How to use natural remedies for a sick baby with a cold

How to treat your sick baby

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Seeing your baby sick with any sickness is not what we want to be dealing with as a mother. Especially if they have a stuffy nose, a nasty cough and green and yellow boogers everywhere.

I really love to treat any sickness with natural remedies where I can. I truly believe they are powerful and can really help strengthen the body’s immune system and fight off the illness.

Here are some great ways on how to relieve your baby’s cough, cold, and congestion with natural remedies.

cough and cold remedies

Hearing a sweet little one struggling to breathe due to congestion and snot makes everything difficult.

Sleep, eating, being happy and content all practically fly right out the window. Add to that, a constant cough that keeps your baby up all night or turns any day into misery is just something we mothers could do without.

Sickness happens, I have been extremely blessed in keeping my baby sick free his first year of life (and beyond) and natural remedies have been a lifesaver for me.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a doctor and I am not giving medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional if needed. I am just a mother with the goal to help and provide information to other mothers out there and share my personal experiences and opinions. 

Assess your sick baby

First things first, it is important to asses your baby and the situation. Take note of any symptoms they are dealing with, their behavior, appetite and anything out of the normal.

Once you have more of a clear picture of what your baby is experiencing you will better be able to treat them and make them feel comfortable.

Sick child with a cold

If your baby is running a fever don’t be quick to jump to the Tylenol or Motrin and suppress it. Suppressing a fever is actually not always the best thing to do.

A fever is your baby’s body naturally fighting off an infection, so having a fever is actually helpful and productive.

You obviously need to do what you feel comfortable with, but before jumping straight to the medicines check out my post “Why a fever is good for your child’s body

Always follow your gut. If I have to give my baby something, I will always choose Motrin over Tylenol to help with a fever if necessary.

Don’t ever hesitate to call a health care professional if your child seems to need medical attention.

4 ways to boost your baby’s immune system when they are sick

When your baby is sick it is always good to give their immune system a good boost and help their little bodies fight of that bacteria, infection or virus.

I like to do my best to implement healthy eating and good supplements into my baby’s everyday lifestyle to help keep his body strong and healthy.

Here are some great remedies you can give to your baby or toddler who is starting to feel under the weather or currently dealing with a cough, cold or congestion. With a strengthened immune system their bodies will be more equipped to fight off any bacteria, infection or virus.

1. On Guard

DoTerra’s On Guard is one of my FAVORITE products. I seriously swear by it. It has helped keep our family healthy so many times.

My toddler gets On Guard rubbed on his feet every single night and I know it has helped contribute to his health.

Our feet contain a map of our whole body, so rubbing On Guard into your baby’s feet, essentially strengthen their entire body.

This is also a simple, easy thing to do if your baby or toddler is unwell.

You don’t have to use much; a little goes a long way and has a great effect.

2. Elderberry syrup/gummies

Elderberries are packed full of antioxidants, high in vitamins and are rich in iron and potassium.

They are great immune boosters when sick but also a good option for daily use when flu season hits.

If you can make your own elderberry syrup that is the best option but if you are like me and barely have enough time in the day for everything else, there are a few good options out there you can choose from.

Just make sure to check out the ingredients and recommended age requirements.

Here is my go-to Elderberry Syrup, it is good for all ages, doesn’t have any added sugar or honey in it. This makes it perfect for babies and toddlers.

I usually half the recommended dose it suggests for children since my little guy isn’t even 2 yet.

Elderberries do have quite a strong taste, so if your toddler is unwilling to take a liquid form you could always make your own gummies or try them in the gummy form.

Also, if you are breastfeeding you could start taking elderberry syrup yourself if your baby is younger than 6 months (elderberry syrup is recommended for 6 months and older)

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and the essential go-to for combating any cold, cough or congestion.

If your child does not have whooping cough and is simply feeling unwell with other symptoms, I like to use a Vitamin C that is derived from natural plants and foods.

This is a great supplement to use daily for improved immune health or can be a good used to give an immune boost.

If you are needing to address a more serious cough like whooping cough, high doses of Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C) will be needed and I will address that further down.

4. Detox bath

No matter how hard we try to create our homes and lifestyles as safe as possible for our children, they will always be constantly exposed to hundreds of contaminants in the air, food, cleaning products, and the list goes on.

No matter how healthy and “green” you try to live you can’t fully avoid those things and if your baby or toddler is sick those things aren’t going to help.

BUT you can add detox baths into your regimes and if you have a kiddo feeling unwell, a detox bath is perfect for boosting their immune and detoxification systems.

