If you’ve clicked through to this page you probably have one concern – your baby is sick for the first time and you want to do something about it NOW!
But before we get started, first things first: always consult your doctor when your child is ill and only seek qualified medical advice. The following is based on personal experience only.
If your newborn is sick, call your pediatrician. For any aged child, call immediately if they have a fever over 100.4 or if it’s a lower temperature but goes on for a long time.
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So what can you REALLY do when your infant has a cold?
1.) Breast Milk
As you probably know, mother’s milk has antibacterial and powerful healing properties.
If your baby has a stuffy nose, breast milk nose spray can be very effective. Using a medicine dropper, place a drop or two in your baby’s nose. For older babies, put a little breast milk in a clean, empty nose spray bottle and use it as a nose spray.
2.) Saline Spray and Nasal Aspirator
Yes, it’s gross, but you’ll be amazed how much that helps your baby breathe (and feed!)
3.) Baby has a cold and won’t drink milk?
Not being able to breathe through her nose makes it hard for baby to suck and swallow and they might just give up on it. Try holding your infant upright while feeding to lessen the stuffiness.
4.) Bone Broth
You probably already know about the many benefits of bone broth and how it can improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health, and much more. Giving your (+6 month old) baby bone broth in her sippy-cup is a great way to keep her hydrated while supplying her with the vitamins and minerals she needs to fight off the cold.
If you have the ingredients on hand, there’s nothing better than homemade bone broth. Here’s the recipe I like to go by (omitting the vinegar and spices.)
5.) Homeopathic Remedies for Sick Baby
Of course, you need to decide for yourself if homeopathic cold remedies are right for you and your baby. I have found this one particularly effective in relieving my baby’s cold symptoms (for babies older than 6 months.)
6.) Ivy Leaf Extract – a traditional herbal remedy
If your baby is older than one year, I highly recommend Prospan. It’s an expectorant that’s been used in Germany for over 20 years to relieve cough and reduce mucus. I still can’t believe how well it works on my kids.
ZarBee’s also makes something similar (look for “ivy leaf extract”) which you can buy most anywhere.
7.) Baby with cold can’t sleep?
Propping baby up to sleep with a cold can be very effective.
If baby is sleeping in her own bed, I highly recommend propping up baby’s mattress with a pillow under one end. That way she can sleep slightly inclined and the mucus can drain while she’s sleeping. The drainage sometimes leads to gagging or coughing, but that’s not the kind of coughing you’re worried about.
8.) Does steam help baby’s cough?
A cool mist humidifier will help clear your baby’s airways thus helping her breathe easier.
If you don’t have one, hanging out with baby in a steamy bathroom for a few minutes will also help in the same way.
9.) Nasal Massage
A gentle nasal massage can help loosen and remove anything clogging your baby’s sinuses. Use two fingers to gently rub the area around the top of your baby’s nose and under the eyebrows. Watch your baby closely to make sure she’s not in discomfort.
10. ) Fever
As you probably know, a fever isn’t always a bad thing. Its purpose is to raise the body’s temperature enough to kill off certain bacteria and viruses that are sensitive to temperature changes (namely the ones that are making us sick!) Nonetheless, you don’t want the fever to get too high for too long and especially not with a baby.
If your baby has a fever, it’s time to call the doctor. They will tell you exactly what you need to do to handle the situation. Underestimating the situation can have such serious consequences, that you don’t want to be the only one doing the decision making on this one.
11.) Mama Instincts
Being a mother to a sick baby is a rough situation to be in. You’re worried about doing the right thing and you might be asking people you know for advice. Some friends and relatives (or even your partner) might tell you to “stop overreacting – it’s only a common cold!” But if your mama instinct tells you it’s time to grab your baby and go to urgent care or even the emergency room – then do it and don’t let anyone stop you. That’s what mama instincts are for.
12.) Other things you can do to keep baby comfortable when sick
- minimize exposure to dry and dusty air
- cuddle your baby as much as you possibly can
- dress her in her softest jammies
- take a warm bath with your baby
- take care of YOURSELF so you can be there for your baby
Check out my Baby Health Remedies shopping list to see the products we always have on hand.