseFrida, but that apparatus is just strange to me, I will stick with the old suction bulb. If the boogies need a little loosening first, try some breast milk or saline first.

5) Sore nose? - Wiping baby's nose over and over again can cause the end of the nose to become dry and sore. Coconut oil is one of my favorite oils, as it has so many uses, including applying it with your finger to that sore nose for immediate relief. Be careful not to use the more solidified part of the coconut oil near baby's nose, as it could clog the nose. Use only the very liquidy part of the oil.

Here's some more of my favorite homeopathic remedies for your baby when he (or she) has a cold:

1) Humidify the air - Not everyone has a humidifier, but when you are a "natural mama," you really do not need one. Boiling water in a pot on the stove will put moisture in the air when baby is sick. I have also done what we call "steam treatments" for my babies. I learned about this technique when my 8-year-old son with asthma was a baby. Go into the bathroom, close the door and the shower curtain and run the shower as hot as you possibly can. The bathroom will soon fill up with steam. I try to keep him in the steam for about 20 minutes at a time.

2) Essential Oils - Oh, the many things I can do with essential oils! If you have not used essential oils in the past, I would highly recommend looking into them. For starters, if you are boiling water to hydrate the air, add a few drops of essential oil to the boiling water. If you find that you love essential oils as much as I do, you can buy yourself a diffuser. Whatever you do, do not apply the oils directly on your baby's skin. To help reduce congestion, try any of these essential oils:

  • Cedarwood
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus (my fave!)
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood
  • Peppermint
  • Melaleuca (ericifolia)
While I will repeat that you should never apply these essential oils directly on your baby, you can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil (or any other oil of your choice) to fragrance free lotion and rub that on your baby. I especially like to make a chest rub or a foot rub with lavender oil, which is calming. If you are not the make-it-yourself type of mama, you can find natural or organic vapor chest rubs over the counter. An old trick I learned many years ago was to put vapor rub on baby's feet and cover them with socks when you put them to sleep. Sounds crazy, but it works. 

3) Cold Outside Air - While it came as a shock to me when my 8-year-old was a baby, the doc recommended taking him outside into the cold winter air. Cold air helps to reduce swollen and irritated nasal passages and can also help to reduce swelling or irritation from coughing. For little ones with breathing problems, the cold air helps them to breathe in the air better. It really does work! So, bundle up your little one and go for a brisk winter stroll.

4) Honey - I keep a gigantuous container of honey in my kitchen at all times. Not only does the sweetness of the honey make it so tempting for little ones to lick every speck off of a spoon, honey helps to soothe sore throats and calm any nasty coughs that might be keeping you and your little one up at night. In fact, I would recommend dropping the cough syrup and using just honey. Sometimes, I warm up milk and honey for sick kids - even the older kids love to drink it!

Honey naturally has antioxidants, enzymes and nutraceuticals in the yummy stickiness aid in neutralizing free radical activity that can be damaging to the body. You will also get a load of minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium and selenium and vitamins niacin, B6, thiamin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin in every teaspoon of honey.

**Make sure you get raw honey, rather than any old jar of honey on the shelves, as commercial honey is often processed to the extent of removing all of the natural goodness it offers.**

WARNING: Do not give honey to babies under 1 year old. It can contain spores of bacteria (Clostridium botulinum) and cause botulism, which can be fatal.

I hope some of these natural/homeopathic remedies help your little one out!

What natural remedies do you use when your child has a cold? Add a comment below!

If you liked this post, click on the share buttons. Don't forget to subscribe to stay in the loop. And, if you love books, check out my books in the right hand column

Thanks for stopping by!

alt="YOUR TEXT HERE"rel="Facebook image"src="IMAGE URL HERE"style="display:none;">