You can use Epsom Salt and essential oils in your detox bath. Other items such as bentonite clay are also great add in’s. For more recipes check out this post from the Wellness Mama.

Is mucus good or bad, when your baby is sick?

Let’s talk a little bit more about that green, slimy stuff called mucus or snot. As gross as snot is, mucus is actually quite useful for your baby’s body when they are sick.

Mucus is the body’s way of eliminating any bacteria or viruses.

Experiencing a runny nose or coughing up phlegm is the body expelling those nasty things we don’t want.

Using OTC medicines to combat your baby’s congestion and stuffiness actually paralyzes their first line of defense by allowing the bad stuff to go back into their bodies, taxing their bloodstream and organs which essentially worsens and prolongs the illness.

7 ways to naturally relieve congestion when you have a sick baby

I am not saying by any means, just let your baby suffer without any intervention or help. Trust me, they need momma’s help for sure but there are some great alternatives you can use where possible to give natural relief.

The great thing about using natural remedies to help your little one is that instead of working against their bodies to get better they work with their bodies to heal from the inside out.

1. Nose Frida

If you haven’t heard of the Nose Frida, you are missing out!

It is a great tool to help suck out all that nasty snot and congestion out of your baby’s nose.

As gross as sucking your child’s snot out is, it really isn’t bad and don’t worry it’s not like any of the icky stuff gets in your mouth. It is a pretty nifty little invention!

Clearing the nasal passageways as often as you can, really helps prevent the sickness from getting worse and the mucus making its way to your baby’s chest.

Babies and toddlers aren’t the best nose blowers, so we need to do all we can to help clear those passageways that get clogged up when they have a cold.

2. Cold Calm

Boiron Cold Calm Homeopathic remedy is great for babies 6 months and older.

They come in small vials that are super easy to give to your child and won’t have any negative side effects that you can get from other forms of cold medicines.

They won’t make your baby tired and are effective and provides relief for general cold symptoms, runny noses and congestion.

3. Diffuse essential oils

Essential oils can be super useful in helping clear congestion and other symptoms related to the typical cold. My favorite essential oil options to diffuse are eucalyptus, lemon, frankincense, lavender and DoTerra’s Breathe blend.

Using essential oil diffuser for cold

These are are all safe for aromatic use for little ones. You only need one drop and could combine a couple of different ones if you would like.

DoTerra’s breath is a great blend that already contains some perfect oils to help clear nasal congestion, so that is always my go-to.

4. Maty’s Chest Rub

Maty’s chest rub is a great, safe topical option for your sick baby.

It is safe for 3 months and older and contains lavender, eucalyptus, and chamomile.

It gently comforts and soothes irritations associated with the common cold. Plus, it is menthol and petroleum free.

5. Steam room

Ok, so I know you are probably thinking “I don’t have a in-house steam room!” but believe it or not if you have a shower and a tub, you can make the pretty perfect steam room to help clear those bunged up airways your baby is dealing with.

Close all the doors to your bathroom and turn your shower on hot and let it run until the bathroom heats up.

You could also run a little space heater in there to help get the room hot and steamy.

Once you get the bathroom feeling like it’s Hawaii you could either just sit in there with your little one or run a nice comfortable bath and pop them in the tub.

You could nurse/feed your baby while hanging out in the steam room, do skin to skin, rub their back and chest with Maty’s Chest rub or just simply relax in there.

The warm steam will help clear those airways and loosen any hardened or thick mucus and make it easier for your baby to breathe.

6. Elevate your sick baby’s bed

We all know when we are full of mucus and congestion, lying flat on our back usually is one of the least helpful things we can do.

It seems like after lying down the mucus then trickles down our throat and we wake up even more congested and miserable. It is the same way for babies.

Elevating their bed can really help them have a more comfortable night’s rest.

You can roll up some blankets or towels or place a pillow UNDER your baby’s mattress.

Or you could raise the whole crib by using some books under the legs on one side.

Keeping your baby’s head more elevated will provide much needed relief to their sinuses.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has so many great uses, you really can’t go wrong. We even use ACV to help treat our animals when needed.

I know it doesn’t have the best smell and actually has quite a potent strong odor, but the benefits outweigh the smell by far.

Make sure when choosing your apple cider vinegar, you will want to get the one with “the mother” in it.

I choose organic, raw and unfiltered one.

You can add some ACV to a humidifier, you can put some in a bath, or add it to some honey. ACV can help break down the congestion, giving relief and taking the pressure of your baby’s sinuses.

What you need to know about coughing

Hearing a sweet little baby battle a nasty cough is one of the worse sounds. Coughs always seem to have the habit of lingering and taking what seems like forever to go away.

Whether it is a barking, dry or chesty cough, none of the above are fun for your baby and can be pretty exhausting for them.

It is important to note that a cough is NOT an illness but a symptom of an illness.

Just like mucus, coughing is a way in which your baby’s body is trying to expel those unwanted nasty things and protect their lungs.

Avoiding cough suppressants and other OTC drugs will be the best thing you can do for your sick baby.

I know it may provide a little relief, but the other side effects can make symptoms persist.

6 natural way to ease coughing symptoms

Where possible do your very best to avoid pumping your tiny baby or toddlers’ body with unnecessary drugs.

I know you only want to do what is best for your baby and help them feel better, but believe it or not, dosing them up on OTC medications can actually cripple the healing process.

1. Honey

If your baby is over a year old, local, raw honey can be your little one’s best friend.

Honey is a great natural cough suppressant and is full of lots of goodies for your child.

Honey is full of anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties but not only that, but honey can also coat the throat while offering relief and a soothing effect.

organic honey used to treat cough

2. Pineapple Juice

You probably think I am crazy, but pineapple juice is said to be 5 times more effective than traditional OTC cough suppressants.

Pineapples are high in bromelain which is an enzyme full of anti-inflammatory properties.

Try offering some pineapple juice or fresh pineapple to your sick baby or toddler to help ease the coughing discomfort.

3. Maty’s Cough Syrup

If your baby is over the age of 1, this cough syrup is a perfect alternative to the regular cough suppressants.

This cough syrup is LOADED with so many amazing ingredients including honey, ginger, apple cider vinegar, oregano and more. Plus, it is organic too!

Wellements Organic Baby Cough and Mucus Relief Syrup can be another option if your baby is younger than a year old.

4. Homemade cough salve

Believe it or not, there are so many at-home remedies we can find usually right in our pantry that can work wonders for those nasty coughs.

Here is a simple recipe for a homemade cough salve that you can rub on the bottom of your baby’s feet, chest and back.

  • 6 Cloves of Garlic (peeled)
  • 1/4 Coconut Oil
  • 8 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1-2 inch Knob of Fresh Ginger

Blend everything up together (you may need to grate the ginger beforehand) until it is all blended and almost has the consistency of butter.

The garlic-y, gingery smell mixed with lavender will be well worth the benefits your baby will receive.

You can put socks on your child’s feet after or simply rub the salve on their chest and back area.

5. Vitamin C

High doses of vitamin C in the form of Sodium Ascorbate can be very effect for treating a cough in infants especially if you are dealing with whooping cough (pertussis).

This is the best brand I would recommend for Sodium Ascorbate. In terms of dosing, if using pounds, use this equation: (weight in pounds divided by 2.2) times 375 = the 24 hour dose, in mg per kg.

6. Spongia Tosta

If your toddler is dealing with a dry, barking, croupy cough, trying the homeopathic remedy Spongia Tosta can help relieve those nasty symptoms.

3 last tips to help your baby recover

When you’re dealing with a sick child it is important to remember the small and simple things in aiding them to regain full health. Don’t underestimate those things because our bodies need them.

1. LOTS of fluids

Make sure your baby or toddler is staying well hydrated and drinking PLENTY of fluids.

Whether you offer the breast or bottle more than usual or you can get them to sip on some juice or water, make sure they are drinking lots and lots.

Your child’s body will be grateful for every ounce of fluid you give it to avoid getting dehydrated.

Wherever possible this is a great chance to be putting Vitamin C powder into any drink they are willing to take.

2. Rest, rest, rest

Yep, I’ll say it again, let them rest. I know busy toddlers don’t like to sit still for too long but it is important to encourage them to rest as much as you can. Try to keep things relaxed and low key.

Lots of books and snuggles can help pass the time by. I

try to avoid letting my toddler watch too much TV but if they are really feeling unwell a movie or two might just be the medicine they need to relax and recoup!

It will also help take their minds off not feeling too great.

Sick toddler resting

3. Offer bone broth

Bone broth is a prebiotic, a superfood for gut health and is full of SO many good nutrients. It is the perfect sick child remedy.

If your baby or toddler is feeling unwell with a cough or a cold, they might not have a big appetite.

Bone broth can be a good food option that offers hydration and nutrients, all in one.

Everyone loves a homemade chicken noodle soup when they are sick, so instead of using regular broth or stock, switch it out for organic bone broth (or you can make your own).

I hope your little one starts feeling better soon and that you can implement some of these natural remedies for a quick recovery.

What are your favorite natural remedies you like to use when you have a sick baby or toddler? Comment below! I’d love to hear.

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How to treat your sick baby

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