Yes – it’s that time of year again. The weather is changing and some wee tots are heading off to preschool, which means baby colds! Having a baby with the sniffles is no fun, especially when it is causing them to be up all night sneezing, coughing, and making sad little gurgling noises. Before rushing off to the doctor, there are a couple home remedies to try that may ease all the ickiness.
Start by wiping the whole place down and shoving everything in the laundry machine and dishwasher. Getting everything cleaned up sparkly-clean will stop the spread of any further nasty viruses and bacteria, keeping everyone else in the house (hopefully) from getting sick. Make sure to use HOT water to clean pacifiers, toys, baby bottles, and sippy cups. Launder sheets, blankets, and stuffed animals. Wipe off anything the baby puts her mouth on – which in most cases is just about everything!
Once you have a sparkling clean house, start hydrating that sniffling baby. Hydration will help break up the mucus and start moving that cold out of her system. A small amount of water is just fine for a stuffed up baby, or make some watered down formula for her to suckle on. Stick to water – fruit juice for wee babes isn’t recommended. Juice is mostly natural sugar (or added sugar), and can cause digestive issues such as constipation.
If your infant is eating cereal or munching on solid foods, add some extra vitamin C. Don’t run for the oranges – grab the red peppers instead! Red peppers have huge amounts of vitamin C, and 1/2 cup has over 100 mg of the happy-healthy cold fighting stuff. Don’t think your babe will like it? Mine couldn’t get enough when her nose was running. Steam small chunks of red pepper until soft and then puree. Let cool, and spoon away.
Set up baby’s room for success by investing in a humidifier. There is some discussion as to which works best for easing colds, but the main concern is that warm-mist humidifiers can cause burns if your baby touches – which is NOT something any parent wants. Either only use warm-mist humidifiers when your baby is safe in the crib, or try a cool-mist humidifier. Whichever type you go with, turn it on and crank it up when your wee one has the sniffles.
Now, what to do with all that snot? It comes out when the baby sneezes, drips constantly from the nose, and causes raw red areas under the nose and chin. Help keep your baby’s face and nose happy by using soft items to wipe the nose. Cut up and old t-shirt into squares and use as hankies. Apply Lansinoh to the nose, upper lip, and chin area to alleviate red irritated skin. Many of us have some hiding around from the beginnings of breastfeeding (ouch) -remember that? If you don’t have any Lansinoh, Vaseline will do nicely.
Yes, there is always the wonderful bulb syringe. This lovely little item can help suck the snot out of an infant’s nose like a turkey baster. But, finding a baby that enjoys this process is almost impossible. If you can get your babe into a comfortable head-tilted-back position to attempt using a bulb syringe, start by dropping some saline solution into each nostril. Squeeze the air out of the syringe before placing it into your baby’s nose. Then, put the tip of the bulb syringe in one nostril and release the bulb syringe allowing it to suck out all that nasty mucus. Go ahead and try the other side – that is if your baby is still sitting calmly on your lap complying with this atrocious nose sucking! If you are successful, make sure to clean out the bulb syringe with warm soapy water.
I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted just thinking about it all! Getting the crib ready for a good night’s sleep is beneficial to easing nighttime wakings from colds. By elevating one end of the crib, the baby will be on a slight incline when sleeping, which will alleviate that back of the throat drip-drip dripping. Putting a pillow or blanket under one end of the crib bedding is another option. If your baby is into sleeping in her infant car carrier, try a letting her sleep in it and see how it goes.
Lastly, take a look at yourself. How are you feeling? The best thing you can do for your baby is to stay healthy. Take some vitamin C, pop the baby in the stroller (even if it is nasty or cold outside) and head outdoors for some fresh air. Make sure to get some sleep. Keeping yourself healthy is the first step in keeping your baby healthy.
Make sure to contact your doctor if you are concerned about how your baby is breathing or if her symptoms get worse. Never feel like you are bothering your doctor with silly questions or concerns when it comes to your baby. Just like the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry!